- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 145383060X
- ISBN-13: 978-1453830604
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol (2nd edition) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Kenneth Anderson is the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network. HAMS is the first world-wide, harm reduction-based support group specifically for people who drink alcohol. HAMS is lay-led and free-of-charge. Mr. Anderson has worked in the field of harm reduction since 2002. His wide range of experience includes serving as Director of Online Services at Moderation Management, and working "in the trenches" of harm reduction doing needle exchange in Minneapolis. He has presented at the National Harm Reduction Conference and has been a regular guest speaker at the Harlem Hospital Harm Reduction Program, The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, and many other venues. Mr. Anderson is a member of The International Center for Clinical Excellence, the Global Alcohol Harm Reduction Network, and the International Harm Reduction Association. He holds a masters degree in linguistics from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a masters degree in psychology and substance abuse counseling at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
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This book addresses very practical questions - how do people affect change? What are the short & long-term effects of alcohol on the body and brain? How can people consider their own experiences and apply what demonstrably works, on their own, and/or with the right kind of support?
It's rare to hear alcohol abuse considered in any context other than "abstain or die". This book objectively presents many surprising facts which strip away popular myths on how to approach an alcohol issue. Most of these myths are based on AA dogma, and widely promulgated by the American medical establishment, in spite of abundant evidence that AA is ineffective for most people.
At the heart of this book is respect for human integrity and informed choice. Anderson recognizes that people have always and will continue to routinely engage in many different behaviors which can have harmful consequences. They also have choices in modifying these behaviors, and reducing the harm they could cause to themselves and others.
Anderson makes a critical and unique contribution in synthesizing existing harm reduction (HR) research, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) and other proven approaches, applying them to alcohol use, and creating very immediate and concrete tools that a person can engage to address their own patterns of alcohol use.
While Anderson fully supports abstinence for those who choose it, he acknowledges and understands the practical reality that not everyone will. For those who find an "all or nothing" ultimatum triggers a seemingly perverse leap into "ALL", he offers alternatives - practical approaches toward life choices that better support one's health and goals.
Drinkers can take responsibility, find ways to exercise choice "muscles", and find that "better is better" - and find encouragements to build on their own successes, rather than punishment for not complying with failing methods or rigid dogma. This book supports drinkers in making safer choices, while encouraging them to try out and practice "abs" (sobriety) days, and to plan for maximal safety if they choose to drink.
Anderson presents a structured, but flexible approach, with sets of worksheets, and plenty of facts, empathy, inspiration and humor to encourage a person to apply these concepts practically, day to day, on an ongoing basis. Each chapter is supported by extensive footnote references for further research.
The web-site links included are another bonus. Ongoing on-line support links are provided, and purchase is not needed - on-line support is free to anyone at [...].
Anderson also freely admits he had a serious drinking problem, which adds to his credence with me.
The good news is - if 12-step program approaches and their dire prognosis of progressive disease & death are anathema to you - this is only their story; you're not required to make it your story to get better. In fact, it appears most people are much more likely to get better when they exercise and build on strengths, rather than convince themselves they're "powerless".
This book offers practical tools for that exercise, supported by well-organized, clearly summarized research results and sound medical information. For anyone concerned with an alcohol or any substance use problem (individuals, family, friends, or counselors), this is not just a "must read", but an essential toolkit and invaluable resource.
It is a book dedicated to those who want to try and control their drinking, & if that fails, after several attempts, then to abstain completely (if that's what you want).
Ken goes through every aspect of heavy drinking. It is an extremely well researched book and is set out in an easy to read fashion. The Elements in HAMs are not compulsory, like the 12 steps all are, so there is choice, and a lot of it!
I thoroughly recommend this book, if you are in any way dissatisfied with AA, & most people are, let's face it.
Bring on the down to earth truth about alcoholism! Buy this book & get involved with HAMs! HAMs (the Harm Reduction people, which this book is written about) have many online support groups. Check them out!
I'd give this book 10 stars if I could, as it is so good!