HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol

About HAMS


HAMS Board of Directors

Electra Weeks Electra Weeks, Ph. D. - Board Chair
Ph. D. Anthropology - The New School for Social Research - 2002
Adjunct Professor, Empire State College

Mary Ellen Barnes Mary Ellen Barnes, Ph. D.
Ph. D. Educational Psychology - University of Southern California - 1991
President, Non 12 Step Alcohol Treatment

Jane Conroy Jane Conroy
Self Employed

Angelique Dean
Self Employed

Annie Grace
Author This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol

David J. Hanson David J. Hanson Ph. D.
Ph. D. Sociology - Syracuse University - 1972
Professor Emeritus - Sociology - SUNY Potsdam

Erica Hart Erica Hart
Columbus State Community College
Self Employed

Michael Hornbeck Michael Hornbeck, Ph. D.
Ph. D. Physics - SUNY - Albany
Intel Corporation

HAMS Corporate Officers

Kenneth Anderson Kenneth Anderson, MA
Executive Director
MA Psychology - The New School for Social Research - 2014

April Smith April Smith, MPH
Director of Organizational Development
MPH - Thomas Jefferson University - 2016

Electra Weeks Electra Weeks, Ph. D.
Ph. D. Anthropology - The New School for Social Research - 2002

Sheila Vakharia Sheila Vakharia, Ph. D.
Ph. D. Social Welfare - Florida International University - 2013

The HAMS Board of Professional Advisers

Mary Ellen Barnes Mary Ellen Barnes, Ph. D.
Non 12 Step Alcohol Treatment

Dan Bigg Dan Bigg, Executive Director
The Chicago Recovery Alliance

Amy Lee Coy Amy Lee Coy, Author
From Death Do I Part: How I Freed Myself From Addiction

Patt Denning Patt Denning, Ph. D.
Harm Reduction Therapy Center

Paula DeSanto Paula DeSanto MS, LSW, CPRP, CCDP-D
Minnesota Alternatives

Lance Dodes Lance M. Dodes, M.D. Author
Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction

Rae Eden Frank Rae Eden Frank, former Executive Director
Access Works

David J. Hanson David J. Hanson, Ph. D.
Alcohol Problems and Solutions

Carl Hart Carl Hart, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia

Daliah Heller Daliah Heller, Ph. D., MPH
Project Director, Drug and Alcohol Policy Research
School of Public Health at Hunter College

Tom Horvath Tom Horvath, Ph. D.
Practical Recovery

Adi Jaffe Adi Jaffe, Ph. D.
Alternatives Addiction Treatment

Lee Ann Kaskutas Lee Ann Kaskutas, Dr. P. H.
Senior Scientist & Co-Director of Training, Alcohol Research Group
Associate Adjunct Professor, Berkeley School of Public Health

Marc Kern Marc Kern, Ph. D.
Alternatives Addiction Treatment

Barry Lessin Barry Lessin, M. Ed., CAADC
Families for Sensible Drug Policy

Marc Lewis Marc Lewis, Ph. D., Author
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs

Brian Murphy Brian Murphy, LCSW, M Ed
Self-Led Solutions

Stanton Peele Stanton Peele, Ph. D., J.D.
The Life Process Program

Toby Clark Pickens Toby Clark Pickens
Executive Director at Harm Reduction Empowerment Collective

Amanda Reiman Amanda Reiman, MSW, Ph. D.
UC Berkeley Faculty, California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance

Robert Schwebel Robert Schwebel, Ph. D.
Developer The Seven Challenges

LeAnn Sharpe LCSW
Profile on LinkedIn

Shaun Shelly Shaun Shelly
Guest Lecturer at University of Cape Town

Henry Steinberger Henry Steinberger, Ph. D.
Profile on Psychology Today

Tommi Stevens Tommi Stevens, former Hepatitis C Prevention Specialist
Access Works

Sima Stillings Sima Stillings, MSW, LICSW, ACSW, SAP, MAC
Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Institute

Jenifer Talley Jenifer Talley, Ph. D.
Assistant Director of the Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling
The New School for Social Research

Andrew Tatarsky Andrew Tatarsky Ph. D.
Center for Optimal Living

Sheila Vakharia Sheila Vakharia, Ph. D.
Long Island University

William White William White, MA, Author
Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America

Edward W. Wilson Edward W. Wilson, Ph. D.
Non 12 Step Alcohol Treatment

Adam Zimbardo Adam Zimbardo, MFT

HAMS is most grateful that the late Dr. Alan Marlatt served on our advisory board and wrote a preface to our harm reduction book. We are saddened by his passing--there never could have been a HAMS if not for the work of Dr. Marlatt.

Alan Marlatt Marlatt Biography on Wikipedia

What We Believe

At HAMS we believe that anyone can make positive changes in alcohol or drug use no matter how mild or severe the pattern of use may be. We do not believe that anyone is trapped by a fatal, progressive disease. Rather, we believe that anyone can achieve a resolution of or improvement in substance use via a goal of safer use, reduced use, or total abstinence. Some people may also need the adjunct of psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medications to deal with underlying mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma. However, ultimately, HAMS believes that we all have the power within ourselves to get better and that we are not the victims of some mysterious disease that hijacks our brains, leaving us incapable of choice and requiring us to turn our lives over to a higher power. Rather, it is through our choices and our desires that we heal, although it is often hard work and more difficult for some than others. For these reasons, HAMS rejects the "disease" model of addiction and embraces the "choice" model. It is your choices and your hard work - coupled with tools from HAMS and perhaps psychological and/or psychiatric help - that will set you free. And it is your choice, not ours, whether to abstain, moderate, or even enjoy controlled and safe intoxication. Overcoming a substance use problem is like lifting weights: the more you practice, the stronger you get. HAMS is here to empower you - you are not powerless!

The Scope of HAMS

HAMS is primarily about providing support for people who wish to reduce or eliminate the harm in their lives caused by the use of the "soft" drugs alcohol, marijuana, nicotine and/or caffeine. However, HAMS is open and welcoming to people who wish to reduce or eliminate the harm in their lives caused by any substance or any behavior.

HAMS has chosen to concentrate on the substances named above because of the paucity of any Harm Reduction support for them and also because these are the areas of expertise of the creators of HAMS.

Other organizations already provide excellent Harm Reduction information and support for users of "hard" drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, etc. HAMS maintains a listing of Harm Reduction support groups for people who use these drugs and who wish for more support than that which they find at HAMS. The Harm Reduction Coalition also keeps an extensive list of harm reduction resources here. HAMS also offers a Drugs Harm Reduction Email Group in addition to our Alcohol Harm Reduction Email Group.


The HAMS Harm Reduction Network would like to express its great debt of gratitude to the organizations and individuals who have gone on before us and helped to inspire us. These include The Harm Reduction Coalition, The Moderation Management Network Inc, Access Works, The Albert Ellis Institute, Stanton Peele, Audrey Kishline, Patt Denning, Jeannie Little, Adina Glickman, Alan Marlatt, Ken Ragge, Alex Deluca, Tamara Grams, Rae Eden Frank, Tommi Stevens, Beth Zeiler, Alissa Fountain, Jeffrey Schaler and many, many more.

However, our greatest debt of all is to those members of HAMS and MM who created their own programs which worked for them as individuals and who inspired the elements of the HAMS process. We could not have come into existence without you guys.

HAMS Mission Statement

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HAMS: Where Better is Better!

© 2015 The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, Inc.
HAMS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit incorporated in the state of New York
Under 21? Please visit Students for Safe Drinking