HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol

The Geographical Cure Can Work

AA's Big Book says that there is no such thing as a "Geographical Cure" 1 because "wherever you go, there you are."

Here at HAMS we have found this view of things to be quite utterly false. At least for many of us the place where we live in can have a negative effect on our employability, our finances, our social acceptance, our educational opportunities and our mental health in general. If the area in which you live is causing you a great deal of stress then you may very well be able to eliminate this stress by moving to a new area. And when the stress is gone, then alcohol problems become much more manageable. Any improvement you make in your life can help you to make an improvement in your drinking, and vice versa.

For me--HAMS founder Kenneth Anderson--moving from Minneapolis to New York City had a profoundly positive impact on my life. I could go on a long rant but the long and the short of it was that Minneapolis was not a good fit for me personally--I had many difficulties there in terms of employment, education opportunities, and in other areas. This is not to say that Minneapolis cannot be a good fit for others--I still have some good friends who live there and love it.

New York City, on the other hand, fits me like a glove. I have done great since moving to NYC and have had wonderful opportunities in terms of employment, education, friendship, and many, many other areas of my life.

So yes Virginia, the Geographic Cure can be a reality.

For more information about other life issues that can affect your drinking please visit our web page:
Alcohol and Life Problems

1 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services (2001). Alcoholics Anonymous : the story of how many thousands of men and women have recovered from alcoholism. (4th ed.). Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, New York. p. 322-3, p. 339.

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