Op-Ed/Editorials – Another step towards change: announcing the BASIS self-change resource for drinking


The views expressed in the Op-Ed/Editorials page are solely the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BASIS, its sponsors, or affiliated organizations.

Two years ago The Division on Addictions created the Your First Step to Change self-change resource (i.e., The First Step series) and published the first edition, dedicated to gambling. The gambling edition met with great success and was downloaded thousands of times worldwide. People report using the gambling edition of the First Step series themselves and in creating treatment plans.

Currently, the gambling edition is being translated into 17 languages. (1)

The First Step series is innovative in that it combines education, self-examination, and change strategies to assist people in determining whether change is a possibility for them. All editions of The First Step series are designed to do three things:

  1. help people gain information about addiction-related problems
  2. help people evaluate their own addiction-related behavior
  3. help people develop change strategies, should they decide that change is the best course.

The First Step series does not use coercive language or scare tactics common to other approaches. Rather, The First Step series attempts to help people determine whether change is in their future and help them start to make a change.

This week we are proud to launch the next edition in the First Step series, Your First Step to Change: Drinking.

The First Step series is completely anonymous; we do not keep any records or information about the individuals who enter the site. Individuals are welcome to visit the site as many times as they like and link to the site from their own personal websites.

In the future, we will launch additional First Step editions dedicated to smoking, marijuana use, and more.

Research and development for the First Step series was provided by the National Center for Responsible Gaming, bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, Hyatt Gaming Services, and the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Because the Division on Addictions is independently funded and does not receive financial support from Harvard Medical School or the Cambridge Health Alliance, we need your support to launch additional editions of the First Step series and to maintain the current evidence base for the entire series. Please see our support page.


1 bwin Interactive Entertainment AG is translating the gambling edition into 17 languages and will post it on its website.

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