Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
January 1, 2022IM -
It’s that time of year when we all begin to take stock of our health and personal growth with New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re participating in “dry” January or looking to make a long-term change, drinking less alcohol is a popular pledge that can help you achieve both aims.
Coming off the holidays, moderating the liquid cheer can be challenging for a lot of people. Many fall short of their objectives, mostly because they are not realistic. If you simplify your approach, goals will be more attainable and will make for better outcomes. In the case of alcohol consumption, the maxim “everything in moderation” becomes especially relevant.
Slow down and meditate. Mental clarity comes with slowing the pace of life. Meditation is a great tool for calming the mind and bringing your focus to just one thing. Take a few deep breaths and make a point to clear your mind. Think about your resolution for at least a few minutes each day.
Small changes can make a big difference. Progress is often incremental, and you might experience setbacks, for instance, finding that you continue to drink more than you intend to on certain occasions. If you have any reason to think that you might be physically addicted to alcohol and are at risk of suffering withdrawal, consult a medical doctor before you stop drinking abruptly.
If you have tried repeatedly to moderate your drinking, without success, you might consider taking a break from drinking for a few weeks or months and/or consult a health care professional. An addiction specialist who practices within a “harm reduction model” can help you decide whether a professionally-guided attempt at moderation or abstinence makes the most sense.
According to the CDC, moderate alcohol consumption is equivalent to two drinks per day for men and one per day for women. A standard drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, or a cocktail that contains 5% alcohol. By following this marker of moderate drinking, you can mentally take note and pace yourself.
Experts say that drinking mindfully is the key to drinking moderately. Mindful, moderate drinking—compared to habitual drinking or “auto-pilot” drinking—means being fully conscious of your drinking in real time and being cognizant of how each drink is affecting your body, mood, and behavior. With that in mind, going into 2022, here are some guidelines and strategies that can help facilitate a moderate approach to drinking.
Tips for Mindful Moderate Drinking:
Whether you’re on the path to sobriety or taking a moderate approach, self-reflection is a positive result—and the beginning of a new and healthy relationship with alcohol. Online alcohol support groups are great evidence-based options for those looking for additional support and accountability. Whatever path you’re on, you are not alone.
Alcoholics Anonymous—Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. www.aa.org
Alcohol Management Program—This is a confidential education program that helps people with mild to moderate alcohol problems reduce or stop drinking. It is not for those who have a severe alcohol addiction and need treatment approaches rather than educational ones. www.hr.umich.edu
Harm Reduction Therapy Center—This helps users set and meet their own goals for gaining control over drinking and drugs. This organization helps people determine which aspects of their drinking habits may be harmful. It also helps people figure out what they would like to change and how to put their plans into action. www.harmreductiontherapy.org
Moderation Management—This is a recovery program and national support group network. It’s for people who have made the decision to reduce their drinking and make other positive lifestyle changes.
Rational Recovery—This program uses a method called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique. This is a behavioral program that you do on your own through self-help books and seminars. www.rational.org
Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery—The goal of SMART Recovery is to build skills in people so they can maintain abstinence. It’s for those who like a do-it-yourself approach with very little structure. www.smartrecovery.org
Addiction Alternatives—This program practices the philosophy that people can learn how to overcome addiction without stopping drinking forever. www.habitdoc.com