How the Pub and Drug Cultures Fuels Addiction

There is little doubt that the use of drugs and alcohol continues unabated in Britain. It is also safe to say that we are no closer to solving the issue of substance abuse than we were 20 years ago. For every individual that successfully completes a rehab programme, there is another waiting to take his or her place. The question is why? Perhaps the answer lies in learning a bit more about the pub and drug cultures. When we talk about the pub and drug cultures, we are referring to what the Oxford dictionaries explain as ‘the attitudes and behaviour...

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Freshers Week and the Drinking Culture

With freshers week 2014 fast approaching, there is renewed debate over how much responsibility universities have in controlling the drinking habits of students. Some say universities owe it to their students to protect them from drinking too much while others say deciding how much to drink is a matter of individual choice. Perhaps both sides are missing the point. Perhaps the real root of the alcohol problem during freshers week is the drinking culture. Emily Henderson of the University of York addressed the issue in a recent post for Nouse, the university’s student newspaper. In her article, she touched on...

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Healthcare Management Firm to Give Addicts Access to Medical Records

Patients Know Best (PKB), a healthcare management firm working on behalf of consumers, was established on the belief that individuals need to be empowered to take control of their own healthcare. As such, it provides online access to medical records and direct access to participating doctors via electronic communications. It is now turning its attentions to recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. PKB’s Lloyd Humphreys recently wrote about the plans in an article published by The Guardian on August 28. Humphreys let it be known that his company was working with Delphi Medical to ensure recovering addicts have access to their...

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Wales Looking for Ways to Stem Alcohol Abuse

The numbers show that there are more alcohol related deaths in Wales every year than in England. Just in 2012 alone, there were 500 deaths. Recent numbers suggest the problem is not getting any better either. So leaders in Wales are aggressively looking for new ways to stem alcohol abuse before things get any worse. As far as the raw numbers are concerned, it does not look good. Numbers from the Welsh National Database for Substance Abuse show that there were 9,127 substance abuse referrals for the first quarter of 2014, up more than 1,800 from the same period in...

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Is AA the Right Solution for Young Adults?

According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), people under the age of 30 make up only 13% of the organisation’s 2 million global members. Now, a small-scale study from the United States may explain why. The study seems to suggest that younger people only benefit from two of the six key skills taught by AA, while older members benefit from five. Harvard University psychologist Bettina Hoeppner led the study. Hoeppner and her team followed 2,000 adults through a 12-week recovery programme and then followed up with each one for the next 12 months. At the conclusion of the study, approximately 39% of...

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The Forgotten: Pensioners Struggling with Drink and Drugs

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report earlier this year showing the prevalence of substance abuse problems among American adults under the age of 64. The report revealed just how serious drink and drugs are among working age adults. However, as with so many other reports, the CDC findings ignored those 65 and older. Some say it is time to change how we look at things. There is a whole class of forgotten substance abusers among pensioners. USC Kreck School of Medicine professor Dr Akikur Mohammad told Newsday earlier this month that the number of...

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Promoting Recovery through Accomplishment

Noreen Oliver is a successful entrepreneur, having launched Langan’s in Burton-upon-Trent. Her West Midlands tearooms offer guests the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful food and beverages in a welcoming atmosphere that promotes relaxation and conversation. Yet many of the guests do not realise that the establishment is largely staffed by recovering addicts. They also do not know that Oliver is a recovering alcoholic herself. Oliver, who also runs an addiction recovery treatment clinic known as BAC O’Connor, established the tearoom to promote recovery through accomplishment. It is something she firmly believes in after having undergone treatment herself. She now devotes...

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Think Tank Calls for Police to Start Closing Head Shops

The well-known think tank known as the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is calling on UK police agencies to get serious about closing head shops just as their Irish counterparts are doing. The think tank believes that a failure to aggressively deal with head shops selling so-called ‘legal highs’ could lead to greater numbers of deaths linked to the substances. Also known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), legal highs are sold in head shops under the banner of plant food, research chemicals, or bath salts. These are labelled as such in order to get around regulations prohibiting their sale for...

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Addiction in the Workplace: a Very Dangerous Thing

Next time you are at work, briefly take a step back and count how many people are in the room with you. For every 30 co-workers you see, there is one who likely has drugs or alcohol in his or her system. For those who like numbers, that breaks down to 3%. The number is even greater (6%+) when you separate out alcohol consumption. Addiction and substance abuse is very real in the modern workplace, and it is very dangerous. Highlighting the problem is a story recently published by The Telegraph. The August 14 (2014) story focused primarily on substance-abusing...

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Williams’ Passing Reminds Us of the Need for Intervention

The tragic death of comedian-actor Robin Williams has shocked tens of millions of fans around the world. Williams, who may go down in history as one of the best comedic talents of his time, usually appeared in public with a warm smile and a sparkle in his eyes. Yet the private pain he went through proved too much in the end. If nothing else, his passing reminds us of the need for constant intervention. Williams was never shy to talk about his lifelong struggles with drugs and alcohol. He was very candid in the hopes that the stories of his...

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Should We Put Warning Labels on Alcohol?

A group of parliamentarians in Northern Ireland is calling on ministers to do with alcohol what has already been done with tobacco and food packaging. They want labels placed on alcohol products that provide both nutritional information and warnings about the consequences of using alcohol irresponsibly. The group, known as the All Parliamentary Party Group on Alcohol Misuse, is asking all of the political parties to adhere to a list of 10 principles that would ostensibly reduce alcohol misuse. In an official statement, the group referenced the fact that health and safety warnings are clearly printed on tobacco packaging. Likewise,...

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New Rehab Clinic Coming to the Midlands

Alcoholics and drug addicts looking for help in Leicester will have another choice when a brand-new rehab clinic opens up in the city at the end of August. The clinic will be occupying space formerly used by the Harley Medical Group in a three-story building in Upper New Walk. The owner of the facility, Perry Clayman, already operates successful clinics in Chelmsford, Clapham, and Luton. Clayman’s new rehab clinic will be a hybrid of sorts. It is neither a true residential clinic nor an outpatient clinic; rather, it sort of mixes the two together in a way that combines the...

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Carrie Armstrong: Sober Cheerleading Really Works!

Well known TV presenter and blogger Carrie Armstrong is no stranger to addiction and sobriety. Having struggled with alcohol for many years, she eventually came to terms with her own recovery to the point that alcohol is no longer an issue. Armstrong is also not shy about her belief that effective, permanent recovery is largely self-taught. Yet there is room for what Armstrong calls ‘sober cheerleading’ to come alongside self-taught principles of recovery. Armstrong recently published a nice piece at the Huffington Post profiling the sober cheerleading approach to sobriety. The concept begins with the understanding that recovery is about...

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Wigan Council Takes Stand Against Legal Highs

What would you do if you learned your teenager walked into a local head shop under the pretence of purchasing plant food or bath salts, only to find out the purchased substance was used to get high? The scenario is not so far-fetched any more. Head shops all over the UK sell what are known as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), better known on the street as ‘legal highs’. Wigan Council and the Manchester police have teamed up to do something about them within their jurisdiction. Legal highs are synthetic drugs created to mimic the effects of illicit drugs like heroin,...

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