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Can Ireland Learn from Britain’s Drinks Lobby?

Can Ireland Learn from Britain’s Drinks Lobby?

There’s a useful lesson that Irish politicians can learn from Public Health England, the policy-making body of the NHS: watch out for the drinks industry lobby. In the British media there is a furore over the drinks industry’s influence over Public Health England’s policy on alcohol.   More information on our addiction treatment Alcohol Drugs Gambling Professor Ian Gilmore, Public Health England’s adviser on alcohol, resigned because the agency refused to end its cooperation with Drinkaware — an NGO that is part-funded by the drinks industry.   In addition, 46 health experts sent an open letter to Public Health England…

In Recovery, Focus on Essentials

In Recovery, Focus on Essentials

You’ll have no shortage of advice about what to do in recovery. People will tell you to eat right, exercise, go to meetings, work the steps, make new friends, get plenty of sleep, and the list goes on. Most of this is no doubt good advice, especially if it comes from someone you trust, like a doctor, therapist, sponsor, or just someone who is strong in recovery. The problem is that you can’t do everything at once. If you try, you might just get overwhelmed and make no meaningful changes at all. The important thing is to figure out what…

How to Deal With an Alcoholic Parent

How to Deal With an Alcoholic Parent

Dealing with an alcoholic family member is always a challenge, but it is even more so when that person is a parent. The issues of having a mother or father with alcoholism are way more far-reaching than one would think. If you’re still underage and living with your parents, you could perhaps ignore the problem or you might try to take responsibility. After all, family is family, right? You should take care of the people that take care of you. Once you turn 18, you’re free to live your own life anyway. However, not everybody thinks several steps ahead. There…

Is Alcohol Addiction an Allergy?

Is Alcohol Addiction an Allergy?

There is a belief in AA that alcohol addiction is an allergy. This stems from an explanation in the Big Book about why some people are incapable of drinking alcohol in moderation. Dr. William Silkworth describes alcoholism as an allergy in ‘The Doctor’s Opinion’. He writes, ‘We believe […] that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker’. The characterization of alcohol addiction as an allergy is somewhat confusing because there is such a thing as…

What Causes Cravings?

What Causes Cravings?

Cravings are one of the biggest challenges of recovery. A craving is the feeling that you absolutely must use or you will go crazy. Even if you know rationally that using would be bad, that you don’t need to use, and you really shouldn’t use, you still obsess over using again. What makes you stubbornly refuse to submit to your own best judgement? When you’re first trying to quit, cravings make perfect sense. You are used to having a certain level of a substance in your system, and when that level drops, your body senses there’s something wrong and you…

How to Keep Cravings from Ruining Your Recovery

How to Keep Cravings from Ruining Your Recovery

Fighting cravings is perhaps the biggest challenge in recovery. A craving is no mere desire. It’s the feeling that you must have something. At first, cravings are triggered by the pain of withdrawal. During detox, you know you only need to use again and the pain will stop. Later on, cravings are triggered by anything you associate with drugs or alcohol. You may walk past a bar and even though you know you shouldn’t go in, the part of your brain that associates walking to the bar with drinking gets excited. Once you’ve triggered memories and anticipation of using, it…

How to Find Your Triggers

How to Find Your Triggers

A trigger is anything that provokes a craving. Cravings don’t usually come out of nowhere. Even if you aren’t always aware of a trigger, something stirred your memories of using. Staying sober requires you are aware of your triggers to you can avoid them as much as possible. If you can’t avoid them, being aware of a trigger makes it easier to brace yourself against cravings. Here are the main kinds of triggers to watch out for. More information on our addiction treatment Alcohol Drugs Gambling Environmental triggers. These are usually obvious. If you walk into a public bathroom and…

Dealing with Negativity in Recovery

Dealing with Negativity in Recovery

Negativity is a major warning sign in recovery. People in 12-step programmes know that if someone starts becoming negative, cynical, or pessimistic, relapse is right around the corner. If you find the pink cloud is turning grey and you are chronically dissatisfied, here are some ways to change your perspective. Remember HALT. Start with the basics. Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? Any of these might be souring your experience of life. Hunger and fatigue are especially insidious because we don’t automatically connect them to our emotional state like we do with anger or loneliness. Hunger can mean your…

What is Outpatient Treatment for Alcoholism Like?

What is Outpatient Treatment for Alcoholism Like?

Outpatient vs Inpatient for Alcoholism There are many types of approaches to treatment for addiction, which range from self-help to outpatient to inpatient programmes. Each has its benefits and downsides. Inpatient treatment, and the rarer intensive outpatient treatment programmes, are the most effective forms of treatment. But there are a number of reasons that outpatient treatment for alcoholism should be considered when looking at addiction treatment. For example, you may not be able to afford rehab, take extended time away from your responsibilities, or have an available programme you can go to. Or you may find that outpatient treatment is…

Can Naltrexone Help with Alcohol Addiction?

Can Naltrexone Help with Alcohol Addiction?

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. That means it binds to opioid receptors in the brain and prevents opioid drugs from relieving pain or causing euphoria. It binds so strongly that if you take naltrexone while there are opioids in your system, you will immediately go into withdrawal. Naltrexone has also been shown to reduce alcohol consumption. Just as it blocks the euphoria of opioids, naltrexone takes the pleasure out of drinking. You can drink all you want and never enjoy it. You still get the impaired coordination, the slurred speech, and all the other effects of alcohol, but it’s just…