December 21, 2018

Christmas Recovery Thoughts


Recovery from addiction is our priority and even Christmas should not be allowed to get in the way. Instead, we should use this time as an opportunity to revisit some familiar truths.


December 6, 2018

  • The first academic report to have investigated the impact of weather on alcohol intake.
  • Study found a clear negative correlation between climate factors – average temperature and sunlight hours – and alcohol consumption.
  • Climate contributed to a higher burden of alcoholic liver disease.
  • Report is based on extensive data from 193 sovereign countries.

It has often been speculated that people who live in colder climates drink more heavily than their counterparts in warmer countries. And now we have proof – a study, recently published in Hepatology, found that as temperature and sunlight hours dropped, alcohol consumption increased.

October 29, 2018

Feed Me by Rachel Maclean plunges you into a sickly sweet dystopian journey in a world of hardcore contrasts. Walking into the showing you are greeted by soft yellow bean bags, candyfloss pink shag carpeting and baby blue walls.

October 17, 2018

HOOKED  – An Exhibition on Addiction at the Science Gallery, London

I watch a rather world-weary woman reading aloud - a ‘goodbye letter to alcohol’. It is an exercise that I often use when working with patients at Castle Craig Hospital and will be familiar to anyone with experience of addiction therapy.  It is an effective recovery technique. Nothing new there.

September 28, 2018

Teenage Substance Abuse


Ireland has one of the highest rates of underage binge-drinking in Europe, ranked fifth, and drug use among young people has been steadily rising. Binge-drinking is the most harmful type of drinking, and it doesn’t take much to get there - for young women, it means four or more drinks in one sitting, and for young men it is five or more.

September 27, 2018

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.


September 15, 2018

Hip-hop Teaches Millions About Recovery From Addiction

According to Phil Grant, an addiction therapist at Smarmore Castle, an Irish rehab clinic, “music is universal, whether it’s hip-hop, blues, rock, traditional Irish or ancient. Music is a way of communicating that doesn’t need words.” And writing about music is a good way to celebrate Recovery Month.

September 13, 2018

  • September is Recovery Month
  • Recovery Month started life in the USA back in 1989
  • The word “recovery” means different things
  • There is a lack of awareness about recovery from addiction
  • The terms 'Recovery' and 'AA'
  • What’s the problem?
  • Ireland's Drinking Problem
  • Recognising the word “recovery”


You would be forgiven for not knowing that September is Recovery Month -- not just in Ireland but all over the world.

September 7, 2018

  • Now in its 29th year, National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is held every September
  • It was started in the United States in 1989 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA)
  • Recovery Month is now a multinational observance that has increased awareness of such problems and the possibility of recovery.

Welcome to Recovery Month 

Now in its 29th year, National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is held every September to demonstrate to people that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

June 8, 2018

What Happens to Your Brain When You Blackout from Drinking?

You may have had the experience of waking up somewhere unsure how you got there. Blackouts are common during episodes of binge drinking. The more frequently you drink, the more likely you are to black out. And while heavy drinkers tend to blackout more, anyone can blackout while binge drinking. It’s alarming to not know where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. What exactly happens when you blackout?