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?

June 7, 2018

Why is Cocaine so Bad for Your Brain?

All psychoactive drugs affect your brain, by definition. Habitual use will cause change neurotransmitter levels, making you physically dependent so you need more to feel the effects. Long term use of many drugs causes cognitive impairments, including poor memory, poor focus, and lack of coordination. If you quit, many of the withdrawal symptoms affect your mood and cognition, sometimes for months or years until your brain heals. Cravings may last for years or decades. Cocaine does all that and more.

June 6, 2018

Why Does Heroin Constrict Your Pupils?

Constricted pupils is one of the physical signs of heroin use. Other physical signs include bloodshot eyes, drowsiness or nodding off, sudden weight loss, and lack of motivation. Needle marks are another sign, but new users typically don’t start injecting right away. Many drugs make your pupils dilate, so why do heroin and other opioids make them constrict?

June 5, 2018

How Achieving Flow Can Help You Stay Sober

Most of the work you have to do in recovery requires some grit. You have to confront old wounds and examine some aspects of yourself you may not like. You have to learn constructive ways to deal with stress and wait out cravings. You have to make lifestyle changes like eating better and exercising. You need to find ways to relax, of course, if only to deal with stress. With all this work, the importance of positive emotions, and especially fun, don’t get much attention.

June 4, 2018

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.