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How have anti-drink campaigns influenced attitudes?

Posted on June 25th, 2015

Has the £2-million-per-year campaign produced any tangible results over the last 10 years or are the attitude campaigns a waste of money?

The ‘THINK!’ campaign has been in operation for many years, it now operates a specialised campaign called the ‘Personal Consequences’ drink-drive campaign. This campaign targets young males, aged 17 to 29 years old, and has three key aims: (more…)

How Antidepressants and SSRIs Affect Alcohol Cravings

Posted on June 16th, 2015

Antidepressants are a type of medication used to treat depression; this can be done by altering levels of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline are neurotransmitters that have been associated with depression and other mood disorders such as anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. (more…)

Lords debates Psychoactive Substances Bill

Posted on June 16th, 2015

New (or novel) psychoactive substances (NPS), often referred to as ‘legal highs’ are substances that when consumed, affect an individual’s mental processes such as their cognition or affect, and thus, have been increasingly perceived to constitute a significant public health risk[1]. NPS are created by slightly altering the molecular structure of existing illegal drugs such as ecstasy and therefore aim to replicate the simulative effects of these drugs on an individual’s body and mind. A large proportion of NPS are classified as legal by default, due to the novel nature of these substances on a molecular level1. Subsequently, new psychoactive substances are continually being created at a fast rate, which creates major issues for regulators in analysing and appropriately classifying psychoactive substances[2]. Legally, all substances that have an effect on a person’s mind or body have to be licensed and regulated in order to be sold. Consequently, when legal highs are sold, they are often classified as ‘not for human consumption’[3]. The use of this term inadvertently diffuses the responsibility of the seller, in the event that serious physical or psychological harm occurs as a result of the buyer taking the psychoactive substance. (more…)

Addiction in Young People

Posted on June 10th, 2015

What is addiction?

A dependence on a substance or behaviour, which affects physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

The defining aspect of addiction, as opposed to the regular engagement of a behaviour or substance, is that upon removal of the substance/behaviour, the individual will experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings, illustrating that a physical dependence of the substance has developed.

Excessive alcohol and drug abuse can result in physical alterations in the brain, and this is what causes physical dependency. (more…)

From Zero Tolerance To Zero Road Deaths

Posted on June 4th, 2015

Drink-driving is a highly irresponsible act that impairs judgment and affects the ability to drive safely. When a person drives after drinking alcohol they are said to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which not only affects the drink-driver but third parties and wider society.

In comparison to other regions, Europe has the highest reported drinking statistics in the world. During the 1990s alcohol consumption decreased during the 1990s, increased again but then stabilised at a higher level between 2004 and 2006. (more…)

Hangovers can be Dangerous and Life-threatening

Posted on June 1st, 2015

Many people who drink have had a hangover at some point in their life, and most of the time they are not cause for concern. However, under some circumstances hangovers can be dangerous and even life threatening. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to dehydration. This is because alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it ‘removes liquid from the body’ (NHS website). This dehydration is what causes the symptoms of a hangover. These symptoms usually occur the morning after an excessive drinking session and may include dizziness, severe headaches, trembling and vomiting. (more…)

Six Savvy Apps to Sobriety

Posted on May 26th, 2015

Drinking in moderation? It’s the advice we see everywhere these days, in books, magazines, as well as on your bottle of wine. But moderation is easier said than done – especially when in social environments with friends and family. Then there’s peer pressure and stressful lifestyles to compete with.

Luckily, the app world has answered our problems once again and come up with some great ways to help you control your drinking habits. (more…)

How will the reductions in frontline staff affect drug and alcohol addiction treatment?

Posted on May 20th, 2015

Healthcare services across the country are undergoing various measures to reduce expenses. One major concern is the decrease in frontline staff in drug and alcohol treatment services. In the DrugScope’s State of the sector survey 58% of respondents reported noticing a decrease in frontline staff. In light of this, the primary concern is, are there enough staff to provide clients with diverse and high quality services. In addition how are staff coping with any extra work and how do the looming reductions effect their motivation and commitment in their jobs? (more…)

Post-Rehab Interview with Walter W

Posted on May 18th, 2015



Q: Can you describe the two main reasons that caused you to go rehab?

A: I had been on drugs and alcohol since I was a teenager, dealing… everything that came with it really. In addiction I didn’t really care, you become more and more used to it, desensitised. Then I caught this flesh-eating bacteria, Necrotizing Fasciitis, and I was in hospital for 5 months.

I kept getting these secondary infections. Then my brother said to me “How do you feel about convalescing in South Africa?”. They had a private beach, a sauna… I was there a long time. It wasn’t a choice, it was a sequence of events really. (more…)

Do The High-Earners Drink More?

Posted on May 14th, 2015

Many factors have been suggested to be associated with the quantity people drink and their ability to moderate it, including genetics (Treutlein et al, 2006), brain differences (Elmasian et al, 1999) and personality (Kuntsche et al, 2006). A recent study by Hamdi et al. (2015), has found a link between income and the quantity an individual drinks. The longitudinal study involved interviewing MZ and DZ twins raised together (Two interviews; 10 years apart). (more…)

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