Our comfortable hypocrisy with addiction…

Q. What is the similarity between the DUP’s Christopher Stalford, the SDLPs Paul McCusker and the N. Ireland Office. A. An interest in drug addiction services. But there the similarity more or less ends. I feel genuinely sorry for Christopher Stalford for falling into such a simple trap. He was only doing what politicians do, supporting and articulating the concerns of his constituents, in this case, those living in the Donegall Pass and Botanic area. Christopher is concerned that the …

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Addiction in a time of crisis…

Mental health is suffering as we remain in lockdown. Those with poor mental health coupled with an alcohol/drug addiction seem to have worsened over recent weeks manifest in more and more bizarre and risky behaviours and an increased need for; antidepressants, anti-psychotics and anxiolytics. It’s time to rethink how we deal with addiction associated with poor mental health because we might not be getting it right. Addiction NI, the local charity that does what it says on the tin, last …

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Northern Ireland’s mental health crisis

Mental health is a global challenge, but poor mental health is at crisis levels in Northern Ireland. That crisis is in part an ongoing impact from the Troubles, Siobhan O’Neill, professor of mental health science at Ulster University, says in the latest Holywell Trust podcast. “We’re seeing a rise in mental health problems in the Western world,” says Siobhan. “We know that around one in four or one in five people in Europe and the West have a mental health …

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Is cannabis, a relatively safe drug in adults, more toxic in teenagers?

The mayhem an estimated 900 troubled youths impose on the West Belfast community – a community of 100,000 souls – is staggering according to a N. Ireland Assembly report which is putting in place a support programme to turn lives around.  These individuals, mostly males, mostly in their late teens and early twenties, act antisocially which is a problem yes but the real worry is that, for a small but significant number at least, self-harm and suicide is a real …

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An insight into the latest drugs crisis in Belfast…

I attended a community meeting called to address the local “Drug Crisis”. My invitation to join the panel was at short notice but I accepted; I am the local pharmacist and I am a concerned citizen. The last time this problem got out of hand I ended up with the point of a Bowie knife up my nose. The stimulus for the meeting was the weekend deaths of two local young men from drug overdose. A 27 year old was …

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Families paying a high price for teen drug abuse…

I am witnessing the brutal and cruel torture of three women.  They have never met yet each tells the same painful story and each can see no way out of their problems.   If they fail to find a solution, and there is no guarantee they will, this continuing abuse will lead, slowly and inevitably, to their own destruction.  They are victims brought low by circumstances beyond their control and they are imprisoned by a hard-wired human emotion; motherly love. Each …

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POTD – Musical differences?

More like drunken racism. I’ll leave it to your imaginations as to the shite the fella with the tin whistle was coming out with. Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North …

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Photograph of the Day – Castle St

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the …

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