Alcohol treatment centres are hard to find in Dublin. The most common form of support for alcoholism, is Alcoholics Anonymous. There are AA meetings in every parish in the country. However if you search for addiction treatment centres in Dublin, you will find a broad range of services. There is a limited number of alcohol treatment centres in Ireland. While we responded to the heroin problem in the 1990’s by setting up new services, we have not responded to the problem of alcoholism with the same level of urgency. Responses to addiction are responses to public demands or voter demands, often manipulated by the media, who like the drama of the heroin user, a vulnerable citizen easy to stigmatise or scape goat for our collective social problems.

Against this background I proposed to Dublin City FM, a program focusing on addiction and recovery. The purpose of the program is to broaden the debate and to share news and stories of recovery in Ireland. Its important that people know that you can recover from addiction. The program goes out each Monday at 12.30 on 103.2 Dublin City FM and is podcasted at; https://soundcloud.com/drtom-pod

Many people will be aware of addiction counselling and would know where to find an addiction counsellor. Some people will have a greater understanding of addiction having done an addiction studies course at NUI Maynooth or Dublin Business School. But the majority of people don’t understand addiction, where to get help or what are the signs and symptoms of addiction. The radio program Addicted aims to help address this gap in knowledge among the general population. More importantly the aim of the program is to give hope to people, that recovery is possible and many of the people who feature on the program are in recovery themselves.

Addiction is a problem. Its costs society in terms of lost taxes, health costs, social and family costs. It is a problem that we are not facing up to honestly. Too often we prefer to look the other way or stick our heads in the sand. Alcohol addiction is a social pain, that covers over personal pain and loss. Addiction has many faces. The most common faces are those of alcohol or heroin addiction. There are many hidden faces, including gambling addiction, solpadeine addiction, sugar addiction, sex addiction, shopping addiction, work addiction and food addiction.

The signs of addiction include loss of control, a preoccupation with the substance, avoidance of emotional and mental health, negative effects on relationships, our finances or work. Addiction affects everyone close to the person who is out of control. Often those people close to the addict, doesn’t know how to respond, engage or help.

If your interested in understanding addiction more, tune into 103.2 Dublin City FM on Mondays at 12.30 or on the podcast at https://soundcloud.com/drtom-pod We will have some great guests, including Sean Curran taking about his recovery from heroin addiction, Dr. Bobby Smyth discussing young people and addiction, Dr. Colin O Gara giving some insights into gambling addiction, Glen Gannon telling us his story of recovery, Austin Prior from The Ruthland Centre and many more interesting guests.