Win one of three €3,000 cash prizes for your charity, club or association!
Sankalpa is a holistic centre that works with people who are seeking support to detox off methadone.
Meeting Room – a film about Concerned Parents Against Drugs
March 30th, 2013
New Stabilization Service in Sankalpa
March 16th, 2013
Is there a way out of this clinic?
March 1st, 2013
Useful Apps for within Addiction and Mental Health.
February 2nd, 2013
Sankalpa embraces the Community Reinforcement Approach
November 4th, 2012
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Archive for October, 2010
A major pharmaceutical company has been fined £10.2m by the Office of Fair Trading in the UK. Reckitt Benckiser make Gaviscon, among other drugs. They withdrew the cheapest version of Gaviscon from the NHS register of drugs, so that doctors who entered ‘gaviscon’ into the data-base automatically came up with a more expensive version of the drug.
Drug companies use methods like this to ensure that they keep making money on their products. They also use more ‘above board’ methods. When a scientist comes up with a new medicine or drug, they can patent it, meaning no one else can produce it without their permission. This allows them to profit from their own research – fair enough, you might say. The patents are limited in length, so after a certain amount of time, anyone can use that research, make the same drug, and sell it for a profit. This is why you can buy unbranded paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen much more cheaply than other drugs. Good for competition, which means good for customers. Bad for pharmaceutical companies…..
Drug companies are not charities. They do not have your best interests at heart. They are businesses. They have shareholders. They sell products. Their purpose is not curing illness, but making a profit. There are many, many useful and helpful, even essential drugs out there, but it’s much more profitable to have more and more people use more and more medicines.
What causes addiction? Is it like cancer? Pneumonia? TB? Can you catch it? Is there a blood test or a scan that shows it up? Emotional, psychological, and social factors are responsible for addiction (see ‘rat park’ for more info) – so why are we treating it medically? Why are people prescribed Valium or Xanax when they are anxious? Why don’t we look at what’s making them anxious? Why are people prescribed methadone to stop them using heroin? Why don’t we look at what they’re getting out of heroin use and address that?
Pharmaceutical companies can afford big fines. They’re not going to stop making new medicines, and sometimes new diseases and disorders to go with them. It’s up to us to decide whether another drug is what we need, or whether we can manage our discomfort in other ways. What do you think? What other methods do pharmaceutical companies use to keep doctors prescribing and people using their products?
Check out these websites to find out more:
Sometimes addiction arises from a need to block out painful or frightening feelings. For many people, alcohol, drugs, gambling and self-harming are somehow ways of escaping from a reality that is too painful. Blocking out the bad, however, can leave you with the good blocked out too. If you never feel anything, that includes good feelings.
One of the most important feelings for our wellbeing is comfort. It’s a word we often use in a critical way (comfort blanket, comfort eating etc.) but comfort is what stops disaster from taking over. When something bad happens, comfort helps us deal with it. (Pushing something away or denying it is not the same as dealing with it by the way!) The easiest way to get comfort is through…..no, not meditation, not prayer, not serious conversation….HUGS!
Reasons to hug:
- You can’t give a hug without getting a hug
- Hugs release oxytocin, the hormone responsible for bonding – they keep us close to the people we care about
- Every culture in the world hugs – this tells us that there is an evolutionary reason for hugging, which is probably to do with emotional security
- Hugs are a powerful non-verbal way of telling people we care
- No other action is as comforting as a real hug!
Dr Feelgood’s prescription: Give AND take one hug per day, and as necessary!
Read Marie Murray’s article on hugging at http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2010/1005/1224280398799.html
Read about ‘Amma’ at
As you may be aware by now many of you who read this website and blog would know that we communicate at many levels here in Sankalpa the philosophy of a non-medical approach to healing. So when I think of the many theories of nutrition that I could put forward, like drinking eight to ten glasses of water is good for you. Or perhaps I could also say that it is a well-established fact that eating lots of fruit and vegetables every day is good for your health.
There is a huge army of knowledge and statistics supporting this information. Our aim as you can see is to give you lots of nutritional information and some recipes that are loaded with goodness and health giving properties and most importantly that these recipes are simple and easy to make and they taste good!
The philosophy of good nutrition has to address more than just food and what you put into your body. Human beings are full of complexity and complications and it is very important to understand how uniquely individual each of us are. We process food through physiological and biochemical processes that are determined by many factors.
This means that being too absolute and obsessive about food and what constitutes good health can be more of a deterrent to health than a positive force in your life. We need to wear our nutrition like a loose piece of clothing – it fits well but does not constrict or restrict us.
If we think of the word nutrition and what it means, we have to look at what ways we nurture and nourish ourselves apart from what we put into our bodies. Do we get nourishment and nutrition from the sunshine and being in the outdoors? Would having lots of good conversations with people you like and who make you laugh influence how well the food you eat gets absorbed and digested?
For example if you are anxious and uptight and feel unable to sit and relax, it would make it more difficult for you to get the benefits out of the good food that you might be eating as your digestive system tends to shut down at these times which makes it harder for your body to work efficiently.
On the other hand if you are at ease and out with friends and sitting in the sunshine or at home in your favourite chair sharing a meal with someone you love – it may not be as important that every bite you eat is super healthy. It may be soul food which is the food that may not fit into the category of healthy, like chocolate, or a home made piece of cake lovingly prepared by someone especially for you. It may be a simple toasted sandwich or a plate of chips but if you are really hungry and really at ease with yourself that might be the food that nourishes you most at that time.
Obviously if you feel good and nourished and nurtured inside yourself by people, books or movies or nature or your work – you will automatically be more inclined to eat food for sustenance and pleasure but not repeatedly for comfort and sedation and as a way to numb out all feelings. We can use food in the same way as we use alcohol or illegal drugs or nicotine. So think today about what nourishes you and remember that nutrition is emotional, mental and spiritual as well as physical.
‘The Pharm’ is a short film made by local people from Finglas and Cabra who attend the Sankalpa addiction rehabilitation program. The film is about addiction to valium and alcohol and focuses on the plight on a mother who is struggling with life in Finglas. The central character Deborah (Amanda Doonan) is not only struggling with the stresses and strains of her own life, she also has a teenage daughter Laura (Lynne Murray) who has started to mirror her mother’s behaviour. Deborah turns to her Doctor (Ray Higgins) for support who in turn prescribes her valium without an adequate assessment of her needs and in the end the prescription reinforces her isolation and sense of despair. Laura eventually convinces her mother to go to FAST (Finglas Addiction Support Team) but Debora is reluctant to admit she needs support.
As a first film for Sankalpa ‘The Pharm’ provides a realistic portrait of the problems some women face when trying to deal with stress or depression. The film highlights the ease at which doctors prescribe valium and how prescription medication does not really deal with the underlying causes of the problem. There is clear evidence in the research literature that valium is widely used by heroin users. Valium is sold openly in the city centre. Some drug users secure a valium prescription from their doctors and then sell it on to supplement their income and to buy other drugs. Recent research in the Irish context indicated that the prescribing of valium and other benzodiazepines increased with increasing levels of material deprivation. There is also evidence indicating that prescribing of benzodiazepines is significantly higher among females than males. Valium is being prescribed as a social support drug in the absence of adequate community services. But the long term cost of this approach has yet to be calculated. Our reliance on drugs to solve social problems has become embedded in our culture and is being passed from one generation to the next. Then there the side effects such as liver damage especially when valium is combined with alcohol and other drugs. It is hoped that ‘The Pharm’ will help to highlight the issue and show that there are alternatives to the medical approach for anxiety and depression.
Sankalpa are running a competition in conjunction with the release of the film on the 8th of October. For further details see www.sankalpa.ie
The Pharm will premier at the Lighthouse Cinema on Friday the 8th of October and Minister Pat Carey will be in attendance.
Áine Mac A Bhaird calls for a new approach to economic development, that cherishes all of our citizens equally!Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Áine Mac A Bhaird spoke on behalf of Sankalpa at a local event organized by the Finglas Cabra Local Drugs Task Force in the Ardmore Hotel on Thursday 30th September 2010. The event was organized to showcase the creativity of local drug services and demonstrate their solidarity in tackling the drug problem in the local area. Áine made the point that we dont want to go back to the way things were before the economic crisis. She went on to say ‘we want something new, we dont want to go back to loads of money flying around, but nobody getting a better quaility of life’.
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