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Healthy UL - Addictive Behaviour

The Addictive Behaviours Sub Group (ABSG) of Health Campus UL is a collection of staff and student representatives who are concerned about how substance misuse and addictive behaviours such as gambling may impact our UL community. We are committed to implementing the Healthy UL Framework in an inclusive and accessible way to ensure UL develops and implements supports and protocols that reduce the stigma of addiction and are evidence based.

In Ireland alcohol is incorporated into many social and public events. The average age of beginning to drink alcohol is 15 years of age according to a recent study. Through various surveys, research and our own experiences we know that people use alcohol for many different purposes, sometimes for work and study-related stress. For some people, their use of alcohol puts themselves and others at risk.  

While alcohol is legal its potential for harm is often underestimated. Harmful use of alcohol has been recognised as one of the main risk factors (within the top five) for disease, disability, and death. Drinking alcohol even at moderate levels has been clearly linked to risk of developing health problems such as alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers, injuries, relationship and financial difficulties (WHO 2014). 

More detailed and specific information is available at:

https://www.askaboutalcohol.ie      Healthy Service Executive website
http://www.drugs.ie    (Drug and Alcohol Information and Support)
https://alcoholireland.ie/facts/    (Alcohol Action Ireland)

We are experiencing an increase in drug use in all communities in Ireland. As with alcohol, some people will go on to develop problem drug use, others won’t, but there are inherent dangers even in casual use. In 2017, there were 12,201 recorded incidents of possession of drugs for personal use, representing over 72% of all drug offences. Within Irish society drug misuse is experienced across all communities, irrespective of gender, age, class or ethnic group.  One in four adults (26.4%) used an illegal drug at least once in their lifetime (2014/15 drugs prevalence survey) with a noted increase among young people.  In common with other European countries the use of synthetic drugs is increasing and poses growing public health concerns. 

Similar to alcohol and tobacco misuse, drug misuse adversely impacts upon social, mental and physical health and wellbeing with the added complication of legal implications. Tony Duffin, CEO of Ana Liffey Drug Project, said: “When someone realises that a loved one has taken illicit drugs a common response is to worry, be frightened and not know what to do or where to turn. Knowing that their loved one’s behaviour is a crime further compounds the problem and can stop people seeking help. People want to get help from a health professional for their loved one as quickly as possible.”   

Over the years, policymakers, law enforcers, educators and health care workers have worked hard to encourage people not to use drugs. This approach has worked for some but not for others. It is always safest not to use drugs, however, it is important that the approach at a University level is inclusive and supports staff and students to make safe choices in relation to drug use. 

More detailed and specific information on types of drugs, drug testing, legal implications etc. can be found at http://www.drugs.ie/drugs info/about drugs/

Gambling is a very normalised activity within Irish society. For some people, gambling can become problematic and can cause hardships to themselves, their family and the wider community. A gambling addiction, also called compulsive gambling, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling addiction is indiscriminate and it affects people across all sections of our communities, but there is a worrying increase amongst young adults. The increase has been attributed to new technologies supporting high-intensity gambling/gaming products and promotions aimed at increasing and driving gambling behaviour. Gambling can lead to gambling addiction disorder which can adversely affect a person’s financial situation, their relationships and mental health. Gambling is not as obvious as the other addictive behaviours and therefore can be hidden and overlooked. In UL we are committed to addressing gambling behaviour and supporting people with an addiction to work towards recovery.

Answers to some of your questions can be found at:

https://www.problemgambling.ie/

https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/

Information on facts and myths, tips on reducing and knowing when you have a problem can be found at:

https://spunout.ie/health/category/gambling

With the right help and support, it is possible for you to make choices that will enhance your physical, mental and social health.
Help is at hand

Within the University students may find it useful to seek more information and direction from the Student Counselling Service:
https://ulsites.ul.ie/studentaffairs/counselling-service

Staff may find useful information and direction through the Employee Support Service.
The Employee Support Service is accessible by phone on 1800 201 346 and further information is available on the University’s HR website at:
www.ul.ie/hr/employee-support-service

Outside the University there are a wide range of support services. Some of these are listed here.

Alcoholics Anonymous Limerick 01 842 0700  gso@alcoholicsanonymous.ie http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie    
Ana Liffey Drug Project Midwest - Limerick 01 960 3008 rachel.conway@aldp.ie

http://www.aldp.ie

Unit 1 Steamboat Quay, Dock Road, Limerick Information | Support | Medical Support | Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Needle and Syringe Exchange | CE
Community Substance Misuse Team - Clare, Limerick, Tipperary  061 318 904 dmcphillips@csmt.ie http://www.csmt.ie/ 2nd Floor, Arthurs Quay House, Limerick V94 XVR0 Information | Support | Family Support
Cuan Mhuire Bruree 063 905 55 bruree@cuanmhuire.ie http://www.cuanmhuire.ie Cuan Mhuire Teoranta, Bruree, Limerick Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Counselling and Psychotherapy | Aftercare
HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline  1800 459 459 helpline@hse.ie http://www.hse.ie/drugshivhelpline    
HSE Mid-West Limerick Drug and Alcohol Service 061 318 633   http://www.hse.ie PO Box 486 Corporate House, Mungret Street, Limerick Information | Support | Family Support | Medical Support | Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Counselling and Psychotherapy | Needle and Syringe Exchange | OST | Stabilisation Programme | Detoxification Programme | Rehabilitation Programme
Mid-West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Forum 061 607 242 amcarey@mwrdtf.ie / info@mwrdtf.ie http://www.mwrdtf.ie PO Box 486 Corporate House, Mungret Street, Limerick  
Narcotics Anonymous Ireland 01 672 8000 info@na-ireland.org http://www.na-ireland.org/contact-na-ireland-2/    
Northstar Family Support Project - Limerick City 061 459 260   http://www.northstarproject.ie Hopeful House, 28 John Street, Limerick City, Limerick Information | Support | Family Support | Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Counselling and Psychotherapy | CE
Saoirse Addiction Treatment Center  085 818 4590 saoirsetc@gmail.com http://www.saoirse.ie 18b, Davis Street, Limerick  
Bushypark Addiction Treatment Centre 065 684 0944 bushyparkhouse@clarecare.ie http://www.bushypark.ie Bushypark Addiction Treatment Centre, Bushypark, Ennis, Clare Support | Family Support | Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Counselling and Psychotherapy | OST | Rehabilitation Programme | Aftercare | CE
HSE Mid-West Clare Drug and Alcohol Service 065 686 5852   http://www.hse.ie Museum House, Francis Street, Ennis, Clare Information | Support | Family Support | Awareness, Prevention, Education and Training programmes | Counselling and Psychotherapy | Needle and Syringe Exchange | OST | Stabilisation Programme | Rehabilitation Programme | CE
Gamblers Anonymous Ireland 01 872 1133 | 087 748 5878 (10am-10pm)  info@gamblersanonymous.ie https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/ Teach Mhuire, 39 Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin 1, D01 KC83  
Novas 061 370 325 info@novas.ie   Head office, 87 O’Connell Street, Limerick, Ireland