WOO - SAFE

ADDICTION & SUBSTANCE ABUSE

We can sometimes be too quick to make judgement when we come across addiction.

There are many reasons people get addictions, not all are from intentional use of recreational substances, sometimes addictions are from legal prescribed medications.

Addictions come in many shapes and forms, they are not restricted to the use of drink and drugs, and most addictions have underlying causes that need to be addressed.


ALWAYS GET QUALLIFIED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

These pages offer information, guidance and who to contact

USEFUL AGENCIES THAT CAN HELP WITH ADDICTIONS

Action on Addiction

NHS - What is Addiction?

ADT Healthcare

Recovery.org.uk

Rehab4addiction

Alcoholics Anon

THE CORONAVIRUS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus and the requirements to stay at home have affected us all.

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus and the requirements to stay at home have created many feelings and emotions that can promote and increase addiction.

Fear, worry, confusion, isolation, not to mention loss of work and the financial worries that come with it, have been with us all, yet those who suffer from addictions have been put under increased pressure and may have increased their use to try to find a way to cope.

Suddenly with the restrictions of movement and inability to attend work or other activities, some with forced isolation and with much more time to fill during the day, the use of Alcohol, Drugs, or excessive Gambling to 'pass the time' or to 'hide the worry' has grown with it.

Have you noticed that you are drinking more lately? Are you taking more drugs than usual? Are you spending more time using gambling sites on your phone or computer?

Do not feel ashamed, you are not the only one, so why not ask for a little help.

rehab4addiction

Open 24/7, the teams at rehab4addiction will help you take back control.

Find out about Binge-Drinking and the COVID-19 health risks, how COVID-19 poses increased risk for those suffering from alcoholism, and all about undergoing alcoholism treatment in the age of COVID-19.

RECREATIONAL SUBSTANCES
& LEGAL HIGHS

Some substances are being taken not necessarily through addiction, but willingly and purely for recreation, some are even known as legal highs, but these are still not safe and can be life changing if not fatal ! 

NITROUS OXIDE

Use of Nitrous Oxide commonly reffered to as Laughng Gas or 'NOS' is becoming more popular among our party and club culture, especially popular in many of the clubbing holiday resorts abroad.

There is an official medical use of this gas in Hospitals, Ambulances and by Midwives during Childbirth use (NO2 Entonox), which is a 50/50 mixture of Nitrous and Oxygen and used for instant pain relief, its use is highly controlled even to medical staff and comes with many usage regulations and restrictions to use.

Nitrous is also used by some kitchen style devices for instance to generate whipped cream or 'Soda-stream' drinks, but has now become quite freely available to use for party goers as a 'High' normally by inhaling  via a balloon. This can be 100% Nitrous.

NITROUS OXIDE MUST NEVER BE ADMINISTERED WHEN...

The following conditions prevent medical staff for using the 50/50 mixture of Nitrous and Oxygen (Entonox) {No2} [Laughing Gas]. 

•Head injuries with impairment of consciousness (Glasgow coma score of 14 or less, or any signs of cerebral injury) as nitrous oxide may raise ICP in head injury
•Pneumothorax 
•Air embolism 
•Decompression sickness or within 48 hours of an underwater dive  
•Severe emphysaema with bullae  
•During or following myringoplasty or middle ear surgery  
•Gross abdominal distension  
•Intoxication 
•Maxillofacial injuries (where patient unable to administer the drug using a mouthpiece/mask, or there is the risk of causing further damage to facial wounds and there may also be a significant risk of blood inhalation)  
•Patients with chronic pulmonary disease for whom an inspired oxygen concentration of more than 28% oxygen might be dangerous  
•Methotrexate should be used with caution in patients taking drugs known to have an anti-folate potential including nitrous oxide. Seek Medical advice before administering Entonox to a patient receiving treatment  
•In temperatures below –6o C as separation of gases can occur 
•Where patients need assistance to hold the mask or mouthpiece. The safety of Entonox relies on the fact that if the patient becomes drowsy during use, they will relax their grip on the hand piece and the mask will fall away preventing further inhalation of the gas. 
•Retinal surgery within the last three months 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN ?

Above you will see that one of the conditions for administering the controlled medical 50/50 equivellent is NOT BEING UNDER INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS.

Yet this uncontrolled, sometimes 100% version is sold or used at parties, clubs and events where drinking is more than likely to be happening and drugs may also be being used.

There have been fatalities, also life-changing reactions.

Watch the video to see Olivia Golding's story.

CELL PHONE ADDICTION

Ever since Cell phones became general use they have altered the way we communicate, but they have also had an underlying effect on our brains and attitudes, changing the way we respond and our expectations of others.

Before the Cell phone we were quite happy to send a letter which could take days and sometimes even weeks to arrive at its destination, we would then wait the same amount of time for a reply to arrive all without getting anxious.

We would telephone a friend or family member, and if there was no reply we would of just accepted they were out or busy with their life, perhaps ringing them back again later, all without panicking they did not like/love us anymore or were being disrepectful to us.

At weekends we would not phone a work colleague, we would respect their privacy and entitlement to time of from work, we would not telephone someone late at night being respectful that they may be sleeping.

But now we have mobiles and texts we have lost all of our patience, we demand an 'IMMEDIATE RESPONSE' twenty four hours a day, no longer can you shut off from work or take time for yourself, or even sleep without being interupted.

How Smartphones Change The Way You Think

Credit to Jeff Butler / TEDx Talks

ADDICTION TO ONLINE GAMING AND ONLINE GAMBLING

GAMBLING

It seems that our televisions are full of gambling sites every evening, we are bombarded with adverts for various Lotteries, and our computers and phones are continuously tempting us with new gambling apps.

Of course, we all like doing the things we enjoy, and we often look for a form of escapism from the worries and stresses of everyday life, so it is understandable that we enjoy playing games or using gambling sites and on our computers and phones, doing so passes the time if we are feeling lonely and isolated, and it can take our mind off our problems.

But what happens when it becomes exessive?

We all fantasise about that huge win on a slot machine or casino wheel, the win that will pay off our debts and swamp us in complete luxury, but of course that never happens, because those who tempt us into playing ensure that, they do not want to give away their money, so the systems are fixed to prevent it.

But even though we know that, the temptation of 'perhaps next time' keeps us playing, throwing us in even deeper as we attempt to clamber back what we have already lost.

But it is when it starts to affect us in other ways that it becomes a problem, when it starts creating debts that we can never repay, forcing us to lose our house and possessions, leaving us unable to purchase food or necessities or even homeless.

GAMING

Just as with gambling, the playing of games can pass the time and mask our worries, they are also designed to be addictive, urging you to continue and to find out what happens next, or pushing you to become better at the game and climb the ladder with a higher score.

Yet we ignore the many downfalls that can come with spending hjour upon hour, day upon day, playing these games. The health issues caused by screen radiation, the damage to our eyesight from continuous intense study of small moving items, the lack of sleep and sometimes the missing of meals and personal care. Not to mention the severe effects it can have on our mental health through stress.

Children are especially vulnerable, any child would rather be playing a game than doing homework, given the option of a game or the chance to read a book, take a walk, or tidy their room, and the game is going to win every time.

But obesity is a growing problem in our technology overloaded children, which often then leads to other serious health problems!

There is also the developmental issue, our children are still learning to process daily life, to understand morals and right from wrong, seperating fantasy / fiction from reality. They are unable to fully process that 'War Games' are different from real life, that the aggression and violence that they often see in playing games is not the behaviours they should have in everyday life. Some beleiving this fantasy world to be 'Normal behaviour' and then taking this aggression and bullying nature to school, out to play, against friends and siblings, and in some extreme cases to parents and even against grandparents.

Car racing games are also very popular, the invincibility of driving a car at full speed and just climbing out after it has crashed to just find another, can mislead children into believing that they now have the skills and can do so in real life. Some are then tempted to actually do it, and will either lose their life or the lives of others around them.

Whatever the age, the time spent in fantasy worlds and playing games needs to be limited!

Example Case

A young child had been allowed to play 'Call of Duty' from a very young age, from age 5 onwards despite it having a PEGI rating of 18, often playing it with his father but also much of the time alone. The child was allowed to play the game as soon as he returned from school until very late at night, and non-stop all weekend. It occupied him and kept him from under foot, making life easier for the parents, yet it was beginning to take the child away from reality, something made even harder due to him having low-level Autism.

Being unable to distinguish real life from the almost constant fantasy world he was living in, the boy ended up being excluded from school when he started throwing bricks and rocks in the playground and classroom as if they were grenades, even shouting loudly "Incomming!" just like the soldiers did in the computer game.

WHO CAN HELP ?

Although alcohol addiction and gambling addiction have been acknoledged for many years, the addiction to mobile cell phone use and online computer gaming is a relatively new thing and still not fully understood or recognised by us as being the 'Medical Addiction' that it is.

The following organisations can help.

Children treated for computer gaming addiction under NHS Long Term Plan

Click image to read news report.

08000 886 686

A confidential 24 hour help and advice line. Click image for website.

0800 024 1480

0808 278 6884  /  0203 131 7018

UK ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTRES

Video games: Are your kids addicted?

Credit to:  Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Escaping video game addiction

Credit to:  Cam Adair  TEDx Talks

Video games as mental-health hazards

Credit to:  UW Medicine.

ADDICTION GAMING DISORDER

Credit to:  DrBeen Medical Lectures - Psychiatry

Does video gaming ruin people's lives?

Credit to:  Antonius van Rooij  /  TEDx Talks