Binge drinking: know the research, understand the risks

New Zealand’s newspapers, magazines, talkback radio, tv media and websites love nothing more than a good old story about Kiwi drinking patterns.

But like it or not, alcohol consumption is a major part of our lifestyle with heavy sponsorship in sports and a constant repetition of its branding – even its negative impact such as […]

Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There’s little in counselling and addiction research more divisive than the use of cannabis to help treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is caused when someone experiences or witnesses a terrifying event – such as warfare, sexual assault or a natural disaster – which can change the brain’s chemistry through the hyper-response of adrenaline and […]

Online porn addiction

The decline in how many couples are getting married has been blamed on a whole host of reasons – but late last year media latched on to new research which pointed the finger at a new culprit: online porn.

The findings, which were published in The Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany, claimed […]

Alcohol A test of resolve: How to keep your New Year’s resolution around drinking

When it comes to making a major change to your drinking habits, a New Year’s Resolution seems the perfect place to start – but a month down the track, that resolve is possibly starting to wane.

Research from the University of Scranton in the US over the past decade shows that, although people who set […]

What Is a Standard Drink?

A standard drink is a theoretical drink containing a specific amount of pure alcohol, i.e. ethanol, the ingredient responsible for drunkenness.

This unit is a convenient way to measure alcohol consumption and evaluate health risks and it has been adopted worldwide. It is usually expressed as a certain quantity of a drink but, interestingly, what […]

Overcoming Addiction Is Hard Work

People who haven’t experienced what it is like to be addicted to a substance often mistakenly think that overcoming it is about willpower, and that people who can’t beat it are simply weak, or don’t really want to stop.

But those who are battling with drug addiction or alcoholism know that it is a very […]

What is NA?

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a worldwide non-profit organisation for recovering drug addicts.

Although it has no affiliation to any other institution, NA follows a framework similar to other addiction support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, like the 12-Steps Programme for example, and, likewise, its success is founded on peer-to-peer support.

Narcotics Anonymous’s membership is free to […]

Benzodiazepine Dependence

Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia and other mood disorders. Unfortunately, they are also highly addictive, and psychological as well as physical dependence can develop in as little as a few weeks, which is why the benefit of using them has to be carefully weighed against the risk.

Once […]

Controlled drinking

If you have been suffering from alcohol addiction, you will know that having “just one drink” rarely works, and more often than not, it leads to another one and another one. For that reason, a very common treatment for alcoholism, also advocated by world-renowned Alcoholics Anonymous group, is to go “cold turkey” and abstain […]

How Do I Know if I Have a Problem?

Recognising addiction in yourself or others isn’t as easy as it may sound. Very few of us can honestly say that they have never had a few drinks too many and woken up with a headache the following day, or that they have never poured themselves another glass of wine because they had a […]