Did you know that the brain can heal itself?

Not only can the brain heal itself, it can do a pretty good job at it too! That is of course once it is provided with the right materials and time to heal. Dr. Constance Scharff in Psychology Today highlights how it was once considered a fact, that the once the brain was damaged, it could not be repaired. However, breakthroughs in neuroscientific research have proven that this is in fact, not true.

Though individual neurons might be damaged beyond repair, the brain attempts to heal itself when damaged by making new connections or new neural pathways as work-arounds for the damage. This is called neuroplasticity,  neuro (brain/nerve/neuron) and plasticity (moldability).

Based on the latest neuroscientific research Dr. Scharff argues that abstinence is the best choice for recovery because the old neuropathways, the old links between addiction and pleasure are still there… It doesn’t take much to jump start the old habit.

The brain gets trained to do a particular behavior – use drugs or alcohol or gambling – eventually to the exclusion of all else.  BUT, in treatment, we can retrain the brain, that is develop a new pathway that supports recovery. With intensive[…] interventions, we strengthen the new “recovery” loop within the brain. The brain then learns to enjoy recovery, those things that give us pleasure in our sober lives – family, work, interpersonal interactions. We retrain the brain and thus change our lives.

Alta Mira has produced a very informative infographic detailing neuroplasticity in terms of addiction and recovery.

Rewiring the Brain Infographic
Rewiring the Brain Infographic

 

 

When does a social habbit become a dependency?

At which point do we reach the point of no return?

Alcohol… is the gateway drug, and two drinks – where you feel just tipsy enough to be reckless – the golden quantity. “After two drinks, I want to cut loose,”

Anonymous Article in the Guardian.

Community Based Mental Health Interventions

Mental Healthcare in Ireland has come a long way, but there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed. Psychotherapist, Anne McCormack highlights the marginalised issues in the Irish Times as part of a Future Health Summit Special Report.

Anne McCormack Article in the Irish Times

North Inner City Ravaged

Would you like your children to grow up in the shadow of a member of An Garda Síochana in full body armor and armed with machine guns? Or maybe in full view of a man being gunned down in retribution of another’s untimely end. The community of the North Inner City has come together to say enough is enough.

Dublin’s North Inner City community networks came together to discuss possible actions to deal with the growing rate of criminal fatalities and the open dealing of illicit substances (to name but a few of the variety of terminal issues facing the people of the North Inner City).

Below is the outcome of that meeting and links to the articles published after the meeting.

On behalf of the community networks in Dublin’s North Inner City, we would like to thank all those who attended the very lively and successful press conference that took place today Friday 29th April at 9.30am in Killarney Court, Dublin 1.

The Press conference was called to highlight the need for Government action to address the serious anti-community violence and drug crime that is afflicting this community, including its causes, the entrenched and intergenerational poverty, inequality and social exclusion.

The Actions that emerged from the press conference include the following;

1.     A call to the Minister of Justice to meet with representatives from the community to demand meaningful actions from government to address the current serious violence and drug dealing in the North Inner city.

2.     Organise an inclusive community peaceful procession and vigil to allow the community come together to support each other.

3.     Continue to galvanise support within the community inclusive of residents, local community services & project and the local politicians to maintain pressure on the Government to put in place the lasting measures that will address the entrenched inequalities and poverty and break the cycle of violence, addiction and drug dealing that is so damaging to the community.

Thank you again for your support and we will keep you informed as things develop.

 Kind regards

Dublin’s North Inner City community networks

INNER CITY ORGANISATIONS NETWORK (ICON), NORTH EAST INNER CITY COMMUNITY POLICING FORUM (NEIC CPF), YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK (YPAR), NIC LOCAL DRUGS TASK FORCE

Article on the IrishTimes.com

Article on TheJournal.ie

Peace & Unity in the Community

White Ribbon Peace Procession

This Tuesday the 17th of May 2016, the Communities of the North Inner City are coming together to march on the Buckingham-Street-Monument for Peace and Unity in the greater Community.

There are four meeting points, each of which will begin at 7pm.

St. Agatha’s Church, William Street

St. Laurence O’Toole’s, Seville Place

Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean MacDermot Street

St Mary’s Church, East Wall

This is a procession for peace and unity in the community, and all are invited to come out and show their support.

HOPE 2.0

HOPE (Hands On Peer Education Ltd.) has been on the ground helping the North Inner City community deal with addiction since 2003. Today, we celebrate the launch of our 2015 annual report and new digital media channels.

We support our clients to find RECOVERY through an abstinence-based lifestyle. We feel this provides the greatest quality of life for the individual, their family, and community. We believe that any addict can attain and maintain freedom from addiction with supports in place. We would like to see the cycle of multigenerational alcoholism, drug abuse, and drug substitution broken in this community. Our community detox consists of assessment, case management, key working, care planning, building interagency links, helping access a medically supervised detox (either in or outpatient) and accessing other therapies if needed. We also work to help people access residential treatment centres and day programmes. When someone is not ready to become addiction free, we refer them to a service where they can find daily maintenance support and work with them around advocacy issues if needed.

As well as help individuals find recovery from addiction, we support clients’ families and the wider community.  We run a range of prevention and education programmes in local schools and have run many addiction and health awareness training. In terms of advocacy, we enable our clients to find education, employment, and housing, as best we can.

Our Annual Reports provide further insight into our community endeavours. You can read the 2015 Report here, alternatively, you can read more here on our website.

Through our new digital outlets, we in HOPE wish to further promote RECOVERY, and let people know that freedom from addiction is possible. We would like the community and our colleagues to join us to celebrate the joint launch of our 2015 annual report and new digital outlets; the website, blog and social media platforms.

Our main point of contact is here on our website.
www.hopehandson.com

From which, the blog is our main speech platform which feeds through to our various social media channels.
www.hopehandson.com/blog

Facebook – HOPE Hands On Peer Education LTD Helping People With Addiction
www.facebook.com/handsonpeereducationdublin/

Twitter – @HOPE_Dublin
https://twitter.com/HOPE_Dublin

Google + – Hands On Peer Education Ltd.
https://goo.gl/yxJT3X

As well, we have Youtube Channel where we are compiling videos that can help people help themselves.

Youtube – Hands On Peer Education Ltd.
https://goo.gl/4x3FVp

The lunchtime launch will be held on Today, Monday 11th of April at 12.30 at the Killarney Court Community Centre, on Upper Buckingham Street, in Dublin 1.  A light lunch will be served promptly at 12.30.

Irish Times HOPE Feature

Irish Times, April 2nd, 2016

HOPE features in this article about the abuse of prescription medication (a.k.a., tablets), (i.e., “yellows, blueys, and zimmos”) in this community.  HOPE is here to help anybody free themselves from addiction.

Irish Times, April 2nd, 2016

 

1916 Easter Rising Centenary – North Inner City Folklore Project

1916 Easter Rising Centenary – North Inner City Folklore Project

As part of the Centenary celebrations, HOPE participated in three local events, the hoisting of the flag at Liberty Hall on Palm Sunday (20th March 2016), then on Easter Monday (28th March) the unveiling of a plaque on Seán MacDermott Street, and the laying of a wreath at the GPO.

Local historian, Terry Fagan joins us in writing about the community’s commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary. Terry’s ‘North Inner City Folklore Project’ has been involved in these community events for over 20 years. Terry also offers historical walking tours of the North Inner City. At the centre of Terry’s tour is tenement life in the north inner city, with a particular focus on ‘The Monto’, old Dublin’s infamous red light district. However discussions with Terry are not limited to tenement life in the latter half of the 20th Century, other topics range from the ‘1913 Lockout’, the ‘1916 Rising’, the ‘War of Independence’ to the ‘Civil War’.

Liberty Hall – Hoisting of the Flag

The Liberty Hall ceremony on Palm Sunday (20th March 2016) was a reenactment of the raising of the flag. The flag was hoisted on Palm Sunday 1916 by a young girl from Gardiner Street named Molly O’Reilly. She was given the honour by James Connolly to hoist the flag over the building which he considered the first free part of Ireland. Molly O’Reilly went on to fight in City Hall and was a dispatched courier to the different garrisons around the City during the 1916 Easter Rising. She went on to take a leading role in the War of Independence as an undercover agent, gathering intelligence from Michael Collins’ top team of agents. She supplied the information that played a part in the event in Irish history known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1920.

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Laying of the flag and the drums outside Liberty Hall
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Preparing to march to unveil the plaque on Lower Gardiner Street
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Members of the North Inner City Folklore Project in Period Costume

Seán MacDermott Street – Unveiling of the Plaque

On Easter Monday, 28th of March 2016, the North Inner City Folklore Project pays tribute to the 1916 leader Seán MacDermott with a plaque on the SVP building on the street named after the leader. At the rear of the building where the plaque was erected was the home of Patrick Heany, composer of the Irish national anthem – Amhrán na bhFiann (the Soldier’s Song). It was composed in his house c.1907. Patrick Heany died in abject poverty in 1911, he never lived to see his song become the battle hymn of the 1916 easter rising.

1916 Centenary Commemorations
Inner City Folklore Group
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Terry Fagan Receiving 1916 Commemorative Plaque
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Cllr. Christy Burke & HOPE Managment Committee Teresa Brady at the unveiling of the plaque

GPO – Laying of the Wreath

On Easter Monday, Constance Cowley, Daughter of Molly O’Reilly and a relation of the 1916 leader Seán MacDermott, lay a wreath at the GPO. The Proclamation was read out by a local woman named Una Shaw. A piper played a lament to the men and women of 1916.

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Constance Crowley and the family of Seán MacDermott laying the wreath at the GPO.
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Constance Crowley & the family of Seán MacDermott laying the wreath at the GPO

 

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Constance Crowley and North Inner City Folklore Project Escort

 

 

Our 2015 Corporate Sponsor

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We were lucky to be chosen by AON last year as their community charity. They were amazing to work with, and we had so much fun. We are very grateful to community building events, as well as the funds raised for HOPE. This report is from the staff in AON:

“We kicked off our first fundraising event of 2015 on Friday 13 March, with St Patricks day looming we decided to wear green and host an Irish coffee afternoon.
Our next event was partnered with our Global Service Day on 12-13 June. Aon’s passion is to make a difference in the communities where we do business. So on Global Service day our colleagues from across the globe unite to volunteer their time and efforts to support local charities. On the particular day we volunteered hours painting and cleaning the residents’ community facility area in the Killarney Court Complex on Sean McDermott Street, as well as cleaning, gardening, decorating and much more in the local Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Our fundraising activities included Breakfast Sandwiches and Bake sale, followed by our “Spin for HOPE” where Volunteers from each Aon Ireland Business unit had to cycle for 7 hours straight, totting up a distance as they cycle. The total distance was 658km. As you can see from the photos the competition was fierce!! A lot of pride was at stake. Our Rugby World Cup Event was held on Friday 18 September. We had a Jersey Day and held a raffle for some Rugby Goodies including Tickets for one of the 6 Nations Games.
Our final event was held on the 18th December, and got everyone into the Festive Spirit”.