Institutionalised Lives in Ireland

 Forced Labour

During the Irish State’s infancy and right up to modern times, a variety forced labour institutions under the control of the Church and sanctioned by the State, robbed men, women and children of the basic human rights we hold dear today as Irish and European citizens. The institutions took three forms, Mother & Baby homes, Industrial Schools and the Magdalen Asylum for Penitent Females a.k.a. Magdalen Laundries. The idea behind these institutions was to provide for the vulnerable, people of all ages, on the island of Ireland. Although, they were regarded as religious penitentiaries where, in actuality, many of the inmates were subjected to horrific atrocities that can only be described as criminal.

Many were sent for the “crime” of being unmarried and pregnant, and they worked without pay in the laundries which supplied services to State-run bodies, hospitals and hotels. Kitty Holland, Irish Times, Online, 25th August, 2017

On Friday, August 25th, 2017, at the site of one of the last Magdalene Laundry (closed in 1996, on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin) the community came together to seek justice for the many victims of the Magdalene Laundry’s.  In attendance were a number of surviving victims  who bravely stood up and shared their experiences. The stories are heart breaking. Please take some time to see our videos of their moving stories.

Today, the Irish Government has recognised the need for reparations and recognition of the atrocities suffered by men, women and children across Ireland at the hands of the Church under the authority of the State.   But, it is not enough. At a bare minimum we are seeking that this Magdalene Laundry site host a decent memorial, so that this is not another atrocity minimized or wiped from our memories. We in HOPE support public consultation on the use of the site to be sold by Dublin City Council and in particular, we support a suitable memorial to the woman and children who suffered behind those walls.

Institutional Syndrome

Also known as ‘institutionalisation‘, refers to deficits or disabilities in social and life skills, which develop after a person has spent a long period living in residential institutions. In other words, individuals in institutions may be deprived (whether unintentionally or not) of independence and of responsibility, to the point that once they return to “outside life” they are often unable to manage many of its demands; it has also been argued that institutionalised individuals become psychologically more prone to mental health problems.

Direct Provision

With the closure of the industrial schools, magdalene asylums, and the mother & baby homes, it was thought that institutionalistion was to become a thing of the past. Instead, the institutional syndrome has shifted from one vulnrable group to another. Direct provision is the system for dealing with migrants seeking asylum in the Republic of Ireland.

Today, many asylum seekers in the State’s direct provision system spend years in conditions which most agree are damaging to the health, welfare and life-chances of those forced to endure them. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work. They are not entitled to social welfare. And they are excluded from social housing and free third-level education. In all, more than 4,300 people, including 1,600 children, live in 34 accommodation centres spread across the State. Carl O’Brien & Sinead O’Shea, The Irish Times Online, 8th August 2017

 

Irish institution survivors share their experiences. A compilation of video clips recorded at the rally for an Honourable Magdalene Memorial, Sean McDermott Street Magdalene Asylum (closed in 1996), Friday 25th August, 2017.

Support

If you have been affected by the contents of this article in anyway, please do feel free to reach out. H.O.P.E. is here to support the community in anyway we can. As well, for further support, please find some external links below:

Dublin Honours Magdalenshttps://www.facebook.com/dublinhonoursmagdalenes/

The Alliance Victim Support Grouphttp://www.alliancesupport.org/

Residential Institutions Redress Boardhttp://www.rirb.ie/

Towards Healinghttp://www.towardshealing.ie/index.html

Coalition of Mother & Baby Home Survivorshttps://www.facebook.com/Coalition-of-Mother-And-Baby-home-Survivors-CMABS-526069800892810/

Justice for Magdalene Laundrieshttp://www.magdalenelaundries.com/

Oasis Counsellinghttp://oasiscentre.ie/

The Irish Immigrant Support Centre – http://www.nascireland.org/campaigns-for-change/direct-provision/

Irish Refugee Council http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/

About

Hands on Peer Education, is a front-line service in the north inner city, where those suffering with addiction and their families can get access to much needed support and treatment options. H.O.P.E. facilitates and advocates for recovery through abstinence. We also offer a wide range of advocacy services. H.O.P.E.’s free and confidential drop-in clinic is open from 10am ‘til 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Now that you’re here

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Many thanks from the team in H.O.P.E.

Bloomsday in the Monto 2017, by Irene Crawley

A fantastic day was had by all bringing Joyce back to the North Inner City. The event was organised jointly by H.O.P.E. and the North Inner City Folklore Project with the generous help of many volunteers. We combined the traditional ‘Madame of the Monto Wedding’, with scenes from the ‘Night-Town’ chapter in James Joyce’s Ulysses. First and foremost, I would like to offer a big thank you from myself to Terry Fagan, it was a pleasure to work with you, as always.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Former Lord Mayor, Christy Burke and his beautiful “bride” and H.O.P.E. volunteer, Connie Murphy. Mick Rafferty and his troupe of actors gave a great performance of scenes leading up to the ‘Night-Town’ chapter. Dublin City Council provided great support; a stage, gazebos, tables and chairs. Anto Kelly of Kelly’s Carriages graciously donated his time to pick up the bridal party and deliver them to the wedding. The community Garda from Store Street and Fitzgibbons Street were on hand to support the event. Conor O’Mearáin was our professional photographer and did an excellent job capturing the festivities. Susan Porter spent several weeks tirelessly browsing charity shops for the great costumes. Elaine Hilliard did the hair for all the ladies who looked wonderful. Glenda Guilfoyle came along with her mobile costume unit, which was great fun. Gerard O’Neill volunteered his DJ equipment and services which added greatly to the atmosphere of the day. Delicious sandwiches were provided by George O’Brien. Carmel Cosgrove and Theresa Brady from our Management committee volunteered their services for the day. Also, serving our refreshments and helping out for the whole day in their fantastic costumes were Sandra Byrne, Shauna Byrne, Megan McEvoy, Bart Hoppenbrouwers (thank you for the photographs too), Michael Burke, Paula O’Connor, Celine Gifford, and Marilyn Molloy.

All of our staff pitched in for weeks of preparation, David Brown and Alison Grey were a huge help with everything from shopping, set up and planning – Alison also did the make-up and David is our IT Guy who organised all our promotions for the event. Finally, yet importantly, from the staff, thanks to “Father” Joe Dowling who was hilarious, as usual.

I would like to thank IMPACT for giving a grant towards the running of this event.

We would also like to thank our local representatives Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Independent), Councillor Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party) and Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fáil) for coming along.

As well, we would like to thank the Irish Times for covering the event in three articles online, Live Images of Bloomsdaya video-clip of the event & a write-up on Friday 16th June 2017  and an amazing half page spread in the Saturday 17th June 2017 print edition.

Finaly, a big thanks to everyone for coming along! We hope next year to make the event bigger and better, with lots of community engagement.
-Irene Crawley, HOPE Manager


“Bloomsday in the Monto”

From Bloomsday 2017. Posted by HOPE Hands On Peer Education on 6/19/2017 (76 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

HRB Factsheet November 2016 – Cannabis: the Irish situation


Factsheet- Cannabis: the Irish situation

November 2016


What is cannabis?

Cannabis is a natural product, the main psychoactive constituent of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Herbal cannabis and cannabis resin are formally known as marijuana and hashish. Cannabis cigarettes may be called reefers, joints or spliffs.

What does cannabis do?

All forms of cannabis are mind-altering and act by affecting the part of the brain where memories are formed. Small doses have very mild effects, sometimes none in the first time user.

Short-term effects of cannabis may include:

  • Difficulty learning and remembering
  • Distorted sense of vision, hearing or touch
  • Trouble thinking and problem-solving
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks.

How do we know how mnay people use cannabis in Ireland?

Every four years the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) and the Northern Ireland Public Health Information and Research Branch (PHIRB) commission a survey of the general population to estimate the number of people in Ireland who use drugs and alcohol. Face-to- face interviews take place with respondents aged 15+ normally resident in households in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This type of survey is not designed to include people who do not normally live in private households (such as prisoners or hostel dwellers).

How many people use cannabis in Ireland?

The 2014/15 survey involved 9,505 people (7,005 in Ireland and 2,500 in Northern Ireland). The results for Ireland showed that:

  • Just over one in four people had used cannabis making it the most commonly used illegal drug in Ireland.
  • 27.9% had used it at least once (lifetime use).
  • 7.7% had used it in the last 12 months (recent use).
  • 4.4% had used it in the last month (current use).
  • 35.8% of men had used it, compared to 20% of women (lifetime use).
  • Lifetime usage of cannabis is highest amongst the 25 to 34 age group with 40.4% in this age group having used this drug at some stage during their lives. Those aged 15 to 24 are the most likely to have used cannabis both in the past year (16.2%) and past month (9.2%).

The latest survey estimates show a rise in the percentage of cannabis users in the general population aged 15–64:

Table 1: Lifetime, last year and last month prevalence of cannabis use in the general populationAn estimated 16.6 million (13.3%) young Europeans (aged 15–34) used cannabis in the last year, with 9.6 million (16.4%) of these aged 15–24. Among young people using cannabis in the last year, the ratio of males to females is two to one.

How many Irish 15-16 year old students use cannabis?

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has conducted surveys of school-going children every four years since 1995, using a standardised method and a common questionnaire (see www.espad.org ). The sixth survey, conducted in 36 European countries during 2014/15, collected information on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. 1,400 Irish students were surveyed in 2015.

  • More male (22.4%) than female respondents (15.5%) have ever tried cannabis (lifetime use).
  • 16.8% of students had used cannabis in the last 12 months (recent use).
  • 9.8% had use cannabis in the last 30 days (current use).
  • Around 70% of students who had used cannabis first did so at age 14 or 15 and the mean age of initiation was 14 years-old.
  • 43.4% perceived that it would be fairly or very easy to get cannabis if they wanted it.
  • A quarter of students (25.8%) said that there was no risk in trying cannabis and most
    students (32.5%) said that there was only a slight risk in trying it once or twice.

How many people receive treatment for cannabis use?

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) provides data on treated drug and alcohol misuse in Ireland.

The most recent published data from the NDTRS5 shows that:

The number of cases entering drug treatment who reported cannabis as their main problem drug increased from 1,058 in 2005 to 2,609 in 2014.

Of the 2,609 cases in 2014 who reported cannabis as their main problem drug:

  • 611 (23.4%) were aged under 18 years; 1,738 (66.8%) were aged 18–34; 193 (7.3%) were aged 35–44; and 59 (2.2%) were aged 45–64.
  • 1,638 were new cases.
  • 2,101 (80%) were men.
  • 1,346 (51%) used cannabis with other drugs.
  • 1,330 (51%) used cannabis daily, 597 (22.8%) used it between two and six times per week, 205 (7.8%) used it once per week or less, and 377 (14.4%) had not used it in the last month.

What does the law say about cannabis?

Cannabis is on the list of drugs that are controlled by law. A person found in possession of cannabis or cannabis resin is guilty of an offence. It is also an offence to grow cannabis plants. You can find more information about Irish drug laws, offences and penalties on the Citizens Information Board website.

Seizures of cannabis

Cannabis accounts for the largest number of drug seizures in Ireland, as reported by the Central Statistics Office. Seizures are made by Garda and Revenue Customs officers and include cannabis herb, plants and resin. There were 2,912 cannabis seizures in 2012, 2,991 in 2013 and 2,226 in 2014.

The Garda send drugs seized to the laboratory of Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) for analysis. FSI prepare a quarterly report for the Garda and the data presented here are from the combined report for 2014. This tells us the number of cases involving drugs initiated by the Garda and gives a picture of the relative frequency of the various types of illicit drugs seized. 1,628 cases were associated with seizures of cannabis herb, 340 with cannabis plants and 258 with cannabis resin.

For more information on cannabis please refer to the following sources:

See also
(2016) ESPAD report 2015 results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

How to cite this factsheet:

HRB National Drugs Library (2016) Cannabis: the Irish situation. HRB National Drugs Library, Dublin www.drugsandalcohol.ie/17307

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Other Factsheets in this series:

Cocaine: the Irish situation
Opiates: the Irish situation
Sedatives and tranquillisers: the Irish situation
Alcohol – the Irish situation

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How Addiction Affects the Whole Family

What Is Addiction? Insights From The Experts

How Addiction Affects the Whole Family

Addiction (or its current term of substance use disorder) is a personal journey. A person takes the path of drug use for his own reasons and by following his personal risk factors. Even if his path of addiction follows the same path of others, he will be dealing with his own struggles, symptoms and scenarios.

That’s why effective addiction treatment needs to address the needs of each individual – because not all paths of addiction look exactly the same, and people have different needs to address to become sober.
But even though this struggle is part of an individual’s journey, an addicted person can’t say that she’s only hurting herself. Instead, the effects of the addiction are reverberating throughout the person’s family, whether that includes parents, siblings, a spouse and/or children. That’s why addiction is called “a family disease.” Everyone faces some effects of this problem.

Here are two significant ways addiction affects family members:

Creating an Unstable Home Life

Addiction creates instability within the home and within the family unit. Instead of feeling safe and comfortable at home, the family members of an addicted person can feel uncertain, anxious and scared. They might be walking on eggshells waiting until anger strikes, witness arguing or take part in the arguing, and face the brunt of emotional and/or physical abuse.

Family members can deal with an unhealthy environment that includes hiding habits, manipulation and other tactics from the addicted person. [In the United States] The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or NCADD, notes that family members tend to notice that the person’s actions don’t fit her words.

The family can have to deal with mental and physical health problems associated with the addiction. In addition, the NCADD explains that everyday routines are often thrown off by addiction. It can be hard to count on the addicted person, which creates a rift in the relationship and the loved ones’ well-being.

The home life can also be financially unstable because of the addiction. Income might go toward the substance use rather than enough food and other necessities. There might be worries about paying the bills and keeping the home. The addicted person may even lose his job because of the addiction and fail to contribute financially to the family, yet continue to add the burden of needing money for the substance.

The family can be put into a lot of tough situations that they wouldn’t have been in without the addiction. Family members become affected by legal troubles and financial troubles. They might have to worry when their loved one doesn’t show up at home all night, face the consequences of reckless behavior and have to deal with their loved one’s declining health.
These kinds of experiences create an unstable home environment that affects the family members’ mental health and ability to cope with life. And even though addiction involves the family members’ personal life, the effects extend beyond that.

The problems caused by the addiction can affect children’s school performance and adults’ work performance. Spouses and parents may have to work harder to make up for financial problems, and children may exhibit behavioral problems. Loved ones may give up personal interests and friendships to focus on the home life and hide the problem. These are just some examples of how the effects of addiction can work their way into different aspects of the loved ones’ lives.

Developing Unhealthy Ways of Coping

Especially when the individuals are stuck in a house with someone who’s addicted, family members often develop unhealthy ways of dealing with the situation. They often try to hide the substance use from outsiders and they may be ashamed of the person.

Family members often enable the person by providing money, buying the substances or offering support in other ways. In addition, family members often become codependent on the addicted person. David Sack, M.D., provided warning signs of this in an article for PsychCentral.

These signs include putting the addicted person’s feelings first and the loved one making herself responsible for the life of the addicted person. In addition, the codependent person can have trouble with personal boundaries, have his own emotions and decisions follow those of the addicted person and follow unhealthy practices, such as giving up his own interests or friendships, to keep the relationship.

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT, explained in an article for PsychCentral that codependency (and addiction as well) can lead to ongoing shame that creates a sense that, “You’re ashamed of who you are. You don’t believe that you matter or are worthy of love, respect, success or happiness.”

 

Hopefully, the person with the substance problem will eventually get help to change his own life and improve the entire family. Family members can help the person seek treatment and go through the treatment and recovery process.

When the addicted person does enter a treatment program, the family can often take part in their loved one’s program through family therapy. This type of therapy helps to heal the entire family unit and get it working on the same page toward a healthier future together.

If the program does not offer family therapy, families could find a separate mental health or addiction professional who could offer this type of therapy to the group. Each person could also receive individual counseling if needed.

In addition, family members can take part in supportive groups available to them. These include Adult Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon and others. These groups give loved ones a space to work on themselves and how the family addiction affected their lives.

Overall, addiction doesn’t just affect the addicted person. It affects everyone who is close to that person. Yet there is hope for the addicted individual to recover, and there is hope for the whole family.
Sources:

  • http://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2012/09/5-warning-signs-codependency/
  • http://psychcentral.com/lib/shame-the-core-of-addiction-and-codependency/
  • https://www.ncadd.org/family-friends/there-is-help/family-disease
  • https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/content/drug-use-hurts-families

 

Authors’ Bio

drdina

Dr. Dina Macaluso’s journey toward a career in psychology began in 1990. Since then, she has dedicated her life to helping people recover from addiction and mental health issues. Dr. Macaluso holds a doctorate degree in psychology, a master’s degree in sociology and marriage and family therapy, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is licensed in the state of Florida as a mental health counselor. Additionally, Dr. Macaluso is working on her certification as an addiction counselor. She currently is the Clinical Director at Lumiere Healing Centers Florida Location.