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Latest news

Cycling for recovery
livingroom launch

Rhodri Gwynn Jones, Alwyn Harding Jones, Jon Curley, Jeremy Sparked and Ceri Phillips arrive at the Living Room after their 52 mile sponsored bike ride from Brecon to Cardiff to raise funds for the new recovery day-care center at 58 Richmond Road.
 

livingroom launch

The bikers enjoy a hearty snack after the long journey. Standing is Living Room Cardiff CEO, Wynford Ellis Owen, who thanked them for their sterling efforts in support of the new recovery day-care center.
 

livingroom launch

Gwilym Wyn, organiser of the spnsored bike ride thanks his team for their involvement and support. Either side of him are John Curley and Ceri Phillips.

livingroom launch

Supporters  from Bethlehem chapel, Gwaelod-y-Garth, turned up to welcome the bikers at the end of their journey and to enjoy some fresh cream and VERY fattening cakes prepared by Meira Owen, Sharon Jenkins, Sian Hughes and Hayley Stevens.
 

A MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY WALK AND A DAY TO CELEBRATE RECOVERY
recovery walk

recovery walk

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SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF LIVING ROOM CARDIFF THE NEW RECOVERY CENTRE FOR SOUTH WALES
livingroom launch

We walk through many doors throughout life; for some leading to positive experiences, but for others leading to a life of self destruction.
 

Stafell Fyw Caerdydd-Living Room Cardiff opened its doors for the first time today Thursday 8th September. This new charity, set up by the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs (WCAOD), aims to offer support for anyone experiencing difficulties in relation to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit) or any other dependency or harmful behaviour.

The Living Room Cardiff Concept (LRC), as it’s referred to, is like no other rehabilitation service currently offered in Wales.  The community based day-care Recovery Centre will provide a safe, easy access, non-judgemental space offering a range of interventions including peer-based individual and group psychosocial support.
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Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse: 'We have lost a beautiful, talented woman'
We need to review the way society treats addicts – not as criminals but as sick people in need of care.

When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it's too late... More information
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Job Vacancy: Can you help open the door to a new life?
Stafell Fyw Caerdydd/Living Room Cardiff – needs an experienced and committed Centre Administrator to work closely with the Chief Executive and new Board of Trustees to assist in taking the organisation forward.

If you have sound experience in this field, this job may be for you. More information
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Minny Street Independent church members raise £3,140 in support of Stafell Fyw Caerdydd/Living Room Cardiff, the new recovery centre that opens on 8th September

Elusen
In the photograph: The Rev. Owain Llyr, minister of Minny Street, presents a cheque for £3,140 to Wynford Ellis Owen, CEO of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs which sponsors the new Centre.

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The 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff promo video is launched...

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A note of support from Bill White
Bill White, Wynford's mentor for his recent Winston Churchill Fellowship where he visted a range of Recovery Centres and Recovery Communities in the US, added in his introduction to the Wlsh Council's Annual Lecture:

"If I was with you tonight, I would pass on three simple lessons from our advocacy work in the U.S. this past decade. The first is simple but profound: there are multiple pathways and styles of long-term addiction recovery, and all are cause for celebration! The second is that recovery is contagious: If you want it, you have to get close to it, catch it, keep catching it and pass it on to others. The third is that personal recovery is precious, but we have to find ways to move beyond our own redemption to heal our wounded families, break intergenerational cycles of addiction and join with others to heal whole communities. Our job is to create the physical, psychological and social space in which recovery can flourish in communities across the globe. "

Contact the Welsh Council on info@welshcouncil.org.uk for further information.

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Our CEO's Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship Final Report
Click here to Download the report
View the vlogs on the Council's YouTube Channel here
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Easter Prayer

Download the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs Easter Prayer by the Rev. Denzil I. John click here

Recording The Living Room CD
Recording the CD

The song, specially composed by Alun "Sbardun" Huws and produced by Bryn Fon, will be released and available for download from 1 May. The songs (in both Welsh and English) will feature the group Brigyn, Elin Fflur and Members of Glanaethwy's senior choir under the musical direction of Cefin Roberts.

The CD is intended to raise funds and promote 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff community-based recovery centre which will help people encountering difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or other harmful behaviours.

'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff will be officially opened on 8th September, 2011.

Drink deaths
Drink deaths: failure to act will cause an extra 250,000. lives by 2031, say doctors. Read more [+]


Government proposals will not stop cheap supermarket offers
Exclusive: Guardian investigation confirms health groups' fears that government proposals will not stop supermarket offers. Read more [+]


Recovery USA
We know that the Recovery Movement is further forward in parts of the USA as compared to the rest of the world.

Therefore, it was particularly important that two Wired In community members were awarded Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowships to visit recovery centres in eastern USA during the latter part of 2010. In fact, Wynford Ellis Owen (Cardiff) and Peter Rainford (Liverpool) actually met in Philadelphia. Read more [+]


Wynford Ellis Owen, new Wired In core team member
I’d like to introduce you to the third of our new Wired In core team members, Wynford Ellis Owen from near Cardiff in Wales (my old stomping ground).

Many of you will know Wynford from his blogs of his recent trip to the eastern side of the US, where he visited many recovery related projects. Wynford was also a member of our International Advisory Board before accepting our invitation to join the main team.
I have known Wynford for several years. He is such a talented and delightful person, someone who I can call a special friend and colleague.

I still remain ‘stunned’ by what Wynford and his family went through during the years of his addictions, so well portrayed in his book No Room to Live: A Journey from Addiction to Recovery, which is well worth a read.

Wynford not only brings his personal experiences and addiction training to Wired In, but also his connections to the world of the arts. This is important to the recovery field, as we need to use art to portray our messages about recovery and empowerment.

Meetings in Manchester
Wynford Ellis Owen, our CEO, meets Professor David Clarke, Michaela Jones, Simon Morton and Glyn Davies in Manchester to discuss ways of taking Wired In and the recovery community forward. WEO is an Advisory Board member to Wired In whilst David is a member of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drug' Policy Advisory Group.



Travelling to make a difference
Click here for our daily Blog
Our Chief Executive, Wynford Ellis Owen, is one of this year's recipients of the prestigeous Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.Wynford recently returned from visiting new recovery community centres in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Virginia, which achieve long-term recovery from severe alcohol and/or drug-related problems. Visiting these centres will provide the council with very useful ideas on how to better build a strong "peer culture" into the services we're establishing in Cardiff by 2011. Click here for more information [+]

 

Photographs from our art exhibition on the theme of addiction
The Welsh Council's art exhibition, ADDICTION/DIBYNIAETH at the Senedd saw some of Wales' leading artists take part.

Art exhibition

 

2010 Annual Lecture - How we choose to live and die lives on...

The Welsh Council's 2010 Annual Lecture delivered by Professor Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff dealt with the controversial topic of assisted suicide. The lecture, 'How we choose to live and die lives on...' was delivered last night (Wednesday 23rd June, 2010) to an invited audience at the Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff Bay. The lecture in its entirity can be viewed by clicking on the link below the image.

Ilora Finlay

Professor Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff delivering her lecture

more pictures from the annual lecture [+]

Click here to view the podcast of the lecture [+]


Our stand at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Llanerchaeron, 2010

Urdd

The Council's alcohol-free bar.

No Room To Live Launch

No Room To Live
Popular Welsh actor Wynford Ellis Owen’s first ever English language book, No Room to Live, was launched last night  at The Temple of Peace, Cardiff.  Written as a self-help book, it’s hard-hitting and thought-provoking, poignant yet suitably sobering.


Ellis Owen explains, “Alcoholism and dependency on drugs, both prescription and illicit, ruin lives.  It’s a slippery slope into despair and despondency.  You risk losing everything, your self-respect, your home, your family.  I know because I’ve been there.  My book, No Room to Live, focuses on how to regain control of life and find happiness once again. 

“The road to recovery is not an easy one.  It requires determination and commitment, strength and support.  My book is one of many tools available to people to help them rebuild their lives.  There is a range of support organisations out there too, including the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.  So while life for sufferers might seem a lonely and depressing place, there is hope, comfort and support.

“I’m delighted to reveal that all proceeds from my book will be donated towards setting up a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre in Cardiff. 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff, will offer help for anyone experiencing difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or any other dependency, such as eating disorders, love and sex addiction, gambling and self-harm. My book is intended, therefore, to help others to rebuild their lives.”

No Room To Live

Actor Mark Lewis Jones commented, “It was a pleasure to support my fellow actor Wynford Ellis Owen as he launched his first ever English language book and an honour for me to be reading passages from his work at the event. 

No Room To Live

No Room to Live depicts Wynford’s recovery from alcoholism and tells of his struggle to face his demons.  It is written as a self-help book and I’m sure it will be an inspiration to others who find themselves trapped to an addiction of one kind or another.  The book is testament to the fact that there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel."


No Room To Live

Actor John Pierce Jones, added, “It takes great courage to write a book like this and I was delighted to support Wynford as he launched No Room to Live. It’s an absorbing account of Wynford’s journey from addiction to recovery, told with warmth and humour.

“The book is positive and inspiring, and makes recovery a reality for even more people across the UK and beyond. It reaches out to alcoholics, addicts, their families and provides them with new hope that there is a way out of one of the most invidious illnesses known to mankind.”


Buy your copy of No Room To Live by Wynford Ellis Owen now!  

On a night like this

No Room to Live offers a positive way out from the hell, told through the personal experiences and thoughts of a high profile former addict, Wynford Ellis Owen, who is now the Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

This is a personal reflection, and one that will appeal to anybody who wishes to escape from addiction but feels hopelessly trapped. The book is written with warmth and humour by a man who had it all, lost it all, and then, after much soul searching, successfully found lasting freedom from his own demons. If he did it, so can you...

Buy your copy now...

02 july 2010
Author slams governments for failing to deal with underlying causes of addiction as ‘No Room to Live’ is named book of the month
Popular Welsh actor, and chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Wynford Ellis Owen, criticises both the UK coalition government and the Welsh Assembly Government for focusing too much on the peripherals of Substance Misuse such as taxes and restrictions on alcohol and drugs rather than dealing with the underlying causes. His first ever English language book, No Room to Live, was written specifically to tackle the causes of addiction and has been named as July’s English language book of the month by the Welsh Books Council. more [+]

02 july 2010
Alcohol Concern Report suggests that things are much worse than we thought
Click here for more [+]

02 june 2010
The best kind of exercise in personality health
The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs welcomes Edwina Hart’s avowed intent to increase alcohol prices in Wales if this current Westminster Coalition Government fails to curb problem drinking.

This would be a very encouraging first step in addressing Wales’ current drinking crisis and would, according to compelling evidence, most likely alleviate the symptoms and lead to a reduction in alcoholic deaths.

However, in order to treat the causes of the social malaise of binge drinking we must look at the underlying reasons that are motivating so many of our population to misuse alcohol to such dangerous levels.

When asked why they drink to excess many revellers tend to claim they like being ‘out of it’ or ‘out of themselves’. Why is it that, in this time of unparalleled prosperity and affluence, people are so uncomfortable with themselves and prepared to negate themselves? If this question could be adequately addressed a whole host of real and lasting solutions to our current crisis with alcohol and other drugs would likely present themselves.

The psychotherapist Rollo May argues that one of the main attractions of alcohol is the absence of other means of self expression, that people have no other way of ‘being themselves’ so they choose alcohol to flee from themselves.

I would like to ask the minister to consider how best to create meaningful alternatives to drinking in which young people can learn to be themselves and get satisfaction from it. Mr May has concluded that ‘such social functions would be the best kind of exercise in personality health’.

Any measures to affect pricing will work in the short term but must be allied with long term initiatives to address the underlying cause of problem drinking and produce lasting change.

The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs would be enthusiastic to support the minister in instigating policies that would lead to people finding satisfaction in being their authentic selves.

02 june 2010
Britain faces drink, drugs and obesity health crisis
Figures show large jump in obesity as well as drink and drug-related deaths, although life expectancy continues to rise... more [+]

17 April 2010
UK Drinking Problem gets Political
round midnight on a recent Saturday night, 19-year-old Annelies Hopkins inventoried her evening's revelry: half a bottle of Jack Daniel's and four pints and six bottles of beer.

As she waited in line at Lloyds No. 1 Bar, Ms. Hopkins, a secretary by day, said she had no intention of slowing down. "No, speed up!" she cried. Ms. Hopkins and her sister, dressed in sleeveless tops despite the cold weather, convulsed in giggles

Such raucous partying routinely turns the weekend streetscape here in the capital of Wales into a scene from "Night of the Living Dead." Drunken young men and women stumble through streets fouled with trash and broken glass, while the police labor to maintain order and tend to those needing help.

The U.K. is struggling with a rise in alcohol consumption that many people contend is fueling public disorder and violence. Alcohol abuse and "antisocial behavior" have become an issue in the run-up to the nation's general election, to be held May 6.

To read the complete article click here.

01 April 2010
Easter Prayer
Click here to download the Easter Prayer on behalf of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs by the Most Reverend Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales.

01 April 2010
Inspiring Work by Welsh Artist has it Covered
The latest project of acclaimed Cardiff-based artist Carwyn Evans, will appear as the cover for a self-help book on addiction entitled No Room To Live by the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs and will be launched in May.

Evans, who’s currently studying for a postgraduate degree in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, gained recognition last year by winning a Fine Art Award at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. He works in mixed media, photography and installation.

According to Evans, the inspiration for the design of the book covers, which depicts a moth trapped under a glass tumbler on the front and then freed from the tumbler on the rear cover, came from imagining the life of an addict suffocating from his or her addiction and then finding release. The image complements the book title, No Room to Live, beautifully, conjuring up impressions of oppression and confinement.

“It is however a positive publication, with a positive outcome and positive message,” explains Evans. “The moth released from its prison on the back cover shows how a situation can be reversed, with life restored once more. That’s the key message from this self-help book and I hope the image conveys that, simply, but effectively.

“I’ve enjoyed working on this commission for the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs. It was challenging getting the image and the photography just right. But I’m very pleased with the end result. I hope it does justice to what is a very worthwhile and powerful book.”

No Room to Live, written by Wynford Ellis Owen, a well-known Welsh actor, qualified addictions counsellor and chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, depicts the author’s own battle with alcoholism and offers hope and advice for others struggling to cope with alcoholism and dependency on drugs in its many guises.

Ellis Owen’s engaging narrative style makes compelling reading. The narrative is based on anecdotes - some comical, some serious – drawn from the author’s own experiences. As a popular and respected actor, Ellis Owen’s addiction to alcohol shook the foundations of Welsh society, especially for those who associated him with the eponymous hero Syr Wynff ap Concord y Bos in the ground-breaking children’s TV programme, Teliffant, of the 1970s.

Ellis Owen’s success in beating his addiction and regaining his reputation in Welsh life, both on and off screen, has put him in a unique position to write this self-help book.

Ellis Owen explains, “Alcoholism and dependency on drugs, both prescription and illicit, ruin lives. It’s a slippery slope into despair and despondency. You risk losing everything, your self-respect, your home, your family. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve felt like the moth on the book’s cover, as wonderfully depicted by Carwyn Evans. But I’m also the freed moth, recovering and rejuvenated by its ordeal. I’d like to thank Carwyn for his inspirational work. My thanks also to Shaun Pinney of Shaun Pinney Studios, for his wonderful graphic work.

“The road to recovery from addiction is not an easy one. It requires determination and commitment, strength and support. My book is one of many tools available to people to help them rebuild their lives. There is a range of support organisations out there too, including the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs. So while life for sufferers might seem a lonely and depressing place, there is hope and support – light at the end of that seemingly never ending tunnel.

“I’m delighted to reveal that all proceeds from my book will be donated towards setting up a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre in Cardiff. 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff will offer help for anyone experiencing difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or any other dependency, such as eating disorders, love and sex addiction, gambling and self-harm. My book is intended, therefore, to help others to rebuild their lives.”

From May 2010, the publication No Room to Live will be available to purchase from www.gwales.com.

19 February 2010
Pre-order your copy of No Room To Live by Wynford Ellis Owen
 

On a night like this

No Room to Live offers a positive way out from the hell, told through the personal experiences and thoughts of a high profile former addict, Wynford Ellis Owen, who is now the Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

This is a personal reflection, and one that will appeal to anybody who wishes to escape from addiction but feels hopelessly trapped. The book is written with warmth and humour by a man who had it all, lost it all, and then, after much soul searching, successfully found lasting freedom from his own demons. If he did it, so can you...

Pre-order your copy now...

15 February 2010
Winston Churchill Fellowship

Winston Churchill Fellowship supports Cardiff-based Alcohol Recovery Project
Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Cardiff-based charity, The Welsh Council for Alcohol and other Drugs, has been selected to receive a prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to enable him to visit a number of new recovery community centres in the US. These centres stand out as they have achieved long-term recovery from severe alcohol and other drug related problems.


A network of such centres exist in Vermont, Connecticut and Philadelphia and visiting these centres will provide Wynford with ideas on how to better build a strong after-care culture into the services he is establishing as part of 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff which hopes to open its doors in 2011.
 
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is the national memorial and living tribute to Sir Winston, who died in 1965. The Trust’s objectives are to encourage the advancement and propagation of education in any part of the world for the benefit of British citizens of all walks of life. The aim is such that this education will make its recipients more effective in their life and work, whilst benefiting themselves and their communities, and ultimately the UK as a whole. Each year approximately 100 Fellowships are awarded for wide range of projects.
 
Wynford Ellis Owen, said, “There have been some extraordinary success stories emanating from the US centres and if their successes can be replicated in Wales it would significantly relieve the huge social problems currently being experienced as a consequence of drug and alcohol misuse.
 
“Getting a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship is a fantastic boost for The Living Room project in Cardiff. My itinerary will expose me to a broad spectrum of recovery advocacy activities in the US including many of the faith-based programmes. I hope also to be able to work alongside William L White MA, a world renowned academic and expert in the field of substance misuse who has agreed to mentor me.
 
“The benefits obtained by this Fellowship would enable me to establish a recovery centre in Cardiff by 2011. I would then. In collaboration with others, hope to provide similar centres in every major town in Wales. This would establish sustained recoveries, free from cross-addiction. I will also be filming a video diary which I hope will be a permanent and valued resource to testify to the effectiveness of these innovative approaches.”

29 January 2010
You can make a difference!
E-petition is launched to link Urdd funding to alcohol ban

Vote now!

You can make a difference. We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to only provide future funding for the Urdd Eisteddfod on the condition that alcohol is not sold on-site at the Eisteddfod. Vote now!
vote against the urdd selling alcohol

Following the decision of Urdd Gobaith Cymru to allow alcohol to be sold on the Eisteddfod site for the first time in Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion in May 2010, an e-petition has been launched to ask the Welsh Assembly to consider only funding future Urdd Eisteddfodau on condition that alochol is not sold on the Eisteddfod site.


Instigated by the Welsh Council for Alcohol and Other Drugs, the e-petition is an opportunity for anyone who has concerns about the decision to register their concerns with the Assembly. The petition can be accessed here.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive, The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said, “We oppose the Urdd's decision to permit the sale of alcohol on the Urdd Eisteddfod site. The opposition is based on the fact that it is a Festival for children and young people and, as such, the great majority of competitors and their friends are under the legal age for alcohol consumption.  Evidence suggests that children and young people are more likely to become drinkers and heavy drinkers the more society normalises the use of alcohol – which is exactly what the Urdd is doing by introducing alcohol to the Eisteddfod site. Would the Urdd promote the sale of Tobacco on the Eisteddfod site?

“Through this e-petition we hope we can persuade the Welsh Assembly to reconsider its funding for this event until the Urdd reverses its decision to serve alcohol at the Eisteddfod. It is a frightening fact that Welsh 11-15 year-olds drink more alcohol than those of a same age in any other European country. This impairs their health, places them in all sorts of danger and damages their hopes for the future. This is totally contrary to the praiseworthy aims and intentions of the Urdd.

“The Urdd, as a movement which receives public funding from the Assembly, should act to strengthen the Assembly's policies on health and fitness not work against it. We call on the Assembly to take a stand as the Urdd's decision undermines Assembly health strategies by reinforcing practices, such as drinking alcohol, which run counter to the aim of promoting health and welfare. What justification does the Urdd have for undermining public policy?

“If the Urdd is unwilling to change its policy on this matter then putting pressure on the Assembly to consider withholding its funding until the decision is reversed may well have a much more powerful effect on the Urdd’s decision making. The Urdd was, and should be, a responsible movement which puts the welfare of children and young people before everything else. This ethos is clearly no longer at the heart of the Urdd movement and the decision must
be reversed.”

Wynford Ellis Owen described the E-petition as “A last-ditch attempt to save the Urdd movement from itself”.

29 January 2010
Poems by the late Angharad Jones
Poems by the late Angharad Jones can be accessed by going to our 'Things Spiritual'
section.

10 January 2010
Second retreat: One day at a Time
 

On a night like this Held at Coleg Trefeca, Brecon the Council's second retreat will be a weekend retreat of 30 people with an emphasis on living “one day at atime”. It is an opportunity to get away from the business of life and spend some time on yourself and your life.

For more information on the retreat or on future retreats please contact the Council at info@welshcouncil.org.uk

Download the retreat programme

04 December 2009
Ruth Andrews objects to Dr David Best’s lecture.
Ruth Andrews, a Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist from Birmingham, attended the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs’ Inaugural Annual Lecture at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff on 16th June, 2009. The Lecture, delivered by Dr David Best from the University of the West of Scotland on ‘Evidence of hope – what do we know about sustained recovery from alcohol and drug addiction?’, caused controversy.
 
In a letter to David Best, Ruth said:
 
‘On 16th June I attended the lecture you delivered in Cardiff. You presented data from research conducted in Birmingham and made some powerful comments about the staff working in the drug services. I would like to suggest that your comments regarding all staff and service users were based on omission of fact not on substantive data. I have therefore collated data and compiled a document illustrating the work that has been developed over a number of years by the Tier 4 service. Dates, data and comments by service users are included in order to verify the text.
 
Ruth goes on ‘Your arguments regarding the use of Methadone script is applicable to Tier 3 services and this should have been made clear. The one thing that is very evident with service users we work with, prior to and post residential rehabilitation, is the hope they have and their appreciation of being able to engage in a difficult but challenging life of real growth’.
 
At the time, Wynford Ellis Owen, chief executive of the Welsh Council, said that David’s lecture was both thought-provoking and informative. He wrote “I was left thinking, at last someone is talking sense here and he’s backed it up with solid evidence – yes, treatment is not good enough and treatment itself is not enough – it is not sufficient in its current form to support recovery. David, however, recognised that recovery does happen but that it happens in community settings where indigenous resources provide the basis for the recovery journey.”

You can access Ruth Andrew’s paper in response to David’s lecture by clicking here


The lecture, which was hosted by Gareth Jones OBE, AM, was recorded and can be viewed by clicking here.

The Welsh Council’s next Annual Lecture will be held at the Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff Bay on 23rd June, 2010. More information can be accessed on our website from January, 2010 onwards.

16 October 2009
Research has shown that there are different degrees of drinking disorders, and many people can change habits on their own.
Seventy years ago, Bill Wilson -- the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous -- declared his powerlessness over alcohol in a book by the same name. The failed businessman contended that, as an alcoholic, he had to "hit bottom" before changing his life and that sobriety could only be achieved through complete abstention... read the complete article at the Los Angeles Times

25 October 2009
Cartoon winners take a bow at St David’s Hall
The very first fundraising event in aid of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs’ newest initiative was held at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on Sunday 25 October.  All monies raised from the musical extravaganza staged by Cwmni Theatr Ieuenctid Maldwyn will go towards establishing 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff, a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre which aims to break the cycle of addiction. In time, the service will be extended to all major towns throughout Wales.

The evening also saw the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs announce the winners of its nationwide cartoon competition. 

Split into three age groups: under 11s, 11-18 and 18+, the competition invited children and young people to insert their own end-scenarios and comments into cartoons.  From original ideas by young people from Gwaelod-y-Garth and Efail Isaf the cartoonist Cen Williams designed four separate cartoons, showing a number of blank ‘what happened next’ scenarios, involving the effects of excess alcohol and other drugs.  The cartoons are available on the Council’s website at www.welshcouncil.org.uk/competition.html

Showing strong, creative talent and imagination, the winners with their prizes were:

Emyr Morris-Jones, (18+) Tregarth, Bangor - 2 tickets to see Wales V Argentina rugby international
Erin Davies (11-18) Pen Y Maes, Flint - new bike
Llio (under 11) Chwilog, Pwllheli - Free entrance to Portmeirion for 2 adults and up to 3 children
Connor J Watkins (11-18) Swansea - weekend for 2 ar the Urdd Centre, Cardiff
Megan Louise Davies (11-18) Pontarddulais - 2 tickets to see the show ‘Never Forget’ at the Wales Millennium Centre
Carys Davies Jones (under 11) Whitchurch, Cardiff - new bike
Emyr Morris-Jones (18+) Tregarth, Bangor - 2 return flight tickets from North to South or from South to North Wales
Erith Davies (18+) Whitchurch, Cardiff - meal for 2 at the Welsh Assembly Building

Wynford Ellis Owen, chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs said, “My congratulations to all our cartoon competition winners.  It was great to see so many entries and very heartening to read the positive and humorous quips.  It is of course no joke to tackle the issues of Welsh youth addiction to alcohol and other drugs, but I am confident that by educating youngsters of the dangers of addiction, we can held them make the right choices in their lives.”

20 October 2009
Taking the message online and laying foundations for The Living Room
 

On a night like this The very first fundraising event in aid of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs’ newest initiative is being held at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, at 7pm on Sunday 25 October.  All monies raised from the musical extravaganza staged by Cwmni Theatr Ieuenctid Maldwyn will go towards establishing 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff, a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre which aims to break the cycle of addiction. In time, the service will be extended to all major towns throughout Wales.

The evening will also mark two further milestones for the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.  They will not only launch their newly designed website, www.welshcouncil.org.uk, but they will also announce the winners of their nationwide cartoon competition. 

Split into three age groups: under 11s, 11-18 and 18+, the competition invited children and young people to insert their own end-scenarios and comments into cartoons.  From original ideas by young people from Gwaelod-y-Garth and Efail Isaf, cartoonist Cen Williams designed four separate cartoons, showing a number of blank ‘what happened next’ scenarios, involving the effects of excess alcohol and other drugs.  The cartoons will be available to view on the Council’s website at www.welshcouncil.org.uk/competition.html

Wynford Ellis Owen, chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs said, “I am hugely indebted to Cwmni Theatr Ieuenctid Maldwyn for supporting us so generously with the launch of our new fundraising initiative.  The evening’s performance promises to be a truly fabulous event – a must see for anyone who enjoys Welsh musical talent.

“'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff project is an exciting initiative for us.  Our aim is to help people experiencing difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs be they prescribed or illicit, or any other dependency, in an effective way, with long-term positive outcomes.”

30 September 2009
Next Step in Alcohol-free Urdd battle

A paper detailing the reasons why the Urdd should not introduce alcohol at future Urdd Eisteddfodau will be presented to the Management Committee of the Urdd Eisteddfod on Wednesday 30 September by The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs. The Council will present the paper with the hope that the Urdd changes its mind on its proposed policy to introduce alcohol at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Ceredigion in 2010. The WCAOD is supported in its stance by the foremost Christian denominations, representing over 75,000 members and children; the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan; Bishop Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham, members of the Wales Inter-faith Council; Judge Michael Farmer; the Rt Hon Dafydd Wigley and members of the Urdd themselves.

Including facts and the latest scientific evidence on alcohol misuse in today’s Britain, the paper proposal is the next step in a battle following the roundly condemnation of the Urdd’s proposed policy to sell alcohol at the Urdd Eisteddfod by the WACOD when it was announced during the Cardiff Eisteddfod in June.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs said, “My hope is that with this paper the Management Committee will be wise and brave enough on hearing our compelling arguments and the latest scientific evidence, to change their minds on this policy. I’m confident we can achieve this and restore the Urdd’s credibility as a responsible movement that puts the welfare of children and young people before everything else.

“This battle transcends the usual arguments that surround alcohol misuse in our society.  This battle is about safeguarding the long term physical and mental health of our children and young people.  At a time when 12 million of Britain’s people drink to dangerous levels – with the problem being worse in Wales, where it is estimated that more than a quarter of Welsh young people between the ages of 11 and 15 use more alcohol than young people in any other country in Europe within the same age range – the decision is irresponsible and totally against the praisworthy aims and intentions of the Urdd.” more

Click here to download the Open Letter to the Urdd Management Committee.

06 August 2009
The EU stand on Alcohol Advertising

The European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) have both specified that the advertising and promotion of alcohol needs to be controlled. In September 2005, the WHO Euro Region adopted a Framework for Alcohol Policy for the Region. This has 5 ethical principles which includes "All children and adolescents have the right to grow up in an environment protected from the negative consequences of alcohol consumption and, to the extent possible, from the promotion of alcoholic beverages". Cross-border television advertising within the EU is regulated by the 1989 Television without Frontiers Directive. Article 15 of this Directive sets out the restrictions on alcohol advertising:

  • "it may not be aimed specifically at minors or, in particular, depict minors consuming these beverages;
  • it shall not link the consumption of alcohol to enhanced physical performance or to driving;
  • it shall not create the impression that the consumption of alcohol contributes towards social or sexual success;
  • it shall not claim that alcohol has therapeutic qualities or that it is a stimulant, a sedative or a means of resolving personal conflicts;
  • it shall not encourage immoderate consumption of alcohol or present abstinence or moderation in a negative light;
  • it shall not place emphasis on high alcoholic content as being a positive quality of the beverages."

This article on alcohol advertising restrictions is implemented in each EU country largely through the self-regulatory bodies dealing with advertising.

25 July 2009
Welsh Council's first Healing & Forgiveness retreat

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Welsh Council’s first retreat at the St Non’s Retreat Centre in St Davids, Pembrokeshire from 28th to 30th August. We have based this weekend on a tried and tested format as operated by founder members of Alcoholics Anonymous. For more information please click here.

14 July 2009
An exciting date in September - a seminar in Aberystwyth on the Christian response to addiction

Wynford Ellis Owen is to speak at "Rhyddhau'r Caethon" a Seminar in Aberystwyth on the Christian response to addiction on September 29 at the Morlan Centre. Link to the Union of Wlesh Independents website.

13 July 2009
Ruining the Urdd Eisteddfod's good name.

The Urdd’s decision to sell alcohol on the Urdd Eisteddfod field has been roundly condemned by The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.  Wynford Ellis Owen, the Charity’s Chief Executive, said it was a “disgrace” that the Urdd (The Welsh League of Youth) considered selling alcohol on the field.  “I shuddered on hearing the news” he said, “At a time when 12 million of Britain’s people drink to dangerous levels – with the problem being worse in Wales, where it is estimated that more than a quarter of Welsh young people between the ages of 11 and 15 use more alcohol than young people in any other country in Europe within the same age range – the decision is not only insane but irresponsible”.  more

07 July 2009
Our Chief Executive speaks to young people at St Clares

Hundreds of Independent members in Carmarthenshire have voted unanimously to ask the Urdd to reconsider allowing alcohol to be sold at its Eisteddfod. The congregation of around 300 people at the Sul Sbesial festival at St Clears unanimously supported the call made by youth members, who had just heard Wynford Ellis Owen – chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs – describe the Urdd’s action as "totally irresponsible." Members were reminded that alcohol abuse amongst young people in Wales is worse than in any other country in Europe.

16 June 2009
Dr David Best loved the treatment community enough to tell them the truth.

Annual lecture

The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs’ Inaugural Annual Lecture at the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff Bay last night, was delivered by Dr David Best from the University of the West of Scotland under the title – ‘Evidence of hope: what do we know about sustained recovery from alcohol and drug addiction?’.


Annual lecture
Annual lecture

This Inaugural Annual Lecture sees the implementation of one important initiative from the Welsh Council’s 3 Years Strategy: ‘working in partnership with other organizations to promote greater awareness of the dangers of substance misuse’. The lecture was held in association with the three registered treatment centres in Wales: Brynawel House (South Wales), CAIS (North Wales) and Rhoserchan (Mid Wales) – each has a different philosophy regarding the treatment of substance misuse – but united to co-sponsor this important event ‘for the common goal’ of helping sufferers all over Wales. read more

For a copy of the Annual Lecture Programme, along with the text click here

11 June 2009
Three frogs floating down a river....

Remember the three frogs floating on a piece of wood down the river? One made a decision to jump into the water. How many frogs were left on the piece of wood? Three, of course. The frog just made a decision to jump into the water – he didn’t carry it through. click here

11 June 2009
“Recovery should also be a goal, not simply harm reduction”

The inaugural annual Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs lecture will be delivered by Dr David Best, Reader in Criminal Justice at the University of the West of Scotland at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay on Tuesday, 16th June at 6.30pm. The lecture, held in association with the three registered treatment centres in Wales Brynawel House (South Wales), CAIS (North Wales) and Rhoserchan (Mid Wales), will be hosted by Gareth Jones OBE, AM.

The lecture, Evidence of Hope: What do we know about sustained recovery from alcohol and drug addiction?, chaired by Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, will be the first time the Council and the three registered treatment centres in Wales will have worked together in partnership to tackle the wider debate on a number of different approaches to addiction therapy.

Dr David Best, in addition to his academic work in Scotland, is also involved in work for the Home Office in London, the Scottish Government, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse and local recovery initiatives in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. A Chartered Psychologist and a member of the British Criminology Society, he spent ten years working in research at the National Addiction Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, managing a range of applied studies of drug and alcohol treatment interventions to prevent drug-related deaths and drug crime studies. He has also worked with the Police Complaints Authority, the National Treatment Agency and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs, said, “There are of course a number of different approaches and philosophies on tackling addiction but it is great to see all three treatment centres working together formally for the first time for the benefit of Welsh clients. It is not an easy debate but one which Wales needs to have and I am very grateful to Dr David Best for agreeing to deliver our inaugural lecture as it is an important objective for us to deliver as part of our current three-year strategy”.

Dr David Best, said, “I am looking forward to speaking in Cardiff as my current areas of research interest are around recovery journeys from addiction, the relationship between drug use and crime and the role of organisational functioning in influencing treatment effectiveness are all highly relevant. I know a great deal of emphasis is put on harm reduction policies but I do believe that we should also be talking about sustained recovery in the same sentence.”

Lynn Bennoch, Lead Director, CAIS, on behalf of the three registered providers, added, “CAIS has 12 years experience of providing Detox services, and 18 years of providing rehabilitation services, Brynawel House has 32 years experience of providing rehabilitation services and Rhoserchan 21 years  - therefore in total we have 83 years of experience!

“We are currently looking at ways of working towards providing the ‘best practice’ and a more holistic approach to the treatment of drug and alcohol clients that will take into account the different approaches on tackling addiction.  The collaboration between the three registered treatment providers will seek to address a more flexible and systematic approach to the residential treatment of those seeking help with their dependency.”

Gareth Jones AM, said, “Gareth Jones AM, said, “"I am delighted to be able to sponsor this important event in the Senedd and pleased that the inaugural lecture of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs has attracted a renowned expert and a speaker of such high calibre as Dr David Best. The issues surrounding the debate on addiction, treatment and crime are sometimes complex and difficult but nevertheless we ought not to shirk our responsibility to openly discuss the potential solutions.

"I am mindful of the heavy toll of drug and alcohol addiction on individuals, families and society as a whole and we owe it to ourselves to try to get the right messages over even if that means for example challenging some commercial interests. I look forward to a renewed debate and a greater co-ordination of our efforts and resources in this important field."




01 May 2009
Inaugural annual lecture : Evidence of hope: What do we know about sustained recovery from Alcohol and drug addiction?

The lecture, on 16th June 2009, is to be delivered by DR DAVID BEST (Senior lecturer in Addiction in the Department of Psychiatry at Birmingham University)

The event is hosted by Gareth Jones OBE, AM and is held in association with the 3 registered treatment centres: Bryn Awel House (South Wales); CAIS (North Wales); and Rhoserchan (Mid Wales). Download invite


01 May 2009
NDSAG 2011 conference comes to Cardiff
We have just received confirmation that the New Direction in the Study of Alcohol Group (NDSAG) will be holding their 2011 conference here in Cardiff. This important conference will be hosted on behalf of the council by Wynford Ellis Owen, our chief executive. You can access more information about the NDSAG by clicking on this link: www.newdirections.org.uk


01 May 2009
Cartoon competition!
No joke, tackling Welsh youth addiction issues through cartoons
The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs has launching a unique cartoon competition, aimed at raising awareness amongst young people in Wales of the dangers of alcohol and drugs misuse.

Designed by cartoonist Cen Williams, the four separate cartoons, originated in partnership with young people from the chapels of Bethlehem, Gwaelod-y- Garth and Tabernacl, Efail Isaf, show a number of blank ‘what happened next?’ scenarios involving the effects of excess alcohol and other drugs.

The competition, open until 31st August 2009 and split into three age groups (under 11’s, 11-18 and 18+), invites young people to insert their own end scenarios in cartoon form. Prizes include bikes, flights and tickets for shows. The cartoons can be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.welshcouncil.org.uk/cartoons.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive, Welsh Council on Alcohol and other Drugs, said, “The prevalence of increasing addiction problems amongst young people in Wales makes scary reading. However, preaching and shouting orders is no way to tackle the problem, especially with teenagers!

“We wanted to engage in a fun way with young people across Wales and this cartoon competition is one way of doing this. We hope by being encouraged to sit down to draw and be creative that it will help make the issues hit home and perhaps make them think twice before consuming alcohol in excess or taking drugs. We also aim to showcase some of the best completed cartoons on our website’s homepage as inspiration for others.”

Download competition cartoon strip 1
Download competition cartoon strip 2
Download competition cartoon strip 3
Download competition cartoon strip 4


01 May 2009
The kind of giving that has no price-tag on it: the giving of oneself to someone…

The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs has started on the work of establishing a day-care treatment centre in Cardiff that offers free, bilingual treatment for anyone experiencing difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or any other dependency. Once the centre – 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff – is established in 2011, we will be extending the service to other towns all over Wales. Would you like to support The Living Room?

Is there a family anywhere in Wales today that hasn’t, in some way, been affected by the misuse of alcohol and/or other drugs?

As a matter of information, the year 2010 will be a year for raising awareness about the new centre as well as being a concerted fund-raising year for this new charity. Are you willing to help us establish this new centre in Cardiff and come up with creative ideas to help us raise money? 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff will be a wonderful example of practical Christianity at work in modern Wales.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, is eager to come to your church to speak about this new, exciting venture. Please contact the Council directly on 029 2049 3895 or by e-mail at info@welshcouncil.org.uk

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