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Latest news

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.

Wynford quotes Rollo May, the 20th century psychotherapist who said, “When a young man gets drunk before going to a party he’s basically arranging things so that he doesn’t have to be himself at the party. The relevant question therefore is not why he drinks so much; it is why does he feel the need to flee from himself?”

Wynford believes this is the question that nobody seems to be prepared to address. He says, “Is it because people are too afraid these days to confront the burden of being human?  It’s a question, however, that should be addressed by politicians, theologians and philosophers alike. It is a question that every parent throughout the land should be demanding an answer to because the answer(s) will have huge implications for them in particular, and for everyone who places importance on the needs and wellbeing of children and young people.”

No Room to Live is far more than an autobiography of the actor’s life and his personal battle with alcoholism as this is a self-help book with a difference which has received glowing reviews from the public, addiction counsellors and medical professionals alike since its launch in May.

Wynford turned his experiences around and in so doing he saw the need for a book such as No Room to Live which would become essential reading for people and families struggling to cope with the plague of modern day society – alcoholism and dependency on drugs in its many guises. 

Wynford’s engaging narrative style makes No Room to Live compelling reading.  The narrative is based on anecdotes - some comical, some serious – influenced by the author’s own experiences.  As a well-known and respected actor, Ellis Owen’s addiction to alcohol shook the foundations of Welsh society, especially for those who associated him as the character Syr Wynff ap Concord y Bosin the ground-breaking children’s TV programme, Teliffant, of the 1970s.

All proceeds from the sale of No Room to Live are being donated to a new charity established by the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, called 'Stafell Fyw Caerdydd / Living Room Cardiff.  This brand new charitable venture aims to set up a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre in the capital to help people break the cycle of addiction. In time, the service will be extended to all major towns throughout Wales.

Wynford Ellis Owen, adds, “It’s great news that No Room to Live is to become July’s book of the month as this book is an important tool to help people rebuild their lives through focusing on how to regain control of life and find happiness once again.

“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. 

“The road to recovery is not an easy one.  It requires determination and commitment, strength and support and I hope through my own experiences, as told through No Room to Live, many other sufferers might find hope, comfort and support.

“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.”

Professor Baroness Finlay of Llandaff who wrote the foreword of the book, added,” It takes great courage to write a book like this.  It takes a comfy sofa and a gentle sidelight to read it, and then it takes some time to digest and reflect on the messages that this book throws up to us all.  It is a good read because it is so relevant to life in our society and it offers real and durable solutions to put people back in control, or to give them control that they never had. It shows how the damage can be repaired and leaves us with hope for the future.

“The book is also important for parents of teenagers who are trying to understand whether their child’s behaviour is normal or not, who feel disappointed at so-called failure after failure. This book is important to young people who are desperate to find another way out of their adolescent anxieties and sense of being a social misfit. It is important for the person beginning to hide behind drinking, smoking, gambling or any other addictive behaviour. The book is important, most of all, because it shows there is a way out of the quagmire and it shows there can be life after addiction.”

No Room to Live is available to purchase, priced at £11.95 from bookstores and a number of online sites including www.gwales.com.

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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