It was that great American patriot and atheist,Thomas Jefferson, who is credited with the saying “When the law is unjust, resistance becomes duty”, and recent events in Ireland demonstrate that if we want a sane, caring society, we need to resist unjust laws as much as corruption and the lack of accountability in politics.
Is our judiciary really separate from their political masters? Were the acts of civil disobedience by the three water protesters really grievous enough for them to warrant an on-going prison sentence? Is it really appropriate to jail people so frivolously for what are essentially non-violent crimes?
Last week, the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, announced that the drug Naloxone would now be routinely available in Ireland. In our first guest blog on Liversalts.com, a leading drug treatment expert examines the effects that the introduction of the drug will have in Ireland. Dr Cathal ó Súilliobháin believes it will save the lives of many young people.
Fatalities as a consequence of drug use are a major cause of death in young people. In most European countries the numbers of young people dying as a result of drug use has been decreasing in the last few years.
However, in Ireland, it has been increasing. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, we have the third worst record in Europe, with a death rate of 70 per million compared to a European average of 17. Continue reading
Like the chameleon manner in which he seemed to almost inhabit his screen and stage characters, the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in New York last week forces us to think about the stereotype of the drug addict in a different way.
Hoffman was not a petty criminal. He wasn’t emaciated and wasted, wandering around the city looking for his next fix. On the contrary, he was a successful actor and director with an Oscar to his name and many more accolades and tributes to come, had he lived.
It can seem comical to the outside observer that the alcoholic is so blind to their addiction. But this alcoholic myopia is essential to maintain the illusion of non-dependence, and therefore, normality.
The families of alcoholics know this. The alcoholic can deal with any problem as long they can have a drink. If the drink is costing too much and the family can’t afford it, the alcoholic thinks, “I have to get cheaper drink” – not what the non-alcoholic would think, which is the logical answer, “I have to give up alcohol”. Continue reading