Active Future Programme – Week 4 – Zumba and the Physical & Mental Effects of Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Extract from shaneodonnellblog

NowWeMOVE Ireland

Week four of the Active Future Programme has just passed which marked the halfway point of the programme. The past four weeks have gone so quickly but it is great to see the relationships grow stronger and stronger between the participants, the Sports Science Students & the leaders.

Physical Health Input

This week the Sports Science students, very comprehensively, covered the impacts of drug and alcohol misuse on physical health. The students informed the participants on the recommended maximum amount of alcohol consumption per week, what constitutes drug misuse, and how both alcohol and drugs can be extremely damaging to your physical health. One is considered to be binge drinking when an individual consumes 3 pints of alcohol in one sitting! Unfortunately, that is a big problem here in Ireland with 75% of all alcohol consumed as part of a binge-drinking session. The participants were quite shocked with what constituted binge-drinking which led to an interesting discussion around safe alcohol use.

Physical Activity Input

We switched things up this week and gave the Sports Science students a break from leading the physical activity session. This week we got a local Zumba instructor to deliver the class. At first, many of the guys were hesitant to become involved but by the end of it they were practically leading the class!  

Mental Health Input

As always, the wonderful Michael Byrne from the Tullow School Completion Programme delivered an excellent session on the mental impacts of drug and alcohol misuse. Michael linked it back to what we had learned so far about the four types of behaviors and how to control them. He explained that people often smoke or take drugs to alleviate stress or in some cases to numb emotional pain. He explained that addiction is when a person THINKS they have lost control – the key word here is think. He explained that this is just a thought, and the first steps to recovery is realizing that you have control over these thoughts.. To challenge addicting behavior we need to; (1) look at why we want these substances or what are they replacing in our lives, (2) Recognize that we have control over these cravings and (3) begin to change our behavior towards these cravings. Exercise was mentioned by the participants as a good alternative to smoking with regard to alleviating stress.

Read Shane’s full post in here and follow the development of his Active Future Programme every Friday on the NowWeMOVE blog.

Shane O’Donnell completed in the Youth on the MOVE training for young MOVE Agents in Europe and Latin America in June. He is now leading the Active Future Programme in Ireland with the experience he gained from the course. Find out more about Youth on the MOVE, supported by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme.

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