Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Henley Rotary Club

PRESIDENT John Grout welcomed three guests to the twilight meeting at the Red Lion hotel on

PRESIDENT John Grout welcomed three guests to the twilight meeting at the Red Lion hotel on Tuesday last week.

It was hoped two of them would become prospective members.

The third was the speaker, Colin Mills, a counsellor and psychotherapist from Buckinghamshire, who gave a talk entitled “Addiction, the questions you never asked”.

Mr Mills, who was born in South Africa, where he obtained his first counselling qualifications, mentioned all kinds of addiction but concentrated on drugs and alcohol.

He emphasised that some people were compelled to take drugs, regardless of the negative impact, and that the best way of weaning them off their dependency was to encourage them to interact with a wide circle of friends.

He gave an example of an experiment with rats, who chose to drink water with heroin in it unless they were allowed into a “rat park”, where they experienced all kinds of other distractions with their fellow rats. Then they were quite happy to drink pure water.

Emphasising that addictions often arose through poor parenting, Mr Mills said there was a scientific reason for addiction, citing neuroplasticity in the brain.

Describing other addictions, such as gambling, shopping, eating, being a workaholic and sex, he said that in all this behaviour, punishment did not work and counselling and rehabilitation were vital.

In Portugal, drugs had been decriminalised since 2001. The addict must be relieved of aimlessness, loneliness and emptiness.

Mr Mills concluded by stressing that “the opposite of addiction is connection”.

John Luker proposed the vote of thanks.

This week members attended a joint meeting hosted by Henley Bridge Rotary Club at Badgemore Park Golf Club to celebrate the movement’s founder, Paul Harris.

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