Addiction: Exploring Causes, Consequences and Paths to Recovery with Dr. Colin O’Gara

Content warning: this episode covers the topic of addiction. If you need resources or support, talk to your GP or a relevant health practitioner.

Dr Colin O’Gara is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Associate Professor at University College Dublin. He is a graduate of University College Cork medical school (1999) and has postgraduate qualifications from the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB, UK) in General Adult Psychiatry and Substance Misuse Psychiatry. He trained within the NHS Maudsley Hospital rotational schemes at registrar and specialist registrar levels (2000-2006), attaining membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2003. 

During this time he also researched addiction genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He was awarded a PhD from King’s College London in 2010. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist and head of addiction services at Saint John of God Hospital since 2007, leading clinical activities, service development, research and teaching programmes in addiction. 

During this time, he has worked with a wide range of talented multidisciplinary clinical and management colleagues, building holistic non-confrontational detoxification and rehabilitation services. His recent academic and service development work has been featured in international journals and medical publications.


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02:46 How has addiction become so accepted in society?

06:33 Do addicts get easily addicted to other addictions?

11:19 The relationship between personality types and addiction

14:26 The legacy of Covid-19 on addiction rates

21:23 How can policymakers strike the balance between freedom of entertainment and rising addiction rates?

25:33 Cultural views on alcohol versus gambling

27:59 Advice to parents whose children are entering the phase of experimenting as teenagers

36:17 Sports supplements with teenagers

42:15 Sports used as a coping mechanism

45:23 The neuroscience of addiction

51:00 Some of the key factors that contribute to successful recovery

59:54 The impact of well-known and public figures be open about their own addictions

01:04:23 What the future looks like for treatment and prevention

01:10:17 How Colin keeps a healthy separation between work and personal life

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