Alice McLoughlin - Yes to Health! No to Drugs!

Yes to Health! No to Drugs! by Alice McLoughlin

Yes to Health! No to Drugs! is the title of Alice McLoughlin’s latest publication aimed at children in the 10-13 year age bracket. This colourful, attractive, and highly readable book informs about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in sensible, clear, and direct language. It also sets out to inspire children to choose positive activities and celebrate their individuality. Yes to Health! No to Drugs! is beautifully illustrated with eye-catching, vibrant art work by the Wexford based artist, Mirona Mara.

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Alice, a psychotherapist in private practice in Curracloe, felt that while there was a great deal of literature available for teenagers, warning them about the perils of drug and alcohol abuse, there was a serious gap in the market for such material for primary school children. Who more qualified to fill that gap than a counsellor with life-long experience in helping people overcome all sorts of problems, including addiction? Alice, a native of south Kilkenny, spent 11 years working directly in addiction treatment in the Aiseiri centres in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, and in Wexford.

It was, however, her experience of going to St. Joseph’s primary school, New Ross on a yearly basis over the last twenty years to speak with 6th class about the harm caused by drug and alcohol misuse that convinced her of the need for a children’s book, which could reach a wider audience. Each year the Parents Council of St. Joseph’s Primary School (now part of Edmund Rice Senior School) provided funding to bring Alice to the school, and she saw that the programme she put together for that school was relevant to every primary school student in every school in Ireland. She decided that a child-friendly book could also convey the message, and she set about writing and publishing a book that will be invaluable to all involved in the care of young children. Teachers, parents, youth club leaders, scout and girl guide leaders, and counsellors will all find this book very helpful to their work. Even more importantly, children will find in Yes to Health! No to Drugs! a book that speaks their language.

While Yes to Health! No to Drugs! outlines in clear and unambiguous terms the danger, often catastrophic and terminal, inherent in drug and alcohol misuse, it also sends out a really positive message to youngsters, urging them to embrace all that is wonderful and endlessly hopeful about being young. The writer’s real concern and desire to inspire children is everywhere evident. Make healthy choices, she enthuses, express your uniqueness in creative and positive ways, embrace the joyful, affirming possibilities that life offers in abundance. Avoid drugs and alcohol that often lead to poor school performance, great personal unhappiness, and dangerous behaviours with horrible consequences. Choose instead all that brings true happiness and sets your life on the path to a bright and healthy future.