Priory Healthcare Media

In episode three, host and former England cricketer, Luke Sutton, talks to ex-professional footballer Michael Chopra.

In the second episode, host Luke Sutton speaks to cricketer Chris Wood about the gambling addiction he developed while playing professional cricket, causing disruption to his relationships, self-esteem and finances for over a decade.

A new podcast series, Sporting High and Lows, looks at how addictions and mental health challenges develop in the high-pressured world of sport.

In the first episode, our host Luke Sutton, ex-professional cricketer turned sports agent, speaks to former England international footballer Paul Walsh

A day in the life of … Pamela Roberts (BSc (Hons), DIP in Addictions Therapy, DIP in Sex addiction, PG Dip in trauma therapy, PG Dip in Group facilitation) Addictions Programme Manager at Priory Hospital Woking.

What does your role entail?

“I joined Priory in 2009 and took over as Addictions Programme Manager at The Priory Hospital Woking in 2014. My role is really varied. It includes looking after the continuous development of our treatment programme and our team of qualified and committed therapists, as well as reporting and measuring against best practice, and assessing new patient placements to ensure the best treatment and team makeup is available to them.

“I am also directly involved in patient-facing clinical work – I am passionate about this work and the wellbeing of patients. I get involved in the group therapy sessions and I also run one-to-one therapy sessions with patients that require individual support. One-to-one sessions are often done in preparation for residential treatment as well as to support those making the transition from residential treatment back into their day-to-day lives.”

As lockdown restrictions ease, a Priory expert warns of the signs that a person is drinking too much

But psychotherapist Pamela Roberts says ‘blaming’ rather than helping a partner you are concerned about is a ‘highway to nowhere’

She says lockdown and its aftermath “ is a time when alcohol can take over”

A recent survey by Opinium found that one in five people (equating to 8.6 million adults) said they had been drinking alcohol more frequently in lockdown, habits which may continue as lockdown now lifts.

An expert from The Priory has warned that the pressures of being under lockdown, and now easing out of it, has led to an increased risk of unhealthy and excessive drinking for some, as she set out the warning signs to look for.

Priory psychotherapist Pamela Roberts spoke after a poll of workers by the charity Drinkaware found that 36 per cent of furloughed workers have increased their alcohol consumption – a trend dubbed by the media as ‘furlough Merlot’ – since the UK went into lockdown, compared to a nationwide average of 24 per cent.

Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) or ‘oniomania’ is believed to affect 8-16% of the UK population

Any addiction – including shopping addiction – is a way of changing or avoiding emotions, says expert

Some people who are prone to compulsive shopping will have learned to curb impulses during lockdown, while for others, the isolation and access to online stores, apps and home delivery will have exacerbated them

‘As we start to move out of the Covid-19 lockdown, there is the potential to trip into a euphoric rush’ says Pamela Roberts

Sporting Highs and Lows

Priory healthcare’s podcast series, exploring the links between addiction, mental health and sport.

It all begins with an idea. Maybe you want to launch a business. Maybe you want to turn a hobby into something more. Or maybe you have a creative project to share with the world. Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.

The impact of mental health and addiction is as profound in the sporting world as in all walks-of-life, but often leads to the experience of those impacted being played out in public.

The pressure from fans, teammates and family, along with the pressures that highly determined and driven individuals can place upon themselves, understandably can lead to an impact on mental health, including addiction. Add to that the impact of injury, success, failure and retirement, and it’s no surprise that mental health is one of the biggest area of concern for sportspeople.

Our new podcast, ‘Sporting Highs and Lows’, will be looking into the prevalence of addiction and poor mental health across the sporting world. We’ll be speaking to a range of people from across sport, who can give their own insights into how addiction, mental health and sport can be inter-twinned.

It’s hosted by Luke Sutton, ex-professional cricketer and now a sports agent, where he sees first-hand the impact of addiction and mental health challenges on those involved in Sport. Luke also speaks from experience, having sought alcohol addiction treatment with Priory over ten years ago. Luke is joined by Priory addiction therapist Pamela Roberts.

In our first episode of ‘Sporting Highs and Lows’, we are joined by ex-footballer Paul Walsh, who played for clubs including Liverpool and Tottenham, along with representing England, prior to moving into TV work on Sky Sports.

He talks about the drinking culture within football in the 1980’s, his personal experience with alcohol addiction, and what triggered his journey into treatment.

In our second episode of ‘Sporting Highs and Lows’, we’re delighted to be joined by Chris Wood, a professional cricketer who has seen great success playing for Hampshire. Chris has been really open over recent months about his battles with gambling addiction, which he estimates may have cost him up to £200k, during a decade which had a huge impact on his life.