Studies show that chronic drug use may develop as a way of coping with stress primarily. For example, in a St. Mary's College of California survey, stress factors were divided into six: family, individual responsibilities, social environment, financial, and work/school.

Those individuals battling addiction while also caring for a family, performing individual roles, dealing with financial troubles recorded the highest score in terms of the day-to-day level of anxiety.

Addiction may develop as a means of coping with stress, followed by the subsequent negative emotional state following prolonged substance abuse. During the initial stages, the individual uses drugs to relieve stress or anxiety and provide the user with a pleasant feeling. However, as the individual becomes addicted to a drug, it no longer offers the individual a nice feeling. Still, instead, it becomes a new habit that intensifies the individuals feeling of stress which takes a toll on their physiological, psychological and emotional state and their previous stress causes. 

Therefore, part of rehabilitation is to provide the individual with an environment where they have no responsibilities but only time to focus on themselves and heal. A big part of this process is connecting to the environment, which is in nature and away from the concrete jungles. Connection with nature provides the opportunity to get to "tune in" to oneself physiological needs, such as the circadian rhythm, nutrition and fitness, to mention a few.

Psychological and emotional supports are as necessary. The individuals get to examine themselves and their routines from a third-person perspective. The serenity allows them to think independently of their previous environment. Tiglin Men's Rehabilitation is located in the middle of the forest, thus enabling the students to have a frequent walk with their mentors and colleagues. A picturesque waterfall is only a ten-minute walk down a pine tree trail, and most new visitors get shocked by the natural beauty.

Tiglin's Women's Centre in Brittas Bay sits on top of the beach, surrounded by greenery, hills and dunes. This resource allows the students of the program to spiritually and emotionally "level up".

Carraig Eden, a transitional housing facility, is located at the seafront is overlooking the Greystones marina. Carraig Eden provides the residents with a stunning view of the Irish Sea 365 days a year.

During my last visit, one of the residents told me that he could see the mountains of Wales early that morning, which was the first time in his life that he had something else but Ireland.

For the past number of years, Tiglin has had the pleasure of teaming up with "Sailing into wellness." Their Avant guard approach and their mission of using the sea to connect with the communities have attracted our management's attention. As a result, these guys now regularly take our students sailing as part of their "sailing into wellness" initiative.

"The experiences of freedom and self-sufficiency which are gained during our voyages are an integral part of Sailing Into Wellness. On-board everyone is treated equally (skippers, group leaders, participants) and we all join in on all aspects of life at sea. Over the duration of the voyage our participants will further develop their sailing skills, be introduced to navigation and become more involved in controlling the yacht and decision making. Our voyages are a real escapism of life back on land and give our participants a tangible sense of positive physical and mental well-being. Mutual respect, building confidence and sharing positive social experiences are key outcomes from our voyages." (sailingintowellness)

At this moment, the sea and nature are synonymous with the Tiglin model of rehabilitation and their philosophy of feeling one with the world around us and that is the first step of recovery.

TIGLIN COLUMN, August 29th, 2021