Friday, 30 August 2013

My Alcohol Addiction, The NHS & Rehab Clinics

So through losing a good few years, friends and jobs through addiction to mainly alcohol but basically anything I can abuse I have searched relentlessly for a "cure". This search has led me down many paths. Substituting weed for alcohol, cocaine for speed..... the list goes on. None of these methods were too successful. I also read a few books on becoming a successful drinker or lowering your drinking with various strategies. None of these seemed to work!

I bounced around the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK for a few years. I first went to see a doctor after throwing up blood from drinking up to 2 bottles of vodka a day while holding down a full time job. The Doctor advised me to stop eating spicy food, avoid tomatoes and stop drinking. Sound advice if unicorns were real. I returned to the same doctor a few weeks later with a serious gastric infection, surprisingly he did not link this to my drinking. Eventually after a few more drink related illnesses I was advised to keep a drink diary and meet with a member of the Alcohol action team once every 2 weeks. This again was a fruitless attempt to stop a deadly and progressive obsession with alcohol.

Over the space of the next few years I ended up with a list of drink related criminal offences including a banning order from every football ground in Europe, assault on a police officer and various other minor public order offences. Although when I was younger I suspected I may have had a drinking problem I always thought it was the result of circumstance and if I got a new car, house or girlfriend things would improve. Eventually after missing work a few to many Mondays in a row I decided to check into a rehab clinic in the UK. This was Affinity Lodge, a non CQC registered holistic programme that told me the science behind drinking, let me sit on a magic vibrating chair and ultimately gave me no idea how to remain abstinent from drinking. I relapsed within maybe a month of leaving this two week treatment and as far as I am aware everyone I met there also relapsed within a short period of time. I specifically remember being told that AA (alcoholics anonymous) was a cult at this “clinic”. Remarkably someone died while in care at this centre and it subsequently closed down shortly after.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Alistair Overeem - UFC's biggest flop

So this last weekend saw UFC on Fox Sports 1. A big event that delivered on every level. Overeem the former K1 & Strikeforce heavyweight champion looked to redeem himself after being knocked out by Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His opponent, Travis "Hapa" Browne was also coming off a knockout loss to Bigfoot Silva. Overeem was a huge favourite going into both of these fights and that prediction was not to far off with the dominance he brings at the start of a fight.

Horse Meat? Failed steroid test!
Against Browne he started viciously with huge knees, I personally thought the fight was going to be stopped as Browne absorbed some huge shots. Browne himself said his body was actually shutting down from the power of the shots.

Then the tide turned..... Browne started throwing a front kick to the head repetitively. Again and again he threw this kick as Overeem seemed to slow and plod forward heavy on his feet. Eventually boom the Reem hit the deck and took a couple of hammer fists before the fight was waved off in round 1.

So many questions about the Reem at the moment! Where now? He was truly dominant in both of these losses but his stock in the UFC has plummeted! The UFC wont cut him but with another loss I see him going. Roy "Big Country" Nelson has been touted as his next opponent on some forums. I see no other great option unless the feed him Kongo.

A fight between him and Nelson would be intriguing. Could he be the first to stop Big Country in the Octagon? Or would he simply become another victim of the overhand right? One thing is sure he cannot take as much punishment as allot of the other heavyweights. His jaw was susceptible in Pride when he fought at middleweight. Lets see what the UFC has lined up for one of their biggest flops.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Gauteng – Gangsters Paradise. Drugs, Addiction & Crime

Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa that is situated in the heart of Highveld. The Highveld constitutes part of the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, and all of Gauteng and northern Free State provinces. Among all the provinces Gauteng has the notorious record of being called the gangster’s paradise. This name was taken from the GP that is put on car registration plates in Gauteng. The residents of Gauteng, themselves, gave this name which reveals the amount of fear that they live in. It is one of the most violent places in South Africa. 

Nyaope Addiction
Nyaope Addiction Fuels Crime Amongst Youth
Of the entire crimes that occur in South Africa 50 percent occur in Gauteng province. The gangsters have a free reign over the entire place. The entire Gauteng province has been divided into 138 policing areas. Among all these areas Magaliesburg, Fairland, Hekpoort, Rosebank and Tarlton reported the lowest crimes last year. The murder rate of South Africa is five times higher than the world average rate of murders. The majority contribution is from Gauteng province.

This fear is evident in the streets. Once you roam around the city you will find high walls constructed around homes, fences around the shops and shopping complexes and so on. This picture of the city itself is a reminder of how much fear the residents have in their minds. 

If we take the entire crime record statistic of South Africa, Gauteng is the majority contributor. It is one among the most violent and unsafe places. Armed robberies take place in broad daylight. People are being exterminated for no reason. The criminals move freely in the province. It is the criminals that are ruling the state and other law enforcement agencies seem to be powerless to take action against them. The common people over there are not feeling safe to live. 

In Gauteng, along with a high crime rate there is this problem of drug and alcohol abuse. Gauteng also has another dubious name called the drug capital. All kinds of drugs are easily available in the streets. This makes the younger generation extremely vulnerable to such habits. Children as young as ten years of age get hooked into such habits. It is really a vicious cycle where once you get into it, you will find it difficult to come out.

The place has also seen gang violence. The gang violence sometimes erupts between various drug cartels. Each gang fights with another to make the street come under their drug syndicate. This causes unnecessary violence in the streets. Street violence and armed robbery are on the rise. 

All kinds of drugs are available in Gauteng streets. Mandrax, Crystal Meth (tik), Woonga (Nyaope) are available at very cheap rates. People who are really addicted to it will pay any amount to get their dose. Three out of ten secondary school students in Gauteng use drugs. Cannabis is popular among school students. Many use it for recreational purposes, some use it for boosting their performances during exams.

Those who are in the spell of drug addiction say they go into a higher state after the consumption of the substance.If they do not have money with them then they resort to crime to get money. They steal from people, threaten others, and in some cases kill other people for money and drugs.Drug cartels operate in the most secretive way and the drug mules are trained to conceal drugs in the most innovative ways.

Rehab Clinics South Africa
Rehab Clinics offer hope
Along with drugs the alcohol abuse is also rampant in the province. Gauteng has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Africa. The administration has started taking enough measures to curb the menace of alcohol. A lot of crimes occur when you are drunk as there won’t be any control on your actions. Many kids have got fetal alcohol syndrome because their mothers were heavy drinkers. In a survey among school students of Gauteng, two thirds of the students agreed that alcohol consumption in youth is becoming more socially acceptable and tolerated. Around 8 in 10 students agreed that they consume alcohol. Education is the principal means of preventing alcohol and drug abuse among youth. Educators should be trained to identify stress related symptoms and how to deal with it. Drug and alcohol prevention in schools need to be adaptable and innovative methods of prevention must be put to practice.

Alcohol and drugs boost the majority of the crimes in the society. The police have incorporated various measures to prevent such crimes in Gauteng. The first step is to be tough on drinking and driving. The police have also short listed the areas prone to alcohol and drug abuse and to make sure that the police stations there are accessible to the citizens for reporting crime. But a main reason that hampers such activities is the street protests the police have to face. The Gauteng province last year was witness to at least 650 protests of which 40 had been violent. So at such times the police will have to move their resources to protest sites which hamper other investigations of crime and drugs.   

Before pointing fingers at others we must ask ourselves on where as a society did we go wrong. To fight against drugs societies should start speaking out.  The society should stand up and expose those who are selling drugs and ruining the younger generation. The persons who are providing safe houses to the youth where they go and smoke need to be punished severely. Many young girls even go to the extend of selling their bodies for drugs.

The crime on the streets of Gauteng is increasing. There are a plenty of laws to deal with the rising crime, but it is the administering of laws that we need to look into and tweak. There are also allegations that the police are also involved in aiding and abetting crime especially with drug dealers. It is something that needs to be taken very seriously. But the onus first lies on the society itself on not to get into alcohol and drug addiction which is the root cause of majority crimes.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

UFC 163 - A Viewings Flop?

UFC 163 happens tonight in Rio, Brazil & features a featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo & The Korean Zombie. A $50 PPV event in the US and a new venture of BT Sports in the UK. How many people will splash money for the PPV or a new subscription in the UK is unknown but the card has been criticised on message boards as being particularly light on star power or meaningful bouts.

Aldo - Korean Zombie
An intriguing bout but one in which Aldo is expected to take with ease. The Korean Zombie is suprising and it seems at time unstoppable. Aldo on the other hand is a machine who tears through opposition. I don't see the Korean Zombie having much chance of walking into Aldo's kicks or punches all night and lean towards the champion for a stoppage victory. Aldo by clinical masterclass and TKO round 3.

UFC on BT Sport in UK
Lyoto Machida - Phil Davis
This fight has potential title implications for Machida and will throw Davis right into the mix with a win. Davis will not stand a chance on his feet against the Dragon and needs to get this to the ground pretty quickly. I think this is too much of a step up for Davis at this point. I see Machida stuffing the take downs and brutally KO'ing Davis in the 2nd.

Cezar Ferreira - Thiago Santos
I don't really know enough about these fighters as I never watched the Ultimatete Fighter Brazil. I am hugely confused why this is on the main portion off a PPV card when Ian McCall is on the prelims? I'm guessing its for the Brazilian fans. Anyway from what I do know about the two I would say Ferreira is the better all round fighter. I see him softening Santos up for two rounds before stopping him late in the 3rd with the overhand left. TKO / KO round 3 fr Ferreira.

Thales Leites - Tom Watson
Now I am a big Watson fan being British but I honestly feel he is going to come up short here. Leites experience wise has been in with the far better fighters and holds wins of Nate Marquadt & Jeremy Horn. Leites also took former middleweight champion and p4p great Anderson Silva 5 rounds in his quest to capture the UFC middleweight title. I see this potentially being fight of the night but feel Watson will lose a close decision. I see Watson gassing mid fight and losing a unanimous decision.

Me & Anthony Perosh
Vinny Magalhaes - Anthony Perosh
This fight I feel will be when Perosh receives his walking papers. An awful match up for him in my opinion. I feel Magalhaes can take this fight however he chooses. Second round submission for Magalhaes.

Ian McCall - Iliarde Santos
I am shocked where Uncle Creepy has been placed on this card. One of the more entertaining fighters in the UFC and in my opinion the only person to beat Mighty Mouse recently. I see McCall taking this fight with ease. Nice easy Unanimous Decision or late submission.

Overall the card is good if your a hardcore fan. For me I would never me any UFC event regardless of price but that's me. I have a feeling viewing figures worldwide will be low for this in comparison to recent PPV events. I shall be watching reluctantly on BT Sport.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tito Ortiz - Quinton Rampage Jackson - Bellator PPV November 2?

I started to see news of this announced fight bouncing around the Internet late last night and was not all too surprised it has been booked. I am shocked Bellator have opted to screen this on PPV though.

Tito has recently stated he needs to return to the cage due to money problems. These problems are all linked to Tito's colourful love life and failed relationship with porn star Jenna Jameson. The ex Huntington Beach bad boy & now "Peoples Champion" has had a pretty in fact very poor showing in the cage over the last few years. After beating Ken Shamrock back in 2006 he has been on a downward spiral besides beating Ryan Bader in an upset of the year performance in 2011. Since beating Bader he has lost to Rashad Evans, Lil Nog & Forrest Griffin. Tito does not belong in the UFC anymore that's for sure and Dana White has been vocal about Tito never fighting in UFC again.

An then we have Rampage - a pioneer of the sport from the Pride era and aggressive brawler with great take down defence. Rampage has been painful to watch over the last few years. Many argue that his heart is no longer in fighting after starring in a movie. Rampage seemed set to face Roy Jones Jr in a boxing match before his fight with Tito was announced. The man who unified the Pride & UFC light heavyweight titles is currently on a 3 fight losing streak including a failed title big against Jon Bones Jones. Rampage left the UFC of his own accord and doesn't seem to have the money problems Tito is suffering.

I have seen allot of negative stuff posted about both of these fighters recently regarding this fight. I totally understand the negativity when it comes to it being a PPV event but some of the criticism of these two I feel is uncalled for and from fans who clearly have no idea what these two fighters did for the sport. People seem to forget that Jon Bones Jones has only just matched Tito's record of 5 title defences at Light Heavy Weight. Tito brought so much interest to the sport with all his trash talking and actions towards the Lions Den & the Shamrocks personally. Tito is also a UFC hall of famer and rightly so. He was incredibly dominant in his prime!

Rampage made slamming people unconscious cool back in his pride days. One of the most aggressive and brutal fighters in his day Rampage has put it all on the line for years. It seems to me he has lost a fair bit of interest in fighting. Either that or something is going wrong in his fight camps as he always looks gassed after the first round. Maybe Rampage just didn't evolve with MMA? Either way to unify the UFC and pride titles is not an easy accomplishment and hats should be taken off for that alone.

Me personally I wont be paying to watch this fight but I will be interested in the result and viewing figures. I do feel Bellator have dropped the ball in putting this on PPV and I imagine Dana is laughing smugly at that choice. If this was on free to air TV I honestly believe the viewing numbers could have been tremendous and a great platform for Bellator to work off.