Virtually every Irish family has experienced addiction in one of its many forms. Some can only watch as a loved one succumbs to alcohol addiction or a health-destroying addiction to smoking.
Others face the challenges of addiction to other drugs or gambling. Some of these stories end in victory when a habit is broken and a life recovered after long, disciplined intervention and support.
However, that is the sunny side of the equation, many lives are lost and many families permanently scarred because the grip of an addiction is unbroken.
Theoretically, we should have a good grasp of what addiction is. Therefore, research that shows that 95.8% of eight to 12-year-olds feel anxiety or depressed if their home wi-fi is turned off or access to tablets or mobile phones is restricted must sound alarm bells.
This is a new front in the war for their children’s happiness and security for already stretched parents. To suggest this is a David and Goliath confrontation underestimates the challenge and intrusion into young lives. We must find an effective way to escape this tightening noose.