Saturday, 14 November 2009

No Room To Live - a Sobering Experience

It’s hard-hitting and thought provoking, poignant yet suitably sobering. Wynford Ellis Owen’s first ever English language book, No Room To Live, will be launched on St David’s Day, 1st March 2010. His successful Welsh language autobiography, Raslas Bach a Mawr, published in 2005, gave Wynford the initial idea to adapt it for an English audience. However No Room to Live has since developed to be far more than an autobiography of the popular Welsh actor’s life and his personal battle with alcoholism.

As chief executive of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs and a qualified addictions councillor, Ellis Owen has turned his experiences around and in doing so he saw the need for a self-help book with a difference. No Room to Live took shape and it will be essential reading for people and families struggling to cope with the plague of modern day society – alcoholism and dependency on drugs in its many guises.

A self-help book it may be, but given Ellis Owen’s engaging narrative style, it makes compelling reading. The narrative is based on anecdotes - some comical, some serious – influenced by the author’s own experiences. As a well-known and respected actor, Ellis Owen’s addiction to alcohol shook the foundations of Welsh society, especially for those who associated him as the eponymous hero Syr Wynff ap Concord y Bos in the ground-breaking children’s TV programme, Teliffant, of the 1970s.

No Room to Live will retail at £10, with all proceeds being donated by Ellis Owen to a new charity established by the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, called The Living Room Cardiff/Yr Ystafell Fyw Caerdydd. This brand new charitable venture aims to set up a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre in the capital to help people break the cycle of addiction. In time, the service will be extended to all major towns throughout Wales.

Ellis Owen’s success in beating his addiction and regaining his reputation in Welsh life, both on and off screen, put him in a unique position to write this self-help book.

Ellis Owen explains, “Alcoholism and dependency on drugs, both prescription and illicit, ruin lives. It’s a slippery slope into despair and despondency. You risk losing everything, your self-respect, your home, your family. I know because I’ve been there. But there is hope and I’m testament to that. My book, No Room to Live, focuses on how to regain control of life and find happiness once again.

“The road to recovery is not an easy one. It requires determination and commitment, strength and support. My book is one of many tools available to people to help them rebuild their lives. There is a range of support organisations out there too, including the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs. So while life for sufferers might seem a lonely and depressing place, there is hope and support – light at the end of that seemingly never ending tunnel.

“I’m delighted to reveal that all proceeds from my book will be donated towards setting up a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre in Cardiff. The Living Room Cardiff/Yr Ystafell Fyw Caerdydd, will offer help for anyone experiencing difficulties relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or any other dependency, such as eating disorders, love and sex addiction, gambling and self-harm. My book is intended, therefore, to help others to rebuild their lives. ”

From March 1st 2010, the publication No Room to Live will be available to purchase directly from the Council, via their website,


For further information please contact Rhodri Ellis Owen at Cambrensis Communications on 029 2025 7075 or or go to

Notes to Editors

*The Living Room Cardiff/Yr Ystafell Fyw Caerdydd, is based on the ‘Living Room’ concept operational at 8 - 10 The Glebe, Chills Way, Stevenage SG2 0DJ. A registered charity: No. 1080634, more information can be accessed at Janis Feely (its Director and Founder) will advise, act as consultant to the Cardiff venture, and be responsible for all staff training.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Nid mater o ddu a gwyn ydi mater y cyffuriau yma.

Nid mater o ddu a gwyn ydi mater y cyffuriau yma. Mae tystiolaeth “wyddonol” yn gallu awgrymu nifer o bethau sy’n wallgofrwydd llwyr i bobl sy’n ddibynnol ar y cyffuriau hyn. Er enghrafft mae “gwyddoniaeth” yn awgrymu y gall pobl, sy’n gaeth i alcohol, yfed yn ddiogel eto. Gwallgofrwydd llwyr yw hynny, wrth gwrs, gan i bawb dwi’n adnabod sydd wedi gwneud hynny farw o ganlyniad. Ond nid yw’r enghreifftiau unigol hyn yn cyfri yn null gwyddoniaeth o nodi ystadegau.

Yr un peth parthed bod dibynniaeth yn ‘progressive, hynny yw ei fod yn gwaethygu o flwyddyn i flwyddyn, byth yn gwella. Yn ol tystiolaeth “wyddonol” myth yw hynny eto. Mewn gwirionedd, sut bynnag, dyna sy’n digwydd – mae problemau dibyniaeth yn gwaethygu byth yn gwella. Edrychwch ar y dystiolaeth mewn bywydau pobl sy’n gaeth. Ond dyw’r dystiolaeth hynny, chwaith, ddim yn cyfri.

Fel dywedais, mae angen trin y “dystiolaeth” wyddonol yn ofalus iawn. Yn anffodus, roedd cyngor David Nutt yn dueddol o gefnogi un dehongliad yn unig – dehongliad, o fynd ag ef i’w eithaf, fyddai wedi arwain at gyfreithloni cyffuriau yn y man.

Hynny, yn fy marn i, sydd wedi profi'n anathema i’r gweinidog ac i’w lywodraeth. A dyna, dwi’n awgrymu, sydd y tu cefn i ddiswyddiad yr Athro David Nutt. Dadl o blaid ac yn erbyn cyfreithloni cyffuriau ydyw yn ei hanfod. Ac mae honno'n ddadl y dylid ei chynnal yn gyhoeddus.

Wynford Ellis Owen