Alleyne “Atlicks” Louis can boast of being sober today, after spending two years in rehabilitation at Wisdom To Know, the rehab operation being run by scout master Bonti “Ace” Liverpool.
The scout building on High Street remains his home to date because the young man says “I have nowhere else to go to”.
“I don’t drink alcohol anymore, and I feel much better,” Atlicks has been telling DNO.
He says it’s over two years ago since he had a drink, and he intends staying away from the booze.
He gives the praise for his current status to Ace, the former addict who has not only turned his life around but has now made it a lifelong vocation to help drug addicts and alcoholics rehabilitate.
“He is doing a good job, although the money (is) not there,” he said of the Wisdom to Know director.
“A lot of guys pass here already, who went back on drugs, who went back on alcohol, who are still clean,” Atlicks informed our reporter while insisting that Ace was doing a good job caring for some of those society today refer to as “parro”.
“He doing everything on his own, and he need a little support,” the rehabilitated Atlicks said in making a case for the Dominica government to give some kind of support to the Wisdom To Know operation.
Another rehab client, Roy “Taggy” Clifford, also appealed for government assistance for the programme.
“Well I asking them to help us, try to help us to bring in some funds. That would be good and come and see the condition and to try to help us fix up the place,” Taggy said while looking up to the roof where holes in the galvanise were clearly evident, confirming Ace’s expressed concerns about a leaking roof that often made residing in that building uncomfortable when it rains.
About his own situation Taggy admits to not being exactly one of the success stories.
“I was there for ten months but I relapsed,” he confided frankly.
Back in May 11 (2012) he found it extremely hard to resist taking that alcoholic drink, but says he now regrets this and is trying his best to remain sober.
“I make up my mind,” he affirmed.
Taggy says the Wisdom To Know experience is a good one because Ace “is looking after us very very well”.
On Tuesday he’d been asking Ace for “back and neck” chicken, with Liverpool having to admit to him at the time that he didn’t have any and couldn’t afford to purchase some at the moment.
However by the time our reporter got to the Scouts’ headquarters where the operation is located, Taggy was confirming to DNO that Ace Liverpool had worked wonders and brought him the poultry parts he’d wanted to cook himself a meal.
At the moment there are ten clients in rehab at Wisdom to know, and Liverpool, often described as a one-man operation, says he has to turn potential clients away because of limited resources.
Those able to access the 10 month service are allowed to detoxify for the first month.
“We do not prescribe any medication. So we allow you to just rest, let the body do its thing and then clean out itself,” he explained.
That’s usually followed by a three months’ programme of Alcoholics Anonymous – a 12 step programme.
Then comes relapsed prevention that deals with coping techniques to prevent the addict from going back to the drugs or the alcohol.
The teaching of social skills takes up another three months (those skills include conflict resolution and anger management).
Recovering addicts are also exposed to “a vocational component where we teach you skills like woodwork, building construction, agriculture to get a job on the outside”.
Liverpool says his organization also tries to help those who have gone through the programme find employment.
“If you feel ready to go out to meet that challenge out there then you are allowed to. But you can always come back – aftercare is forever,” he explained.
Despite the many challenges, Bonti Ace Liverpool’s sense of humor is able to shine through:
“We have a very big staff of me alone,” he says jovially when asked how many people are involved in conducting the programme.
He clearly needs all the help he can get to make the operation even more effective than it is at the moment.
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