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Drug & Alcohol Recovery

Offering 9 support and accountability groups to help people break free from addiction.

Illicit drug and alcohol use is a devastating problem in Uganda. Home-brewed alcohol and ‘street drugs’ are readily available and inexpensive, and many of the poorest individuals suffer from addiction. Uganda is one of the world’s highest per capita alcohol consumers in the world, with approximately 80% of the alcohol being unregulated home-brew. Substance addiction is also an increasingly significant problem.

Many substance users develop psychological disorders, and the Mental Health Ward at the main government hospital is the only option for treatment of addiction or psychiatric care. Before JENGA’s involvement, there was limited provision for counselling or prayer intervention for these conditions with a heavy reliance upon medicinal treatment. Ongoing support was also not provided.

JENGA now runs a Drug and Alcohol Recovery programme, leading support groups throughout the city of Mbale. Strategic locations beginning with the regional hospital were highlighted, and trained members alongside “lay counsellors” provide prayer and emotional support to many who enter the programme. In an area that had incredibly limited access to any kind of psychiatric care, big steps are being taken to reach these most needy of people.

George’s Story

Before joining the Drug and Alcohol support group, George would regularly drink and then beat his wife and children, locking them out of the house. He sold many possessions in the house to finance his drinking.

After joining the group and hearing the stories from other members who had had similar struggles with alcohol addiction, violent and abusive behaviour, but hearing how they are now recovering and helping their families, it gave him courage that he too could turn his life around. George decided to call his wife, apologise and change his behaviour. He has now built a house for his family, majorly reduced his drinking, is financially and emotionally supporting his children and he has not been violent or abusive since.

George is very grateful for the group, their trainings and the 12 Steps and Traditions used to realise the need for and to aid with recovery. He still attends and has even brought two friends along.

Names have been changed to protect identities