Substance Addiction help for Montserrat

Alcohol and Drug abuse and addiction spotlighted in Montserrat

By Bennette Roach

Julian Romeo takes no credit from the fact that he is the younger brother to Premier Donaldson Romeo in the work he has done from an initiative he took three years ago to get help for at least, then, one person in Montserrat to get help via a scholarship at Cross Roads in Antigua.

Romeo says that the person never accessed the scholarship, but when a friend ‘Brooks’ died several weeks ago that pushed him into further action.

It was from that initiative of three years ago that he opened up the matter with a new understanding of the problem of persons in need of the assistance to access help that can turn their lives around.

Dr. Jean Michelle Dubois Director of Admissions at Crossroads told a disappointingly small gathering at the St. Patrick’s Credit Union conference hall on the evening of June 1, 2017, “…we’re looking at family members, professionals, church leaders, church attendees anyone who’s interested and may have any questions around addiction, this is an opportunity for us to let persons know – that with addiction if a person wants change and they’re tired of living this life then there is also resource for them at our facilities -and we can provide some assistance in getting them into treatment.”

Romeo spoke about his three-year initiative and contact with Crossroads. He explained:   “I called Crossroads concerning a well known Montserratian who I thought had been abusing substances and needed help…person was my good and a dear person I looked up to for all my life, my good friend. Got a scholarship for him to go to Crossroads, but hear what the difficulty was. None of his friends could convince him to go…”

He continues:  “I couldn’t because I didn’t know him well enough to say well sit down with him and say boy listen to me… It had to be somebody that knew him, so that went to absolutely nothing. So when Brooks died the other day and I spoke around his grave site, I said listen to me, we have a responsibility and I realized that lots of us have spoken to him or really somehow we couldn’t reach him, because somehow there’s an expertise that we’re lacking, something we’re lacking to be able to reach people in that situation…,” adding that other people spoke similarly at the burial.

Romeo said that he later spoke to others, “who spoke after me at the funeral and alluded to some of the things that I said… So the next day, I said to myself, you cannot let this Brooks thing die. You have to go further – because there are people in Montserrat who need help and it’s a shame to see a good friend of yours die because he couldn’t get help.”

Having made the contact and the eager agreement of the Crossroad team to come to Montserrat, following a brief initial visit where Dr. Dubois met with a core group of people, Romeo a long-standing member of the Rotary Club passed the initiative to them and the Ministry of Education, Health and Social Services. The visit resulted in this recent visit for which the meeting was held at the SPCCU conference centre.

Dr. Dubois on her return with Richie Richards, a member of the support team at Cross Roads, confirmed her previous visit, where, “the group realized that it was important to educate the public to sensitise the public because there’s significant segment discrimination around addiction, and this was an important component to let persons know and understand what addiction entails…”

At the meeting where they discussed Montserrat’s apparently growing substance abuse problem, both Dr. Dubois and Richards gave an interactive video presentation though brief in the circumstances which lasted for over two hours, on addiction; how it works and how Cross Roads helps its clients.

Romeo on introducing the problem in Montserrat to Cross Roads recalled that the facility is sponsored by a name well known in Montserrat from the days in the 80s of Air Studios, where the world renowned artist and British music legend Eric Clapton created his music, along with other artists such as Stevie Wonder.

Out of the Romeo and Rotary initiative, the visits and the discussions, Dr. Dubois left making the commitment. “We are partnering with the Ministry of Health here in Montserrat and they will be facilitating us in the weeks and months and even years ahead, in not only screening and identifying persons who may need help, but also being that source where we are partnering back and forth on the needs of that individual, whether they are at our facility or here in Montserrat,” she said.

“We are looking at the possibility of setting up AA/NA (Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotic Anonymous) communities here for the ongoing support of persons in recovery,” she continued.

The admissions director said that this is just the first initial stage in that partnership, “where we are sensitising the community along with the Ministry of Health on addiction”.

The outcome of this she said, is that there are discussions on, “some screen courses that’s done here on Montserrat and we will work with that person and provide one full scholarship a month…We’re also hoping  that we will get you enough persons in the recovery community who is willing to begin a working on AA/NA groups because that is a key factor for recovery for us…”

After describing a little more detail on the AA/NA community support, she concluded, “…Cross Roads starts initially at 30 days of residential treatment and a transitional facility is for 6 months…We are offering persons a full Scholarship for the thirty day residential program, for our program. It’s US$28,500 and all of that will be taken care of by Eric Clapton for one Montserratian a month.”

 

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Alcohol and Drug abuse and addiction spotlighted in Montserrat

By Bennette Roach

Julian Romeo takes no credit from the fact that he is the younger brother to Premier Donaldson Romeo in the work he has done from an initiative he took three years ago to get help for at least, then, one person in Montserrat to get help via a scholarship at Cross Roads in Antigua.

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Romeo says that the person never accessed the scholarship, but when a friend ‘Brooks’ died several weeks ago that pushed him into further action.

It was from that initiative of three years ago that he opened up the matter with a new understanding of the problem of persons in need of the assistance to access help that can turn their lives around.

Dr. Jean Michelle Dubois Director of Admissions at Crossroads told a disappointingly small gathering at the St. Patrick’s Credit Union conference hall on the evening of June 1, 2017, “…we’re looking at family members, professionals, church leaders, church attendees anyone who’s interested and may have any questions around addiction, this is an opportunity for us to let persons know – that with addiction if a person wants change and they’re tired of living this life then there is also resource for them at our facilities -and we can provide some assistance in getting them into treatment.”

Romeo spoke about his three-year initiative and contact with Crossroads. He explained:   “I called Crossroads concerning a well known Montserratian who I thought had been abusing substances and needed help…person was my good and a dear person I looked up to for all my life, my good friend. Got a scholarship for him to go to Crossroads, but hear what the difficulty was. None of his friends could convince him to go…”

He continues:  “I couldn’t because I didn’t know him well enough to say well sit down with him and say boy listen to me… It had to be somebody that knew him, so that went to absolutely nothing. So when Brooks died the other day and I spoke around his grave site, I said listen to me, we have a responsibility and I realized that lots of us have spoken to him or really somehow we couldn’t reach him, because somehow there’s an expertise that we’re lacking, something we’re lacking to be able to reach people in that situation…,” adding that other people spoke similarly at the burial.

Romeo said that he later spoke to others, “who spoke after me at the funeral and alluded to some of the things that I said… So the next day, I said to myself, you cannot let this Brooks thing die. You have to go further – because there are people in Montserrat who need help and it’s a shame to see a good friend of yours die because he couldn’t get help.”

Having made the contact and the eager agreement of the Crossroad team to come to Montserrat, following a brief initial visit where Dr. Dubois met with a core group of people, Romeo a long-standing member of the Rotary Club passed the initiative to them and the Ministry of Education, Health and Social Services. The visit resulted in this recent visit for which the meeting was held at the SPCCU conference centre.

Dr. Dubois on her return with Richie Richards, a member of the support team at Cross Roads, confirmed her previous visit, where, “the group realized that it was important to educate the public to sensitise the public because there’s significant segment discrimination around addiction, and this was an important component to let persons know and understand what addiction entails…”

At the meeting where they discussed Montserrat’s apparently growing substance abuse problem, both Dr. Dubois and Richards gave an interactive video presentation though brief in the circumstances which lasted for over two hours, on addiction; how it works and how Cross Roads helps its clients.

Romeo on introducing the problem in Montserrat to Cross Roads recalled that the facility is sponsored by a name well known in Montserrat from the days in the 80s of Air Studios, where the world renowned artist and British music legend Eric Clapton created his music, along with other artists such as Stevie Wonder.

Out of the Romeo and Rotary initiative, the visits and the discussions, Dr. Dubois left making the commitment. “We are partnering with the Ministry of Health here in Montserrat and they will be facilitating us in the weeks and months and even years ahead, in not only screening and identifying persons who may need help, but also being that source where we are partnering back and forth on the needs of that individual, whether they are at our facility or here in Montserrat,” she said.

“We are looking at the possibility of setting up AA/NA (Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotic Anonymous) communities here for the ongoing support of persons in recovery,” she continued.

The admissions director said that this is just the first initial stage in that partnership, “where we are sensitising the community along with the Ministry of Health on addiction”.

The outcome of this she said, is that there are discussions on, “some screen courses that’s done here on Montserrat and we will work with that person and provide one full scholarship a month…We’re also hoping  that we will get you enough persons in the recovery community who is willing to begin a working on AA/NA groups because that is a key factor for recovery for us…”

After describing a little more detail on the AA/NA community support, she concluded, “…Cross Roads starts initially at 30 days of residential treatment and a transitional facility is for 6 months…We are offering persons a full Scholarship for the thirty day residential program, for our program. It’s US$28,500 and all of that will be taken care of by Eric Clapton for one Montserratian a month.”