On Friday 22nd September Fontes Foundation welcomed Bill Bekunda – an addiction recovery coach – to the Youth Centre to talk to our Core Course students about addictions and his personal struggle with alcohol addiction. Bill is now a recovering alcoholic and helps people in the process of recovery from substance abuse and alcoholism.
Bill gave a detailed account of his life- and his struggles with alcohol addiction over a period of roughly 16 years (15- 31 years old). He was first introduced to alcohol at the tender age of 14 after giving in to class mates’ peer-pressure. Bill described the burning effect of the alcohol and how it made him happy and confident, as the alcohol overpowered his senses.
That moment was the beginning of a very long journey for Bill.
Bill explained that alcohol is a depressant and it mimics what dopamine does in the brain. Alcohol triggers the release of dopamine, which should be released naturally through natural pleasures.Once Bill was addicted to the feeling alcohol triggered, he would do anything he could to have more and feel the effects of alcohol again and again.
Through his story, Bill explained the dangers of alcohol, describing how it interrupts thinking capacity and normal bodily functions, effecting reasoning judgement and emotions. Involuntary actions such as the heartbeat, breathing and digestion are all slowed down by alcohol.
Bell Bekunda referenced statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO): 10% of the world’s population are likely to get addicted to substances because some people’s brains are structured to like alcohol. 40% of anyone who starts using alcohol under the age of 15 is likely to become an addict, 80% of those who get a problem become drug addicts, and 38% of those people go on to use crack cocaine.
Bill summarised his talk by explaining to the students that it is important to understand the dangers of alcohol and to realise that you never need alcohol. Peer pressure is dangerous not only to children, but to adults too, and alcohol can become a habit and then an addiction. If you ever use alcohol against spiritual, economic, social, physical or mental needs, it can become a danger to your wellbeing.
If you are interested in learning more about Bill Bekunda’s work with addiction recovery in Uganda, or to donate to his on-going work to achieve an #addictionfreeUG, please contact him on:
Bill Bekunda +256 (0) 782 031 223
And follow the hashtags #addictionfreeUG #StopUnderageDrinkingUganda