Saturday, June 27, 2009



Hopeful Way Foundation is also making plans to conduct a three-day consultation on Employee Assistance Programmes which are aimed at assisting employers and employees deal with problems related to alcohol, drugs and other issues. Much interest was shown in EAPs by the participants in a training conducted in April by Hopeful Way Foundation. If the training on EAPs is held, a resource person would come to Ghana to assist in the effort. We will provide more information in the coming weeks on the proposed training.


Hopeful Way Foundation is considering the possibility of conducting a training programme in August for those who want to learn more about alcoholism and drug addiction. Emphasis would be placed on becoming more familiar with the twelve-step programmes used in overcoming such addictions. The idea of doing the training came as a result of an interest in Jasikan to send some people to Accra to become more familiar with AA meetings and how they could be started in and around Jasikan. If there is sufficient interest, a training programme will be organised in Accra from 23 August to 3 September, 2009. Participants will likely stay in Hopeful Way House where Big Book study sessions will be held along with Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions study groups. Participants could come from various parts of Ghana and would be expected to pay something for the training.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Anti-Drug Day at Addictive Diseases Unit

Below is the invitation letter sent by Mr. Logosu Amegashie for a celebration at the Addictive Diseases Unit on 29 June, 2009.

Hopeful Way Foundation
Addictive Diseases Unit – Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital

23 June, 2009





Meeting in Honour of International Day Against Illicit Drugs: 29 June, 2009

Dear Sir/Madam:

In order to raise awareness regarding the Twelve-Step Programmes aimed at assisting recovering addicts, the Hopeful Way Foundation, in conjunction with the Addictive Diseases Unit of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, invites you to an awareness creation meeting from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Addictive Diseases Unit on 29 June, 2009.

The first half of the meeting will consist of an open Twelve-Step meeting, with members of AA, NA and other interested persons reflecting on how we could possibly better carry the AA/NA message in Ghana.

The second half of the meeting will consist of remarks by a panel of distinguished personalities in the field of recovery. A general discussion will be held on measures that could be taken to help overcome addiction in Ghana.


Logosu Amegashie
Addictive Diseases Unit, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital
Tel: 024-482-8891

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AA Springs up in Jasikan - Nsuta

Alcoholics Anonymous is slowly but steadily spreading into more nooks and crannies in Ghana. After being planted in Wa, Upper West, AA has been embraced in Jasikan, a town in the Volta Region, about 180 km north-east of Accra, the capital of Ghana.

Professionals and other friends of alcoholics are showing a growing interest in setting up appropriate types of support systems which could benefit Ghanaians who have gone through detoxification, medical treatment and counseling. One such friend is Father Kofi Appiah, Director of the Diocesan Formation and Counseling Centre in Jasikan. After visiting an AA meeting of the Black Star Group in Accra , Fr. Kofi invited two of its members to come to Jasikan-Nsuta to start an AA group.

Without hesitation, the Black Star Group quickly dispatched two of its long-serving, recovering alcoholics, with much experience under their sleeves, to go and share their experiences, strengths and hopes with their still suffering brothers in Jasikan District. Chris D. and Sammy A. packed bag and baggage on 28 May, 2009 and headed toward Jasikan. The journey started just a day after Sammy A. had landed in Accra after spending four days in Johannesburg , South Africa attending an AA conference.

A tiring but interesting journey took us across the acclaimed Adomi Bridge , one of the legacies of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. After enjoying mountainous greenery, we arrived in a beautiful and serene Jasikan where our host, Fr. Kofi Appiah, met us on arrival at the main lorry park. He drove us straight to the Diocesan Formation and Counseling Centre, the place purported to taste the first AA meeting held in the upper part of the Volta Region. The meeting took place the following day with nine alcoholics and two wives present.

Because it was the first AA meeting held in Jasikan-Nsuta, we divided the session it into two: an introductory, formation meeting followed by a sharing meeting. The Big Book readings were interpreted by Sammy A. into the Ewe language spoken in the Volta Region. Chris D. then took the group through some of the medical tenets of alcoholism, and described it as a disease with no known cure. A brief background of AA was given, including the experiences of Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Mention was made of the various types of AA meetings before Sammy A. painstakingly interpreted the AA Preamble, How it Works and the Promises into a down-to-earth Ewe that brought about smiles and the nodding of heads by the participants. Beginning with Sammy D., the participants then took turns sharing their experiences with alcohol. The participants were full of life and hope and immediately began to discuss among themselves about organising the next AA meeting.

An interesting development took place during the meeting. After hearing the participants share their stories, a visiting Catholic priest promptly confirmed that he was probably an alcoholic. He shared his experiences and was in full appreciation of the AA programme. He wondered why such an important and greatly needed organisation such as AA was not better known in Ghana . He promised to take steps to help establish an AA meeting in his town, and wanted assistance from us in getting started.

Fr. Kofi Appiah, who is also a counselor in alcohol and drug addiction was full of appreciation for our coming to Jasikan-Nsuta. He believed that our presence would motivate the group to start an AA meeting and to return to productive lives while enjoying “The Promises” as found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Wives at the meeting seemed to appreciate the fact that their husbands were suffering from a disease and had not chosen “to destroy themselves”. The wife of a professional teacher said that she was relieved to learn that her husband was suffering from a disease that could be arrested. She could not hide her happiness when she realized that there was still hope of bringing her husband back to sanity and sobriety. She pledged to renew her commitment and support for her husband.

It was thought that it may be useful to introduce Al-Anon to the family members of alcoholics in Jasikan.

Submitted by
Chris D.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alcoholism and the Coming Social Crisis in Ghana

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The young person staggering home, evidently drunk and struggling to avoid the gutter near the “drinking spot”, couldn’t have been older than 20. That it was a woman, well-dressed with hair beautifully coiffed, was even more shocking.
She was followed by a group of young men who taunted her. One even tried to grab her breasts, but she clumsily brushed him off, raining slurred insults on them as she zigzagged away.
From the drinking spot, her male drinking partners, seemingly weighed down by their own drunken stupor, tried to call her back but she would have none of that. She hurled some insults at them and then continued on her tortured and tortuous journey away from them.
This spectacle, which I witnessed during a recent visit to the Eastern Region, is indicative of the moral quagmire that the nation finds itself in today and the disproportionate effect that it is having on our youth, the putative future leaders of Ghana. By extension, it is also a foreshadowing of the social crisis that awaits us in the next 10 to 15 years as these young men and women become parents and heads of households wrecked by alcoholism and its associated social ills.
Already, doctors are reporting a steady rise in cases of fetal alcohol syndrome, where children are born already drunk because their mothers drank heavily during pregnancy. Such children will require a great deal of medical care, which will tax an already-overburdened and under-resourced health system. Those who do not get this care – and there will be many – would end up being at once a burden and a loss to society, from alcoholics to criminals to loafers who live off the sweat of others. They will be the architects and carpenters and masons and accounts whom we would need for national development but would not have because they were sick and uneducable.
Among men, liver diseases, often associated with alcoholism, are also reported to be on the increase. The economic and social implications – now and in the future – are many. Extended absenteeism from work by these victims of excessive alcohol consumption means loss of family income and a step towards poverty, or further into poverty.
Those unable to afford the expensive treatment for kidney diseases may eventually die, leaving behind single-parent families to fend for themselves. To the degree that single- parent families are more likely to be poor, this too undermines any national efforts at “poverty reduction”.
If these trends continue, a significant proportion of Ghanaian families in the not-too-distant future would look something like the following: An alcoholic child living with two alcoholic parents. There will be the inevitable drain on the family budget, as both father and mother spend scarce family resources on what they do best – boozing. There will be the usual loud arguments and physical fights characteristic of alcoholics, in full glare of helpless and terrified children, leading to emotional and psychological harm to these children. Where the police and other legal institutions, such as the courts and Department of Social Welfare, are involved, there would be still further drain on society’s scarce resources, depriving other sectors – such as education – of those resources.
There are no current statistics on the extent to which alcoholism may be a problem in Ghana, but the Fourth Ghana Living Standards Survey (2000) gave some indication of the nature of the problem then. We can extrapolate from that. According to the survey, 10.3% of household expenditures went into “alcohol and tobacco”, second only to “food and beverage”, which commanded 45.6%. (“Household goods, operation and services” accounted for 6.0%, with “medical care and health expenses” taking up 4.6%).
These statistics were generated long before alcohol consumption became chic among Ghana’s youth and alcohol commercials, featuring young and popular artistes and obviously aimed at the young and impressionable, became ubiquitous on our airwaves. Things are likely to have worsened since then.
InterventionSome time in 2007, after some complaints from the public about the indiscriminate promotion of alcoholism in the media, government began some half-hearted efforts at reining in alcohol advertisements. Such advertisements were not to be aired on television before 10:00 PM, but somehow the profit motive trumped the collective public interest and the alcohol lobby got its way. The variety of alcoholic products and the frequency of their advertising - any time of the day and anywhere in the country - have increased dramatically since then; they continue to expand, with producers adopting more brazen and certainly dangerous methods of marketing.
At Darkoman in Accra recently, I spotted two men on a motorcycle freely casting off small sachets of gin onto the pavements; some of the people who picked them up were children, not even teenagers. Others organize elaborate floats and distribute “free” liquor to the public, including children. What these children do or become after they have had their first taste of alcohol is anybody’s guess.
The problem is compounded by the emergence of alcohol-based concoctions that are peddled as appetizers and aphrodisiacs. The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital recently “played host” to 10 young men who had consumed some of these concoctions and were suffering from “prolonged erection”, a painful condition that may last for days, even weeks. It is likely hospitals around the country have handled such cases and continue to do so.
It is clear that as a society we are heading down a dangerous path to collective self-destruction, yet no one seems to care. We must remember that elegant statistics about “GDP” and “macroeconomic stability” by themselves mean nothing if the quality of life of our people deteriorates even as those statistics improve. There have been many examples of countries that gained the (economic) world but lost their (social) souls. Let us learn from them and act now.
There is hope yet.
Ghana News
posted by Alcoholics Anonymous UK at Sunday, November 23, 2008