Relaymedia

Alcohol-Rehab Groups Pop-Up in Mongolia

( [email protected] ) Aug 30, 2007 11:27 AM EDT
An alcoholic-rehab organization reported success with its help-groups set up in churches throughout Mongolia, where a recent UN report estimated that 13 per cent of its total population is addicted to alcohol.
Worship at a recovery group meeting in Mongolia. A recent UN report estimated that 13 per cent of Mongolia's total population is addicted to alcohol. ISAAC

An alcoholic-rehab organization reported success with its help-groups set up in church esthroughout Mongolia, where a recent UN report estimated that 13 per cent of its total population is addicted to alcohol.

“I was amazed to see the difference in the recovery groups on my latest visit to Mongolia,” says Treflyn Lloyd-Roberts, a member of the International Substance Abuse and Addiction Coalition (ISAAC)on Wednesday.

“When I first visited there were only eight churches involved; now there are 14.”

The program is made up of peer-support groups that uses Mongolian-contextualized material from “Celebrate Recovery,” which was originally printed from Saddleback Church based in the United States.

Despite successes with church-based help groups, ISAAC plans to start its own residential rehabilitation center next year, which would allow alcoholics to stay with the rehab-team until recovery.

Dreams for starting the center began last year when an anonymous ISAAC team member – a former alcoholic himself – wanted to build a center specifically for rehabilitating alcoholics in Mongolia.

ISAAC reported that they brought the unnamed individual to its home-base in the United Kingdom for training and briefing.

“This work is becoming more and more a ministry of the local churches rather than an idea from outside,” Lloyd-Roberts added.

“God is clearly working in Mongolia through these groups."

Since 2003, the U.K.-based organization had already started 12 similar centers in the Ural-region of Russia.

It also operates an accredited Addiction Studies course in Egypt, Russia and Ukraine –

so far boasting 50 graduates from 19 countries.

The training enables grassroots member to have more credibility as alcohol-rehab workers in their respective countries, according to an ISAAC press release.

The organization hopes to extend its network to 2,500 contacts and 400 members in 55 countries. ISAAC also plans to start additional support networks in Ukraine, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Zambia, Kenya and Australia.