Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview with Reagen Allen in local news paper

LIVING in a household where drug abuse is prevalent can have destructive repercussions on those who do not succumb to the force of drug abuse.

Drug abuse is known to corrode family relationships; said Reagen Allen 24, who now works as a debt counsellor/paralegal, a company he formed with a partner

It creates a situation of hopelessness and family members often feel helpless, desperate and totally out of control when those close to them abuse drugs. A stable family life, Reagen pointed out, is something that communities should uphold and anything that militates against this, including drug abuse is not good and therefore needs to be redressed.

Reagen Allen grew up in a community where, statistics revealed, some of the highest drug related cases in the whole of Cape Town. He himself having a father and older brother addicted to drugs and participating in it together, which is not a normal family tradition, has affected his mother greatly to the point that she had to be hospitalised a month before he wrote his final matric exams. Reagen started to bunk school as a result of his home circumstances. He grew despondent about life and at the age of 18 started using drugs. After two years, being addicted to drugs, he realised that his life was not heading towards a positive outcome. A concerned neighbour consulted a counsellor to address Reagen regarding his drug addiction. Reagen said that he saw the reality of drug addiction as a serious dilemma in communities. The situation needed to be addressed in order to stop the escalating number of teenagers experimenting with drugs.

Matriculating from high school with exemption, touring Sweden to partake in an international youth soccer tournament, did not deter or give him any hope for the future. When posed with the question of wanting to give up drugs, Reagen in 2005 voluntarily said yes to the help and assistance provided by Impact Direct Ministries, an organization that was started in 2001.

It soon become clear, however, that the problem was prevalent enough to warrant the establishment of a team focused on helping drug addicts gain control of their lives. Reagen formed part of this group, called the “ The Impact Team” , himself being an introvert in every sense of the word, really had to come to the fore as this team where involved in various activities raging from life skills to spiritual and moral awakening in schools and communities, which called on him to talk in school assemblies.

Pastor Roger Petersen, the Director of Impact Direct Ministries, according to Reagen, played a major role in nurturing, developing and guiding him towards higher heights. Reagen said, he could not see himself as becoming somebody in life and really had to just listen to Pastor Roger, without trying to understand and figure out when and how his life would plan out.

Currently completing his second year as a law student, holds a Para-legal diploma and is also the youngest registered debt counsellor in South Africa, Reagen can softly smile and have a look in his eyes that echoes confidence, determination and courage to succeed in life and more importantly to take along with him as many other teenagers trapped in drug abuse.

The Impact Team’s work has different focus areas. Firstly, there is a role in the preventative program, always a fundamental aspect as this addresses the person before he/she experiments with drugs by informing those at risk of the implications and dangers of drugs.

The second area is training, aside from facilitating training, the Impact Team also receives training to better equip themselves with the necessary skills to counsel and direct other young people.

Other aspects involve discipleship and they strongly teach that God is a multi-generational God, and in discipleship this can be fulfilled where fathers and sons can walk together in unity towards a common goal instead of a father and son smoking drugs together and thus affecting the whole family, which leads to the detriment of communities, cities and countries.

Reagen started a Debt Counselling Company with a partner to assist over-indebted consumers by restructuring all their debt obligations.

There is HOPE!!!

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