Roy V. Tellis
Addictionologist - Founder & CEO
ICADC, CTC, RC (USA)
A Mumbaikar by birth, I have returned to India to introduce Alcohol and Addiction Recovery to my motherland, after living and working in New York since 1996 as an Alcoholism and Addiction Counselor and Director of 3 rehab centers there.
I had my first drink out of curiosity in Dec. 1977, the day after Std. 10. Tasted disgusting – but felt wonderful. I joined College in 1978, where I turned to alcohol and other drugs to help me ‘feel better’! I did not ‘feel better’ and dropped out of college to variously work in the Travel Industry and in Bollywood as a Production Manager. The reality was that I was fighting a lonely and secret battle with Alcoholism. I quickly proceeded from the “occasional” to the “regular” to the “habitual” to the “daily” and finally “hard” drinker stage and as the direct result of alcohol I went through 4 jobs, 2 careers, a failed business, a broken engagement, two other disastrous relationships, an enlarged liver at age 26, a motorcycle accident (in Goa) that almost left me for dead. Flat on my back for the next three months, I indulged in round-the-clock drinking. I decided to end it all on 16 Feb. 1990 and climbed on to my balcony to jump. The phone rang; it was a girlfriend and she took me to a 12 step meeting the next day at the Bhatia hospital.
Finally, that day in 1990 I learned that Alcoholism and Addiction was a disease. According to W.H.O. (since 1955), “Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. It is progressive and fatal, characterized by continuous or periodic impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.”
Wow!!! In plain English it means that I drank too much, more than I intended to, couldn’t stop or control quantities, caused problems to many when drinking and kept thinking about drinking when I was sober … and DIDN’T THINK I HAD A PROBLEM!!!
Suffice it to say that the 12 step process worked and I have been sober (and hopefully humbler), since 22 Apr. 1990.
In 1993 when I was shooting for a project for UNICEF I found my calling in life. Moved by the ravages of alcoholism in the country, I decided to make a difference. After carefully considering all the events and experiences of my life, I discovered that I wanted to enter the field of Substance Abuse as a Professional Counselor. As India does not have any schools for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling, I moved to the USA in 1996 and became an Internationally Certified Alcohol Drug and Gambling Therapist.
According to W.H.O./TOI surveys, there were over 5 crore alcoholics in India, in 2017, I made a decision to bring my 22 years of experience home and to fulfill 3 goals:
1. Establish wellness services for addicted people and general public who suffer from stress and emotional dissonance.
2. Establish Indian language centers using the same format.
3. Establish a school to train counselors to international standards.
Happy to report that since July 2017 we have had 22 recovery cycles and have touched the lives of over 100 people in a positive manner. Hope you will join me and help achieve the dream.