Kayla F. Testimonial

Transcript:

Education Director Denise Achee: Welcome! Come in. So, today’s your last day?

Kayla F: Yeah.

DA: So tell me, what brought you to Inspirations [teen rehab]?

KF: My life was very unmanageable and like I just didn’t know like what to do and I know I needed help, but I just at that point, going anywhere would have been better than where I was.

DA: Were you using? Are you here because you were using substances? Or was it behavioral, or both because they kind of go hand-in-hand?

KF: Yeah.  Well like my drug of choice is like molly and alcohol and like I’m here for codependency so I guess yeah behavioral problems.

DA: Did you have an intervention when you came or did you come willingly?

KF: Well it was kind of confusing because I knew I was coming to rehab I just didn’t know that I had to stay like, it wasn’t my choice if I wanted to stay or not so when I came I did have an intervention that I had to stay.

DA: Okay. How did that feel? Was that a little upsetting?

KF: Yeah and like I had to say goodbye to my parents for like two minutes and like I was just like really scared.

DA: How long did it take you to settle in? Were the first couple of days probably a little scary?

KF: Yeah the first week was like the hardest but I feel like after the like first week it got a lot easier. Like the first week is the hardest.

DA: And then you settled in.

KF: Yeah.

DA: What have you learned most about yourself, you think?

KF: I learned that like everything happens for a reason and I learned like how to cope with things and that some things I can’t change.

DA: How was your relationship with your mother when you first came here?

KF: It wasn’t that good. Like, it was good but like we both like needed help. So like I needed to come here and now it’s good.

DA: So now it’s working well?

KF: Yeah.

DA: Awesome. What’s your plan when you go home?

KF: Well I’m going home and I have spring break so I’m just going to unpack my stuff and relax.

DA: Did you do a home contract.

KF: Yeah, I did do a home contract. I just need to process the fact that I’m actually home because I actually like started crying because I don’t want to leave.

DA: You got attached to everyone here, didn’t you?

KF: Yeah.

DA: So you made some friends.

KF: Yeah.

DA: They’ve supported you a lot because it’s not easy exposing yourself right? These people that we expose ourselves to become very close to us.

KF: Yeah.

DA: Because they kind of see our real truth. Right?

KF: Yeah

DA: And as they say, the truth will set you free but first it will piss you off [laughs]. It will make you angry, right? So you’ve done a great job. How do you feel now?

KF: Scared. Anxious. Happy. Sad.

DA: All of these emotions together. Will you keep in contact with us?

KF: Yeah. I’m going to call back.

DA: Please let us know how you’re doing. We’re going to miss you because you’ve been here a while. How many days have you been here?

KF: 107 days.

DA: 107 days. Now, do you feel like it was worthwhile staying that amount of time?

KF: Yeah.

DA: I remember you wanted to leave very quickly, remember?

KF: Yeah I did. Like I cried when I came here and now I cried because I’m leaving and like my grandma was like, “is this how all kids act? Is this normal?” and they’re just like “No”.

DA: Some of them. I think the longer you stay the more you become part of our family in a sense.

KF: Yeah.

DA: We become a support system for you.

KF: Yeah.

DA: It’s a little scary when we have to go out and try. Well you have tools now, correct?

KF: Yeah.

DA: You’ve got some coping skills. You’ve learned what didn’t work for you, correct?

KF: Yeah.

DA: You’re aware of what doesn’t serve you; what was holding you back.

KF: Yeah.

DA: Are you excited to go back to school?

KF: Yeah. I’m excited. I was like failing when I came here and now I’m going to get on the right track.

DA: Yeah. Get you back on track so that you can move forward with your life. Now you’re smarter and wiser.

KF: Yeah.

DA: And clean. [laughs] Awesome.

KF: Yeah.

DA: Well congratulations we are very proud of you.

KF: Thank you.

DA: We look forward to seeing you again.

KF: Thanks.

Alec C. Testimonial

Transcript:

Education Director Denise Achee: Hi! How are you doing?

Alec C: I’m doing good, how are you?

DA: So is today your last day?

AC: Yes it is.

DA: Tell me about your journey. What brought you to Inspirations [teen rehab]?

AC: I was having a lot of family problems and I was using a lot of hardcore drugs which I shouldn’t have been using. Stealing…doing a lot of things that most 17 year-old teenagers don’t do…

DA: Or shouldn’t do, maybe?

AC: Yeah, shouldn’t do. You know I knew I had a drug addiction that I needed to, you know, fix what was going on so I came to Inspirations.

DA: Let me ask you, when was the first time you tried drugs? Or what was the first drug you tried?

AC: Marijuana and I was eleven years old.

DA: Eleven years old and what was the next time? Did you continue from eleven or did you…?

AC: You know, I smoked a couple times around that but then you know once I hit like twelve/thirteen that’s when I really started smoking a lot.

DA: Alright, so you started smoking weed heavily, like daily, two or three…

AC: Thirteen.

DA: Thirteen. Once or twice a day?

AC: Everyday.

DA: Everyday, whenever you could?

AC: Yep.

DA: When did you escalate because your drug of choice was…?

AC: Opiates.

DA: Opiates. Now that you’ve had this journey, you’ve been able to look at yourself and your addiction, what led you into the opiates? Can you pinpoint that?

AC: Actually I have the perfect pinpoint. I was smoking with my sister’s boyfriend actually and he sells some drugs to make money. He’s not my sister’s boyfriend anymore, it was an older boyfriend. He showed me a Percocet and I’ve never seen it before. It was a Perc 30 and I popped it, he told me to pop it, and I loved it so it went from that, that day on I was using opiates. I was doing percs and oxys [OxyContin] every day. And then ended up sniffing heroin and then I ended up here.

DA: Have you ever shot up?

AC: No I never shot up because of a family issue because I never met my grandfather before and he’s a heroin addict, so you know, I think it would really hurt my mother to, you know, see me using but if I go back out that’s my last option.

DA: Interesting, so you have addiction in your family? You’ve had… how many [addicts]?

AC: My dad. He was addicted to crack cocaine. He’s been clean for eleven years and my grandfather who I’ve never met before, we don’t know if he’s alive or if he’s dead but if he’s alive he’s still shooting up because he’s not doing anything else.

DA: Do you think that their addiction had any influence on you?

AC: I’m not really sure because you know I wasn’t really around my dad like through the whole…when he was using like his hardcore drugs I wasn’t really around him so you know, maybe like through genes it might be something like that but I never really saw my dad use before.

DA: But your mother did talk about his use and that he was an addict?

AC: Yes.

DA: That must have been very frightful for her.

AC: I found out he was an addict actually when I started using and they brought it up and they said you’re going to turn into your dad if you keep doing stuff like this and I just blew it away. It went in one ear and out the other.

DA: Let me ask you, have you been in rehab before?

AC: This is my nineteenth treatment center.

DA: How many?

AC: Nineteen.

DA: Nineteen. Wow.

AC: Nineteen. I’ve been in programs since I was thirteen years old.

DA: So you have quite a story to tell. Okay you’ve been to several different treatment centers. What made this one different or the same?

AC: Every time I’ve always gone home, I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and it’s not the place to be if you know a lot of people using drugs. I was using a lot and it, you know, I was always in programs in the Boston area and I’d always go straight home from the treatment centers and I never changed my surroundings. I’d always be hanging out with the same friends who were using and I had relapsed right when I go back. This time, you know, I came down to Florida where I don’t know anybody and I’ve changed my whole surroundings and now I’m going to a halfway house and I’m going to get treatment and I’m going to be down here and I’m going to try to change my life down here.

DA: Smart move, you’ve learned that it didn’t work the other way. Right?

AC: It doesn’t work.

DA: Let me ask, what would you say to anybody that was struggling with an addiction? Are people able to get over it on their own? Or you think…I mean you’ve been to a lot of treatments with people using different things, besides opiates.

AC: Yeah. You have to, you know there’s an easy way in and there’s an easy way out. You can either go the easy way or you can go the hard way. If you live your life not doing drugs I guarantee you’re going to live a life, live a good life. If you go back to using drugs then it’s just going to get worse and worse, I’ve noticed the past couple of years and if you stop using, your life’s just gonna…you gotta also go through the AA and NA principles, you gotta go through the steps, you gotta get a sponsor, you gotta go to meeting because that’s what’s gonna, you know, that’s what’s gonna keep you clean.

DA: Yeah. Support your recovery.

AC: Yeah you need support. You can’t do it alone.

DA: And what happened meanwhile to your school when all this was happening? Did you drop out?

AC: Yeah I dropped out when I was 15 and you know, opiates you know, opiate and school don’t really go well, you know, you can’t be nodding off in school. People usually don’t notice because, you know, everyone knows there’s some kids in school that just sleep through classes and that’s what I was. I used to just sleep through all my classes but nobody used to know I was high. I knew I was high but no one else did. And, you know, it’s very hard just thinking about, you know, yeah I dropped out but I can change my life.

DA: And what are you doing? So are you on track to get your GED, is that your goal?

AC: Yeah. At this halfway house I’m going to there’s a GED program and I’m going to have a job and I’m gonna get my GED. I’m going to take it.

DA: How is your relationship with your mom now? How’s that working?

AC: It’s unbelievable. She’s like so excited for this new experience for both of us, you know. You’re an addict, but your family also goes through a lot when you’re an addict you know they start… you know your parents can’t change you, you have to change yourself. That’s pretty much it.

DA: Now did you have an intervention when you came here or did you come here willingly?

AC: No, I came here willingly. Like I came here myself because I knew I had a problem.

DA: Well we’re very proud of you. You’ve done a really good job and we’re real excited and of course I’m excited to hear that you’re getting your GED, you’ve been working, you know, a lot trying to prep yourself for that and you’ve realized, by yourself, that going home didn’t work for you.

AC: Yeah.

DA: We’re excited to hear how it goes from here after. Please keep in contact.

AC: I definitely will.

DA: Let us kind of know how things are going. It’s very important, your message to other people as yourself that have fallen into, you know, I would say the grips of addiction.

AC: Yeah.

DA: It’s hard letting go, right? It doesn’t let go of you.

AC: So hard.

DA: So you did it and you look great.

AC: Thanks.

DA: Big difference from when you came in.

AC: Yeah.

DA: I think you’re going to be successful this time.

AC: Thank you. Thank you very much.

DA: I think you’ve freed yourself from it, right?

AC: Yeah. Me too.

DA: Alright, well we’re going to be praying and rooting for you and we’d like for you to keep in contact with us so we know what’s happening with you and we’d love for you to come back and speak at one of the family workshops because it’s very important that parents hear your story and kids your same age. It can really impact them and maybe make them realize that there is hope after nineteen rehabs.

AC: Yeah. There’s hope.

DA: There is hope still and you didn’t give up.

AC: Yep.

DA: You know? And they say try, try again.

AC: Yep, that’s exactly right.

DA: And you did it and you’re making it this time and I think we all feel that you’re very serious about your recovery now and you’re on the path to a new life. Congratulations!

AC: Thank you.

DA: Thank you.

Massive Glow Parties Draw More than Teenagers

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Teen “Glow Parties” are billed as safe, alcohol-free fun for those who are under the legal drinking age of 21. However, parents may not realize that these “glow” or “hyper-glow” parties are a breeding ground for drug use and sexual predators. The parties are massive and draw large crowds with some patrons as young as 16 years old. The pseudo-raves involve pulsating techno-music, glow sticks, and strobe lights lighting up the dance floor. According to this article, a “Hyperglow Party” was going to be held in Sayreville, N.J. until a “scheduling conflict” shut the even down. However, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew Carey said his investigators applied just enough pressure to cancel the party.

Carey also had this to say about the event: “Just because an event is advertised for young people under 21, it does not mean that it is safe to attend. When it comes to club parties, the opposite is often true. Parents need to realize that such events are dangerous places due to the availability of the illicit drugs, as well as the presence of sexual predators, whose goal is to take advantage of incapacitated minors.”

Why the big fuss about a teenage party? Although it may seem as if the parties are safe for young people, they’re not. Many teenagers show up drunk to the alcohol-free events or they bring their own liquor concealed in water bottles, according to this article. The parties are also a major hub for drugs like molly, which is perceived by many young people as being a fun, socially acceptable drug to try.

Don’t let your teenager become another statistic. Make sure that he or she knows the dangers of trying drugs, especially molly which is usually little more than a combination of amphetamines and bath salts. These drugs can have long-term consequences on the user, including death. One electronic music festival was shut down halfway through the weekend when two people took molly and died later.

Teen AA and NA Support Groups

There are many different groups, organizations, and nonprofit charities that focus on helping people recover from substance abuse and addiction. One of these programs, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), not only provides support for adults but also for teenagers. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and AA both help teenagers who may feel like they have no one who can understand what they’re going through. Teen NA and AA meetings are very helpful for young people suffering from addiction because the programs show them that they’re not alone and that other people also deal with addiction issues.

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The 12 step program has been used by millions of people around the world for several decades. More recently there has been a focus on teenagers and AA and NA support groups have become an important tool for them. Although not many people know, AA and NA support groups work with young adults who have succumbed to drugs and alcohol by using a modified version of the 12 step process.

This article is about Teen NA and AA. The article mentions a study which found that teenagers who attend NA or AA meetings following in-patient substance addiction treatment are much more likely to stay in long-term recovery. The study followed 160 teenagers who underwent inpatient treatment for substance abuse for about a month. Following treatment, the teenagers were referred to AA or NA meetings at discharge. The study found that those who attended AA or NA meetings within six months after treatment were more likely to remain sober than those who did not. The best results were seen with the teenagers who continued attending meetings over the entire eight year study period. According to the article, “During the first 6 months of recovery, study participants who went to one to two meetings a week fared better in the long run than those who passed on AA/NA altogether. A threshold of three meetings each week was associated with complete abstinence during the study period.”

It’s obvious from the article that NA and AA support groups are highly beneficial for teenagers. Although three meetings a week is a good number to aim for, most addiction experts recommend “90 meetings in 90 days.” It’s recommended that anyone attending AA or NA make as many meetings as possible.

Teenagers are very dependent on their own social structures and they need their friends to support them as much as possible. This article cites another study involving teens and their AA and NA participation. The study found that teens are much more dependent on their social environment and their friendships than their adult counterparts. Teenagers may be more susceptible to peer pressure, but they’re also more likely to rely on their support groups and the sober friends they’ve met. The support groups NA and AA also connect teenagers with a sober mentor, who acts as the teen’s sponsor. The sponsor has usually been sober for a while and they have the experience to advise others on how to stay sober.

According to the Associate Director for the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital John F. Kelly, “These findings support the common clinical recommendation that individuals should ‘go to meetings, get a sponsor, and get active’. This is the first evidence to support this common clinical recommendation among young people.”  AA and NA groups, meetings, mentorship, and even participation are great options for teens battling substance abuse and addiction. Although there is never any guarantee that anyone will remain clean and sober, AA and NA support groups can have a positive impact on anyone who attends.

Substance Addiction Programs Cut Across the U.S.A.

Drug prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are typically the first government programs to get cut when times are tough. Drug education and prevention programs are needed now more than ever, especially when you consider the heroin epidemic in the New England area and the rise in methamphetamine use.

Now, many Americans are saying they favor treatment over punishment for those who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions. Education about drug abuse and efforts to prevent drug use are important factors when it comes to treating America’s unfortunate love affair with drugs. The country also needs more treatment options, especially for those who can’t afford expensive rehab facilities.

As the government cut back on spending, many social programs found themselves without any money for funding. National drug prevention programs and funding for substance abuse research took a hit. Since these programs do not create revenue or immediately save money, they were often eliminated or downsized before other programs. However, drug enforcement budgets did not see any cuts.

This CNN article mentions that local, state, and federal government agencies spent nearly $500 billion in 2005 on substance abuse related issues. However, only a tiny fraction of that amount was spent on prevention and treatment. The article cited reports from Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, which found that 95% of a $373.9 billion budget was spent trying to rectify the consequences of substance abuse in the healthcare system and in the criminal justice system. Only 1% of the money was spent on research and interdiction while a mere 2% was spent on prevention and treatment. For every dollar spent on prevention and treatment, more than $50 is spent on public programs aimed at addressing and solving the effects of substance abuse through law enforcement, the courts, and the healthcare system.

Although the death toll from drug overdoses is rising, more local and state governments are looking to cut funding for early prevention efforts, including the well-known D.A.R.E. program. This article is about a town in Michigan which cut spending on their D.A.R.E. program.

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The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan will cease to provide Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs to eleven schools in the county. Deputy Steve Campau, the Public Information Officer, mentioned that a series of cuts over the past years had led to the demise of the program which costs about $96,000 a year. According to the article, multiple other counties have also cut their own D.A.R.E. programs, but they replaced it with other programs often led by the local city governments. Deputy Campau stated, “We think that D.A.R.E. is very valuable, but there’s only so much money in the budget, and we have to fund the road patrol to make sure the general public is safe.” He then added that, “prevention programs are being cut everywhere.”

It’s not just happening in Michigan. Reduced funding all over the country means that more and more prevention and education programs are being cut. The big question is: how will this affect the future of young Americans?  Will we see more and more addicts in the future? Only time will answer these questions for us.