Inspirations for Youth Education Director Denise Achee interviewed Brooke B after she successfully completed the program. Here is the interview below:

Denise Achee (DA): “Please share with us, what brought you to Inspirations?” 

Brooke B: (BB): “I was addicted to marijuana and that made like my grades in school go down a lot, because I wasn’t there as much. I was really like, mean to my mom. I like manipulated her and lied to her to be able to smoke more.” 

DA: “Were you a good student before?” 

BB: “Yeah, I actually had like all A’s and B’s up until ninth grade when I started smoking and then it was just like downhill from there. I got like C’s, I think freshmen year and then this past year, my sophomore year, I got…I actually failed two classes.” 

DA: “Oh my goodness…because I’ve really seen that you’re quite…you’re very smart academically. So that was surprising. So you really believe that it was smoking the weed everyday that just really took away all your motivation, your desire to get good grades.” 

BB: “Yeah, I thought it was a good thing whenever I was smoking, like oh it’s good, I don’t care, you know I’m not as worried about things but it wasn’t good [laughs].” 

DA: [laughs] “Tell me, how was your experience here?” 

BB: “It was awesome, really.” 

DA: “Wait, let’s go back. Did you come in here voluntarily or did you have an intervention?” 

BB: “I had an intervention [laughs].” 

DA: “Oh ok, so you wouldn’t have come here willingly?” 

BB: “No. I really wouldn’t have. I didn’t think I had a problem.” 

DA: “So how did that happen?” 

BB: “I was just sitting in my room and here comes Dr. Hughes and Karen and they were just like, we’re going to Fort Lauderdale. They actually told me we were going bowling. I was like, Oh great, awesome. Like, this will be great. But actually I had the record for the shortest intervention. 18 minutes.” 

DA: “18 minutes. So you kind of, in the background, knew you had a problem or there was something you wanted to address?” 

BB: “No. I didn’t think I needed to be here whatsoever.” 

DA: “So what made you be alright with coming? You know, alright with going with Dr. Hughes and Karen?” 

BB: “Well I knew I couldn’t get out of it, for one. Then when I got here, the step work, I realized, Oh my gosh, this applies to me? I probably have a problem.”

DA: “First you didn’t think you had a problem at all and then you started doing your step work and then you started realizing that some of it made sense. Some of it was applicable to your person.” 

BB: “Not just some. All.” 

DA: “Oh all of it. [laughs] How did that make you feel?”

BB: “I was actually really shocked at first, like “oh my gosh, you can have a problem with marijuana?” Like what? But, no… I don’t know I just thought that since I didn’t have withdrawal and stuff when I would stop smoking that it wasn’t an addiction. But, it was mentally.” 

DA: “Yeah, a mental addiction. What do you think really helped you? Was it the steps, the therapy? Being away and just not getting high and realizing what it’s like to not be high all the time?” 

BB: “Well, yeah. That actually really made a big difference, like my head’s so much clearer and I make decisions so much better because it’s not like in a fog anymore. Like, I couldn’t remember what I said yesterday and that’s crazy [laughs]. I didn’t use to be able to say that. Once I opened up in group [therapy] that’s what really, really helped I think. Just listening to everyone else’s stories and what they had to say, it really helped.” 

DA: “When you first came in here you were kind of shy, right?” 

BB: “I was really shy. I didn’t say much.”

DA: “Then all of the sudden you were, your whole personality came out.” 

BB: “Yeah and like honestly when I came like that was the personality I had at home.” 

DA: “When you stopped, yeah when it was finally out of your system, when the THC was finally out of your system.” 

BB: “I was back to like, third grade me, you know?” 

DA: “We managed your academics while you were here, right?” 

BB: “Mm-hmm.” 

DA: “You did quite a good job so you kind of feel like you’ve gotten caught back up.” 

BB: “Yeah it was great actually. Being here got me the two classes that I failed, I actually got to like make up and when I go back I’m going to take the exams. So I’m not going to have two failed classes on my record.

DA: “I can tell that you’re a very bright girl. I saw that presentation you made for school, for your science presentation.” 

BB: “Yeah for glioblastoma.” 

DA: “Yeah you did your whole presentation and I think you know quite a bit about glioblastoma.”

BB: “Yeah. I learned a lot doing that and it only took me like two days.”

DA: “See, we do a lot. We get a lot done when we’re not using, right?” 

BB: “Yeah.” 

DA: “Now what is your plan when you go home?” 

BB: “Well I’m definitely not going to use. This sounds really cliché, but I’m going to change my people, places, and things and just like, I’m going to do IB [International Baccalaureate] whenever I get back to school, which I think is really exciting, kind of scary, but exciting.”

DA: “IB for anybody out there who doesn’t know is the International Baccalaureate and you’ll be earning almost 15 college credits when you do that right?” 

BB: “Right.” 

DA: “It’s quite an academic course to take, a challenge, but you definitely have the ability to do it, so wow.” 

BB: “Thank you.” 

DA: “Awesome, okay. What are you doing for your home contract? What’s on your home contract?” 

BB: “One thing that was actually really prominent in my home contract, it was really hard for me to do, is I’m not going to be around my sister anymore if she’s using and like that was hard for me. My mom almost didn’t even want me to do it but, like really like being here you realize that you know, maybe you can stay away from that and stuff, but it really ruins your life and I can’t watch her do the same thing.” 

DA: “So it’s not only out of need for you to stay clean, it’s out of concern for your sister.” 

BB: “Yeah. Like, I can’t watch her like ruin her life the way I was going towards, you know? If that makes sense.” 

DA: “Yeah, your life was spiraling down and you realized that life is a lot more difficult when we’re using.” 

BB: “It is and we’re not ourselves when we’re using either.” 

DA: “That’s very disappointing for our family members, and very hurtful, right? It causes a lot of concern.” 

BB: “Yeah, like my mom seeing her like when she came up here. She’s so much happier.”

DA: “She looks like she saved her little girl! How wonderful is that?” 

BB: “Yeah she looks so much happier.”

DA: “Of course, for every parent and I am a mother too, you know when somebody is not alright in your family the whole family is not alright. So you have intentions to go to the NA meetings.

BB: “Yeah there are three of them actually at my church over the week and there are three online Marijuana Anonymous meetings that I can go to because all the ones that are in person are like four hours away from where I live.” 

DA: “Oh, good. Okay at least you can be online.” 

BB: “I’ll meet so many more people that way.” 

DA: “Yeah, perfect. Well it’s been great watching your journey, you know from the beginning until now, and to see how much you’ve shifted and changed and your energy and your color. You look fabulous.” 

BB: “Thank you.” 

DA: “So we’re very happy for you and your family to reunite, to hopefully start a new page. A healthier page.” 

BB: “Yes. A lot more healthy.”

DA: “Alright well we really enjoyed having you, you’ve been wonderful and you’ve done the work. You should be extremely proud of yourself.” 

BB: “I am. I have the confidence to be able to say I’m proud of myself. That’s huge for me.”

DA: “It’s in your voice. We look forward to seeing you in the future. Maybe you’ll come back and speak.”

BB: “Yeah at six months sober!” 

DA: “At six months sober you get to come back and speak, we would love to have you and we can do another testimonial so that everyone can see what’s happened to you from this point until you get back in six months to speak. Well thank you so much!” 

BB: “Thank you!”