Education Director Denise Achee: Hi! Thank you so much for coming in to do a testimonial for us. It’s so important for us to get the word out to other people your age. Tell me, how many days have you been here?
Melissa T: I’ve been here for about 75 days.
DA: Now did you come in willingly or did you have an intervention?
MT: No I had an intervention.
DA: Would you have ever come in here willingly?
MT: [laughs] It was really like…bad. I was not…I was like trying to get away. I was like, “what are the other options blah blah blah…” But I always kind of had a small part of me that wanted to go to rehab. So, then I was like, you know what? I’ll just go.
DA: What was happening in your life? How long had you been using?
MT: I had been using since I was like in 8th or 9th grade, but it became unmanageable and really bad in the past year.
DA: Melissa, share with us: what were you using? Did you start out using weed?
MT: Yeah I was using weed and then it went to like, pills and then like pills and acid. I started doing a lot of Xanax and then I started doing a lot of coke. I really just dabbled in everything.
DA: How were you getting money to do your drugs?
MT: I had a job, but when I didn’t have a job I would steal and sell things or just do anything. Like I would babysit, just anything that I could get money from.
DA: How were your friends that you were hanging out with?
MT: They were like…not…you know…like…they were all using so it made me feel like it didn’t matter if I did. They just weren’t positive influences.
DA: Do you feel that you will still be friends with them when you go home?
MT: No, because I mean I thought I could like try to work it out and change them but I can’t.
DA: Now Melissa, I know when you came in you were a very high academic and you said to me that you wanted to get your GED [high school diploma equivalency]. Now, that has changed?
MT: Yeah, now it’s changed. Now I want to graduate high school and go to college. Now I actually have goals in my life.
DA: How is your relationship with your family now?
MT: It’s great, like we can talk and like be civil and like have fun together.
DA: What was it like before?
MT: Before we would just argue all the time and I wouldn’t even be home. Like if I was home then we were just fighting.
DA: Were you lying to them?
MT: Yeah and I would run away and live with my friends.
DA: Now I know your mom is outside and you haven’t seen your mom for how many days?
MT: She is?! Like 80 [days].
DA: 80 days! Ok, so I’m going to let you go. I want to thank you so much for sharing this experience with others who may be in need of our services.
DA: So thank you so much!
MT: Thank you too!