Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) drug treatment program has helped many teens and their families create a newly educated life around living and staying sober. Our program has taught many teens the coping skills they need to live a successful and happy life after addiction. One of our teens, Sarah has stated how her experience at Inspirations for Youth and Families was a positive one and well worth it.
“Not being able to pick up that drug or drink or what have you is weird. You have to completely reevaluate your entire existence almost but, at the end of the day it’s worth it. It absolutely is.”
We are very proud of Sarah’s achievements and completion of the drug treatment program. We wish her the best as she moves forward in her life and her dreams of being the best version of herself she can be.
“Yeah really this program has given me back a lot of tools that I lost over the years. My motivation is back so I want to go to college, I want to go out and be the best person I can be.”
Listen to the rest of Sarah’s Inspirations for Youth and Families experience here:
Denise: Hi! Thank you for being willing to share your experience with us. I know you’re really anxious to go and your family is waiting and the dig. (Laughs)
Sarah: Of course.
Denise: Alright, so what brought you to Inspirations?
Sarah: What brought me into Inspirations was my life was not worth living for myself. I just existed you now. I didn’t know how to take hold of my responsibilities. I didn’t choose the right friends, I was crazy and I didn’t even respect my family enough.
Denise: Now when did that happen start happening?
Sarah: it started happening around my freshman year of high school and it just went downhill from there, as it usually does.
Denise: So before that everything was good. Was it people that you met? What happened that made you really change your choices?
Sarah: Before I think I always knew I sort of had this demon in me, you know I was depressed at one point. It was the friends and the people that I met and surrounded myself with because if you surround yourself with negative people, you’re going to become negative.
Denise: So were you using at the same time?
Sarah: Um, yes I was. I started using the end of freshman year.
Denise: And what was your drug of choice? What did you first start using?
Sarah: I first started using marijuana.
Denise: Okay and did that escalate into something else?
Sarah: Ah it did. It escalated into everything else.
Denise: Ah you know people always tell me I’m just doing marijuana but there’s just still a chance right.
Sarah: Absolutely, when I started using I was just doing marijuana and I was like I am never ever going to pick up a needle and it always ends you know one way or another. You’re going to be in an institution, you’re going to be in jail or you’re going to be dead and I didn’t want to take those chances. I’m glad I was able to come to Inspirations to actually you know figure that out and not have to dig my own grave.
Denise: Yeah wow. (laughs) Tell me did you know you were coming when you came?
Sarah: Ah yeah I did.
Denise: So you asked to come to treatment or were you ready to come to treatment. What happened?
Sarah: My mom suggested it for me because my DOC. That was what she read up on that I needed to go to rehab and really I was open and willing to it because I thought it was the best thing as well. So I knew what I was getting myself into but I didn’t know exactly what the program was but, I knew I was going to rehab.
Denise: What was your first day like?
Sarah: It was weird. Basically I was still processing. Honestly I was so stunned by my environment and it was a total shift. I was still acclimating to everything, still getting to know the girls and getting to know the program so I guess it was rough.
Denise: Was it scary? It was uncomfortable.
Sarah: It was, absolutely.
Denise: How long did it take you to settle in?
Sarah: I would give it about two weeks.
Denise: I always say two weeks. (Laughs)
Sarah: (Laughs) Yeah. I would say about two weeks because you start to get to know the girls, you get over that awkwardness and weirdness and you know being sober and not knowing your coping skills. Not being able to pick up that drug or drink or what have you is weird. You have to completely reevaluate your entire existence almost but, at the end of the day it’s worth it. It absolutely is.
Denise: So you made some good friends while you were here?
Sarah: Yes absolutely, I did.
Denise: Sometimes I hear a lot of clients say here in treatment you make friends with a lot people you normally wouldn’t in a different situation.
Sarah: Yeah actually that is true because there are a lot of different personalities here; there are a lot of different people that come from different places. You can relate on the drug use I guess but there is a much deeper that you gain you really talk to these girls, you find out what their journey and path has been. You’re like wow I can really relate to this.
Denise: And that teaches you as well, hearing others stories?
Sarah: Absolutely, because you see how they handled it and you look at how you handled it. Being able to understand where they are coming from and where you’re coming from.
Denise: Now when you came in here you had graduated from high school?
Denise: So you did manage that when you were using, this is great?
Sarah: Yeah, I was a functioning addict alright. (laughs) No I was a dysfunctional addict. (laughs)
Denise: (Laughs) So was this the first time you had therapy?
Sarah: No I had therapy for years but the therapy I got here was the best that I ever had. Actually my therapist is one of my favorite clinical therapists that I’ve ever had. And I’m really going miss her and I’m really going to miss the others that I’ve come to know. All the groups, the support, you know even the teachers. You really are welcomed with open arms and it’s great.
Denise: And how was your living situation? How was it living with other girls and the roommate situation?
Sarah: Well I mean it has its good days and it has its bad days. Know how to clean up after yourself that’s for sure. When you’re living with 9-16 girls 24/7 there is going to be drama absolutely.
Denise: But you learn to deal with it in a different way?
Sarah: Absolutely, you need to know how to be uncomfortable. You need to learn how to be that because in the real world it happens. Not everyone is going to like you; you are going to be uncomfortable. You have to learn how to deal with it instead of going and picking up that drug.
Denise: What would you say to a parent that was struggling about putting their child into treatment?
Sarah: I would say that you can’t force sobriety on somebody but then again some of us don’t really know what sobriety is and you really need to experience it to understand it. So if you find that your kid is doing these things whether it is pot whether it is pills or you know drinking it can escalate if they have that personality. Addiction is a disease and it really manifests over time and you really have to nip it in the bud. First gain those coping skills and you know maybe they can go back and if they do end up using again they know what to do.
Denise: They have a toolbox.
Sarah: Exactly! They have a place they can come back to and find their center and it’s important they know that. Some of us are too scared to even want to confront it.
Denise: How was it when you finally felt sober?
Sarah: It was weird. There’s a pink cloud you know that you start feeling very light and happy. That’s where I’m at right now. It’s always just for today but felt great once I started getting used to myself sober because I was finally me, the real me not just the stoned or altered me. I was clear minded and that was an amazing feeling to actually be me for once in such a long time. It is weird because you’re thinking I’m talking like I used to talk, which for me is way too much but, it’s okay.
Denise: It’s interesting because when I see your mom and they see you they say I have my daughter back! And it gets me emotional every time I see it. I get emotional now just talking about it. To see the relief in your mother to see that she has you back is uplifting for all of us. You have an amazing voice and singer. What’s your plan? Are you going to go to college when you go home?
Sarah: Yeah really this program has given me back a lot of tools that I lost over the years. My motivation is back so I want to go to college, I want to go out and be the best person I can be. The most important thing is that I realize that I can’t do that when I’m using, I can’t be the best person, I can’t be the smartest or most motivated because it really hinders you. Now I can go and do these things. I have freedom to let my mind explore and let myself explore all the possibilities life has to offer.
Denise: So you’re out of the fog and into the light?
Sarah: Yes I’m out of the fog.
Denise: What I’ve really learned from your conversation here is negativity breeds negativity and positivity brings positivity.
Denise: You’re in the light, the positive side of life now and we wish you all the best. We’ve really became such a family with you and we’re really going to miss you.
Sarah: I know I’m going to miss you guys so much! But I’ll keep in contact.
Denise: Yes keep in contact. We really want to build our alumni and I really have hopes of taking the alumni on trips and fun stuff like that and learning about your life as it evolves and your journey.
Sarah: Thank you so much for the experience.
Denise: Thank you so much. I hope we’ve made an impact on you. You made an impact on us! Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!
Sarah: Thank you. You too!