Donna’s son graduated from rehab. I sat down with Donna to discuss her son’s recovery and his experience at rehab.
Tell us about your son’s experience at rehab.
My son’s experience at rehab helped him look at himself on the inside. He learned to understand how he felt about himself and discover why he kept going back to drugs. The in-depth treatment helped my son learn to change the things he was doing wrong and remain in control of them. Rehab also offered a great deal of help in other areas, including work principles, financial management and planning, and behavior control techniques.
Why was this rehab different from other rehabilitation facilities?
Here’s a little bit of history. My son was in A Forever Recovery prior to this rehab, and before that he was in two other rehabs — one in Florida and one on the west coast. A Forever Recovery was very good, but unfortunately, my son came back and relapsed.
This program has been the most successful rehab experience for my son. What we like most are the principles. It is not just a 12-step program where they instill these 12 principles in your head for you live and breathe by. The 12-step approach is not a bad approach, but it just doesn’t work for some people, just as it didn’t work for my son. Treatment here seemed to reset him from the inside and offered a great deal more than just repeating steps.
What was the relationship like with the staff and counselors?
It was an excellent relationship. The staff did a really good job of managing the program and keeping us at bay. They always kept us alert about how my son was doing in the program, and they also really helped us as parents on the other side of the equation to handle the experience.
What kind of problems did your son run into?
My son had issues handling anger, so he would get out of control if things did not go his way. At one point, he didn’t want to abide by a certain rule, and it was interfering with his and others’ progress. It was difficult for us on our end because we were hundreds of miles away from our son and couldn’t do much to help. But the staff called and told us, “Hey, we are professionals here and we’ve seen this before. Let us take control of the situation and handle it. If there is a problem, we will get back to you immediately.” The staff really took the stress off of our family and used their experience to resolve the conflict. After that, I could hear the success that he was making in his voice every time we talked on the phone.
What was the aftercare program like?
When my son got home, the facility called every day and slowly wound down as time went on. It was obvious that the staff cared deeply about my son and that their intention was not just to let him go and be done with him after rehab. I appreciated that the counselors would continually call to talk to my son about his progress and that they were always there for him if any situations arose.
Everything my son learned from the program was useful in managing his everyday life. They offered more than just the 12 step program. Their treatment involved learning internal ways of dealing with the battles and struggles of life, relationships, and stressful situations. This is what helps people when they return to the real world.
My son has been working full time for the last three months and has been able to be open and honest with his loved ones. He’s maturing now at 22 years old, and after dealing with his addiction for the past five years, we are all glad to be looking forward.
How does it feel to have your son back healthy and sober?
It’s fantastic! It’s a blessing! It’s truly a gift, because that’s all we wished for for so long. It feels wonderful to have him back in our lives. It feels great to see my son becoming successful and having a great job where everyone loves him. He’s probably going to get a promotion in the next couple of months, in fact — he’s managed to handle himself with the tools that he’s learned in order to succeed and keep moving forward.