By Scott Brand
Michael D. and his family were all in when it came to supporting their son Reese's addiction recovery. Nothing was off the table to help their son return to the way he was before his addiction. The family even moved from their neighborhood - 45 minutes away to a new home - while Reese was at a teen addiction treatment center.
The family wanted to make sure Reese did not reunite with his former drinking and drug using buddies. It has been well documented by fellowship groups like AA that spending time after a rehab stint with old friends can trigger a relapse.
Reese with his baseball team before entering Rehab
While many families adjust their lifestyle when their teen returns from a residential drug rehab – the family’s decision to move to a new home was a bold move to say the least. Most parents in their position are unwilling or unable to move to a new home. It is far more common for parents to either home school their teens or send them to a charter or boarding school instead.
The family didn't hesitate when deciding to leave their home and neighborhood for their son. But the move was only one part of the families sacrifices they made to ensure Reese would never return to old his old habits that led him to rehab.
The 1,500 Mile Dilemma
The family also had to contend with the sheer distance of their rehab of choice from their home. The one they liked - Inspiration for Youth and Families - is located nearly 1,500 miles away from the family's home in Kansas City. However, after countless phone calls to Mark Ambrose, Inspiration's admission director, they had an overwhelming feeling in their heart that Inspirations was the best place for Reese.
Even after Mark gained their trust, the act of sending their teen so far away without seeing the rehab up close and personal was naturally a heart wrenching decision for the family. Typically, parents are in a perpetual state of self-doubt when leaving their most prized possession at a drug rehab for the first time.
The actual Teen Addiction Treatment search
Finding a place to treat Reese's addiction in Kansas City proved to be a nearly impossible task. Reese' sister commandeered the drug rehab Internet search. She was Googling like crazy until one treatment center stood out from the rest - Inspirations for Youth and Families. And it didn't hurt seeing Dr. Phil on the rehab's web site. The reason Dr. Phil is prominently displayed on the web site is because Inspirations' owner Karen Corcoran Walsh is a frequent guest on the Emmy Winning afternoon talk show.
Reese with mom at a Kansas City Royal Game
Now Reese' families next hurdle was getting him to South Florida, where Inspirations is located. Despite the hefty traveling costs on top of the other expenses, they refused to place a price tag on their son's recovery.
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of a parent's time waiting for their child to return from rehab is not hearing from them often. Sure, there are the family therapy sessions by phone. But sometimes the teen wants to be independent in their recovery and limit the communication with his or her family.
Once Reece settled into Inspirations, the family took the extra step that most parents don't make for their children in recovery. After several weeks at Inspirations, Reese's mom and dad hopped on a plane to visit their son and make sure his treatment was going in the right direction. Upon arrival at Inspirations, Michael liked what he saw and many of his concerns were put at ease.
The other part of the equation
While Reese' family did everything in their power to take back their teen from the evil clutches of addiction, their son's buy-in to recovery was absolutely imperative. At first Reese' experience at Inspirations was a little rocky - as it is often the case initially with teens at rehab.
A fist-fight with another teen and anger issues directed at his family - were some of the difficulties he and his family had to get through. While Reese' family was concerned, they rationally chalked up their son's turbulent start as a part of the life experience his son needed to be confronted with to full recover from his addiction.
A Light at the end of the Tunnel
Reese’ back at home taking one day at a time and keeping busy fishing
As Reese became more acclimated with his surroundings and his own skin – both his family and therapist started to see progress. A strong bond with his family therapist, several older teens taking him under his wing, and fellowship meetings attributed to Reese's gradual improvement. And a family-like friendship with Anthony, his behavioral tech, was also a crucial element to his turnaround. Anthony is talking about visiting Reese and his family.
Despite the fact, that the Reese’s family made the rare sacrifice to move to a new home, there was never a full-proof guarantee that their son would respond favorably to the change in scenery. Teen drug abuse is rampant throughout the country, and it is possible Reese could find new friends who also use drugs in his new surroundings. But fortunately, his chances are greatly improved with a fresh start.
Then there is the one advantage Reese has going for him that other teens do not possess. He is a highly talented baseball player and If he takes advantage of his god given athletic talent -a bright future as a division one basestar could be in the cards for him.
Reese getting ready to pitch another gem
“He is a really good pitcher,” said Michael D. “I can see him playing in college, and just maybe even make it to the Major League.”
His father adds. “He will play for the-high school next year, and he has the potential to get a Division 1 scholarship at a major college like Florida, Nebraska, Missouri, i.e.) when he graduates high school.
But even with all the positive things going for Reese, his chances of recovery would be greatly hampered without his unbridled support from his family network - a necessity in teen addiction recovery.
Since Reece returned home, his recovery is going very well and he is doing what he does best – striking out batters on his baseball team.
About Scott Brand
Scott Brand is a prominent digital marketer in the addiction recovery industry, where he works with Inspirations for Youth and Families teen treatment center as well as its adult counterpart the Cove Center for Recovery. Scott has also been a contributing columnist for Consumer Health Digest, one of the fastest growing health information websites. He has authored hundreds of health related articles in over 80 publications including the peer reviewed International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience where his piece on Alcohol, Depression and Genetic Disposition: The Chicken, the Egg and the Gene Syndrome was critically acclaimed by leading industry professionals.