True Story: Dawn and Orion

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Dawn and OrionI am a mother of three, and I work as an administrative assistant at a police department. I have 18 years of law enforcement work experience as well as an active duty enlistment in the Air Force. My husband of 11 years has been a police officer for 25 years. We are used to fighting the war on drugs in our daily work lives—but we were unprepared to fight it in our own home. In 2011, we were losing our personal war on drugs: our 15-year-old son, Orion, was addicted to Percocet.

Our home had become an unhappy one. Orion acted out, wouldn’t follow our rules, and wouldn’t stop using. I was so frustrated, not to mention afraid that Orion would end up in jail or dead. I was also worried about my younger children being exposed to the dangerous behaviors that went along with Orion’s drug abuse. Needless to say, there was a lot of yelling, crying, and unsuccessful discipline in our house. Nothing was working.

Not that we hadn’t reached out for help—we had. We’d tried psychology appointments, doctor’s appointments, drug and alcohol counseling appointments…but no matter what we did, Orion wouldn’t stop his dangerous behavior. I was so close to giving up, I even thought about dropping him off with his biological father, who was an addict as well.

But on October 26, 2011, my prayers were answered. Orion was admitted to the Phoenix House Academy of Dublin. It was a long hard battle, but it was worth it. At our first 30-day meeting, Orion insisted that we sign him out and allow him to come home. But I told him he couldn’t come home until he successfully completed the program. So he said he would just try to get kicked out. I still said we wouldn’t allow him to come home.

The very next week we were told that Orion had finally begun to “step into treatment.” That was week five, and he really started to flourish. The program gave him the safe environment he needed to start his recovery. The staff worked with him on his problems, pinpointed the causes of his drug use, and provided him with coping skills that he will have for the rest of his life. They also worked with our family to teach us coping skills as well.

The Academy was truly amazing, and the staff were always just a phone call away for us parents. My family and I cannot thank the Phoenix House Academy enough for the months of services that they provided to our son—they literally saved his life. Because of the strength of this program, my younger children now have a brother they can be proud of.

Today, Orion continues to apply what he learned at Phoenix House. Most recently, when I caught him skipping school, we told him to come up with his own punishment. So on his own, he confessed to his assistant principal at school the next day and told him he was willing to accept the consequences because he had messed up. The assistant principal later told me that he’d been very impressed by the way Orion had handled the situation, and that I should be proud. I am proud—the proud parent of a child in recovery. My son is 18 months sober thanks to Phoenix House.

If you or a loved one needs help for substance abuse, call us today at 1 888 671 9392 or send us an email.

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