Message From The President
Dear Friends, As summer approaches, we look forward to time for relaxation and rejuvenation, often with our families.
In this issue, you will meet parents, kids, and counselors who understand the importance of family support and love—especially during tough times. Recovery is more likely to succeed when a young person knows that there is someone who will guide, care, and help them make better life choices.
Thank you for championing our families and yours.
Howard P. Meitiner
President & CEO
Intervention is Just The First Step
For parents who have a child struggling with addiction, one of the more potent and overlooked resources is their own involvement in their child’s treatment. “Families have to be our partners,” says Jack Feinberg, VP and Clinical Director of Phoenix Houses of Florida. “Our counselors want to work with them.”Richard Becker, Assistant Director of our Phoenix Academy of Maine, has seen the enormous impact of parental involvement on the teens we serve: “Kids recognize the sacrifice parents make in coming every Saturday for many weeks, sometimes driving hours each way. It improves the family bond.”
In addition to family members, both Feinberg and Becker believe that others can provide support. “Some success stories are not necessarily because of the teen’s family, but people who act in that capacity, hang in there with the kid, and are good role models,” says Becker.
At the Derek Jeter Center, Feinberg explains, the Teen Recovery Management Program pairs teens with recovery coaches who “provide encouragement and join recreational activities and support groups.” Whether it’s a parent or another mentor, a caring adult can play strong role in a young person’s long-term recovery.
Happy Anniversary, Phoenix House Santa Fe Springs
This year, Phoenix House Women and Children’s Services in Santa Fe Springs, CA celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Since opening its doors a decade ago, the program has helped thousands of women reunite with their children, rebuild family relationships, and live productive, drug-free lives. While living with their young children, mothers participate in treatment, attend parenting courses, find housing, and obtain vocational and educational support. “The most rewarding part of my work is when former clients visit and tell us that they are clean and sober, employed, have homes, and are actively engaged as parents,” says program director Twyla Whitley. To learn more about the program, visit our website.
A Mother’s Tale: Kelly B.
With her teenage son’s heroin addiction destroying her family, Kelly B. made the difficult decision to work with the authorities to have him arrested and enrolled in our Long Island Academy. “Kevin had stolen from me to support his habit,” she said. “I realized that the only way I could help him was to hold him accountable for his actions.” Although Kevin was initially resentful, Kelly has seen her son make tremendous progress during his time in treatment. “He’s doing extremely well in the program,” she said, “I knew he would hate me at first, but now, he’s glad to be there.” Although she’s a strong believer in tough love, she stresses that parents of substance abusers should not cut off ties: “I talk to him as much as possible and visit as often as I can. As much as he’s hurt me, I will always be there and his recovery means more to me than anything.” Check out Kelly and Kevin’s appearance on Geraldo At Large.
News & Events
Phoenix Goes to the Movies
On Tuesday evening, June 8, our Youth Services Committee will host a special screening of The Perfect Game, a true story about kids who wanted to play little league baseball and overcame extraordinary odds. The event, benefiting our physical fitness initiative, will be held at the NYC Regal Theatre in Manhattan. Visit our website for more details. If you live in New York, click here to purchase tickets or support our teens with a wish list donation.
Join Us in the Hamptons!
On Saturday, June 26, we invite you to join us for cocktails in the Hamptons as we honor our friends Tony DiSanto, President of Programming for MTV, and Lauran & Charlie Walk, CEO and Founder of CWE Media and Chairman of the RJW Collective. This star-studded summer bash at the beautiful home of Margie & Michael Loeb will benefit our Phoenix Academy of Long Island and our East Hampton outpatient center. DJ Cassidy and Donna D’Cruz will provide musical entertainment. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our website.
Kara DioGuardi Hosts Golf Scramble & Gala
Last month, our friend American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi hosted a fundraiser golf tournament and dinner at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club in Ocala, FL. Proceeds will be used to build a new music studio for young adults at our treatment center in Citra. LPGA players Danielle Downey, Brittany Lincicome, Meredith Duncan, and Lisa Strom joined Kara on the course. Other celebrity golfers included ESPN radio sportscaster Brady Ackerman and author and former PGA tour player Wally Armstrong. A cocktail reception and awards dinner followed the golf scramble, where Kara sang two songs she co-wrote and auctioned off two VIP tickets to the American Idol finale. Click here to read the Ocala Magazine story.
Spotlight Story: Lisa P.
I came to Phoenix House Santa Fe Springs after 22 years of drug abuse and chaos. I wanted to be reunited with my two children, but the staff taught me that I had to learn to love myself first. After six months, my son came to live with me in the program. Phoenix House helped me find the financial aid I needed, enroll my son in preschool, find a local doctor, and be the mother I had always wanted to be. Today, seven years sober, I’ve vowed that I will never go back to the drugs that took so much of my life away. I am working toward my bachelors in psychology and hope to become a therapist. This month, on Mother’s Day, I finally saw my fourteen-year-old daughter for the first time in ten years. We now send text messages every day—and I’m looking forward to being part of her life.