Jim and Barbara : How Our Son Broke Through the Stages of Addiction

Jim and Barbara F. are the parents of Dave, a successful graduate of the Turnbridge program.  As Dave progressed through various stages in his drug addiction, Jim and Barbara tried a wide range of interventions in order to help him.  For years, these drug treatment attempts were unsuccessful, but after Dave decided to turn his life around, he accepted the help of those around him and he has worked hard to maintain a stable and sober lifestyle. According to Jim and Barbara, Dave began having issues with drugs and his behavior changed drastically when he was around the age of 13.  Dave was naturally smart in his first years of school.  According to Jim, “he never had to do any work, it just came to him.”  As the years went by, he hit a “wall;” he needed to work harder and wasn’t accustomed to it, and he fell out of the group of “braniac” kids that he was with. stages of addictionAt this point in his life, Dave spent several years trying to find his place among his peers.  According to his parents, his behaviors shifted then toward that of the “recalcitrant kid” and the “class clown.”  “He did outrageous stuff,” Dave’s parents said.  “He gained a lot of notoriety.  He was trying to find his place, and found it with people that were not helpful to him.”  The circle of friends that Dave grew accustomed to eventually left the drugs and shenanigans behind, progressing through that phase while Dave never moved out of it. In Dave’s teenage years, his parents tried a range of intervention and treatment options in order to reach through to Dave and to curb his drug abuse.  “You name it, we tried it,” his parents said.  “We tried everything trying to break the addiction cycle.”  Dave tried boarding schools, wilderness programs, detox clinics, and sessions with both psychologists and sociologists.  It wasn’t until the latter stages of his drug abuse, when Dave first started using heroin, that his parents knew he was an addict. By this point, Dave was miserable, and he was ready to commit himself to change.  “We didn’t have to push David too hard at this stage,” his parents said.  “He was ready, and was tired of his life.”  Dave volunteered for, and successfully completed, the program at Gosnold on Cape Cod.  While he was there, the staff told Jim and Barbara that Dave needed to change his surroundings, that “if he goes back to the same environment, he’s a goner.”  The counselors at Gosnold recommended options for residential drug treatment programs, and Dave chose Turnbridge. According to Jim and Barbara, Dave was initially rebellious in the program, but with time and the incremental phase system that Turnbridge uses, he has turned his life around and dedicated himself to sobriety and to the Turnbridge community.  “This time it proved to be different,” Jim and Barbara said.  “Dave decided that he needed to change his life.  Turnbridge provided the path to live a sober life.  The staff at Turnbridge stood right by Dave for providing support, encouragement and forcing him to look deep into himself for answers. They also gave us guidance and taught us more about what it would take for Dave to get through each phase of the program. I truly believe the different phase structure allows each resident to feel they have made incremental success. .towards a goal that together, with each other, they were trying to achieve.” “We could see our son coming back to us slowly. We also could see that Dave now had a new family...his sober family. Together they formed bonds of friendship which strengthened their commitment to sobriety. It was a breath of fresh air to see Dave taking control of his own life and actually enjoying it better than he had since he was a young boy. Now, after three years, we can see Dave being supportive to others trying to achieve that same goal.” Dave began working for Turnbridge soon after graduating and he currently serves as Director of Support Staff.  “It’s more than just a job for David,” his parents said.  “He really cares about what he does to help other people.  He has chosen to stay at Turnbridge and in Connecticut which proves to us his commitment and maturity. We are so proud of our son. We love him dearly and thank all of you at Turnbridge for giving us our son and him a chance to live.”