It is a good thing for teenage addicts of alcohol or drugs to complete a rehabilitation program. It is just as important they get support following that experience to maintain their sobriety and to complete their high school education.
However, returning to the same campus with the same friends makes it easy for them to fall into the old patterns. So when I opened the envelope and read a paragraph written by a teen addict, now in recovery at Mission Academy, I wanted to know more.
The teenager wrote: “It was so dark. I wondered how I got here. There was nothing around me but this thick blanket of darkness. I tried to remember how long I had been in this deep hole that I had fallen into. One month? One year? Many years? I began contemplating my meaning of existence. Maybe it'd be better if I disappeared completely. After living with this darkness of addiction, an opportunity to get help was given to me. Then I found Mission Academy and I found hope.”
Mission Academy is a fully accredited high school funded by the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation. The school provides a safe, supportive environment for teenagers in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse who want to complete requirements for high school graduation.
To know more, go to www.oklahomaoutreachfoundation.org, phone 843-2402 or visit 720 W Wilshire Blvd, Suite 101-A, where you will meet one of my favorite people — Executive Director Janet Oden. Assessments are free. Individual, group and family counseling is available. Weekend social activities for teens and families are ongoing.
On Oct. 9, the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation will host a fundraiser. Keynote speaker for the event will be former NBA and Boston Celtic star Chris Herren, whose career and life have been affected by alcohol and drug abuse. Tickets are available. Donations are tax deductible.
Teenage drug and alcohol abuse is not a problem that affects one family. It affects our community. You can help by supporting this organization, which believes with love, perseverance and a strong knowledge of the disease of addiction, families can heal.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.