Daytop Addiction Treatment

When I was twelve years old is the first

time I ever picked up a drug.
My first drug I ever used was alcohol.

In between 12 and 14 I had escalated from using alcohol to smoking marijuana to doing painkillers, I even tried cocaine. I was always an attention seeker I always wanted to fit in, so when I went from middle school to high school I wanted to be with that crowd that everybody is always talking about that always seems to be involved in everything.
(Smiling mother and Daytop client daughter)
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My excuse

When I was 12 my father got sick, I was 13 when he passed away. The drugs started to escalate from that point. Imagine a person losing someone then using it as an excuse. If I went out and got high again it was easier to escape that pain just as easy as it was to escape grieving.

Because of the effects of like my drugs and alcohol abuse had on my school work I went from before in the middle school, a B and C average, nothing stellar but still being a functioning person in school, to getting Fs, incompletes, not showing up to school at all, I think I had 38 absences in 9th grade. I kept milking the grieving saying, I didn’t feel like going to school cause I didn’t want to be around people that were going ask questions or make me feel uncomfortable.

(Smiling young Daytop client)
(Daytop client with mother and brother)
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I wanted to fit in

The choice I made was to be with the negative crowd because that’s the one that is always talked about and is always in the center of everything. One night I was asked to go with them and they were all drinking. I wanted to fit in, of course I had to show off, I had to be the one drinking more than everybody else. And then the police came there. They were called I guess by someone who saw what we were doing and then they started to search us and I was the only one who had drugs on them. I had 300 Vicodans, which was a felony. I was put on probation and they said I could get put into a group home, or I could join a rehabilitation program. So I didn’t know what Daytop was really, I know it was a rehabilitation center and I agreed to it.

Everything had to change

They said that a lot of things are going to have to change. That I couldn’t keep in contact with the old negative friends that were pulling me down and that I was allowing to pull me down and me distancing myself from my family.

One day, I had got caught because I was drinking on the weekend and they caught me and someone asked me, “How long can you lie to yourself for?” And I thought, “Lying to myself? I’m lying to all you guys, I’m not lying to myself. I know who I am.” And the counselor asked me, “Who are you?” And, I was blank. I couldn’t name one thing about myself. I knew I liked to get high, I knew that I was running. I realized that, I haven’t done one productive thing in 3 years.

I started believing

That actually was the first time I looked and realized that what I was doing was wrong and that I was lying to myself. And that how long can I run for until everything catches up with me. I’d already given up on high school, failing, almost expelled. That’s when I started believing what they were saying at Daytop and that the things that they say to you isn’t just some hoopla that you know you hear everyday it’s actually true life.

My grades went up and I saw how happy I was making my mom and how happy I was making myself, how pleased I was getting and I went from hanging onto these negative beliefs to sharing and working through them, and moving on and then, you know, going to school at Daytop and getting Bs and my mom smiling when I came home instead of, you know, always worrying about me.

A complete turnaround

I came back into mainstream school when I was in the eleventh grade, and I started bringing home A’s and B’s. I left school failing, I came back getting A’s and B’s. It was a complete turnaround, you know. The period in between me failing and getting A’s was because of Daytop. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t gone there. I don’t know if I would be here today if I hadn’t gone there, it completely changed my life and I owe it to them. The changes I made while in Daytop are the reason why I’m doing so good now, is why I’m having such a positive life now.

I have a future and lots of support

And now, I’m holding onto it with both hands and I’m just going with it, you know, I’m planning on graduating high school, I’m planning on moving on to college, I want to graduate college. I want to go to law school and when I tell my mom, she’s happy, she’s proud, she smiles, she says “good for you. You know, you have goals for yourself, look at what you did for yourself. Be proud.” And it’s sort of a weird feeling, because I didn’t have that. I had, “Oh what are you doing tonight, Did you do your homework?”

And, now I’m having,“Congratulations you graduated high school! You’re going to go to college. Whatever you need, I’ll be there for you.” All that support, all the trust, all the family concepts that I was building back up, stronger than they were before. And experiencing that was out of this world it was better than any drug I’ve ever done.