This article was contributed by Ken Betts, LPCMH from FHR Delaware
Taylor L. was admitted to the FHR AOD program in June of 2015. By his own account, he was extremely resistant to treatment. He refused to participate in group discussion or work on his substance abuse. At the age of 24, he had already been incarcerated multiple times for drug charges and violation of probation.
When Taylor came for court ordered treatment last summer, he had been placed on Level IV probation, which is also known as house arrest. I did his intake and spent extra time encouraging him to also address his mental health. He was told he would not be judged in this program for his past and that we were already determined to see him succeed if he worked on his recovery.
At the onset of sessions, Taylor was negative. He stated that he had dropped out of school in the tenth grade and was not interested in getting a diploma in spite of pleas from this grandmother. It was at this point that he began attending group sessions in the AOD program and started to participate for the first time. As I continued to work with Taylor, he became less negative and began engaging in individual and group sessions.
In September of last year, he surprised me by announcing he was going to enroll in a local GED program. He excelled in the program and graduated. Throughout school, he brought in progress reports to prove that he was committed to the program.
To bring his progress up to date, Taylor recently enrolled in a two year program at a local college, seeking a degree in automotive repair. He loves cars, so this is a great fit. He is also working at a local automotive repair center and is learning how to repair cars while working on his degree at night. He recently stated that he does not intend to stop with a two year degree, and that he wants to go as far as he can with his education.
Taylor has graduated from the AOD program and is off of house arrest. He will be finished with TASC in April. He continues to attend weekly therapy sessions with me, and plans to come until both of us agree that he is at a point where he can be discharged. Although there are still issues to work on, his problems with substance abuse are in remission. He actually has a “glow” about him that I and others at FHR have noticed.
No one can guarantee future behaviors of a consumer, but from last summer until the present day, it is amazing how much this young man has changed for the better. He is receptive to suggestions and wants to change his life drastically so he can finally find contentment after living a life he struggled with for the last 10 years. I have been counseling consumers for 12 years and have never witnessed such a transformation in a person’s life in such a short period of time. Consumers like Taylor cause me to remember why I went back at school at the age of 50 to pursue a career helping others.
-Ken Betts, LPCMH