Re-thinking Recovery: A Father’s Story

At the moment of birth you look into your child’s eyes and make it your life’s work to provide a perfect life for them.  They learn to walk, to talk, to run, to play and then start school. Never in my life plan for my kid, did the concept that he would be a drug addict, ever enter my mind. 

Why would it, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, I don’t even like taking aspirin.  I own my own company, work hard every day to provide for my family and employees.  We live in a great area in a very nice home and want for nothing.  He was a “GATE” student in elementary school, He was freshman class President and as a senior in High School ASB class President. He would rather read a book over watch TV.  He had more friends then you could count and his teachers and the staff at school all went out of their way to praise him.  He got a job at age 15 and loved people.  How could this kid be a drug addict?

After hoping that the problem would work itself out in a private college my wife and I had to face the hard facts that regardless of what we did, our child always chose drugs over his family.  Just at the point where I was resigned that our son would live out his life homeless in the streets or in prison, my wife discovered New Life House.

We tricked our son into “trying it out for 90 days” back in June 2014.  I figured the worst case for me was a 90 day break from dealing with the problem.

Our son went to New Life House with the intention of sticking it out for 90 days to make his mother happy, then go back to drugs.  He gave up his cell phone and all connection to his past “friends”.  About 7 weeks into New Life House our son came to us and told us that he wanted to change his life and complete the length of stay in the house.  I did not buy it, but supported it.  How could the New Life House recovery community get him to want to address his drug problem in just 7 weeks?

The New Life House community is committed to helping our son live a happy and fulfilling life free from the behavioral challenges and destructive behaviors of alcohol and drug addiction.  He not only has remained drug free, but gets up in the morning and contributes to the house, lives on a budget, cooks for himself, cleans for himself and gives back to the new guys in the house by helping them adjust to a life without drugs.  He understands that “rules” are for him.

Most of the guys I talk to in the house have FAILED in other programs.  So I started to wonder why this recovery community works when so many others fail.  The difference is the staff and the level of support from the graduates of the house who give back to the new guys in the community.  It’s like a big fraternity of guys who are all supporting each other.  The staff ALL have completed the house.  Its people who went through exactly what our son is going through, helping our son.  Our son did not want to hear about drugs from me or the fancy doctors we sent him to, but, he could relate to the guys who have been where he is and made it to a drug free life.

Our son is still at the New Life House.  He now has reached the step where he has found a job and is helping to pay for most of the cost of the New Life House.  He no longer wants our help, he wants to stand on his own two feet.  Of all the money I have spent on private college, cars, phones, toys and living the “good” life,  the BEST money I have ever spent is on the New Life House recovery community.  It’s not just about drugs, but teaching him how to connect into society.

My wife and I now find ourselves following the lessons learned at the New Life House by giving back to parents who find themselves with kids with addiction problems.  New Life House has helped us re-think the way we look at young adults and their family’s suffering with this life changing problem.

Thank you to the staff at New Life House for giving us our son back.

-Barry P., New Life House father

Last Updated on May 24, 2022


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