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Shawn - 23 Years
Dear Chris,

I will attempt to keep this “open letter” as short as possible. It truly will require that I be efficient with my words – your Team has saved the life of my son and I now know that the wonderful and kind child that disappeared for existence for a couple of years was able to be resurrected. Your slogan: “Trust in the Process” I recite in my head many times daily. I trust in the process and I trust in the true caring Professionals at Breakthrough.

One hundred and ten days ago my son called me for the first time in many months. I knew he was an opiate abuser and had other drug issues. I had tried to reach him and get him to recover before but the monster of opiates had control. Shawn was at the end of his rope. He had lost all control of his life. He had no friends and no future and had lost 30 pounds. He knew himself that the monster of addiction was bigger than him. He finally asked for help.

That Friday morning, I rushed to the seedy motel where he was “holed up”. I called Chris Jacobs on the way (I knew Chris from Shawn’s first stint at Breakthrough 18 mos. prior). Chris answered his cell phone and right away he knew who I was. By the time I helped Shawn pack his belongings into my car and went straight to a doctor, it was getting late. Chris had promised to take Shawn back into the program and Michelle was working late at the office to meet us late that Friday evening.

There are so many things I could recite about how the loving and caring Professionals at Breakthrough have saved the life of my son, but this letter would go on forever. I personally know about all of the housing coordinators because each of these great people embrace my son and me. A lot of people can fake a lot of things but the Treatment Team at Breakthrough does not fake their true dedication and commitment to the recovery of these lost people that need help.

Recovery is truly a process as I have come to know. As I mentioned to Dr. Cox once, I do not tell my doctors how to do surgery; I do not tell my pilots how to fly airplanes and I certainly do not try to tell a recovery Professional how to save the life of my addict son. Your really have to “Trust in the Process” – AND, trust the people. Both the addict and the parent / loved ones must be willing to turnover the handling of the crisis – and it truly is a crisis – to the people who know what they are doing. Dr. Cox once said in a family session to Shawn, “Your addiction will look for all nooks and crannys to resist”. How true that is.

There will be times when the collective wisdom of the Treatment Team reaches conclusions about what is best for the recovering addict that you may not understand. A parent wants to nurture a sick loved one. An addict needs structure and responsibility and accountability that you cannot give at home. An addict needs repetition of ideas and rehabilitation principles over and over – for life. This is truly not a disease that you can recover from without patience and perseverance – and trust. Relapse doesn’t occur to all addicts, but I have learned that it occurs to most. The Treatment Team at Breakthrough has taught my son how best to avoid the “triggers” for relapse. Nothing is certain and all you can do is do the best you can to increase the odds that your child or loved one will reach recovery and stay in recovery.

The gratitude I feel for all of the Treatment Team cannot be put in words and has a value that cannot be reduced to dollars.

Very truly yours,
Susan - 16 Years
Dear Chris, Tim and Breakthrough staff,

It seems that this letter would be easy to write; it is not. No words can adequately express my gratitude for all you have done for my son and me. It was not easy to leave my 16 year-old son in the care of complete strangers. I am so thankful that I did.

I credit him for working hard for his recovery, but it was each of you who did the work to provide him with the opportunity to learn about his disease, his recovery and himself. Six months ago, I thought my life was a nightmare. Now, I have a son who has grown emotionally, socially, spiritually, and even physically! Your integrative approaches touched all aspects of human growth and prepared him to come back home. He has been home for three weeks, and I am amazed over and over at what he has learned and how to apply his recovery principles in life’s daily situations. He has a new lease on life. The foundation that you have provided will last him a lifetime that he can always rely upon.

You are part of his sober network, so I know he will be back to visit. We will keep in touch. Some things you just can’t let go of.

Yours gratefully,
Susan B. (Satisfied Parent, 2014)