For 15 year old John*, it was all about RESPECT. He popped Xanax pills and smoked marijuana to get respect from friends and family. He robbed houses and stores to impress these so-called friends and family. That was the only way he knew how and it didn't matter that he was only 13 years old when he started.
One day though, John saw himself on television as a "Wanted Suspect" and decided to turn himself in.
John's father is serving time in a federal prison and according to John, his mother is "out on the streets."
After several run-ins with the law, the Drug Court Judge sent John to Project ALPHA, our youth treatment program,
for one last chance to do right
. He started treatment in February of 2018 and his Grandmother, who is John's legal guardian, noticed a change in him early on. His Grandmother said one of the biggest changes is the way John deals with his anger. Once he realized that drugs were making his anger issues worse and learned different ways to cope with his anger from his treatment counselors, John had a positive attitude, a better relationship with his probation officer, and even started helping around the house.
"Has John come a long way? Absolutely." - Grandmother
One of our youth treatment counselors, Iris Ruiz, noted that John has had perfect attendance in all individual and group counseling sessions -
a feat no youth treatment client had ever attained
. But most of all, Iris is impressed by all of the genuine thought John put into developing his treatment plan and objectives. His focus and ability to make better decisions transferred over to his classes at school and John went from having grades of all zeros to straight A's. In fact, he did so well on his standardized tests, that the principal of CCISD's Student Support Center authorized John to return to his home school in the Fall.
John felt "shocked, happy, and surprised" that he was graduating from the program but none of us here at The Council are shocked. Despite graduating from our treatment program last week, John plans to keep coming to the group counseling sessions.
John said, "I know I'm safe here. I know I'm gonna get fed. I'm comfortable here."
His Grandmother is extremely proud of him and thankful that our program has given him the tools he needs to succeed.
For more information about our youth substance use treatment program, please call 361-887-7070.
*Client's name changed for confidentiality purposes