“The Best Choice You Could Have Made” – Graduation Letter
At times, a teen completes our TRIP program and delivers a truly profound, thoughtful, and moving graduation letter. The following graduation letter contains all these qualities and more. ASAP is lucky to meet amazing kids like this, who make incredible changes while engaged in our treatment.
To my parents, and my brother, I love you guys. Although sending a second son though a substance abuse program must have been heartbreaking and disappointing, I want to say thank you. Being completely sober and clean allowed for me to think with a clear head, something I probably wouldn’t have been able to do without being in this program. Not only did this program teach me about the dangers and risks of using can lead to, it also allowed for me to find out who I want to be, which may sound weird. The detox stage of my treatment was no fun, but once I realized what it had felt like to be sober again, I realized that’s what I needed in order to be the person I wanted to be. Lastly, to my family, I wanted to say that I am sorry for all the pain and worry that I caused you. I realize it cant be easy sending me off to live on campus with a bunch of teenagers who want to get drunk and high on the weekends. But I would offer you guys some peace of mind, in that the choices I make are just that. They are mine. Whether I choose to make a good decision or a bad decision is no one’s fault but mine. And through ASAP, I have a pretty good idea of what the right decision is.”
To the parents of the other teens in this room, realize please that this is one of the best choices you could have made by sending your kids here.
To the staff of ASAP, Hannah, Angie, David, Dr. Baum, Emily, Stan, and Chris, there was no way I would have been able to get through this program without every one of you guys. David, being my care manager, you helped with whatever concerns I had throughout my treatment and always managed to relate to me in some way. Angie, you are the life of ASAP. Whenever you walk through that door, I always have a smile on my face because I know something you say will make me laugh. Thank you for sharing your stories with the group and helping to guide us in the right direction. I truly cannot explain the value in having a group counselor that has a first-hand experience in substance use. Stan, even though you did my assessment and recommended the 8-week IOP program for me, you’re an all right guy. Stan, along with the rest of the staff at ASAP, I found a lot of value in the lessons you taught us in group. Emily, I think the first session I ever had was with you. Even though I was not happy to be in that room at all, after you guided the first hour, I realized that maybe this program wouldn’t be as bad as I thought. Hannah, although I only had two sessions with you, I was able to learn important lessons from you, especially the STOP method. Dr. Baum, although I never had a session with you, the lectures you gave the teens and the parents allowed for a more educational focus on what the lasting effects of prolonged substance use are. I found them particularly interesting and important. Chris, although you are no longer here with us, I hope that seeing me graduate will make you proud. I want to thank you for not only being my care manager, but also for helping my brother through the program. He talks constantly about the lessons he learned from you and was saddened to learn of your passing. I think I can speak for everyone who knows Chris that we all miss you.
To the parents of the other teens in this room, realize please that this is one of the best choices you could have made by sending your kids here. While your child may be mad at you for sending them here, by the time they finish, most of them will realize that it was for the best. Be open to what your kids are struggling with. Give them opportunities to gain your trust back. It is impossible to go through a program like this without the unconditional support from your parents.
To the other kids in ASAP with me, I couldn’t have made it through this program without you guys either. I came into this program thinking that I would stay sober for the 8 weeks, get out, and start using again. Being in treatment with an open mind is the best thing you can do. Many of us don’t like the authority figures that come with consequences or with life in general, and although it is hard to admit, they usually know what is best for us. But in group, actively participating and keeping an open mind to what is being taught is a choice. I can’t express how important that choice is. Without participating every day and engaging in the group, there is no way I would have transitioned from wanting to use into wanting to stay clean. Every single person in this room that is part of the program now has taught me at least one thing or another. I see a lot of parallels between you guys and myself and I’m truly going to miss seeing you guys every weekend. Remember that you can only work in the present. The past helps you choose your present, and the present will define your future. I truly believe in every single person in this room and l know that you all have the strength to do this as well.
This client’s graduation letter is representative of the incredible teens we serve. If you find your child or someone you know has these troubles and you live in the greater Cincinnati area, please give us a call at 513.792.1272. ASAP hopes to be part of the solution – helping your teen to reach their potential in recovery.
ASAP is Cincinnati’s premiere outpatient treatment center for teenagers and their families struggling with substance use.
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