Hopelessness to Hope

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My name is Ginny, a proud parent of Jared, a recovering addict.

Our troubles began when Jared was in high school. There were many warning signs of drug use, but we kept on believing what we wanted to believe. In denial? You bet!! Even though we had strong consequences for his behavior, nothing seemed to work. Our family life was in chaos. My delightful son was no longer there. My lack of education in addiction made me blind.

During Jared’s sophomore year at the University of Alabama, we faced the reality that our son was an addict. I knew we needed help, but I didn’t know where to begin. I contacted the University’s Health Center, but they couldn’t help us. At that time there was no solution available on campus for student recovery. The money he was spending was out of control, and we had no choice but to cut off his funds. We knew this step might push Jared into other illegal behaviors, and it did.

He was arrested, kicked out of the university and charged with several felonies. Our lives changed forever. We were not only dealing with addiction but also with a record of felonies, and I knew that no matter what happened, Jared was faced with a lifelong battle. Our lives became more hopeless.

Due to his arrest, Jared entered rehab and worked hard on his recovery. He wanted to return to the university, but we weren’t sure about putting him back in that environment. Jared told us that if he chose to use drugs, he was going to no matter where he lived. He told me that he could go anywhere and do anything as long as he was grounded in his recovery and putting it first in his life. In order to be readmitted, he would have to meet with the Dean of Students. After pleading his case, he was readmitted but would have to participate in the University Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), a program the university was just starting for students seeking help for addiction and support for recovery. Then we were introduced to Johnny (the CRC’s founder and its first great mentor) and everyone else at the CRC. That was when our hopelessness became hope.

Through his participation in the CRC, Jared made friends who were in recovery, so he was able to surround himself with support. He was able to participate in college activities, such as tailgating, where he found he could have fun without drugs and alcohol. He had a place he belonged, enjoyed, and where he could grow into a responsible adult. Jared’s involvement in his 12-step fellowship and the CRC helped him to improve his self-esteem, taught him how to better deal with life’s situations, and helped him to find his inborn ability to succeed in life. My delightful son had returned to me. The CRC also educated me in the disease, provided me with a support group, and helped me to become hopeful! I can’t say enough about what the CRC experience did for us! Thank you!!

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