I was first introduced to Alpha shortly after making the agonizing decision to put my oldest son, Drew, into rehab after his first year away at college (Summer 2018).
It was a tumultuous time, and I was scrambling for resources and answers to help my son who was on a fast track to destruction with drugs and alcohol. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, I kept questioning myself though I was no stranger to addiction having grown up in a home with an alcoholic mother. I knew in my heart he couldn’t get a handle on this by himself and the most loving thing I could do was to seek intervention, yet I struggled to feel confident that I was making the right decisions on his behalf.
Reaching out to counselors, Al-Anon, and friends that I knew were familiar with addiction, I was connected to a meeting at Alpha 180. They were holding a large open meeting at their clubhouse and from the moment I arrived I felt I had found an amazing community. They made me feel at home and completely open and aware of the challenges I was facing. I was able to witness many families and young men that were much further along on this journey to recovery that were shining examples that this is sustainable and fulfilling. I left with hope for all the positive possibilities that could be available to my son once he completed inpatient treatment. I also had to accept that inpatient rehab was simply a small first step of a much longer journey.
We were able to make the transition for him from rehab to a place in the house at Alpha 180. The team was incredible, and they listened and gave excellent advice and recommendations for me as a parent, not to mention all the support to Drew. This confidence he was cared for allowed me to let go and allow for them to take some of the reins guiding him toward his best self! I won’t say this was an easy path for him or our family and we have all learned some crucial lessons; in that our young men (any of our children) must choose the lifestyle they want to live. I also know that when they are surrounded by a community that is full of men that have walked the path and can hold the boundaries needed has given Drew the much needed support that I could never have offered as his Mom.
Drew left his first stay at Alpha after about 9 months, he felt ready to live on his own and get back to college life. At first, this seemed like a great next step, but as with many addictions, his was not a one and done. He still needed to push some limits and found himself isolated and trying to white knuckle his sobriety. The silver lining to this story was that the friends and mentors he developed at Alpha were there for him with open arms in the moment he was ready and willing to reach out.
I have no doubts it was these connections that he had made that led him to come back to finding sobriety and living a better life. He hit his own rock bottom during the pandemic and by May of 2020 – he, not me, made the brave choice to put himself back into rehab with a connection to Alpha for him to return to sober living a little over a month later. Drew was ready – he jumped in like the true leader that was inside him and he got busy helping out in ways that inspired him. He found a place in the kitchen cooking and he was open to knowing a deeper level of purpose in his life. Again, Alpha provided this environment, allowed him to explore his gifts and connect with his peers, get back into college and work with an advisor planning a future that has him excited.
I am incredibly proud of the commitment he has made to himself and pursuing a life that he loves in sobriety. He has been sober for over a year now, and still very much connected to the community and now serves as a resident advisor, supporting young men toward living their best life! Drew lights up about coming up with activities, taking the guys camping, cooking classes and just all-around lifestyle that keeps him energized and focused. This is not an easy time in these young men’s lives, and I believe wholeheartedly in the program and the leaders vision for Alpha 180 – it provides a path and support for our young men to gain traction and what a gift to have this right here in the center of college where they learn to live and thrive with a choice in sobriety!