As a young child, Drew loved basketball, baseball, and soccer, but he excelled at track and cross country. By all appearances, Drew was a typical teenager although his home life told a different tale. He grew up in a household where both parents abused drugs and alcohol. Normalized, at 14 Drew started smoking marijuana. He thought it was no big deal, that it was just a little weed but Drew's addiction progressed quickly. By the time Drew was 17, he had progressed to heroin and crack, and for the first time he went to jail. Drew would be in and out of the criminal justice system for the next two years and when he wasn't incarcerated, Drew was homeless. After celebrating his 20th birthday behind bars, Drew was sent to the KED Renaissance Campus. In a state of defiance, Drew hated everything about treatment but that all changed when Counselor Darryl entered his life. Darryl was able to help Drew open up and address his feelings. Drew finally had the tools to manage his emotions, but best of all, he was able to reconnect with his family. Together they resolved many issues by participating in family programming. Drew's life was turning around.
Drew volunteered for our proactive community outreach and education program, Face2Face. He visited local schools to share his personal story with his peers and he supported at-risk teens through his participation in the Face2Face Early Intervention Program. Sharing his journey to recovery with others helped Drew accept his past and resolve any lingering issues.
While Drew was excelling in treatment, he received the tragic news that his father had passed away from an overdose. Despite his heartbreak, the next day, he was compelled to speak at a Face2Face Early Intervention. Influencing his peers and helping others to avoid a path to addiction allowed him to honor his father.
Looking back, Drew is thankful that he stayed in treatment. The program's consistency provided a strong foundation of responsibility that has helped him to enter the workforce and maintain steady employment. With over 365 days in recovery, Drew and his family are now thriving. His mom is sober and his sisters are happy and healthy.
Our stories need more happy endings like Drew's but what will it take to make that a reality? It is going to take YOU and your support! Your generosity will ensure that more than 30,000 people across Western New York will be able to participate in the KED Face2Face Program at no cost this year. Every dollar raised stays local to ensure that families like Drew's get the help they need BEFORE it is too late. We hope that we can count on your support!