Every October the nation promotes a drug-free life during Red Ribbon Week. But at Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) applauding youth for making strides in their sobriety process, and positively acknowledging a commitment to being drug-free year round is an everyday thing.
Crittenton’s Chemical Dependency Treatment Program is one of our specialty program’s that is simultaneously implemented throughout our entire agency’s efforts. We run the gamut of providing intense mental health and substance abuse assistance to juvenile justice youth to perhaps providing family therapy and community connections to the families placed in our community-based programs. But at the end of the day, wherever our expertise is needed, the idea of helping those trying to break the chain of addiction is a real passion at Crittenton.
At the helm of this 365 days-a-year drug-free mission is Rhonda Foley, Director of Chemical Dependency Program at Crittenton. She along with a select group of certified addiction counselors and substance abuse treatment professionals have years of experience working with addiction in all its forms, in particular, having an expertise of helping children going through the effects of withdrawal.
“This kind of yearly awareness campaign serves as a reminder to those of us in the field to continue to work together with youth or with families who have loved ones going through substance abuse,” said Foley, “In particular, Red Ribbon Week, helps Crittenton create a teaching moment for our clients who are already in substance abuse treatment by encouraging them to take a moment to reflect positively on their progress, and encourage our clients do strive to do things differently from what led them down the addiction road in the first place.”
This year Crittenton, with the help of our dedicated Chemical Dependency Treatment staff, were able to bring sought after guest speakers who themselves have made a name for themselves once they dedicated their lives to sobriety, or have led a drug-free life despite the tragedies that happened in their own families.
We attribute the quality of our youth’s response to this year’s drug and alcohol free events directly to the energy and honesty our invited speakers brought to their presentations.
Among the speakers that were gracious enough to speak to our youth were the non-profit leader and foster youth advocate Lauri Burns; the former police officer. Mike Darnold, turned student interventionist and family support counselor for the City of Dana Point; and Payton Schrum the young activist currently starring in the powerful documentary, The Other Side, who herself dealt with tragedy due to her mother’s drug issues, and now uses her life story to encourage teenagers to be drug-free.
“First of all, all of the speakers selected to visit Crittenton this year have been a great inspiration to me, in particular Lauri Burns. She is open with her life story and knowing that she grew up in foster care and she was a former heroin addict that made ends meet through prostitution is something I’m always in awe of, and to now see her as a survivor and non-profit leader amazes me. She truly is a force to be reckoned with,” Foley said and added, “And as for Mike well to know that Mike has been sober for 30 years and very much continues to focus on what is working in relation to combating teenage drug trends, and providing real prevention solutions by helping kids in need is commendable. Payton on the other hand did not struggle with addiction but that in the face of family tragedy, at such a young age, Payton made it through to the other side drug-free. It makes me happy to know her inner-strength made her a real winner in life.”
On behalf of Crittenton we appreciate the time, efforts, and advocacy work that our speakers engage in everyday. To Lauri we send a message of encouragement on your continued path in the advocacy of homeless and foster youth everywhere. We are excited to see the progress of your life’s mission “The Teen Project”.
And to Mike and Payton the documentary, The Other Side, that you have taken part of is nothing less than inspirational. Continue to reach out to America’s youth by encouraging them to navigate their teen years drug and alcohol free.
We encourage our readers to learn more about our special guests. It is the least we can do for their support they have for the children and families we serve.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and adoption services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.