Making a difference in the fight against addiction takes teamwork and cooperation in our communities
The problems of substance abuse and addiction aren’t just personal. The effects of drugs and alcohol are far reaching, putting our neighborhoods and our children at risk. When addressing these social issues, it is important to reach out to other people and organizations that make it a priority to fight addiction and to help those who are suffering from the effects of drug abuse and alcoholism. By showing that we stand together in this battle, we hope to make a difference in this ongoing struggle.
On May 1st, 2015, A Forever Recovery invited some of the members of the Michigan chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to tour our grounds and facility and to learn about the unique ideas that form the basis of our treatment program. AFR’s Deputy Executive Director, Lewis Anderson, spent that beautiful spring day walking and talking with MADD Michigan’s Program Director, Tyler Maceachran; MADD Victim Services Specialist, Angel Harris; and MADD Affiliate, Marsha Heimbach.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a nationally recognized organization that was founded in 1980 by a mother who lost her child in an alcohol related car accident. Since its foundation, this group has made great progress in raising awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving,
fighting for tougher laws regarding this dangerous practice and taking every effort to making our roads and highways safer for everyone. Their goal is stated by the board of directors as follows:
Marsha Heimbach: MADD Affiliate
Marsha, who, like the founder of MADD, also tragically lost a child in an alcohol-related car accident, holds the cause of her organization very close to her heart. In an interview that she gave after her tour, she was very vocal about the impression that A Forever Recovery gave her. “This is incredible,” she says, “the way they cover every single avenue, mind, body and soul, and as an individual, not as a group following a pre-set script. They are hands-on. Very, very incredible facility.”
The uniqueness of the program at AFR comes from our understanding that every patient is different and that not everyone will respond to a particular modality of treatment in the same way. For this reason, we offer several different options for our patients to choose from, and our substance abuse treatment specialists work with each of them on an individual basis to find the most beneficial path for their personal needs. Our goal is helping our patients to achieve a clean and sober lifestyle, but we realize that there are more pathways than just one to reach that goal. This personalization of the treatment program at AFR is what Marsha noticed and what struck her the most.
Tyler Maceachran: MADD Michigan Program Director
Tyler was named as the Executive Director of MADD Michigan in 2013. He has helped head up many non-profit organizations in the past, including serving as Vice President of the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, president of Destination Success, which focuses on teens living in poverty, and executive director of Student Mentor Partners. He has dedicated himself to helping ensure that Michigan’s roads are safe and sober, and providing assistance to families victimized by this “entirely preventable and senselessly reckless act of impaired driving.”
He came away from the tour at A Forever Recovery with a deeper understanding for the patients going through treatment here, and the healing that happens in our rehabilitation facility. “It’s been an experience of folks that are very human,” he observed. “They’re broken, but they are repairing themselves, and the fact that they are reaching out to the community in a positive way, to partner with us and to support what we are trying to do, it has felt genuine and incredibly confident.” Often, a person in the depths of alcohol or drug addiction has become quite selfish, concerned only with what they want and disregarding the needs and safety of others. In recovery, they learn how to have compassion for others and to give back to the community without wanting something in return.
Angel Harris: MADD Victim Services Specialist
Angel has been working with MADD for three years. As a Victim Services Specialist, she sees firsthand the devastation and heartbreak that can be caused by alcohol abuse, particularly when it involves the death of a child due to someone else’s negligence. In her experience at A Forever Recovery, she noticed that our center had a very positive and unique feel to it.
“I felt the tour went really well,” she said in her interview afterwards. “I learned a lot about what they do here (at AFR) and their approach. It’s a different environment than any that I’ve worked in or been involved in.” The atmosphere of AFR is a calm, soothing and relaxing one, which allows our patients to concentrate more fully on their recovery without distraction.
Through the many efforts that we make to reach out to others, A Forever Recovery strives to be an effective force in the battle against addiction and the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. While our main priority is the treatment of substance abuse, we understand that this is only one part of the big picture. By showing our solidarity with other organizations that support this cause, we are able to raise awareness about these issues more effectively, promoting education on this dangerous and deadly problem. We can strive to be a source of inspiration, strength and hope for everyone.