When Per Wickstrom was just nine years old, he was put on Ritalin. He knew there was something about the drug that wasn’t right; he felt funny and acted differently than when he was off of Ritalin. As he got older, his drug addiction grew with more and more drugs, until he realized he couldn’t do it anymore.
After going to four different rehabilitation facilities and noticing how they didn’t give the client a choice, Mr. Wickstrom wanted to create a rehab program that gave individuals options to see what worked best for them. Additionally, he wanted a rehab approach that was natural and didn’t require drugs to get clean. He was able to accomplish this goal by developing a program that included protocols that addressed emotional, behavioral, spiritual and physical aspects of addiction.
Why Per Wickstrom Founded A Forever Recovery
With a treatment facility that is unique that brings together several different modalities, A Forever Recovery was the first program to address addiction on this level. Mr. Wickstrom brought together several different types of counselors, and we hope to guide clients into finding the kind of recovery that is best for them. A Forever Recovery was founded with the commitment to meet clients’ needs and offers several types of treatment including faith-based, self-help, cognitive, and indigenous. Staff is available to help clients choose the best path for them.
Wickstrom’s Role with Charity Work at A Forever Recovery
Per Wickstrom and A Forever Recovery have sponsored several special events where clients can volunteer and give back to the community. A Forever Recovery does everything possible to support the local community and its residents. All of the special events can be seen on AFR’s YouTube channel; some of the most recent special events AFR had the opportunity to put on include:
Clients of A Forever Recovery were able to apply the concepts they discovered through their treatment program by volunteering at the Binder Park “Zoo Boo” and had the opportunity to give back to the community. By participating in this event, clients were able to grow, be sober and have fun in the real world and was one of the many steps they took on their path to a happier, healthier and clean life.
Rally for Recovery 2016
This event was one of the many ways AFR brings awareness to the stigma that’s associated with those who are suffering from addiction throughout the Lansing, MI community and the state. AFR wants to show others that instead of criminalizing those with addiction, we can give them the help that they need. Raising awareness is critical to AFR so that those with a substance abuse problem aren’t automatically put into the criminal justice system, but are given help and treatment.
2015 God’s Kitchen Christmas Dinner
In December 2015, AFR teamed up with God’s Kitchen, a community action group with the purpose to give impoverished families in the area access to healthy and nutritious meals. AFR donated $800 to help fund the remainder of their annual holiday meal. Dinner was served by dozens of volunteers and consisted of a traditional holiday feast.
Festival of Lights
In 2015, AFR sponsored the International Festival of Lights in Battle Creek, MI. The festival was held over six weeks and showcased vast and colorful light displays where kids and adults could walk through. Some of the staff and clients from AFR attended the festival and brought toys and gift cards for families and residents. The visit was intended to show clients the joy they can give to others.
On Halloween 2015, AFR was honored to sponsor the Candy Land event at the Word of Life Christian Church in Flint, MI, where residents and their children could have a safe, fun and family-oriented atmosphere to enjoy their holiday. To go with the theme of the event, a giant pile of candy weighing 1.25 tons, called “Candy Mountain,” was featured. The event included games, face painting, balloon animals, a magician and lots of candy to bring smiles and laughter to everyone.
Breast Cancer Walk
On October 24th, 2015, staff and clients from AFR joined the American Cancer Society for an annual 5K fundraiser, called “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.” Peggy, an AFR patient, was a breast cancer survivor herself and found the walk particularly touching. The walk was held with the hopes of collecting donations that would go toward breast cancer research, survivor services, and support groups.
Walk like M.A.D.D.
AFR was a sponsor of “Walk Like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving),” a nationally recognized organization that was founded in 1980 by a woman who lost her child due to an alcohol-related car accident. We covered a large portion of the costs associated with holding the event, which made it possible for more money that was raised to be put towards the effort to stop drunk driving.
2015 Alumni Picnic
Every summer, AFR hosts an annual alumni picnic, where patients who have graduated from AFR are invited to return for an afternoon of food and fun. The central theme of the picnic is supported in the recovery process because although Graduation day is a great moment for all of our patients, we know that patients are still overcoming their addictions.
A Penny for your Dog
On August 14th, 2015, AFR joined Post Community Credit Union in fundraising for a new K9 police dog for the local police department in Battle Creek, MI. Penny for your Dog was a fundraising event where residents were invited to come down with their spare change and donate whatever coins they had. Usually, a K9 Officer will run around $12,500 including kennels and protective vests. With the grant match of $5,000 from AFR, the total donation reached $10,000, which covered most of the cost and took a burden off of the Battle Creek taxpayers.
2015 Cherry Festival
AFR was honored to have the opportunity to be involved in the 2015 Cherry Festival, a national cherry festival that is held every year in Traverse City and draws thousands of people from all over the world. This was AFR’s second year as a sponsor of the festival, and they brought along a few former Detroit Lions for an autograph signing session to contribute to the attractions at the festival.
Sunday Football at Emagine Theatre
AFR found that one of the best ways to reach young minds was to team up with big names in the athletic community. AFR worked with former Detroit Lion, Herman Moore, to put on this event at the Emagine Theatre in Woodhaven, MI. AFR held a football event with several former professional athletes, such as Eddie Murray, Lomas Brown and Cory Schlesinger.
Mr. Wickstrom’s dedication to handling the addiction problem and his charity work has helped to make A Forever Recovery one of the most effective rehabilitation programs in the state of Michigan and throughout the United States.