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Why would we take the time and energy to construct a website for this purpose?  What is the motive?

Good questions...

My experience is one of a father who struggled with his 13-year-old daughter with challenging behavior issues.  Issues that I initially thought were a result of the adolescent changes my daughter was going through and that she would eventually outgrow.  However, the behavior issues escalated to daily altercations of verbal abuse, arguing, disrespect, disregard of household rules, deteriorating grades, trouble in school, truancy, school suspension, shoplifting, police intervention, juvenile detention and ultimately, a suicide attempt.

Never was there any evidence of drug use.  Periodic redness in her eyes were discounted by her claims of "her allergies acting up." I sought help through private counseling from professional therapists.  I was told there was "no drug use", just "a phase she was going through" and it would pass with maturity.   Despite this weekly counseling, the issues continued to worsen. 

After progressively more serious behavior issues and an incident of leaving school and breaking into a friend's home and consuming alcohol, I admitted her to a local treatment center, where she remained for 30 days under "in-patient care".  Counselors told me we were lucky that "it was only her first time" and we were fortunate to get her treatment now before she began using regularly.  After 30 days, we met with counselors, were told they had done all they could, unsuccessfully tried to develop a mutually-agreeable behavior contract, and took our daughter home.

Although no alcohol or drug use was ever evidenced aside from the above incident, the behavior issues escalated to include truancy, theft, and running away from home.  I tried to find answers through books on teen behavior and other research.  Finally, through
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networking and parent support groups, I was referred to Pathway Family Center.  One morning when my daughter wasn't getting up to go to school and I asked why, she said she had been suspended.  We argued.  She threw a boombox at me.  I called Pathway, not sure if that was where she could get help or not, but I wanted to have a clinical assessment done.  The assessment revealed an extensive list of illicit drugs and inhalants that my daughter had used periodically or on a regular basis.  I was relieved and a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders because I was at my wit's end and I did not know what other options there were to help my daughter.  My biggest fear was that they could not determine the cause for this devastating and self-destructive behavior.  Finding out that drugs were causing this hell in our family finally made sense.  I just had no evidence before, so I had ruled out drugs as a possible cause.

My wife and I were actively involved with the program at Pathway, including parent support and parent education that helped us better communicate with our daughter, set boundaries, expectations, and provide her support.  We saw her make improvements through communicating and relating with other teens in the program who had life experiences and issues similar to hers.  With the peer approach, she could better relate to other clients because they were her age and also because they "had been there, done that", unlike any of the other counseling she had privately or at inpatient treatment.  Previous counseling was with adults in one-on-one sessions, or very limited peer group sessions.  Subsequently, my daughter indicated that she had even gone to previous private counseling sessions high, and she got high the day she left the inpatient center and resumed using drugs regularly.

At Pathway, my daughter began making improvements and we delighted in seeing our happy and hopeful daughter again.  While at Pathway, she received group and individual counseling, daily exercise, was well-fed...so much so that she gained 20 pounds, and worked on her school studies under the supervision of a licensed teacher on staff.  She progressively improved her attitude, positive outlook on life, was committed to her recovery, did speaking engagements at schools and organizations to encourage youth to not use drugs and to warn parents of the warning signs of drug use.  In contrast to her behavior before Pathway, my expectations were to just get my "real daughter" back and have our happy relationship restored.  However, I saw my daughter reach out to other children and parents, and share her story in an effort to discourage others from getting involved with drugs and their life-ruining effect.

After graduating from Pathway, my daughter finished her high school requirements and received a diploma, became certified in CPR, First Aid, and as an Addictions Counselor In Training through Indiana Counselors Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse(ICAADA).  For a period, she worked at Pathway assisting the Masters level therapists with administrative tasks and participated in group therapy sessions.  She has married and started a family.  As a mother with five children, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom and care for her family.  However, she still provides support to past clients via phone and email.  She has relapsed several times for short periods, however I understand that is an element of the recovery process.  She is active in church, and participates in school programs with her children, my grandchildren.  I am thankful today that, with help from Pathway, we were able to recover our daughter who was on her way to a progressively devastating crash landing in life.  However today, she is a wonderful mother, wife, and daughter, and is giving back to others from her experiences.

Without Pathway, I seriously doubt her life would be as wonderful as it is today.  Without changes facilitated by Pathway, my daughter would have resumed her downward spiral.  To think otherwise would be the definition of insanity...expecting change without doing anything different.  You see, every one of my daughter's past friends from her drug-using days are now either dead or incarcerated.  Without help at Pathway, I can only believe that she would very likely have ended up in the same horrible situation.

Pathway has helped many other families with similar experiences.  It is shameful that people who have never been treated by Pathway, nor have they ever even visited Pathway, are eager to publicly 1) defame Pathway and anyone who is in support of Pathway, 2) accuse and/or imply Pathway practices child abuse, 3) picket Pathway, and 4) post websites and blog against Pathway with false information.  Numerous false claims made by critics to independent oversight organizations have repeatedly been found to be without merit.   

Therein are my motives.

James Meyers



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