Joey is appreciative of Goodwin House, CHD’s residential substance use treatment center in Chicopee serving boys aged 13-17. “The program has done a lot for me,” he said. “It has opened my mind. It’s helping me be happier and to be the person I want to become.”
He has been through a lot in his 16 years, including experiencing an overdose. At Goodwin House, he enjoys groups that focus on such subjects as health management, relapse management, and money management.
At Goodwin House, Joey also learns coping skills—one technique being carrying a non-alcoholic drink at a party. “It’s easy enough to just put water or juice in my cup,” he said. “If someone asks, ‘Do you want liquor?’ I can just show them the cup and say, ‘I’m good.’”
Joey also finds AA meetings valuable. “Yesterday, we talked about gratitude,” he said. “Seeing how much my mom cares about me—I’m grateful for that. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be getting sober right now. She convinced me to change my life.”
What advice would he give a substance user his age who is considering going into recovery? “You have to do it for yourself—not for other people,” he said. “I’m the type of person who wants to help my family, but I learned that first I’ve got to help myself. If I can’t help myself, how am I going to help them?”