Pioneer Center North Reaches into the Community

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Julia is a residential treatment manager at Pioneer Center North (PCN) in Sedro Woolley, WA. Julia has been working at PCN for 21 years and realizes the importance of giving back and community engagement for the residents. Read her story below about a juvenile outreach program she started that not only helped the PCN residents, but aided the youth in their recovery journey.

PCN provides semi-secure, long-term residential treatment for adults who battle chronic substance use disorder. Services are focused on treating behaviorally difficult, treatment-resistant, high-need individuals.

Note: Pioneer Center North is in the process of locating other youth programs who could attend the program in the wake of the John King Recovery Center for juveniles closure due to funding.

May the Circle Be Broken

By Julia Dudley
Pioneer Center North

We understand addiction is a vicious cycle, passed on from one generation to another. The circle of addiction starts with the individual… often gets passed on to family members … and then spreads into the community.

To help stop this cycle, Pioneer Center North (PCN) opened its doors to the youth of John King Recovery Center years ago to begin an outreach program with a PCN resident panel discussion. John King Recovery Center was a 60-day substance use disorder treatment facility that served youth from 14 years old to 18 years old from all over the state. The PCN panel met once a month to speak to the youth. A van load of about 20 to 28 juveniles would show up to hear the PCN resident panel share their stories.

The panel would share their powerlessness over their addiction and the consequences of the choices they made. The message to the juveniles present was that they do not need to go as far down the “road of addiction” that leads to more jail time, institutions and death. The panel members would speak from the heart and share their experience, strength and hope, and the message of consequences due to choices. “What do you want out of life?” was a question often asked. The question was discussed and proven to be a direct result of the choices that the juveniles were making on a daily basis.

The criteria for PCN panel members included being a resident for a minimum of 45 days and being pro-active in their own recovery. The panel had a desire to share with the youth, in hopes of making a difference in their road to recovery. Both sides gained, as 12-Step programs all attest to “Sharing” as a powerful tool that can help heal both the listener as well as the speaker.

The youth shared that they were very “grateful” for what they heard. One juvenile stated, “These guys started out just partying, like us. Twenty years later, they are in a secure treatment facility, and it’s not a party anymore.” One young man commented, “I don’t want to be here five years from now let alone 20.”

In addition, a young girl shared of her experiences with a father who used heroin in front of her, all the while telling her not to do drugs. She is now battling her own opiate addiction. Her story had a great impact on one of our residents. With tears in his eyes he said, “I was that father. And today I found out my own daughter is in treatment.”

Our panel members share what a positive impact talking with these kids has had on their own recovery. They often would refer to the insight into themselves they experienced after a panel discussion. One panelist said, “I wish I had heard an adult addict in treatment talk about their past when I was young. It might have really helped me.”

Saturday, December 5, 2015