For the first time…he felt like he was an alcoholic

The shelter welcomed a new youth, Ethan, several weeks ago.  This youth’s alcohol use and family breakdown led to him to Covenant House.  One evening Ethan disclosed he had attended his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting as he was struggling with remaining sober.  Ethan attended four meetings that week, and continued to do so every week.  Ethan had begun talking in constructive ways with his family and was hoping to spend time with his Mom.  Ethan began seeing a Covenant House Drug and Alcohol Counselor weekly and also took part in some workshops for life skills. Ethan managed to secure employment in the field he was interested in—things were looking up!

Things were going great but Ethan began getting short-tempered and argumentative.  Ethan started being disruptive to the house and had to be called on it several times.  When his one-to-one worker asked to talk about his behavior, he refused.  We were not sure if Ethan was going to make it through the night.

The next morning, Ethan came to talk to staff.  He stated that for the first time in his life, he really felt like he was an alcoholic.  His said that his addiction was getting the better of him and he was wanted to drink. We tried, at length, to reason with him, but Ethan decided that he needed to take a break from Covenant House as he couldn’t resist his urge to drink.  There was not much that we could do…his mind was made up.  We gave Ethan Covenant House’s Drug and Alcohol Counselor’s contact information and encouraged him to call.  Within a very short period of time—Ethan had left the shelter… It was very tough to see him go.

The shelter welcomed a new youth, Ethan, several weeks ago.  This youth’s alcohol use and family breakdown led to him to Covenant House.  One evening Ethan disclosed he had attended his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting as he was struggling with remaining sober.  Ethan attended four meetings that week, and continued to do so every week.  Ethan had begun talking in constructive ways with his family and was hoping to spend time with his Mom.  Ethan began seeing a Covenant House Drug and Alcohol Counselor weekly and also took part in some workshops for life skills. Ethan managed to secure employment in the field he was interested in—things were looking up!

Things were going great but Ethan began getting short-tempered and argumentative.  Ethan started being disruptive to the house and had to be called on it several times.  When his one-to-one worker asked to talk about his behavior, he refused.  We were not sure if Ethan was going to make it through the night.

The next morning, Ethan came to talk to staff.  He stated that for the first time in his life, he really felt like he was an alcoholic.  His said that his addiction was getting the better of him and he was wanted to drink. We tried, at length, to reason with him, but Ethan decided that he needed to take a break from Covenant House as he couldn’t resist his urge to drink.  There was not much that we could do…his mind was made up.  We gave Ethan Covenant House’s Drug and Alcohol Counselor’s contact information and encouraged him to call.  Within a very short period of time—Ethan had left the shelter… It was very tough to see him go.

Although not in shelter at this time, we know that this youth will come back to us for help once again.  Ethan has taken some major steps in admitting his misuse problem—more than most of our youth will admit to on their first stay.  Next time he comes back—we know what we need to work on now…