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At our IYF teen rehab drama therapy treatment program has shown to increase self confidence, provide personal fulfillment and teaches great coping skills to our teens. We have even seen more engagement from our teens during drama sessions.

One of our teens Ben, is a phenomenal actor and has shown great improvement through drama therapy. You can see his awesome work in our Demon Boy production video. Through our various forms of therapy and treatment Ben has made great recovery strides that can be seen almost immediately through his attitude and body language.

Listen to Ben’s perspective here:

Denise: Hi, Welcome! Thank you so much for volunteering to share your experience here at Inspirations.

Ben: No problem.

Denise: How many days have you been here?

Ben: 60 days on the dot.

Denise: 60 days on the dot, and you’re leaving tomorrow morning?

Ben: I’m leaving on the 61st day.

Denise: What brought you to Inspirations?

Ben: I guess from a I was a little kid my parents could tell I had an addiction but they didn’t, well that I had an addictive personality. If I had a toy it had to be every single toy,if I had legos it had to be every single lego. I guess it wasn’t so hard for my parents to see that I was addicted to drugs. No matter how many times I was caught in school I would just continue on.

Denise: And when did it start? When did you start using?

Ben: The first thing I tried was alcohol and that was my seventh grade summer.

Denise: So it started off with alcohol?

Ben: Yes and then I ate a pot brownie.

Denise: And what was your substance of choice?

Ben: Um, marijuana.

Denise: So it went from alcohol to marijuana?

Ben: Yes and it was probably like six months before I started using marijuana.

Denise: Then you would switch to marijuana not drinking.

Ben: Well yeah, I would still drink once in a while but marijuana was my drug of choice.

Denise: And that went on for a long period of time?

Ben: Um, first time I smoked I got caught and I didn’t smoke for like three months. After that it was pretty rapid. I would smoke all most everyday or as often as I could. It really wasn’t everyday because I couldn’t get the money but I’d smoke whenever I could and then I’d get caught and stop for a little bit and then I would just pick up again.

Denise: And how did you find Inspirations?

Ben: I was at my brothers house and I was getting high and drinking with him and my parents could tell that something was up because I told them I was depressed and I actually wanted to kill myself that day, which I didn’t actually want to do (kill myself). I just told them that and I was confused, so they could tell something was going on. So they called me and they said I think you need to go to a rehab. At the time I was like there’s no way I’m going to a rehab and not in Florida! I live in Kansas it’s twenty-four hours away (by car) so there’s no way. Then they told me okay well we’ll have to send you to juvie.

Ben: After that my dad called and told me not to let my mom take me because he was confused and was two hours away at the time. So I woke up and my mom walked through the door and the night before we left pipes out, bottles out everywhere all over the floor. My mom just knew she told me to get in the car we’re going to see your grandma, which I knew we weren’t going to see my grandma but I just got in the car I didn’t really have a choice. On the way down here they kinda told me what it was and that’s when I told them I couldn’t get any bad out of and if I don’t like it you have to come and get me.

Denise: So now 60 days later, tell me some things you’ve learned about yourself?

Ben: I’ve learned that the drug problem was bad but that wasn’t even the worst part of myself. I was just using the drugs to mask what I was actually feeling, the fact that I was highly depressed and I had very low self confidence. I was just disrespectful and with the drugs I never noticed those things, I did them but I never noticed those things because I was just always high.

Denise: It would numb it out so you weren’t focusing on that. It made you feel better. You were self medicating? You realized that. Tell me more what else have you learned about yourself?

Ben: Yeah, I’ve learned the potential I have. i’ve been told my whole life “You’re this tall so you can play basketball” but I’ve realized that’s not what all my potential is.

Denise: Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you have to play basketball.

Ben: I write poetry and actually Big Apple told me I’m really good at it and that was really cool hearing that from him. He said “You got talent kid, keep up with it.” So its really cool that I found something else I’m good at that I enjoy. I love basketball but I don’t know if I wanna be playing basketball the rest of my life.

Denise: You’re finding out things in your life and about yourself. You’re a great writer and also a really great actor. Let’s talk about that.

Ben: When we did the first movie I was pretty nervous but as I saw the movie come out I wanted to do as much of these as I can so I starred in three of them.

Denise: You started in three of them?

Ben: Yeah.

Denise: And you were really good. You looked like you had fun.

Ben: I had a lot of fun doing them actually.

Denise: You had some fun here?

Ben: Yeah that’s the truth.

Denise: Did you think that would happen?

Ben: I truly did not, I just thought I’d do what I had to do and get out of here.

Denise: You made some good friends here?

Ben: Yeah it only stunk because they’ve left already.

Denise: Okay so are you heading back to school?

Den: Yeah,my school started the 13th so i’ll be enrolled and going to school by monday.

Denise: Do you think you’ll go into the drama department?

Ben: I don’t know, I did improv last year and the teacher asked me to join but I was too nervous.

Denise: Are you going to?

Ben: i’m going to be at a different school but if they have improv I’ll probably try it because I love improv.

Denise: Yeah you were a natural. So when you get back home what are you going to do? What’s next?

Ben: We’ve already looked up meetings and there’s one tomorrow at seven that me, my mom and recovering drug addict sister are going to.

Denise; What would you say to a parent that’s struggling to put their child in treatment?

Ben: Basically if your parents are considering the fact that you need rehab you probably have a problem. You don’t have to be a drug addict to be here and that’s the truth.

Denise: Right, you may be self medicating and masking something you couldn’t even imagine.

Ben: Yeah I wasn’t a severe or full blown drug addict, there were things I needed to work on. That’s one thing I can say is that even if you’re not an addict you’re going to find the problem so you can deal with it or get it fixed. or you’ll learn how to deal with it.

Denise: So I’m hearing that therapy is actually a good thing probably for everyone. I’ve always said that when you come in here it’s not easy to expose yourself or to look at yourself but when you do you start discovering why you do the things you do and amazing things you do.

Ben: Right and with the parents I’d say is just that how much I’ve changed in 60 days is crazy and that you can see the change in your kid and that’s the truth.

Denise: That’s wonderful your parents can’t wait to see you. I know I spoke to your mom.

Ben: And that’s the thing, yeah I know I messed up a couple of times and I did things I wasn’t supposed to do but I learned from this. Like when I ”eloped” and I was out there that was the biggest learning stone I ever had in here to be honest. It made me see what I was doing to my parents and the pain I was putting them through and that’s not what I want to do.

Denise: Sometimes bad things teach us a lot. Thank you for sharing it was very insightful, give a big hug to your mom as well for me and we hope to hear from you and come back to come visit.

Ben: Yes I have Larry’s number.

Denise: And you had a great rapport with your therapist by the way. Good so safe flight and look forward to hearing from you.

Ben: Alright!

Denise: Thank you.

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