Dear Parents,

We understand the way you are all feeling right now. We were there not so long ago with my daughter Bianca. We started researching programs that can help us and we found Nathan Fears. The first phone call was one of the hardest calls we ever made.

Our struggle with our daughter began around her sophomore year in high school. This meant not obeying curfew, marijuana and alcohol abuse, skipping class, grades went from good to failing, stealing from us and arguments at home. It was a very hard decision for us to make, but if we didn’t make it we would have lost our daughter. A few days after our initial call we packed our daughter’s bag but we knew and felt very comfortable that Nathan would return to us our old daughter back.

As parents you feel you have good company walking by your side throughout the entire program, you will feel aided, supported, informed and this will help to bring back your self-esteem as a parent, since you get back the lost respect and authority. Your child acknowledges it too, since you made this decision for him/her because as a parent of a minor you have the responsibility and the power to do something like this.

The hardest stage was making the decision and following through. At the beginning we were scared if we made the right decision, if our daughter was going to hate us, if she would stop talking to us, all of these things crossed our minds. Now we can tell you, that we made the best decision. Our daughter is thankful that we sent her, and that in itself is very grateful.

We could not have done this alone. The help we got from Nathan throughout the whole process was amazing. We were able to call him on his cell phone 24/7 if we needed anything. Nathan is blessed with special gift in helping kids and thanks to his dedication he has touched the lives of many families around the world. Nathan we thank and Love you very much for how you changed our lives. God bless you and your family.

We are still walking the walk. Wishing that you might find peace, love and unity again in your family circle.

UPDATE: The concerned person now works in the healthcare industry and is a vibrant member of her family and community.

- Olivera Family Tampa, FL

My Guardian Angel…

For those of you who are concerned about a loved one because of addiction, it is an extremely emotional and difficult ordeal to go through; it was for my family. I was 16 years old, battling a heroin addiction as well as severe depression. I grew up in a happy and loving family, I was not abused or mistreated, and I lived in a suburb in New Jersey no different than any other. But I had a problem. It wasn’t until my mother was given Nathan Fear’s phone number that I finally got the treatment that I needed. Ironically a therapist from the first rehabilitation center I went to (that I can honestly say did not help me at all) was the one who gave my mother Nathan’s contact information.

Of course by this time my mother and family were extremely emotional and confused about what course of action to take. Nathan found and made arrangements for me to enter a treatment center in Florida. Nathan came to the treatment center to check on my progress. When I was released from the facility in Florida, although I had made tremendous progress, I still felt that I was not ready to return home. Nathan agreed and arranged, with my family, for me to stay in a halfway house in Minnesota. I unfortunately had a setback while there and ran away from the house… five days later after being in a strange place with nowhere to go, I called Nathan and he picked me up immediately and took me back to the halfway house where I chose to remain for another two months.

I am now 20 years old, have received my Associate degree and graduated with honors. I now attend a university in New Jersey where I am working on receiving my Bachelors. If it weren’t for the efforts of both my family and Nathan, I would not be where I am today. I am not sure I would even be alive. I no longer have any desire to use, and I have been sober for four years. I still speak to Nathan often, my mother says that he is my guardian angel and I have to agree with her. Although I had to do the work in recovery, I needed the people in my life, including Nathan to set me on the right track toward a happy and healthy sobriety. Everyone who knew me before recovery is amazed at the person that I have become. Nathan stayed with me every step of the way, and never allowed me to give up. I give thanks for my family’s and Nathan’s unyielding support everyday. UPDATE: Lindsay possesses a Masters degree in healthcare, is married with children and a vital member of her community.

- Sincerely, Lindsay N. Maryland

We have been remiss in not writing to you sooner to thank you for all your help when we were in a scramble to find a program for our 16 year old son earlier this year. At that time, he had benefited greatly from his 60 days in a rehab program for addiction, but we also knew he needed more help and it would not be wise to have him return home at that point in his treatment.

One of the many phone calls we made seeking a residential sober living program for teens led us to you. We first read your website and felt that God answered our prayers in leading us to you. We were so grateful for your immediate, knowledgeable and expert assistance. Within a few hours of contacting you we had a placement for our son. You were fantastic in helping us sort out details including the most appropriate program for him, help making the plans for transferring him from one facility to the other, etc. You demonstrated a genuine concern for our son from the moment you met him in Florida and that concern continues to this day. We are so fortunate to be able to tell you and others that our son is doing so well, and his recovery program is the result of many caring people like yourself investing time and dedication to his needs. Your fees are very reasonable and you are more than generous with your time, often returning our calls on evenings and weekends which is above and beyond the call of duty.

We would be happy to speak with any other families who would like more information about how you helped us. Your ability to reach out and help kids with addiction illness is truly a gift and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. We look forward to being able to report positively about our son’s progress, but we will also lean on you for more help if and when he needs. UPDATE: Their son is continuing to do well in the recovery process.

- Tricia and Bill Baltimore, MD

Our daughter spent 72 days in rehab under the direct care of Nathan Fears. Nathan saved our daughters life. I will forever be in his debt. Our daughter was in Florida with Nathan and we flew from Connecticut. I can tell you that we are very over protective of our daughter and it was very scary to leave her so far away. The moment I met Nathan all my anxiety disappeared. This man is brilliant at what he does. A miracle worker in the respect that with his training and rehabilitation, he managed to change us as parents as well. He showed us what we needed to do to insure that our daughter have the support and guidelines she needed. I am proud to say that she has been clean from all drugs and alcohol for 14 months. She is applying to the colleges of her dreams and back to being an excellent student. The distance was absolutely the best thing for our daughter. Do not hesitate to consider this center even if it is far from home. I am happy to talk to anyone that may want to know more and Nathan has our contact information. Nathan has become part of our family. He checks in with us and we check in with him. With Nathan you not only get an educated, dedicated and loving director, you get a friend for life. UPDATE: She is now a spiritual and healing therapist and womens healthcare advocate.

- The Donaghy Family Connecticut

It was one year ago that I found the first small wax paper packet of heroine. The pills, weed and alcohol were bad- terrible, but this was horrifying and panicked me and my husband beyond words. The first person we thought to call was Nathan. Our 17 year old daughter had spent three months the prior year in an in-patient facility that he directed and we felt confident that he’d know what to do. He was at our house the next day and somehow convinced her that this was the end of the line.

The thing that drew us to Nathan’s adolescent program was his strategy to teach the kids how to live sober instead of just not doing drugs. They went to area parks to work out, went horseback riding and on an airboat excursion and even to the local Target to shop, in an effort to get the kids used to everyday living without getting high. The recovery program and therapy sessions were very good and included weekly family sessions with a trained therapist and a monthly workshop with Nathan. It always surprised me that he knew the teens well and how much they respected him.

What made us call Nathan when our daughter slid back into drug use, was the knowledge that he truly cares for kids in our daughter’s situation and that he could help. Our daughter really responded to Nathan’s no-nonsense approach to what she was doing when we couldn’t get through to her.

Our daughter has eleven months sobriety under her belt and we are optimistic about her future. My heart goes out to other parents who find themselves in similar situations and I wouldn’t hesitate to advise them to call on Nathan Fears for help. We trusted him with our ‘baby’ and they can too.

UPDATE: Daughter is a certified barber, married and doing extremely well.

- Susan C. NJ

Our Journey

I could not believe this was happening to my precious family. Where did I go wrong? What had I done? I felt like I had failed as a mother and a parent. Ai was scared to death for my son’s life.

David’s drug use had escalated from smoking pot to using pills. His behavior was erratic, scary, nasty and belligerent. It was impossible to deal with him.

Both my husband and I were finally in agreement that there was a significant problem and treatment was necessary. We researched many facilities in our local area but I was not impressed with any of them. The severity for David’s drug use worsened and more despair set in. We decided to look at 30 day treatment programs but there were very few programs accepting adolescents. We spent hours on the phone talking to many facilities. With God’s help, we were directed to a program in the Fort Lauderdale area. It had all the necessary components that we were looking for, such as individual, group and family counseling. The only problem was that there was no way my son was going to get into a car or plane and agree to get help. I was told to call Nathan Fears and discuss the case with him. There was a confidence and a sense of understanding in his voice. I felt liked I could trust him.

Nathan spent an hour on the phone listening and explaining how serious this situation was. He explained how important 90 days of treatment is for adolescents. At that time, we were not ready to commit to such a long duration. But as the conversation continued, I realized that Nathan had done this so many times before, and we needed professional help. I also realized I did not have any expertise in this area. Finally, in my heart I knew what needed to be done, but I was not sure I could actually do it! It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Was I really going to have my child picked up by a total stranger and be placed in a drug treatment center? Nathan worked diligently with my husband and me discussing all the different scenarios. He started to break through our denial. It was days before we had the courage to call Nathan again.

I called Nathan on a Saturday and said we were ready. We knew the right thing to do was put David in treatment, and we needed Nathan’s help to get him there. He laid out a plan, and we followed. We were at our rock bottom. I was in the process of a nervous breakdown and could not het out of bed or go to work. Within the last two months at home I had lost 18 pounds. We realized our lives had become unmanageable and we were powerless over the drugs. We all needed help badly.

Nathan arrived at 7:30am, as planned on December 22, 2008. He was prepared and ready to get our family through the roughest point of our lives. He spent the first hour talking to me, my husband, and my 15 year old daughter. Previously, we were instructed to individually write a note to David stating how we felt about this whole situation. As we sat down, Nathan collected the notes and reassured us that this was not our fault, we did not cause it, we can’t control it, and we can’t cure David. At that time I had no idea these were words that would become part of my everyday life through Alanon. We watched Nathan conduct the intervention in a professional, calm manner. My son did all the screaming and yelling and it did not even faze Nathan. He remained calm, which kept all of us calm on the outside and shaking on the inside. My son was not cooperative and we had to call the police before he was ready to go with Nathan voluntarily.

As David was leaving I was scared for him. I knew he needed to be detoxed. I also had this sense of relief that he was with the right professional staff and would get the help he needed. Nathan remained in constant contact with us.

I still did not believe David would need more than 30 days of treatment. I thought that it would be okay because we would simply detox him, give him a little therapy, and he would return home shortly after. Over the next month the staff at Nathan’s program had made great progress with David and us. We did come to believe that every 30days of treatment and sobriety would give David more time to build on. Once we were on board, we decided he would stay 90 days. It was the best decision we ever made. We had realized this was not over but just the beginning. David now has to learn how to live sober. Nathan also had a plan for my husband, daughter, and me to get help from an addiction counselor and attend Alanon regularly. Alanon has been the best place for us to learn about the addict and how not to enable our son’s behavior. Nathan was also there to help us make better choices with David. Even today, we run things by Nathan before we say yes.

In summary, I am so grateful for all the help, guidance and support we were given. David has completed his first year of college at Tulane University and has been sober for 17 months!! Nathan visited New Orleans last fall to make sure all the pieces (counselor and sponsor) he put in place were working. We are so proud of all David’s hard work, but with out the help of Nathan and his treatment program, we would not be here today! Footnote: David is still in active recovery and is currently a senior at Tulane University.

UPDATE: David possesses a Masters degree in Accounting, is a certified real estate agent, is married and father of a beautiful new daughter.

- Dr. and Mrs. Rosenthal Tampa, FL

On December 22, 2008 my life changed… I awoke with Nathan in my room and I was off to treatment. When I arrived I was sure that I was going to do my time and go back to my old habits of addict behavior.

My old lifestyle consisted of me getting high no matter what and disrespecting everybody who got in my way. I did not think anything was wrong with the way I was living but I knew I had acquired a serious habit with drugs. The first part of my recovery was of course admitting I was an addict because acceptance is the key at first. During my stay in treatment I had my difficulties not only with authority but also while working on myself. I did not want to give up marijuana because it felt like I would not be able to have fun without it. However, I have now discovered how untrue my statement was and I continue to have fun every single day without the use of drugs.

The one downside in my stay at treatment was that almost everybody who I was in treatment with has gone back out to use drugs. It deeply saddens me but at times is great encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing and not take the easy way out for the first time in my entire life. See, while I worked hard on myself in groups and other forms of treatment I learned about my important character defects such as always looking for an easy way out. In my days of using I would always want to stop and tell myself I was going to, but when the going got tough I never had the strength to finally stop. And that is exactly what the NA and AA programs do for me today. When I have a problem I look to my peers in the fellowship to help me through and give me suggestions that have worked for them in the past. The support I get day in and day out is unparallel to anything else in my life.

The turning point for me in my sobriety was definitely changing the people places and things and going to halfway straight from treatment and not taking any chances on going back home. I met some very influential people who introduced me to a lifestyle that I never thought was possible. I look up to those people today and would not be in such a beautiful position without them. Also, my parents have been so supportive of me. They gave me the gift of treatment to turn my life around and I have responded. I could not have done it without them and I am grateful everyday when I wake up for this opportunity. Before I got sober I treated them with no respect and did not ever care about what they wanted as long as I got my way and got high. Today I have learned not to take them for granted and have realized how much they care and love me. As a recovering addict I am still not perfect but I am working on it everyday. I continue to go to meetings almost every day as well as work the steps which are key to personal recovery. While I still have bad days and things definitely do not always go my way but I have learned how to handle difficult situations and not pick up drugs no matter what situations arise in my life.

- David Rosenthal Tampa, FL

My name is Stephanie and this is a story I thought I would never have to tell. About three years ago, I started to see a change in my daughter Cynthia. She started cutting classes which led to her cutting school all together. She changed her whole network of friends. Within the three years my daughter started to become a total stranger to me. She was always angry. Ashe always had an excuse or story for every action she took. Her anger progressed so much that we made a few trips to the hospital due to her punching walls. She started stealing from me. I would find money missing all the time. Then I started seeing my jewelry disappearing. I knew she was acting out but I also kept making excuses for her. She didn’t have the easiest of childhoods so it was very easy for me to believe her stories. She was my precious little girl that could do no wrong.

I knew she had tried marijuana and even came home drunk ne night. What I didn’t know was the extent of her using substances that she used to erase her problems. Let’s just say that I was in total denial. I kept blaming my divorce from her dad and some extreme family problems for her anger. I tried many different approaches to try and help her but never succeeded. I felt like a failure as a mom because I couldn’t help my own daughter. The scariest day of my life was May 30, 2009. Cynthia was out that day and my son Thomas called me in to her room and showed me what he had found. It was a box of pills and some money. That was when I opened my eyes and realized that my daughter had a severe problem. I believe to this day that if my son, who is only one and a half years older than his sister, saved his sisters life by showing me what he had found. I am sure it was the hardest thing for him to do. Late that night, after a phone call to her dad, I knew we had to go pick her up from a friend’s house. At that point we knew she was in bad shape so we rushed her to the emergency room. She had taken many different pills that night. I actually felt her slipping away from me.

Through a friend of my ex-husband, we found a wonderful treatment facility if Florida that I can say saved my daughters life. After researching, we knew that this was the place for our daughter. The first step of the process was getting Cynthia to realize that she has a problem. We had an intervention for Cynthia that included our closest family members and friends and a very special man named Nathan Fears. He was in charge of the whole intervention process.

Let’s just say that I was an emotional mess by the time the intervention was over. Now it was time for me to let go and let them take my daughter. The only way I can describe my feeling is to say that it felt like someone was ripping my heart out. It was very hard to let her go but I also knew that if I didn’t, the next trip would be to her death.

It was a very rough beginning for my daughter and us at home. We live in New York and we were sending her to Florida. But with the help of the wonderful therapists, staff and God, I actually started to see some hope fro my daughter. Cynthia spent roughly three months in treatment. Gradually we started to see the change in Cynthia. She learned many new skills while there but most important, treatment taught her how to live without using substances.

One year later, May 31, 2010, my daughter has one year clean time. She is very active with her fellowship Narcotics Anonymous. I have learned so much about the disease of addiction by attending NA meetings with my daughter. Words cannot describe how proud I am of my daughter today. It’s almost like giving birth all over again. She now has her whole future in the palms of her hands. I know today that she has her whole life ahead of her and will accomplish any goals she strives for. The most important lesson Cynthia has learned is that you have to take life “One Day at a Time”.

UPDATE: Cynthia had a relapse in 2012. She reentered treatment at eighteen years of age and is working daily to maintain her sobriety. She contacted Nathan Fears and is once again being monitored by him in her recovery process.

UPDATE: Cynthia is continuing in her recovery process.

- Stephanie New Jersey

When I was younger my parents got divorced, they were always fighting. That was very hard for me because I like a family to be together. When I was ten I was raped by my dad’s roommate. Around that same time my grandma had one of her three strokes these are things that led me to using drugs. I started drinking when I was thirteen, and then started smoking pot because the drinking wasn’t doing enough for me. When the pot wasn’t satisfying me I started taking pills. I became addicted to Xanax. I would wake up and the first thing I would think of is how I would get my pills today. I didn’t have a job so I would steal form anybody. I didn’t care about hurting people as long as I would get my pills I would be okay. I went to a high school where there were drugs everywhere and it was so easy to get high, the teachers didn’t care about the students. So my parents thought if they transferred me into a different school everything would be better, but it just got worse. One day I stole a lot of money from a very close family member and spent all of it on drugs and alcohol. I hid everything in a shoe box in my closet so my parents wouldn’t find it. On May 30th, 2009 I went to hang out with my friends and took about twenty pills. My mom called my dad and told him I needed to be picked up from my friend’s house. The only thing I remember was being in the hospital. I don’t remember getting home or anything. The next day my parents told me they found my shoebox I hid in my closet, and I overdosed on Xanax. My parents told me that I needed to go to rehab: I knew I needed the help but I was scared. I was withdrawing from the pills I was taking, that was the worst part. On June 4th, 2009 I had an intervention. Everyone in my family was there, they all read their letters and then I went to treatment in Florida. Now I realize that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I slept there for one night and I ran away with one of the girls that were there. The police found us and took us to the psych ward. I stayed there for 72 hours and they sent me back to rehab. While in the psych ward I had a lot of time to think. I realized I am an addict and I need the help if I want to live, it was a life or death situation for me. So I stayed in treatment for three months. While there I worked out my problems with my therapist. They taught me relapse prevention skills, how to cope with things without using drugs and just how to live without the drugs. I met some really nice people in treatment. The girls that were there helped me through so much and I don’t think I would be where I am today. While there the obsession to use lifted, and I didn’t feel like I needed the drugs to live. They taught me how to have clean fun and just live my life. When I came home from rehab the first thing I did was attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Without this fellowship I would not be where I am today. I met some of my very good friends in Narcotics Anonymous; it’s like one big family. My clean slate is May 31st, 2009. And I hope I will never use again. One thing they taught me in Narcotics Anonymous is to take it one day at a time, not to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow or a year from now, just to worry about today, and do everything you can to keep your clean date. The best thing about being clean at 16 years old is I can do anything I want with my life the possibilities are endless.

- Sharlene

“A’s” Story

It was just a few weeks before his 16th birthday that we found it. I had always told our sons, then 15 and 13, that they were allowed a large amount of privacy but we, as parents, were able to check their rooms, computers, and phones to make sure that we would be able to continue to trust them. It was on one of these rather infrequent checks of “A’s” phone that I learned about his problem. It was not drugs or alcohol that I found, but gay pornography.

There in front of me was a picture of him naked, in a very provocative pose, with an erection. In addition to his picture were those of several other boys in similar poses that he had received and stored on his phone. My husband and I had a “talk” with “A” and took away his phone. “A” had never had many friends, and we thought that this was a way that he was trying to fit in. We were concerned because this was not what we valued or had taught our boys was acceptable behavior. We were churchgoing, family oriented, community/school involved people.

I was upset and asked a co-worker who was much more computer and internet savvy than I, to help me find if there was more out there that “A” might be into. “A” had been treated for ADHD since the age of 7. Although he was treated with medication and his hyperactivity relatively managed, his impulse control was never well controlled. My concern that there was more bore fruit. My co-worker found several other sites on his computer that he had been frequenting, all very explicit, all visited frequently over the past year. We were appalled that this was hidden from us for so long. My husband and I are educated professionals in the health care field, but were ignorant when it came to our son’s capabilities and what he was able to access despite our supervision and parental controls on our electronic devices.

We decided that “A” should begin counseling. This was not the first time that “A” that we had seen the need for a therapist. “A” had been adopted from Russia at the age of 4 and had been treated for ADHD since age 7. We were able to find a local therapist who had experience working with both adolescents and sexual addiction. Reluctantly, “A” went, but put very little into wanting to change his behavior. He seemed to be very skilled at telling the therapist exactly what he wanted to hear: “I can stop if I want to,” “I am not gay,” “I am not doing it anymore.” “A” had no remorse. The lies to cover lies became more prolific. “A” continued to find a way to feed his addiction to pornography. We again found that he had accessed the family computer in spite of the parental controls and security measures we had put in place. He was now trying to act on what was until then a voyeuristic addiction, putting out requests to hook up with others just for sex. He was 16 years old and we couldn’t stop him. “A” couldn’t stop himself. And it was accelerating. The therapist deemed it a treatment failure and recommended more intense residential treatment. We strongly agreed.

The search began for a treatment facility that would meet “A’s” needs. His therapist and I searched for more than a week for a facility that offered rehab to teens and also treated sexual addiction. We were so frustrated to find that the sexual rehab programs across the country would only treat patients over the age of 18. The drug rehab programs who dealt with teens had no experience with sexual addiction. I took time from work to be able to search for a place that could help my son. It was through numerous calls across the nation and internet searches that I learned of a program in Florida that would accept “A”. I spoke with them on a Tuesday, and “A” was admitted on a Wednesday.The night before we left, as part to the admission process, I received a call from the interventionist associated with the program, asking if we needed him to come to Pennsylvania, where we lived, to assist with “A’s” transportation.I felt that I was able to handle him and that it would not be necessary. “A” put up little fuss about going.I was very surprised. I had expected more of a problem getting him on the plane. He wouldn’t speak to me or acknowledge that I was even there, but he went.

It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.The flight to Florida was one of the longest in my life and walking away and leaving my troubled son was one of the most agonizing.It also turned out to be one of the better things that ever happened.By admitting him, we had hope that he would come to terms with his addiction and his sexual identity. Because “A’s” addition was not substance related, insurance coverage was not available to us for his care. But it was something that we had to do to offer our son any chance of a future. We pulled from his college savings and exhausted our home equity loan to cover the expenses.

My husband and I had weekly phone conferences with him and his therapist. This was a time to hear about “A’s” work there and to have contact with our son. We looked forward to it, but dreaded it at the same time. He wasn’t eager to talk with us, which hurt tremendously. The therapist was excellent at confronting and challenging “A.” The weekly calls became easier as we realized that we could put trust in the therapist.

About half way through his three month admission, it was time to go to Florida and participate in the parent weekend. This would be the first time that we would have seen “A” in six weeks. We were able to be with other parents who were going through much more heart-wrenching problems with their teens. We felt blessed that we weren’t dealing with suicide and drugs. We were able to have time to spend with “A”, take him out for dinner and shop. He was very cold. He was very distant and isolated. We didn’t know how to act with each other. I guess that we expected him to be coming around by this time, to be beginning to view his addiction as something that he wanted to change, to see us as a family who loved him very much. When be brought him back to the facility that afternoon, I felt that we had lost him. He just wanted to get away from us. Fortunately, the therapist was able to process this with us the next day before we headed home to Pennsylvania. This seemed to be a turning point for “A”. For the remainder of his stay in Florida, he seemed to move forward at a more rapid rate. “A” participated in the weekly conference calls and was becoming a leader in many of the in-house groups and sessions.

When the time came to begin discharge plans, “A” was reluctant to think about leaving. By this time, he had developed a strong relationship with his therapists and the staff. He was working the 12 Step Program. He was growing. He arrived home the first week in October, enrolled in his junior year in high school, and resumed outpatient therapy. His behavior had improved, and it appeared that he was resolving his sexual addiction. He was seen as a success story. He was proud of himself for what he had accomplished while in rehab, especially for the respect that he had earned from the therapists and staff. “A” was even invited to return to Florida the following February to present his success story at a parent weekend. We were so proud to be on the other end of the process, and proud of “A” for the presentation he made. We had a grand reunion with many of the staff who had helped us as a family.

It wasn’t until the following summer that we saw changes again in his behavior. He was going out with new friends and working a part time job. He came home one evening on time for his curfew, ran upstairs saying he was taking a shower and going to bed. This was unusual, as he usually would watch TV and visit after he came home.I went to his room and saw that he was high as a kite. He told us that he used pot with his friends, “to fit in,” and had been doing it during the day also when we were at work. He was grounded except for work and not allowed to hang out with this group of friends in the future. By this time he had again refuse to participate in counseling. We were vigilant and concerned. “A” was well aware of the effects of drugs on a person’s life. We were faced with yet another addiction.

It was in early August that I found a second cell phone hidden in “A’s” room under his mattress. “A” was only a few months shy of his 18th birthday. Reading the texts, I learned that he had had a knife held to his throat in a drug deal just down the street in our neighborhood. He was leaving the house at night to deal drugs (marijuana). He was using daily, and he refused to comply with house rules. I knew that because he was so close to becoming 18, we had to act immediately before we had no control. We again contacted our resources, and now friends, in Florida. We had to remove “A” from this downward course. He was adamant about not going to Florida this time. But he ultimately boarded the plane with me Labor Day weekend. I couldn’t believe that we were again admitting him to a rehab facility. Angrily, “A” informed me that he would stay and put in his time there but not really work on anything, not be the good kid this time, and when he got home would do what he pleased. This time, I had trust that the therapists would deal with his attitude. The weekly conference calls began anew. The 12 Steps restarted. My hope for him was rekindled. This time insurance was of help to us, since this was chemical dependency and not purely a sexual dependency.

The terms of “A’s” return home were contingent upon his sobriety and following the rules. We again had our contract in place. If he chose to use, if he tested positive for illicit substances, if he wished to defy our house rules, he could no longer reap the benefits of living in our home. This was very difficult and very clear information that we put in front of our son. My husband and I were preparing to hold him to it. “A” came home from Florida the first week in November. He would turn 18 in January. We, again, celebrated his return to us, and set up his now senior year in the school district’s cyber school program so that “A” could catch up with classes and not be in direct association with his former “friends.” He began going to NA and AA meetings. We randomly drug tested him. We praised him for his second success.

“A” tested positive for pot a week after his 18th birthday. He was asked to leave our home that day. He packed what was his and moved into a friend’s without looking back. We didn’t hear from him for several weeks. Contact resumed. We learned that he had a job, and he was continuing his cyber schooling. Ultimately, he earned his diploma, but chose to not go to commencement. He bought a used car. He was arrested for underage drinking and had his license restricted to travel to and from work. He totaled the car in a speeding accident (fortunately on his way to work), but walked away with minor injuries. He was able to secure an apartment several months later, currently living on his own in the next town. He shared with us a few months ago that he has come out as gay and has a boyfriend. He tells us that because his boyfriend is very much against drugs, he no longer uses. (We are very grateful for this.) His sexual orientation is not a surprise to us, understanding his attraction and addiction to the gay porn. We are able to accept this as a part of him.

Life with “A” was rarely easy. He is smart, demanding, and self- centered. When at home, he was like a tornado in a small room. Pure energy, all consuming. We couldn’t catch our breath until he left . He wanted everything his own way and pushed us, as parents, to the limits. He is our son. He was and still is our heart. We love “A” dearly, but have found that our life with him on his own is calmer and healthier; probably for “A” as well.

It took a very long time for us to come to terms with the fact that we, as parents, were not to blame for “A’s” choices. We gave him opportunity. The therapists in rehab gave him opportunity. We gave him love, and welcomed him home at each of turn until the limits had to be set in stone for his sake. “A’s” choices were his own.

As parents and therapists, we can plant the seeds necessary for children to live good lives. Then we can nurture, support, and love the children. We pray that what we have sewn grows and takes root. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

- Henry J. Wehman, MD

Robert’s Story…..

Robert’s story begins a bit earlier than most, or maybe we were just aware earlier. Either way it didn’t really matter since we were unable to stop the slide. Robert started showing signs of anxiety and depression as early as first grade. We started him with a therapist around that same time and with her help and our support Robert managed to stay functioning to some degree or another until high school. However, once high school started, Robert started having more and more issues. Various psychiatrists prescribed medications that helped for a while, however, Robert soon figured out how to play the system and managed to have more and more powerful medications prescribed that started having a negative effect on his behavior and his life. By the time Robert was a junior in highschool he became almost completely dysfunctional. He refused to go to school and started blocking all attempts to help him. As a parent I became frozen, unable to understand or cope with his behaviors and unable to find a solution. He went through a series of therapists and psychiatrists all to no avail since he was a master at manipulating them. I was beginning to believe that Robert would become a recluse who would never be able to live on his own and need to be supported for the rest of his life


Finally, his original therapist, whom we had kept in touch with, suggested that we contact Nathan. I was was unable to make that first phone call because I was scared to admit where we had gotten to and felt guilty that “I had let it happen.” Fortunately, my wife, Robert’s stepmother, had no such problem and got Nathan on the phone and arranged meetings with us, and Robert’s mother. From the first meeting Nathan took control, not with force but with logic and compassion. He painted such a clear picture of what was happening and what needed to be done that it became easy to make decisions. Amazingly, he was able to use the same compassion and logic with Robert so that when the time came to pack his bags and leave for treatment there were no fights, tantrums or resistance. Robert had turned 18 just before he started treatment so Nathan’s ability to convince him that it was necessary was a tremendous help. He simply got on the plane with me and off we went. Nathan found the perfect treatment program for Robert and tracked his progress throughout. During his treatment Robert earned his high school diploma and eventually started at the University of Arizona while going through a transition program. Eventually, Robert graduated from U of A and he is currently working on his PhD in Robotics at another university. I am fully convinced that without Nathan’s help and guidance we would not have found help for Robert in time, and credit Nathan with saving Robert’s life.

UPDATE: Robert possesses a PhD in Robotics Engineering, is married and extremely successful.

- Robert Arizona

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a child and adolescent psychiatrist with specialty certification in addiction psychiatry and have known Mr. Fears since 1985. At that time I was the medical director who hired Nathan as clinical director to establish an inpatient adolescent dual- diagnosis program at Fair Oaks Hospital, Summit, New Jersey. From the beginning, Nathan has shown unique and outstanding clinical skills and a level of understanding of treating adolescent addictions that I have not seen equaled anywhere.

He helped me to establish the adolescent center for chemical education, prevention and treatment at Fair Oaks Hospital which included all the difficulties of startup — policy and procedure development, budgeting, staff hiring, training, supervision, day-to-day operations, liaison with hospital owners, licensing issues and J. C. A. H. O. accreditation, marketing, and public relations. He showed great skills and conflict resolution managing unexpected and severe setbacks, even what could’ve been considered disasters. He demonstrated great success in clinical care and expansion of services during the time we worked together in that program until 1989. Since then, I have continued to have contact with Nathan and have seen him expand his interests, skills, and as I have always been amazed, his locations. Despite his focus on management, he has always continued to show extreme interest, compassion, and dedication to individual adolescents and their families in pursuing successful treatment for difficult situations. His ability to see the full picture of needs, services and environment of care for addictions services and adolescence is outstanding. And I will finally add his ability to accomplish these activities is always done with the most straight forward, accepting, and matter-of-fact attitude, and focused intention, he has always been a pleasure to work with.


- J. Calvin Chatios, MD

I have worked with and known Nathan Fears for 20 years. He was the program director of the Fair Oaks hospital adolescent drug and alcohol treatment program in New Jersey where I served as a drug therapist.We have developed a personal and professional relationship. He has served as a mentor and friend. He has helped me with clients as well as family members. I have two beautiful healthy boys who have never been involved with drugs or alcohol. If there was a problem at anytime with either of them, I would contact Nathan at once. I would trust my boy’s lives with him.


Lisa Cornblatt

Drug Therapist

Fair Oaks Hospital

- Lisa Cornblatt

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great pleasure that I write a letter of recommendation for Nathan Fears. I have known and worked professionally with Mr. Fears since 1988. When I first met him and had the opportunity to work with him, he was directing the Adolescent Center For Chemical Education Prevention And Treatment Unit at Fair Oaks Hospital in Summit, New Jersey. This was a dual diagnosis unit for adolescents in a progressive, sophisticated psychiatric hospital, employing the best of the best psychiatrists from all around the world. We offered inpatient, outpatient and extended services to adolescents and their families. As the program director, chief operating officer and marketing director, and fiscal planner Mr. Fears excelled in every way possible. The unit had a reputation for being ahead of its time, extremely unique in comparison to what existed around the country" the best facility around". Nathan’s professional and personal strengths were highlighted in this position and clearly were what made this program so successful.

As a manager, his skill set is superb. I have seen many managers in action, both in the mental health field and corporate America, however, Nathan is among the best. He operates from a rational ethic that is highly principled; rooted in solid contact with both employees, colleagues and patients, which engenders trust in him and his managerial style. Nathan goes above and beyond and mirrors for his employees a firmness and yet a flexibility that is required to get the job done with excellence. He mirrors this for his staff and in a gentle yet demanding way creates this for his staff. Therefore the collective productivity, initially directed inspired by Nathan, increases the functioning for all. Outside of this specific professional capacity, I have collaborated with Nathan on a number of complicated private practice cases; given professional workshops; and facilitated many groups of all sizes. His nature, organically, is that of the leader. He embodies a real humanity that people can relate to feel safe around. He offers compassion yet, calls people toward a vision of health rooted in reality. He truly is a very gifted human being and his skill set is extremely diversified and sophisticated. He moves with grace and yet is highly committed to getting the job done and will do whatever it takes. What I remember most is how well liked and respected he was, and is, by both his colleagues and the patients (and teenagers can be harsh critics with an uncanny perceptiveness).

- Roberta Pughe, ED.S, PhD

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing on behalf of my esteem colleague and friend Nathan Fears with whom I have had the pleasure to work for the past 15 years. Mr. Fears is a highly skilled clinician who has additionally held positions of chief operating officer and director of many adolescent and adult inpatient facilities. Mr. Fears is highly regarded for his professionalism and commitment to the field of mental health. He’s a nationally recognized consultant, motivator and public speaker.

I am pleased to write a reference letter on his behalf as Mr. Fears brings years of experience and leadership along with a sense of determination and dignity to his work.


- Patricia Barroff, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., C.S.W.-R

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this correspondence is to provide a professional reference for Mr. Nathan Fears. Mr. Fears and I have worked together in behavioral health facilities since 1983. Mr. Fears is an outstanding administrator, supervisor and educator. I have directly observed his warm interpersonal style, unique clear sensitivity to patient care, superb diagnostic insight, exceptional problem solving and team building skills as well as working within the constraints of budgets. Mr. Fears is a seasoned professional with exceptional history of developing and launching therapeutic programs in New Jersey, Minnesota, Florida, and Virginia. His tenure has combined both clinical knowledge and expertise with strong business skills that insure success to patients, their families, referral sources, regulatory agencies and staff. I recommend him to you without reservation and would be happy to further discuss his strengths with you should it be necessary.

- Wendy. J. Calvin

This is to provide an unqualified endorsement for Mr. Nathan Fears in his work with adolescents who have problems with addiction.

My endorsement is based on our (my wife’s and mine) encounters with Mr. Fears in his therapeutic interventions on behalf of our son, “A.” “A” had gone twice to a rehabilitation program in Florida where Mr. Fears was then the principal therapist (I do not know his formal title there), the first time when “A” was 16 years old, the second time when he was 17. The first admission was for an addiction to internet pornography, the second for addiction to marijuana. “A’s” first admission was unique, in that the facility had theretofore treated adolescents only for substance (chemical) addictions.

In both instances, Mr. Fears’ intervention program and techniques were superb. He was completely sensitive to our son’s changing needs, supportive and protective when called for, confrontational and limit-setting when appropriate. At the time of his first admission, when we were very worried about “A’s” apparent despair, the parent of another teen about to graduate from the program said, “Don’t worry. Trust Nathan,” adding with only a bit of facetiousness, “Nathan is my Higher Power.” Her confidence proved to be very well founded.

In both instances, Mr. Fears’ intervention program and techniques were superb. He was completely sensitive to our son’s changing needs, supportive and protective when called for, confrontational and limit-setting when appropriate. At the time of his first admission, when we were very worried about “A’s” apparent despair, the parent of another teen about to graduate from the program said, “Don’t worry. Trust Nathan,” adding with only a bit of facetiousness, “Nathan is my Higher Power.” Her confidence proved to be very well founded.Nathan’s interest and involvement with us and with “A’s” welfare did not end with our son’s discharge from the program just after Thanksgiving a year and a half ago. He continues to remain in contact by phone and e-mail. His retention of the details of those adolescents he has served is impressive. A few months ago, on the spur of the moment, “A” called Nathan while we were at supper. Nathan not only immediately recognized him by name, but asked how his brother, “M,” was doing, and talked to “M” as well. All of this obviously without notes or other means of reference except for his prodigious memory.

I trust that these brief examples provide sufficient basis for my (and my wife’s) endorsement of Mr. Nathan Fears.

- Henry J. Wehman, MD