How family’s drug turmoil inspired mom
Kim Rubenstein described the time her son Daniel’s struggle with drugs as “a dark period” in her life.
She had no idea where to turn but stumbled on the Caron Foundation, which set in motion a series of events that led her to help countless addicts to find their own paths to recovery.
Her son made a full recovery through his treatment at the Caron Foundation and Ms Rubenstein is now a certified recovery specialist at the non-profit organisation.
The Pennsylvania native is coming to Bermuda to share her family’s story at Pathways’ fifth annual Award of Excellence Dinner at The Fairmont Southampton on April 9. Pathways is a strategic partner of Caron Treatment Centres.
In her talk, Ms Rubenstein will describe how she immersed herself in the Caron Foundation after it was able to turn around her son’s life.
As well as her role as a recovery specialist, she serves on the Regional Advisory Board and National Alumni Leadership Council of Caron Treatment Centre of Caron Treatment Centre. She is also the recipient of Caron’s Brian Early Community Leadership Award and helped to create Be a Part of the Conversation in response to her own family’s journey into recovery. Her personal story of experience, strength and hope is one that she hopes will inspire the local community.
She told The Royal Gazette: “The whole journey started when my son was 21 and it became apparent he had very serious problems with drugs. I had not heard of the Caron Foundation, but very fortunately was led to it.
“We did an intervention with our son, he entered treatment in March 2010 and he has been sober ever since. He is 26 now living in Colorado with a wonderful life.
“Not only was it important for me to learn about this disease so I knew best how to parent my son, I also became fascinated about it and wanted to learn more.
“About a year later, I was working for a non-profit education foundation in our local school district. I got an e-mail from the school saying that they wanted to revamp their drug and alcohol ‘Be A Part of the Conversation’ programme by making it more inclusive.
“They were looking for someone with a personal story to share and I told them about my situation.
“It kind of became my baby, which was a great thing. I started off as the parent liaison and now I am the executive director. We have since separated from the school district, even though we are still very much immersed in this community; they transferred the intellectual property to me and my board of directors, and we are officially a non-profit.”
Over the past four years, Ms Rubenstein says the Be A Part of the Conversation programme, in Horsham, Pennsylvania, has turned into a “very vital organisation”.
The programme runs a number of community programmes throughout the year, bringing together panels of drug treatment providers, Caron employees, parents of young people in recovery, school administrators, law enforcement, clergy and young people in recovery to share perspectives.
“It has the added benefit of helping to remove the stigma around the subject,” Ms Rubenstein added.
“When you see a healthy young person tell a room full of 250 people he was living under a boardwalk, eating out of garbage cans, and it took him to a horrible place, but he is here to tell you he is in recovery, it shows you recovery is possible.
“People have preconceived ideas about what a drug addict looks like; these events really put a face on addiction.
“We have breakout groups at the end of the presentations and we finish up with a Q&A sessions. That has been our model and it is working very well.”
Proceeds from the fundraising event will contribute to the continuing development of Pathways’ adolescent and family programming and scholarship fund, providing financial aid to assist those who require critical overseas residential treatment.
The event will recognise the generosity and commitment of the Bank of Bermuda Foundation in supporting the community.
For more details about purchasing tickets for the event, contact Gita Blakeney Saltus at 236-0823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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