‘Mothers With A Purpose’ Fighting Teen Drug Problems Sends Them To AA Meetings

These two Mom’s met at an AA meeting and ended up starting ‘Mothers With A Purpose’. If you notice all they are offering the teens is to attend AA and NA meetings. They do not point out that AA and NA have no meetings for minors. There are only adult meetings with court mandated felons. It is great to see an effort being put out to reach teens.
They need to offer them something other than the 12 step program. www.smartrecovery.org has teen literature for those that want to start a teen meeting in their area that is non-religious and science based.

Local Moms Fighting That Drug Problem on Our Doorstep
Meet the Pleasanton moms and founders of Mothers with a Purpose, who want to beat the pervasive drug problem through education.

By Autumn Johnson and Tanya Rose Email the authors March 8, 2012

In July of 2010, when Donna and Kelly spearheaded Mothers With a Purpose, a group that provides support and raises awareness for families battling prescription pill addictions, they had no idea they would end up foraging friendships from working through the pain. The duo met when Kelly recognized Donna’s son while attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with her own son. The two mothers connected and realized their children were going through a similar battle of prescription drug addiction.

After meeting for hours and crying over the agony of the opiate addictions their children were fighting, they decided to take action and to start a support group. They have asked that their last names not be used, to protect the privacy of themselves and their families. Donna recruited other families in the community who were suffering from the same problem. The group rapidly grew from the two tenacious mothers to now close to 100 people.

“Forty years ago, addicts were seen as the scum of the earth,” said a former addict, who has spoken before the group about his own struggles in an effort to help Pleasanton kids who are suffering. “Today, it can be a child from a family that makes a million dollars. It’s not someone who lives in alleys; it’s your own neighborhoods.”

Mothers With a Purpose meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at Foothill High School in Pleasanton. They welcome anyone who wants to attend and both say it takes courage to walk through the door of those meetings to face and work through their worst fears.

The former speaker said that before Mothers with a Purpose, there wasn’t really an organization out there solely for support.”The best way to get help was to talk to another parent in the same situation,” he said. “There’s no place to turn — it’s not like you can go to church and ask around. It’s really a hidden thing.”

“Everyone is hurting from something,” says Donna.

According to Donna, the mission statement of the group is to provide total awareness, support and resources to those children and families confronting and struggling with the disease of addiction.

The group, which has recently become a non-profit organization, has had overwhelming support from the Pleasanton Police Department, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office in Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Unified School District.

In addition to the bi-monthly meetings and a website that offers many resources, Donna and Kelly attend local drug and alcohol forums. They often bring children to speak who are recovering addicts. After the forums, parents usually thank the pair for their candor. Both agree that the disease of addiction, specifically prescription pill addiction, is a nation-wide problem. Locally, they say the knowledge of this problem in the schools and in the community still shocks residents.

Donna says every parent should have to go through a class before their kids start school. “[This experience] teaches you different areas you need to balance,” says Kelly. “I look at life differently now. When it happens, you are a fish out of water. It is a life-time journey.”

Donna says her biggest challenge in starting the group has been standing up in public forums. For Kelly, the biggest challenge has been getting parents to listen. “Listening is what is going to cause change,” said Kelly. “The only way to beat this is to educate people.”

“It is our recovery too,” added Donna. “If I had had this education growing up, maybe things would have been different,” the forum speaker said. “I didn’t even know what an alcoholic was; I just knew that I did drugs and I did it well and I loved it. Every day, I struggled with addiction but now I have tools so I don’t need to do drugs. I can cope with life.

“It is all about the parents being educated,” he says, noting that he knows of a parent of a drug-addicted teen who wanted to take her own life, because she didn’t know what else to do and felt so desperate.


2 thoughts on “‘Mothers With A Purpose’ Fighting Teen Drug Problems Sends Them To AA Meetings

  1. This teenager died of an heroin overdose. She had been attending Narcotics Anonymous Meetings. More needs to be done to offer minors professional help and send them to ineffective religious 12 step meetings.

    Something must be learned from daughter’s overdose
    By Denise Crosby March 10, 2012 10:30PM

    Amy Miller holds a photograph of her daughter, Megan, in her home on Friday, March 9, 2012. Megan, who was a senior at Neuqua Valley High School, died of a heroin overdose in January. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
    Coming Monday: “Heroin: Stemming the Tide” Q&A panel at 7 p.m. at Wheatland Salem Church, 1852 W. 95th St., Naperville

    Coming in April: District 204 will host a forum at 7 p.m. April 5 at Neuqua Valley High School; District 203 will host a forum at 7 p.m. April 3 at Naperville North High School. Both presentations will feature speakers from the police departments as well as school social workers discussing the growing problem of drug use among Naperville high school students.

    Amy Miller isn’t really through hiding yet.

    That’s why, six weeks after her daughter Megan overdosed on heroin in the bedroom of the family’s Naperville home, Miller still walks her dog in a different neighborhood. It’s why she got her hair done at a Plainfield salon instead of at her usual hairdresser’s. It’s why she’s avoided the Jewel on the corner, despite the fact the funeral food is gone and her fridge is bare.

    Grief is a funny thing, she notes. “It’s kind of goofy … I knew I was detaching.”

    Which makes it all the more remarkable this still grieving mom agreed to be part of the Q&A panel at a forum on heroin awareness Monday night at Wheatland Salem Church in Naperville. It’s why she agreed to talk to journalists so soon after Megan’s death — even writing a lengthy piece about her daughter’s five-year battle — “my therapy,” she admits — and sending it around the country.

    “I just knew,” she said, “I had to do something.”

    It’s also why, just days after she and her husband Paul buried their daughter, they attended the community forum on heroin at the 95th Street Library in Naperville, sitting quietly among the standing room only crowd as police and social workers graphically outlined the drug problem that’s destroying so many young lives here.

    Still, two weeks later at the jam-packed forum, when police photos of the bodies of young heroin abusers flashed on the big screen, Amy Miller did not look away.

    “There was no need to,” she told me. “I had already seen my daughter.”

    According to Miller, Megan’s struggles with low self-esteem began in eighth grade. She was treated for depression, self-injury and an eating disorder, and by the time she entered high school, her parents hoped the worst was behind them.

    But like so many kids trying hard to fit in, she began hanging out with the wrong crowd. When she was 15, Megan was assaulted by a 19-year-old known for violent sexual behavior. She ended up testifying at his trial and sentencing, which dragged on until last November — when the judge handed him probation.

    The Millers found out Megan was doing drugs again her junior year. At one point, they called the police and put her back in rehab. But as is the case with most heroin addicts, the attempt to get her help proved futile.

    The Millers were doing drug testing on Megan at home throughout January; and it looked like things were going better. She had not tested positive during the month, had begun attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and was even starting to make plans for college.


  2. Here we have NA going into high schools having schools mandate NA meetings before prom night. There are no meetings for minors in AA/NA. Parents Beware!

    In keeping with Seaford High School’s proactive, ongoing efforts to educate students about the dangers of substance abuse, as well as provide accurate and up-to-date information to promote healthy living, Narcotics Anonymous will present a mandatory pre-prom presentation for junior and senior students on March 8 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

    Parents are invited to attend this program being held in the John Manso Auditorium with their children. For additional information, contact Principal Michael Ragon at 592-4305 or social worker Paula Sussman at 592-4319.

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