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Everyone wants and needs respect. Learning respect for self and for others – including those in authority – creates positive relationships. When others [family, partners and community] are treated with respect, they will respond in a positive manner. Positive relationships help create self-respect.

I was referred to SPIRITT’s CARE (California Access to Recovery Efforts) program for using drugs and alcohol during school. I worked the program for a while and I was better, but my parents thought I was still acting out. I continued the counseling which focused on substance abuse, effective communication skills, conflict resolution, and self-esteem. The therapy helped me and my parents to talk more openly and more often.

I chose the wrong friends, was making bad decisions and I was drinking and using drugs because I didn’t think much of myself. Now, I  am doing much better in school, made some new friends and I am getting along better with my parents – they think it’s cool.

> Ricardo


Taking ownership and not blaming others for our attitudes and behavior is being responsible. Responsibility is also striving to be active, productive and engaged which brings the trust of others. The trust of others brings a sense of belonging and builds stronger relationships.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve had to face things I never wanted to face. Without SPIRITT’s help, I believe I would have continued to use, get arrested, go to jail and return again to another rehab – never taking control of my own choices – like choosing recovery over addiction. Who knows where I would be right now – most likely in jail, homeless or maybe dead.

I have a great amount of gratitude and the utmost respect for the commitment and concern you have shown me, helping my recovery from marijuana, meth and tequila. I had given up my family for drugs and getting high. Now, I have a 9-month-old granddaughter I want to know. I want to be an important part of her life. I have seen a different way to live and it is up to me to continue to take action. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make my life meaningful. My granddaughter thanks you and so do I.

> Daniel


Having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties is being resourceful. Some answers and resources come from within ourselves and some come from outside sources. When we learn the skills to practice resourcefulness, we can make better choices – choices that promote self-esteem.

I just left an abusive relationship and was alone with my two children [3 and 6]. I had no money and no job. I entered the CARIÑO PFF program and an in-home counselor visited us for six months. During my time in the program, I took several classes for parents. My counselor gave me information about the various ways to put my life back together and the first group I joined was PALS (Parents As Leaders and Support). I met other parents who were struggling like me. Then, I took the Incredible Years parenting class and later joined the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) where I’m finishing a 9-week Advocacy course.

I am thankful to SPIRITT’s wonderful referrals to play therapy for my son at the Covina Development Center and domestic violence counseling at YWCA Wings. I am doing very well. I’m attending college and employed as a Clerical Assistant. Recently, SPIRITT asked me to become a co-leader of the PALS group and I started a mentorship program at the agency to become a Family Advocate. I have already helped plan a Saturday conference with other parent leaders that was free to the community. I continue to learn and be involved. My children and I are very happy.

> Erika


To be resilient is to be able to withstand adversity and recover quickly from difficult conditions. When we learn to be more resilient, we can bounce back from adversity [which everyone has] and be happier in life.

I’d been a drug addict for over 13 years and was addicted to three different drugs. I’d been arrested many times. The last ended with a 6-year prison term. The terms of release included enrollment in a six-month drug program and three years probation. I was homeless, and unemployed and had been told that I could never change. Given my criminal history, I thought no one would ever trust me to care for my son who was living with my family. I always hoped we could be together.

Fortunately, I had a positive attitude, and was able to attend SPIRITT drug and alcohol program meetings and I remain drug free. Determined to regain custody of my son, I worked with the SPIRITT counselor to achieve my goals: completed my program, rented a small apartment, landed a part-time job and was granted limited visitation privileges with my son. Soon, I hope to regain full custody of my son. All my angels helped turn my life around.

> Claudia and Joel


Recovery is regaining what was lost – respect, responsibility, resourcefulness and resiliency. With support, recovery can be achieved by learning new skills. Recovery brings emotional stability and the ability to build relationships that make us happy. I was unemployed and dependent on welfare. My children had been sleeping on mattresses on the floor and had their clothes in boxes.

After enrolling in the CARIÑO program, I was met with kindness and understanding. The staff helped me to overcome many of my barriers and continue my education – I was in the process of working towards my bachelor’s in psychology. Through the support of my in-home clinician and the staff at CARIÑO PFF, I was given the courage and strength to overcome many fears and barriers that I put up because I never felt worthy of being anything in life.

Now I have more courage. I successfully graduated from the CARIÑO program and I have continued to stay involved by joining the PALS (Parents as Leaders & Support) group. Also, I am now employed and working full time. Thanks to my in-home clinician and the staff for believing in me when I did not believe in myself.

> Rocio