Abbey – 2017 P.E.A.S.E. Academy Graduate

Abbey’s parents took turns sleeping at the bottom the stairs to prevent their daughter from leaving their house and using again. Abbey’s addiction started with alcohol and marijuana and eventually progressed to cocaine and a point where she couldn’t stop. Abbey says, “For me, it eliminated my pain. I believed there was no other option and I couldn’t live without it.”

Abbey’s parents wanted a different solution. Desperate to protect their daughter, they resorted to breathalyzing and drug testing, leading her to several treatment programs and a sober house in Illinois. It was difficult for Abbey to leave Minnesota and her family, but there are no sober homes for adolescents in Minnesota. “Treatment for me was coming to terms with the fact that I had a problem,” says Abbey. “I learned that not everything is bad, and I learned to cope, among other people who lived sober.”

After treatment, Abbey was faced with the reality of returning to her junior year in a high school where she knew she would be compelled to return to drugs. “It would have been hard for me to make friends with people who don’t do drugs because as addicts, we seek out people like us. I need a fresh start, so I went to P.E.A.S.E. Academy.”

Abbey says P.E.A.S.E. Academy was an opportunity to see people her own age being sober and having fun. “In the beginning, sobriety isn’t fun, but the fun you have sober is a lot more enjoyable and worthwhile.” At P.E.A.S.E., Abbey found a community of students and teachers who supported her recovery and allowed her to continue her education. She grew close to teachers and counselors in recovery who cared deeply and provided support. Abbey says, “This recovery community is so important.”

Abbey graduated from P.E.A.S.E. Academy in 2017 and now attends Augsburg University, where she is majoring in psychology. She is enrolled in the Step-Up Program, where she lives in a sober community. “What we’re doing is dealing with real life here,” says Abbey. “And, P.E.A.S.E. prepared me for that. It was a big part of my sobriety and I don’t know where I would be without it.”