Group Hug

The Right Step’s Alumni Program Can Provide Help When It’s Most Needed

Five years ago, in a courtroom where he stood begging for clemency after an arrest tied to a drug-related traffic accident, Garrett Reid told a judge, “I don’t want to die doing drugs. I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’ed and just faded into oblivion.” On August 5, 2012 this, in essence, became his obituary. Reid, known primarily as the troubled son of NFL coach Andy Reid, died of an accidental heroin overdose in a dormitory room at the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice facility on the Lehigh University campus. He was 29. And… He had undergone treatment for addiction issues several times before his death. The sad ending to Reid’s struggle with substance abuse was chronicled in news stories across the nation, including one by the Philadelphia-area ABC affiliate that recalled his poignant, ironic courtroom plea cited above. The story also noted that Reid had worked hard to overcome his drug problem, taking a job as the Eagles’ assistant strength coach after a two-year stay in prison for his part in the traffic accident, which injured another person. A second report, from, echoed the notion that most believed Garrett was making efforts to beat his addiction. Andy said his son had “seemingly turned his life around.” [source] Yet, on August 5, Lehigh University police called to his dorm room at 7:20 in the morning, found Garrett Reid dead. Inside his gym bag were 47 syringes and 65 needles, along with 19 vials of heroin. Reid’s death, in all its tragic irony, underscores how vitally important aftercare can be to a person battling addiction. While initial treatment can help a drug abuser stop the destructive practice of taking drugs, a quality aftercare process can teach a person how to maintain a sober lifestyle, even – especially – when the temptation to relapse occurs. The Right Step drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment centers have created a significant, successful aftercare system built on the notion that community is the key to recovery. The Right Step’s Alumni Program is tailored to graduates who have successfully completed treatment. It provides a social-support network of fellow graduates who have been through the temptations and found effective ways to deal with them, and who are willing to share what they’ve learned – anytime, anywhere. The Right Step alums meet, play, volunteer, learn, and socialize together regularly. In turn, they grow together in the quest to become healthy in mind, body, and spirit. It’s a quest that manifests in sober lives – for the remainder of their lives. And it gives those recovering from substance abuse the reassurance that they won’t simply have “seemingly” turned their lives around, but will “really” have turned their lives around. To find out more about The Right Step’s Alumni Program, call 844-877-1781 or visit the facility website.

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