The Meadows is a sponsor of the Wickenburg High School Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night Party that is being held on Friday, May 25 at the high school cafeteria. The Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night Party was started to create an alcohol and drug free, safe environment for the students to celebrate after the high school graduation ceremony.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005 during prom and grad season (April, May, June), 676 students under the age of 21 were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. One third of the alcohol-related fatalities involving teens each year occur during those months.
"We are very pleased to support the Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night Party," said Jim Dredge, the CEO of The Meadows. "We applaud the efforts of both the Wickenburg High School and the parents in focusing on the safety of the students while providing a memorable event."
Jackie Jacobson, Principal of Wickenburg High School, said that the Safe and Sober Senior Grand Night Party is a tradition at their school that the parents take very seriously as they plan and execute the entire event. "The objective is to keep the students safe and make sure they're not in the desert or at someone's house making very poor choices," commented Jacobson. "The event has been wildly successful with a 90% attendance rate."
Sergeant Owen Black of the Wickenburg Police Department said that while the police provide outside security at the party, they take a very small role as it is managed by the senior class parents. "It's an amazing thing that they do. It provides a safe environment for the kids to celebrate where there are no drugs or alcohol," expressed Sergeant Black. He commented that during the time the safe and sober format began, which he thinks was in 1984, he is not aware of any major incident from a drug-related issue at graduation.
The party goes all night from 10:00pm to 4:00am with prizes and activities, including a money machine where students spend a few minutes trying to catch money floating in the air. The parents monitor the comings and goings of every student, taking their keys and having them sign in and out. The gifts are distributed at the end of the event as an incentive for the students to remain at the party.
The organizer of the Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night Party, Annette Roberts, said that all students leave with a gift. This year there are approximately 170 students. In the past, the parent committee would buy televisions, computers, anything that the students could use for college. "This year may be a little different with more students participating, along with the economic conditions," said Roberts. "With more graduates, it's harder to buy gifts."
The parent committee will accept donations through May 25. Last year, according to Roberts, $18,000 was raised. At present, the committee has raised $8,000 through various fundraising events. For more information on how to donate to the Safe and Sober Senior Grad Night Party, please contact Annette Roberts at 928.671.0312 or Lori Hancock at 928.684.9434.
The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows' work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.
For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center. In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three centers or in national workshops.The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior. The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 psychiatric hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission.
The holiday season can be a time of joyous celebration with our loved ones, a time when we begrudgingly drag ourselves to dreaded events, or a time when feelings of loneliness can be overwhelming. For many of us, some combination of all three is present this time of year. In many cases, the holidays are a time when stressors, triggers for relapse, and old wounds are more abundant.
This season also brings the opportunity to continue or start off the new year in recovery mode. We at The Meadows would like to offer you a 12 Step plan for doing just that. We honor the work that many of you have done to re-engage in your life, leaving old habits behind. We also honor those who continue to struggle with addiction. Below is a 12 Step guide for surviving the holidays in sobriety - "the 12 Steps of Holidays Anonymous," if you will. (Disclaimer: The steps below are loosely based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and are not a replacement for them.)
The 12 Steps of Holidays Anonymous
1. Make sobriety your first priority. Acknowledge the vast amount over which you are powerless (your family situation, the location of events, etc.). Be aware that you are, however, empowered to choose to maintain what you have lovingly worked so hard to achieve. Assess what you want and need for your sobriety and relational engagements with others.
2. Believe that you can be restored to sanity. Plan ahead and have realistic expectations. If your family looks more like The Family Stone than Ozzie and Harriett, ground in reality and be open to the flaws and imperfections of your family system. Detach from expectations and practice acceptance and forgiveness.
3. Turn your care over to a higher power, or at least someone with more experience staying sober during the holiday season. Have a safety plan. Speak with your support network prior to the holidays and share any concerns and plans. Remember that, in previous years, many of your peers in the program have survived and thrived during the holiday season. Some common techniques used in the recovery community include driving yourself to events so you can leave whenever necessary, taking the number to a taxi service if driving yourself is not an option, asking a sober friend to accompany you, or hiring a sober escort. Keep in mind: The impact of bringing someone with you or leaving an event early is small compared to the impact of a relapse on your relationships with your loved ones and self.
4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of yourself, and practice boundaries and grounding. Setting limits is a loving and respectful thing to do for yourself and others. If you have awareness that you are willing and able to participate in a holiday activity for one hour rather than five, set a limit with yourself and share this limit with your loved ones or holiday celebration peers.
5. Admit to God, self, and one other person any concerns and potential triggers you may have going into the holiday season. Remember: Those around you cannot support you unless you are willing to be rigorously honest with yourself and your sober support system, i.e., your sponsor, home group, and therapist.
6. Be entirely ready to remove all defects of character. Remember this is for you only; your willingness to assist family members in identifying and removing their defects of character before they are ready avails no one and is NOT relational.
7. Humbly ask the higher power of your understanding to remove your shortcomings, recognizing that your shortcomings do not subtract from your value. Be respectful of others. If one of your tendencies is to judge others, make a resolution to contain your comments on Uncle Marvin's lovely twinkle-light reindeer sweater (not that there's anything wrong with battery-operated clothing).
8. Make a list. Chaotic, last-minute trips to the mall can be destabilizing and stressful. Honor yourself by not overextending to make others happy. Take a personal inventory of yourself and your finances. This is a self-care technique that can help you turn inward and avoid future resentments. Also, don't forget to include yourself on your gift list. Gifting oneself, in a moderate way, is an act of self-care and acknowledgment.
9. Make direct amends, except when doing so would injure others. Remember that one of the ways to make amends is with living amends. You can do this by maintaining your sobriety, acting within your value system, and being respectful of others. You may believe this is a good time to speak with those you have harmed, but do so with conscious thought. Grandma may prefer to spend her holidays watching the grandchildren unwrap gifts rather than discussing a way you can pay her back for totaling her car.
10. Continue to take personal inventory and, when you are wrong, promptly admit it. Remember HALT (the basics of self-care: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). In times of stress, we become more susceptible to allowing some of our defects of character to leak out. If you act outside of your recovery and value system, make prompt amends to avoid allowing unnecessary feelings of guilt to overtake the celebrations.
11. Seek through prayer and meditation; the holiday season can be busy and, in some cases, stressful. This is not an excuse to skip your morning meditation, meetings, or time with your sponsor. This is a time to hold these commitments even more strongly, or to kick it up a notch. Prearrange your meeting schedule and ensure that connection, sobriety, and self-care remain top priorities. It may come in handy to repeat the Serenity Prayer in your head as Uncle Jack attempts to dominate the season with his thoughts on the current political climate. This allows you to remain connected with your higher power and accomplish relational objectives, all while nodding your head during his share.
12. If you have had a spiritual awakening, try to carry this message: Acts of service can help us to reground, stay connected to our program, and just feel darn good! The holidays can be an important time to practice gratitude and giving. If your holiday plans this year are not what you had hoped for (or even if they are), volunteer to be a sober escort, speak at a meeting, or volunteer to clean up after one. Remember: Whatever your season looks like this year, it’s still a lot better than holidays spent living in addiction.
We at The Meadows wish you a sober, safe, and successful holiday season.