Giving Back in Gratitude

Meet One Family Who's Been There—and Wants to Be There for Others
A family standing in front of a pond in a forest
Table of Contents
I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone, but we're all so much healthier and stronger and self-aware because of it.

Lisa D.

As a licensed mental health counselor, Lisa D. had lots of experience assessing alcohol disorders. Nevertheless, she says, "it's somehow different when it's your own child." 

When her daughter, Logan, had a seizure late one night in her college dorm, medical tests revealed unexpected results. "The doctor said she had the liver of a hard drinker," Lisa recounts. She and her husband, Pat, were shocked. 

In retrospect, Lisa describes Logan's struggles with mental health and subsequent addiction as a "10-year build-up," starting in fifth grade. A turning point came when Logan admitted she was considering harming herself. "We knew we couldn't keep her safe," Pat says. "We needed more help." They were able to get Logan into a residential treatment facility—but she restarted drinking the day she left. 

The Right Combination

"I had made up my mind about recovery and treatment, and I promised myself to hate everyone who tried to help me," Logan shares. "I was so desperately attached to my active addiction that I could not possibly conceive of a way out of it." 

Eventually, the family learned there was an opening at Hazelden Betty Ford's Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families, in Plymouth, Minnesota. Lisa recalls the experience of arriving on campus as a breath of fresh air. "By the time we got there, we were not our best selves," Lisa explains. "We were completely depleted and demoralized. But we were immediately treated with dignity." 

Logan felt she'd finally found an environment of support and understanding. "Some combination of being taken seriously, being seen and being treated as a person with an illness changed my entire comprehension of myself," she says. The experience set her on the path to recovery. 

Her parents found new insight, connection and support, too, through a parallel program for families. Pat still thinks about one patient's earnest "don't give up on us" plea during a family program session. "It was really powerful to hear him say that," Pat recounts. 

When Logan's time at Plymouth was ending, her counselor recommended she move to Hazelden Betty Ford's intensive outpatient program in St. Paul and then helped Lisa and Pat navigate the transition plan with their daughter. "I don't think we would have been able to come up with a plan and stick with it without the specific advice and coaching of the counselor," says Lisa.

There Is a Way Through

Now in long-term recovery, Logan is pursuing her dream of being a writer and using her experience to help others. "Logan is so much more like she was before she started drinking," says Lisa. "She's an awesome human being, and Hazelden Betty Ford helped bring her back. We're immensely grateful." 

To give back to the organization that was instrumental in their family's healing, Lisa volunteers as a Family Ambassador, helping other families as they begin their journey at the Center for Teens, Young Adults and Families. Pat has stepped into a volunteer leadership role at Hazelden Betty Ford, using his business acumen to help the organization reach more families with healing and hope. 

"I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone," Lisa shares, "but we're all so much healthier and stronger and self-aware because of it. It's meaningful to us to be there for other families, now, to let them know that what they're going through doesn't have to be a life sentence. Thanks to Hazelden Betty Ford, there is a way through this that brings a lot of joy."

Want to learn more? Select a Tag to explore a particular topic or browse articles.