Jessica's Story

Jessica, Emi, Lina E - Web Copy
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The Children's Program at Hazelden Betty Ford helps families come together in recovery.

You'd never know from meeting Emi and Lina what they've been through. Emi likes to dance, and she's looking forward to starting 6th grade. Lina, just a year younger, loves music and being outdoors. Their mom, Jessica, is glad to hear their big dreams for the future.

Emi and Lina were little when their parents divorced because of their dad's struggles with a substance use disorder. "As young as the girls were, they saw addiction and they felt the pain—but they didn't understand," says Jessica. "The Children's Program at Hazelden Betty Ford helped us come together as a family in recovery. Thanks to what they learned there, they understand their dad has a problem—and they can love him unconditionally."

Hazelden Betty Ford's Children's Program is geared toward kids like Emi and Lina, who have a loved one struggling with addiction. The program's professional staff taught Jessica how to approach the topic of addiction and recovery with her daughters in an age-appropriate way. "We've had so many eye-opening conversations as a result," she says. "This program has grounded me as I support both my girls through their own, unique recovery journeys." 

Jessica is especially grateful to see Emi and Lina speaking openly with other kids at the Children Program. "It's amazing to see that they share a language and can have that conversation," she says, knowing they'd never spoken to a friend about addiction before.

Now Jessica doesn't worry anymore when Emi and Lina visit their dad. "I know the girls have the tools they need," she says. "They know what to do in a difficult situation and who's safe to talk to. I can't think of where we'd be without this program."

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