I don't need drugs to have fun
Elijah’s first several weeks at Noah House were a roller coaster ride.
He lashed out at a security guard who asked him to put on headphones while listening to music at the public library. He jumped out of the car when his grandmother picked him up for a home visit. He failed drug tests.
“When he first came in, he didn’t have any accountability,” recalled Ron Payne, lead youth worker at Noah House. “He would say he wouldn’t do anything. ‘I’m just going to do my treatment,’ but he didn’t think he needed to do anything else.”
Elijah, 15, was sent to Noah House because of behavior problems at school and his marijuana use. He lived with his grandparents but struggled to get along with them. Noah House is his second group home.
Elijah lacked consistency, Payne said. At Noah House, he’s expected to keep his room clean, do house chores and improve his behavior.
After the public library incident, he had to stay away for a month or so. Now he understands he must do what’s asked of him and to seek a staff member if he can’t handle a situation.
He’s taking medication to help control his anger, and his drug tests have been clean for more than a month. Weekends home with his grandparents have improved.
Instead of turning to drugs to help with his problems, Elijah said he’s learned to talk to someone who can help.
“Now he’s more involved, and he’s doing what he’s asked,” Payne said. “We still have a ways to go, but Elijah is willing to accept what we have to offer.”
“I learned that I don’t need to do drugs to have fun,” Elijah said. “I’ve learned a lot of things about how to cope with my problems and how to handle things in a different way.”
A gift to Southeastern can make a big difference in the lives of youth like Elijah.