Testimonials

We sincerely thank the young people and the parents who have shared the following testimonials about their experience with The Cornerstone Program.

 

It’s been 13 years since our now-grown son joined Crossroads,
and we wanted to let you know how grateful we are for the impact you and your
standards, your moral code, your training and your example had on him.

We were so sure
of ourselves before he became a teenager, and thought we were really fine
parents. Suddenly we had a snarling stranger in our house with a face that
looked like ours. How quickly we fell from feeling powerful and in charge to
powerless and confused.

“Here,” we said
to you when he came to the program, “we trust you with the work we’ve done so
far; work we thought was pretty good, but now no longer have confidence in.”
And you got him, just at the time that was most important for him as he stepped
into manhood. Our tentacles didn’t reach that far anymore. Who knew then that
we were putting him in exactly the right hands?

From you he got
joshing and love, he learned how to hold the heart and help it heal, he was
worked damn’ near to death, he got no-nonsense supervision, he learned how to
be terrified and do it anyway, how to make hard choices. He learned what he
stood for, and had a place to turn when he wondered about that. He had a family
of fellow travelers who precisely understood him and who were always interested
in how he was growing. He had a spiritual home.

He went on to
counselor training and to work for The Cornerstone Program. He learned about
being honorable, doing what you say you’re gonna do, being honest when it
doesn’t look so great for you, doing his share and more, doing what it takes to
get the job done. He got many chances to stretch his creativity, to work on a
screwy team that made something screwy work.

You were far
from perfect, and I realize he didn’t come to you as an empty slate. He brought
a lot of what he is into the program, but who knows how he’d have grown without
your care and influence? We’re so proud of the man he’s become, and are 150%
certain a lot of that is because of you. We are constantly grateful as we see
him go in a new life direction, how he makes choices, how he approaches
responsibility, how he carries a pretty terrific heart with him. You share in
the successes he’s building. His foundation began with us, continued with you.

So, thank you,
from the bottom of our little parental hearts. We are forever in your debt.

I remember my life getting high. I was a miserable person.

I started getting high when I was 11 years old. Simply smoking pot and
the occasional shot or two. I thought it was an escape for me so I abused it.
Then I finally moved on to bigger things. I started using ecstasy and going to
raves when I was 13 years old. I was a pissed off, miserable middle schooler.

Life was going downhill for me at a fast rate and I was to the point where I
did not want to live anymore but I was too much of a pansy to kill myself. I
started huffing dustoff when I was 14 and a freshman in high school. I was
hospitalized for an ecstasy OD my freshman year on December 12 and I still had
not hit my bottom. I truly felt like there was no other way for me to live at
that point, so why even stop what I was doing? The drugs made me feel good for
an hour or two, it seemed like that was the best it was going to get. Then I
nearly got kicked out of my old school, I had been suspended 5 times by then
and if I got one more I would be expelled from Jeffco Public Schools. So my
parents sent me to an alternative school and I got even more angry and
miserable.

 I yelled at them everyday, even if they were just saying hello to
me.
 I went from drug counselor to drug counselor and told them all to leave me
alone. I even popped a couple pills in front of one. And then I finally hit my
bottom after two kids that were in Cornerstone came to talk to me. The weekend
after, I was in outpatient.

Cornerstone saved my life and I am proud to say I
love myself, my life, and everyone involved in the program. I have about 5
months sober now and I have never been happier. I wanna say thanks to all the
counselors and the kids in the group. I love you all to death!

                             

Before I graduated high school I had attended thirteen
different schools, lived through my mother’s divorce/remarriage across three
different dads, met a dozen step-brothers/sisters and tried most drugs
available in 1973.

 Fast forward to year 2001: divorced from an alcoholic
husband; caring for my three children; burdened with a mountain of debt. So it
was no big surprise when my oldest daughter (the Cheerleader) started drinking,
the middle daughter (the Artist) smoked pot and my youngest (the Boy) tried
everything! I thought it was the end of the world…and it was! I am so glad
that my youngest child needed help because we certainly found it at
Cornerstone. I cannot imagine what my life would look like without Cornerstone.

My son is drug and alcohol free for over 24 months, I am
rage/hate/anger/resentment free after a lifetime of blaming others for my
problems. My home is alcohol free. My daughters are finding that living
alcohol/drug free is a cool thing. My life has a peace and serenity that is only
possible through working the twelve steps and living an honest and open life. I
thank the Lord God in Heaven (my Higher Power) for the path that led us to
Cornerstone. I thank the Lord for the wise counselors (whom I love and adore),
the kids and the parents who have all played a part in my recovery. Thanks to
Cornerstone I look forward to the future — one day at a time. I Love You.

I was in Cornerstone about 3 years ago. I can honestly
say if not for that place, I don’t think I would be in the place in sobriety
that I am. Although I left Cornerstone and fell again into the sick habits of
an average addict, I carried what I have learned in my time there. Today I have
found a way inside myself to get sober again, but if I had not been taught the
awesome things I learned about myself, spirituality, and sobriety I’m not sure
if I could do it today.

Through Cornerstone I learned that you can be loved,
and love others. And really love yourself for who you are. That was one of the
greatest times in my life I still think about, thank you counselors, for loving
me and pushing and helping me through all the breakdowns, and mess. You’re
truly a blessing.

                          

Ode To Cornerstone Counselors: Dear Counselors, you are
God’s hands on this earth and I am eternally grateful for the work you’ve done
on behalf of my two favorite people. You make your chosen profession as
personal as breathing and the impact on my kids has been just as profound. Just
as I still love to peek into my grown-up kids’ rooms and see their sleeping
faces, I love to chance peeking into their souls, because that door is now
open. A great gift to this mother! Thank you, Counselors, for encouraging my
kids to trust that open door in themselves and to seek that door in others. To
demand it.

                             

I was about 15 to 16 years old when I went to Cornerstone
for a meth addiction. I had been using for over a year and had destroyed my
family and my life. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I was
mad and missed my friends. But week after week I got better and I began to
realize that the people I thought were my friends really weren’t. If they had
been, they would have been right by my side going through the withdrawals with
me. I learned how to live again and was given the chance to heal not only
myself but my relationship with all the people I had hurt. I am now 23 with a
wonderful and loving husband and two beautiful little girls. I am a massage
therapist and have a life that I never would have imagined for myself. My
sincere thanks to the counselors that helped me.

Thank you so much for helping
me change my life for the good.

                            

Having been blessed with 3 children (none of which came
with instruction manuals). I thought I had the experience to assist any of my
children with all of life’s challenges. Trust me when I say you have no choice
but to leave the challenge of substance abuse to the experts, the experts at
Cornerstone. There is a serenity that follows and radiates continually, as over
time your entire family is healed from the devastation of substance abuse. Be
it relationships, financial or life and death, the experts at Cornerstone walk
with you and your loved one, hand and hand. They’ve seen it all, and some have
done it all. That’s what makes this program work.

 Your child will relate, heal,
and prosper. The counselors dedicate 100% to you and your loved one. The tools
to recover are only a phone call away. It’s only too late, when you don’t make
the call. Call today and get the support your family needs…

This place really is the jam, I’m glad I found it because
it has seriously made me grow so much. Outpatient is like absolutely awesome
and I will miss it when I’m done. I’m just glad that I’m actually happy now and
not all screwed up and lonely. This is honestly the best decision I have
probably ever made in my life. It’s a fantastic program and full of love. But
thats all I got. I LOVE YOU GUYS!! :)

                          

I came to Cornerstone because I couldn’t stop using. I thought
that was my only problem. I had been using for six years when I came in. I
wasn’t sure what they did here, but I felt I’d be out soon, able to use cocaine
and drink normally. Luckily for me, life doesn’t always happen the way I think
it should. I had actually sought out help because…well, fill in the blank.
Because of a lot of repercusions of my drinking and drugging, but ultimately
because when I tried to sleep at night I felt like there was a ten thousand
pound weight on my empty, carved out shell of a body. And the drugs had stopped
working – I couldn’t really even get high anymore. I had lost the will to live.
However, after failing to kill myself, I was ready to change. The way I was
living my life wasn’t working anymore. There were no payoffs.

At Cornerstone,
people really listened to me and seemed to genuinely care. I didn’t have to do
anything to earn their friendship! They were just there for me. I am honored to
be able to return the favor today. I have 11 months sober and have some peace in
my life. THANK YOU CORNERSTONE!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

                            

I had scheduled to have my son picked up by one of the
“schools” that come in the middle of the night and take your child
away to live until they are 18. My thought at the time was that at least he
would be alive and possibly finish High School.

I found Cornerstone when a
child who was in the Cornerstone group saw me in a waiting room one day. We
were at yet another worthless “therapy” session and I was waiting in
the lobby for my son. The child who was in Cornerstone knew my Son, and asked
me if he was in trouble. After sharing the story and telling him I was getting
ready to send my Son away to this “school”, he begged me to call Cornerstone
instead of sending my son away. I made the call.

Not really believing that any
program could help, but more as a place for him to be while I waited for the
school thing to work out. He joined Cornerstone and never was sent away. After
working the program, he graduated from Cornerstone in 2008. He now has 3 and
1/2 years of sobriety. And we have our family together. I am not sure that
would have been the case if I had not found Cornerstone. Make the call. It will
be the best thing you can do for yourself and your child. Thank you
Cornerstone. If I said “Thank you” every day for the rest of my life
it would not be enough to show my gratitude that I have for you and the
program. Thank you so very much.

                             

I have no idea where to start. This last year and five
months has been an emotional journey. I can’t imagine my life without
Cornerstone. I was one of those hopeless kids that came in like most of us here.
By the time I got introduced to Cornerstone I had nothing in my life. I was a
fifteen year old girl that was so addicted to drugs that I had ruined any
relationship with anyone in my life. I remember right before I got sober I was
so lonely, and felt like I would never be happy again. I had tried many many
times to kill myself. Never knowing what was going to happen, today I am
thankful to say that I know where my life can go. Today I can smile and not
fake it. I have been able to love and be loved. I have found so much through
this program. Through working these steps, I have found a solution. Today I am
able to be happy. I don’t have to do drugs or drink again! Thank you so much
Cornerstone for everything you have done for me! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

                           

I came. I came to. I came to believe. Love You All
Forever

 

I am very grateful for Cornerstone. From age 12 through
16, I was into drugs and alcohol, and paid the dues behind it by losing a
relationship with my family, failing school, being arrested, and losing my own
sanity. For a long time sobriety seemed like it was not an option, but by me
being willing when I had my first appointment I have everything I have ever
wanted today. I am grateful to Cornerstone and the staff for showing me that if
I choose to work the 12 Steps I will stay sober, be happy, and own my own life.
I love you guys.

                           

Our family found Cornerstone at a time of crisis with
alcohol and substance abuse. After more than a year and a half of our son
participating in the Older Group program and ourselves as parents participating
in the parent group, we have truly found serenity and peace as individuals and
as a family. The love and support of the group helped our son learn and choose
to follow a path of sobriety. The love and support of the parent group helped
us grow as individuals and grow together as a family. We are forever indebted
and grateful to the Cornerstone staff, the members of the Older Group program,
and the caring parents in the parent group. THANK YOU!!!

I am 19 and required narcotics for seven years of my
life. Then they had proved essential for life was misery to me. Things were
always miserable and I eventually turned to drugs, for in them I found a brief
reprieve from the world I loathed. As a child, I went from psychiatrist to
psychiatrist, to boarding schools, to lock down rehabs, to hospitals. People
never seemed to understand. I grew up in a wealthy family and had everything I
could possibly want. I was still a wreck.

The first 3 years of my drug career
were somewhat harmless. I got high, went to parties, and just experimented.
However, the last four years were a binge. I ditched any friends that didn’t use
the same drugs and amounts that I used. My own friends came to me several times
telling me I had a problem and needed to cut back. I laughed each time. I hated
myself and so long as I was on those drugs I could be whoever I wanted. In my
last 4 years of getting loaded I began overdosing time and time again praying
to god I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. And I awoke each morning only to
take more. Fights with my parents were expected.

For months, my father slept
with a baseball bat under his side of the bed for fear of me. They had long
since given up any attempts to remedy my drug problem. The drugs had finally
ceased to afford me even a brief reprieve. Black outs were quite welcome.
Anything to help me forget my life and the world I had created. I’d had enough.
I moved from New Mexico to Colorado for what I thought was going to be your
orthodox treatment center. What I found instead was a new way of life. I found
a group of people my age that had been where I had been and understood. They
sought only my friendship, not what drugs I could offer.

 For years, my only
friends were drugs. My new found friends offered me hope like so many others
before, but I finally accepted it because I was unwilling to continue living
the way I had.

The people I found in Cornerstone, like myself, had been to hell
and didn’t wish to go back. They too had felt the depths of despair and misery
that plagued my life and yet they stood before me smiling. I wanted what they
had; I wanted to smile of my own accord. It was then I realized I never had to
be alone again. I no longer had to get loaded, for there was a solution in
front of me.

 

My 18-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter had turned
our lives into a nightmare by dropping out of school, running away,
shoplifting, and using and dealing drugs. My efforts at getting them back on
track were to no avail. The police had been called to our home on several
occasions. One night members of a gang, disgruntled with a drug deal, arrived
at our home at 3:00 a.m. and when refused entry, shot guns at our home. Despite
my fear and confusion, I knew I had to take serious and immediate action.
Following some advice, I arranged for escorts to pick my daughter up out of the
crack house she was living in and fly her to the wilderness of Utah, where she
spent two months. I accompanied my son to a similar program; he was 18 and had
to go voluntarily. He only agreed because he was in a methamphetamine stupor.
My grief was indescribable. In their absence, I found a place called
Cornerstone.

 I’m sure now that I was led there by a higher power. They teach
and live what is called “enthusiastic sobriety.” All of the counselors at
Cornerstone have “been there, done that” which is, I believe,
essential to the success of a young persons’ sobriety. Therapists, teachers,
and others who have not experienced what these young people have, have no
credibility with them and are easily dismissed out of hand. My children’s lives
were literally saved by this program and these wonderful, loving, skilled, and
expert counselors. They taught the kids how to have fun and live a good life,
how to have goals, values, self-respect and self-love as a sober person. They
were given the tools with which to deal with their addiction.

The group made my
children feel loved and like they belonged. As they grew, they were able to
help others coming in which, in turn, reinforced their sobriety. As it turned
out, my son relapsed, and then went to Cornerstone’s sister program, Pathway,
in Tempe, Arizona. It was impossible for him to succeed in this city. He did succeed
at Pathway and I thank God for the wonderful people and the program in Tempe.
The cost of the program, compared with the others with which I have become
familiar, is so incredibly reasonable I’m amazed. A child visits with a
therapist one or two hours a week and tells that therapist whatever he or she
wishes. The counselors at Cornerstone and their peer group could always see
what was really going on with my kids.

 There was no conning the
“cons.” After outpatient, my children continued as part of the group
for approximately two years. The love and support given by the members of the
group to each other is key. Every part of Cornerstone created an atmosphere in
which my children thrived in sobriety.

If there was any way to rid myself of the unwanted
awkward feelings and insecurities of everyday life, I found it when I first
drank myself stupid during lunch my freshman year. I embraced the feeling of
not caring about anything or anyone and made a point of it to do it as much as
I could. That was the beginning of my downfall. I was able to suspend my hurt,
insecurities, and anger. My relationship with my parents deteriorated. Instead
of class I would walk home and get drunk and smoke pot. I tried ecstasy for my
first time and knew the meaning of life.

Shortly it led to things I never
thought would happen to me. Sophomore year I was depressed, drinking, rolling,
and cutting myself nightly. I wound up in the hospital shortly after and it was
then that my mom knew something had to change. I was admitted into Cornerstone
and since then have been sober for seven months and have never felt so
unbelievably happy, satisfied, and fulfilled in my life. I am so grateful for
Cornerstone and everything it has done for me. I Love You Guys So Much!

                             

When I was 12 years old, I smoked weed for the first
time. I still remember every little detail of that day. I remember the alley we
were in, the buildings around me, the weather, and the kind of pipe we smoked
out of. But more than anything, I remember falling completely in love with
getting high. From that day on, for the next 3 years, I probably had a total of
about 2 months worth of sober days. Slowly, every part of my life became
unmanageable. I barely ever went to school, I had absolutely no real friends,
my mom wouldn’t leave her purse in the same room as me, and there was nothing
more important to me than dope.

The sickest part of it all was that I could
barely feel any of this, and I didn’t see any of it as a problem. People say
that you can’t get sober until you “hit a bottom.” Well, I had hit
plenty of them and I was still getting high constantly. When I found this
program, I was still completely unwilling to sober up. For a while, I tried
very hard to con my way out of getting sober and I did everything I could to
reserve my right to get high. It didn’t take very long for my entire
perspective to change.

This program showed me something better than getting
high ever did. I love my life today. Before I came into this program, I barely
had any life left. I have 5 1/2 years sober now and I don’t need to get high
anymore, I dont even want to! I have been graduated from the program for a
while now, and I still hold onto the way of living that I was shown when I was
here. There is nothing that I am more grateful for than the opportunity I had
to get sober in the way that I did. I love you all.<

                            

Our son found Cornerstone after he was booted from another
“more traditional…30 day” program. For him to find Cornerstone was
a definite “God Thing” for our family. For him to find this unique
program that: 1) is an enthusiastic approach to sobriety 2) has a flexible
length of OP 3) counselors that have “been there, done that” 4) has
an “after care” program, etc, etc, all while working the 12 Steps in
a genuinely loving environment was a blessing! And….they had a Parent Group,
for this truly is a family disease!! From the moment my wife and I walked into
our first Parent Meeting, we knew this place was the answers to our prayers as
we saw other parents, with similar family situations, actually laughing and
enjoying life again. We weren’t sure what was happening there, but we were
going to stick around until we figured it out!

What we initially discovered
were invaluable meetings on topics to help us as parents be part of the
solution to our son’s problem. We soon figured out that our controlling was
part of the problem. We then, thru guidance of wonderful counselors, the Parent
Group, and parent sponsors, found that the 12 Steps were also there for our own
recovery and spiritual growth….example in my case, learning to “Let Go,
Let God”. Not only have my wife and I developed numerous “forever
friends” thru the Parent Group, but we also have many, many fond memories
of Gratitude Meetings, Retreats, Picnics, Round Robins’s etc, that all are a
huge plus to Cornerstone’s program. Our family will be forever grateful for
Cornerstone and what it has meant to our family.

I am grateful. I am loved. I love

 

It all started when I was young. What memories I still
have of childhood seem chaotic and sad. I pretended that I was not affected by
the situations surrounding me, but there was loneliness and despair eating away
at my soul. No matter how I acted or what I did, I never felt like I fit in. I
would cry myself to sleep. The only escape I had was school. When I wasn’t
trying to impress people and getting in trouble, I got good grades and felt
like I had a gift. That was not seen as an asset by my peers, so I hid my
passion for school so as not to be made fun of. Eventually I deceived myself, I
stopped trying. I still got adequate grades, but spent most of my time trying
to make friends. I changed groups of friends regularly. Near the end of 8th grade,
I discovered pot. I thought I had found “IT,” the solution to all my
problems. Several weeks later, the first day of summer, I discovered alcohol. I
felt like I was on top of the world. That first day I stole four bottles of
liquor from my mom’s plentiful and untouched liquor cabinet. I jumped in head
first. Every day that summer I was using as much as I could. I was stealing
from my parents to support my habit. Then came high school, and I went to a
different district to play football. I didn’t have many friends, so I again
bonded with people the only way I knew how, drugs. I began selling small
quantities at my school. I began smoking pot and drinking in my room, alone or
with friends. At my dad’s house, I would throw parties on the weekends when he
was out of town. I got caught by my parents several times, but always had an
excuse.

Finally, one night I got pulled over. I had blacked out while driving
and gotten lost. Drunk and confused, I was taken to the police station. My mom
wanted to leave me, but was convinced by my dad to pick me up and take me over
there. My mom kicked me out and my dad took me in, promising I would clean up
my act. It didn’t last long. I became worse than ever. I went through court and
was taking care of that, but I would sneak out every night and get drunk. I was
on UAs so I couldn’t smoke pot, but my drinking increased exponentially and I
started using mushrooms. I got released from probation early and started using
meth, then painkillers, then coke, then ecstasy and numerous others. The drugs
stopped working. I started mixing drugs. I could get numb for awhile, but it
didn’t last. When I wasn’t high I would cry, and this continued for over a
year. Then my dad left town, this was his big trip. Three weeks of destruction.

I left my house four times; twice for school, once for baking soda (I had
discovered crack), and once for food. When my dad came back, I was emotionally
and physically drained. It was a fight for me to keep it together. I ran out
staying at friends houses until one day I had nowhere else to go. I called my
mom. I couldn’t stay at my dad’s so I went to my mom’s. The next morning a
policeman and the dean of my school were hovering over me. A friend had gone to
Cornerstone and later that day I told my mom it was the only place I would go.
We met with one of the counselors and instantly my life turned around. That was
February 2, 2005. I have a wonderful life today and owe it all to that one
decision. I finally found “IT” and God willing you have too.

                            

Prior to finding Cornerstone, our home had become a
battleground and our 16 year old son’s drug and alcohol use was making life
crazy for the entire family. As parents, we were experiencing tremendous fear,
anger, shame (what would our friends think) and eventually despair. It was
difficult to accept that we could not help him, let alone control him. We tried
all the things parents typically do to get their child off drugs and alcohol.

Nothing seemed to work for more than a week or two but we continued to do the
same things over and over again expecting different results. We expended
tremendous amounts of energy trying to control the situation. It was insanity.
Somewhere in the chaos and pain, Mom and Dad were beginning to get lost too.
Fortunately, we found Cornerstone. We each struggled with the program in our
own way but eventually came to accept what we needed to accept in order to
recover as a family. It took patience, understanding, love, and time to get
where we are today. There were relapses, tears, frustration, and a lot of hard
work along the way for all three of us. It has been worth it, without a doubt.

Our son is approaching two years of continuous sobriety and is a happy person
with a wonderful sense of humor and a beautiful smile. Through the parent
program and working the steps, we learned to Let Go and Let God manage our
lives rather than trying to control everything going on around us. With the
help of the wonderful counselors at Cornerstone we were each able to recover
our true selves which in turn enabled us to recover as a family. Our home is a
sanctuary of peace and serenity. Life is good! What a miracle! We will forever
be grateful to Cornerstone.

I grew up always having an interest in drugs and alcohol.
I looked at it as a sign of maturity and a very accepting sub-culture. Drugs
were in the movies I watched, were sung in the music I listened too, and were
talked about a majority of the time with older friends. Soon I decided I was
going to score some pot. Being the young age I was, I had no access to it, so
we started drinking my friend’s dad’s liquor. I was in love and kept doing it
and finally decided to quit. I was not done with my drug use, I started back up
in high school, and advanced to more drugs. I was soon a low life addict that I
glamorized in the movies when younger, and was lead down a path that I never
wanted to take. I was arrested at schools and houses that I broke into, and
kicked out of a rehab group in Arizona. I was finally done. I started
outpatient again and got willing. I am now on steering committee and enjoying
my life. I love you guys!

                            

Our son has benefited tremendously from the Cornerstone
Program, which is based on the proven Twelve-Step program of Alcoholics
Anonymous, adapted for teens. When our 15-year-old son was in the nadir of his
addiction, he lost all interest in sports and other activities he had
previously enjoyed, his grades plummeted, he failed to attend classes
regularly, and he cared about nothing except getting high. He was secretive and
deceptive. We feared he would ruin his life or end up dead. He unwillingly went
to an after school drug rehabilitation program, but it didn’t work. A difficult
decision for us was to withdraw our son from his high school. We told him that
he had to go to a drug treatment program, and he could choose which one. With
our encouragement, he reluctantly checked out Cornerstone for himself. Since
then, truly amazing things have happened.

 First, he actually wanted to go to
Cornerstone. He could identify with the counselors who are young adults and
recovered addicts. Second, he got sober immediately and has stayed sober for 14
months now. Third, he returned to school, is earning good grades, and has
learned to drive a car responsibly. Fourth, he works his program, which
includes not only staying away from drugs and alcohol, but also being honest.
When he is wrong, he admits it. Imagine having a teenager apologize to his
parents! Now we are all “working our program.” Trust, love and caring are
restored in our family, and we are very grateful. We highly recommend this
program.

I am a twenty-two year old recovering alcoholic. I found
Cornerstone at nineteen, after five years of drinking and eventually drugging
myself into countless episodes of humiliation, despair, and physical and
emotional wreckage. I started partying in high school, which for me quickly
changed from the usual weekend partying into a daily habit and eventually into the
inability to function or interact with others without alcohol in my system. I
kept a stash of alcohol in my locker at school to make sure I wouldn’t sober up
throughout the day. Although I maintained good grades, was involved in school
activities, had lots of friends and appeared to be a typical, happy teenage
girl, in actuality I was depressed to the point of self-mutilation and
terrified to go to school everyday for fear of what people would say to and
about me because of my actions while I was drunk. After high school I left the
state to go to a relatively prestigious college in California, where I
continued to plummet deeper and deeper into the throes of my alcoholism.

I
joined a sorority and started drinking more and partying harder than ever before.
I left after one semester, unable to attend classes or get decent grades
because I was constantly drunk. Back in Colorado, I got badly into cocaine as
well and within six months was seriously addicted. I found Cornerstone because
my brother was in the program, and although highly skeptical and reluctant to
seek help of any sort, I knew I was helpless and that my life would continue in
this fatal downward spiral if I didn’t change something quickly.

Through
Cornerstone I found real friends, the twelve steps, a Higher Power, and
solutions to problems from which I had always believed I could never be free.
Gradually, I became the person I had always truly been that had been buried
under years of alcohol and drug use. Cornerstone was the instrument through which
I was able to find freedom and true happiness. After three wonderful years, I
graduated the program and am now active in Alcoholics Anonymous. Today I am
about to graduate college, I have a wonderful life, amazing relationships with
friends and family, and am happier than I ever thought was possible.

                             

After a year and a half of just about a total family
relationship breakdown. My son, giving up on school, the cello, and hockey,
turned over his daily life to a methamphetamine addiction. We turned to
Cornerstone to get help. After a little more than a year, my son has 9 months
sobriety, a large support network, and we are a whole family unit again. An
added unforeseen plus is that my wife and I have made huge advances in our own
lives too, as a result of the parent meetings

                               

Our family found Cornerstone at a time of crisis with
alcohol and substance abuse. After more than a year and a half of our son
participating in the Older Group program and ourselves as parents participating
in the parent group, we have truly found serenity and peace as individuals and
as a family. The love and support of the group helped our son learn and choose
to follow a path of sobriety. The love and support of the parent group helped
us grow as individuals and grow together as a family. We are forever indebted
and grateful to the Cornerstone staff, the members of the Older Group program,
and the caring parents in the parent group. THANK YOU!!

                            

I got sober in Cornerstone when I was 15. Before I got
sober, I knew something had to change because everything was falling apart in
my life and I just really did not care. I would look at what I was doing and
see that my friends, school, family, sports, court stuff, and relationships
were all falling apart. At the end of night I couldn’t sleep without being high
or drunk, but I really didn’t want to stop or know how or what to expect. When

I had my first appointment I was totally shocked at the program. Starting with
the counselor I was talking to, he had long hair, and just told me his story of
getting high and getting sober. Then when he went to talk to my parents, teens
were coming up to me, asking all types of questions and being nice, and they
were fun, cool people. I decided to check out what the program was and started
really liking it! I had so much fun with everyone. We had dances and functions
on the weekend. Every person could relate to my story and help me figure out
what the 12 steps were, how to work them, and have more fun sober than I ever
did getting high. Overall, I found something that worked for me. I have 3 years
sober, love my life and everything in it, and am able to sleep better than ever.

                           

Where to begin? I have no clue how, and or why I ended up
in the Cornerstone Program. I have come to the conclusion that God has played a
big part of my life and God has surely influenced a part of why I am here
today. While getting high, I had done so many negative things that were not for
the better, towards me and everyone else in my life. I hurt people, used
people, I hated people along with countless other things. Most of all, I was
not happy and I hated my life. I had no love for anything, except for the
disease in which drugs and alcohol expressed. I was unhappy with the life that
I was living. I guess that is why I joined the Cornerstone Program.

 I was
looking for a better way to live my life. I was looking for love, friends,
trust, manageability and happiness. I did not have these things getting high
and these things are what life is about. These things are key to have a good
life, along with having God. After being in the program for almost six months I
have realized that I have most of these things. I have God, I have friends, my
life is manageable now. Most of all, I am HAPPY. I love the life that I live
today. I know that if I never entered into the program I would not have what I
have today and I would not be as happy as I am today. I know that Cornerstone
played a big part in my sobriety, and the way that they do things has made it
fun. For me, it was first about getting sober and then it was about keeping my
sobriety and having fun while doing it. Cornerstone is the perfect place to do
this. Life is about being happy and that is what I am today. Live the life you
love, and love the life you live. I LOVE YOU.

                             

When we came to Cornerstone, we were broken as a family
and as individuals. My 18 year old son is 6’3” and at the time he entered the
program, weighed 125 lbs. due to his excessive use of drugs and alcohol, and
had dropped out of high school. My 15 year old daughter was using pot and
drinking daily, as well as failing 5 out of 6 classes. My 13 year old son was
devastated, confused, angry and depressed due to the chaos in our lives. In May
of 2004, my son was arrested for driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Part of
his probation was to attend state approved drug and alcohol classes but he
opted for The Cornerstone Program instead. Little did I know that it would not
only change my children’s lives and give them the tools to live a life of
sobriety, but I would be affected in a personal and powerful way myself.

Like
so many Cornerstone parents, I came to the parent meetings to support my son
but soon found out I had a tremendous amount of personal work to do as well. We
both dug in and started working our individual twelve step programs. We began
to gain a sense of control and serenity in our lives. Our relationship changed
and we found a new respect for one another as individuals. During this time, my
daughter was continuing to smoke pot and drink. Through working my own program,
I was able to take control of my home and lovingly gave her a choice to either
live in our house sober, or find another place. In June of 2005, she committed
to sobriety and started her twelve step work at Cornerstone. Today, we are a
loving family with a belief in taking personal responsibility, wanting the best
for one another and seeking our Higher Power as we each understand that to be.
My son is happy and living on his own while working full time. My daughter
laughs again and is working hard to make up for lost time in school. They have
both remained sober as I write this. Having experienced first hand the
devastation that mind changing chemicals have on a family, my youngest son is
committed to sobriety in his own life and is smiling and laughing again too.
Through the twelve step program at Cornerstone, the love of the group, and
experience of the staff, we each have come to a place of peace in our lives
that at one time seemed unattainable and I have gained a sense of compassion
for the addict and gratitude for the recovery process.

I am 18 and I started using the summer between 8th and
9th grade. At the time, I was just smoking pot. By 9th grade I started to add alcohol
into the picture. By the end of the first semester I had been caught with a
half ounce and kicked out of George Washington High. Then for second semester I
went to Thomas Jefferson High. This was awesome for me, at the time, because it
was my home school and I knew most of the people there. I kept using and it
just slowly got worse through out high school. By the end of freshman year, I
had started to use DXM. This resulted in numerous blackouts. By sophomore year
I started using cocaine on a regular basis. I was also leaving school at lunch
to make beer runs to my house. This kept up until 2/3 through my Junior year my
parents pulled me out so that I could sober up. They took me to different
places where I could go. One I remember was in Tucson, AZ. A boarding school
where you are just sheltered and given community service if caught getting
high.

After this they took me here, to Cornerstone. After now being in the
program for a little over a year and a half, I have almost eleven months sober.
I could never have done this with out the help of the 12 steps or my friends in
the group. My life is now so much better. I am graduating at the end of this
year, I have people that care about me. I love it

Our family’s experience with addiction wasn’t as dramatic
as many. It was a slow slide and since it was so gradual, it didn’t get our
full attention until our son’s life had deteriorated way beyond management.
Since there aren’t gun shots and gangs and needles and felonies involved, it is
much easier to let it slide. If I could do any of it over again, I would start
going to Cornerstone parent group even if my son wasn’t “ready.” Don’t wait
until all the stars are aligned perfectly. There is action you can take. The
first time I knew my son had smoked pot was the beginning of his 10th grade
year. We couldn’t find him after school and he didn’t wander in until well
after dinner, eyes completely glazed over. I asked him if he was high and he
said “yes.” Of course it was the first time. Of course he wouldn’t do it again.

Of course it was “those other kids” who made him smoke and he was the good kid.
But he got very skilled very quickly at not smelling of pot and having clear
eyes (how do they do that?), so we had no idea how deep he was into it. He had
never loved school, but his grades started to go down—even more. He started to
ditch school, and by the end of his senior year was not only ditching, he was
fabricating elaborate stories about what they were doing in classes that he had
never set foot in. He lost his first job after a month, and many more after
that. When he turned 18, he started getting arrested and hiding it, and by the
time we found out, he had quite a laundry list of probation activities,
community service obligation, diversion classes, no driver’s license and two
court dates that could possibly have landed him in jail. He had also pawned
inherited heirlooms and other random things we still have not been able to find
around the house. We were so elated that he actually graduated from high school
that we didn’t see how bleak things were getting for him in the final summer
before Cornerstone. He added alcohol to his repertoire, and was smoking pot
multiple times a day. We worried that he had some sort of brain-processing
problem, because his logic and thinking were so messed up. I later found out he
is just fine, in fact, pretty darn smart. We were seeing the results of him
frying his brain on pot and alcohol! We had taken him to therapists along the
way for substance abuse evaluations. He snowed them all, and I would hear that
he didn’t seem to have a problem that was substantial. I should focus on
myself.

Once we got him to Cornerstone, it took less than fifteen minutes for
the counselor to “crack” him, and we found out that he had only been sober for
one week in the past three years. He has five months sober now, and while that
is only a beginning, our family has the tools to build a life of closeness,
honesty, and joy without chemicals. I have seen my son lucid and happy
again—happier than I ever thought possible. His heart is as full as his
calendar as he hangs out with 60 sober, devoted friends, works his program and
works full-time, as well as cleans up his legal messes that he left from his
other life. My husband and I have a group of adults who understand and
challenge us to grow, and a new way of relating to my son. Every time I am on
my way to Cornerstone, it pops in my head that the hand of God hangs over this
funky warehouse. I have no doubt that it is.

I’m 17 years old and I started using when I was 10 years old.
I started drinking by 7th grade . I started smoking pot in 8th grade, and I
started to get in trouble. By high school, I got kicked out for eating
mushrooms. After that I started huffing gas. I was in trouble with the law. I
got a felony and started rehabs. Cornerstone is my 4th rehab in 2 years. I have
found that Cornerstone is the only place that worked for me. I feel like
everyone cares and the work is easy. I have 1 year sober now and I am having
fun doing it. If it wasn’t for Cornerstone I would be dead or in jail. I love
you guys!

After several years of living with the affects of our
sons’ drug use and through many sleepless nights, our prayers were answered and
our son started his program at Cornerstone. We’d begun with the popular concept
that “all kids experiment and he’ll out grow it”. We then tried
changing his environment and friends by sending him to a private boarding
school. Unfortunately, his primary education there was new and varying ways to
get high. We then decided on a traditional treatment center in Texas. Upon
completing this 4 month program, our son informed us on the plane ride home
that he planned to continue to use drugs.

Thankfully, we were directed to the
Al-Anon program. For the next nine months we prayed for an answer to our sons’
drug addiction. Through some friends we were told of two programs- one in
Phoenix and one in Denver. Without much hope of success, we took our child to
the Cornerstone Program. Since we lived out of state, we were told our son
would be living with another Cornerstone family. We couldn’t believe anyone was
willing to take in this very difficult 17 year old addict. Our son now has
nearly 21 months sober. The love and caring he received from his sponsor
family, counselors and other kids in the program is unbelievable until you
experience it. It’s a miracle and lots of hard work by our son. The experience
of going from complete despair to recovery has changed our lives. Our son
credits the kids he’s been helping with keeping him sober. Although we live out
of state, my husband and I are involved in out reach programs in our community.
We are forever thankful to the people at Cornerstone who gave our son a second
chance at life and gave us a second chance for a life with our son.

                           

I moved to Colorado two years ago to attend college and
to escape the person I had become back home. I was going to start a new life.
The life that I was meant to live. Drugs and Alcohol were no longer going to
control my life. Three months after the move, the old me had found me in
Colorado and was worse then ever. I was alone, far away from my family and
friends. The only thing that I knew, to escape this feeling was to drink and
drug more. They seemed to transform the lonely, scared, and shy girl to an
outgoing, funny, and crazy girl that people loved to be around. At first this
was great. I was making friends, yet those benefits started wearing off. The
void just seemed to get bigger, I was a lie. I only hung out with people if I
was messed up, and avoided everyone if I wasn’t.

I would black out most nights
and have to face the shame that awaited for me in the morning. Life just got
worse. I would quit every morning but by night I would start drinking and
drugging again. I was a failure. I couldn’t even quit. I wanted to die. I found
out about Cornerstone through a referral. A stranger my age who just finished
outpatient told me his story the first day I met him. He had a light in his
eyes, and the fact that he reached out to me, a complete stranger made me
curious.

 I took his advice. I have been in the program for a year and today I
have made real friendships, I no longer have that void, and I have a way to
have fun without drugs and alcohol. I have a home away from home. I’m living
the life that I was meant to live. THANKS CORNERSTONE

                           

I read stories on the internet … and you think how could
these be true? Well, this one is from my heart! Our son had been tossed out of
Jefferson County Schools twice. The support from the school was zilch … the
drug problem was not their problem. (The “No Child Left Behind”
program does not apply to addicts).Going to court over and over again was no
fun. We used to try to make a joke that my son’s initials were engraved on the
bench at the Arvada Court House. The court ordered counseling and treatment
programs were frustrating. They were more of a meeting place for my son to hang
around his drug friends (or make more contacts) and the parents were not
allowed to participate or know the test results (privacy information for
minors).

There was no support for my husband and myself and we were absolutely
an emotional wreck. We found Cornerstone through a fellow work associate. It
took me a ridiculous year to make the call …. And it was only after I learned
that my son had been held up at gunpoint for his drugs and money that I finally
did make the call to Cornerstone. The counselors are REAL people … they’ve
been through the program. They knew the language to get through to my son.
We’ve been in the program for 2 years. The positives: this program works with
the family (We are all part of the solution!) and the kids are wonderful. It’s
so nice to talk to my son … and meet his friends!

The negatives: every child
is different and unique. My son has managed to achieve a sobriety of up to 6
months … but he’s had his highs (so to speak) and lows. Don’t expect
perfection … hope for progress. My son is alive today and has the tools for
sobriety. If your child is having a challenge with mind-altering substances,
don’t hesitate to contact Cornerstone! The wonderful counselors (whom I would
love to adopt!) are there to help.

Cornerstone was the third and last treatment program I
went to. I used drugs and alcohol for 5 years, from age 13 to 18. My parents
were somewhat aware, but didn’t really have a clue to the extent of my use.
Their eyes were opened when I was arrested for drugs related crimes. They
didn’t really know what to do, so they took me to various counselors and
treatment programs. I got kicked out of the first treatment program I went to
for using and then went to Utah for treatment so I wouldn’t have to go to jail.
When I came back, I went to the Cornerstone Program to continue appeasing the
courts and my parents, still planning on using again when the dust settled. I
relapsed with almost 3 months sober. My parents agreed to help me one more time
and supported me going into Cornerstone I.O.P.

That was in August of 1999 and
I’ve stayed sober ever since. Coming up on 6 years sober, I’m infinitely
grateful to my parents and the Cornerstone Program for helping me to create a
life for myself. By learning the 12 steps that they taught me, I was able to
stay sober and continue improving the quality of my life. Thank you for
everything-love you all.

                          

My Family joined Cornerstone 2-10-05. On that day I was a
sleep deprived Warden on Duty 24/7 thankful that I had finally found a place
somewhat convenient that actually takes teenagers. While my son was in Out
Patient, I knew where he was and could try to relax a little. Relaxing was hard
because of how overwhelmed I was by how naïve, ignorant and clueless I had been
to what had been my son’s life. Sitting at my kitchen table with the School
Resource Officer and a Dean was the beginning of the tidal wave of emotions
from anger, blame, guilt and fear that would overwhelm and consume me. I needed
to fix my baby NOW.

I was afraid that he would not see his 17th Birthday. One
of the counselors, in a short period of time, knew more about my son then I
did. She was cool, while I was clueless. She was hip, while I was hopeless. My
son really connected where we had short circuited years ago.My Son Needed
Cornerstone, it was a great fit for him I knew it instantly. What I did not
know was how much I needed it. I devoured the “Beyond the Yellow Brick
Road” and laughed for the first time in weeks maybe months while reading
the first chapter in “Bumper Stickers”. That was HUGE. My credo in
life had been to have a good laugh everyday. Progress not Perfection became my
Bumper Sticker and I celebrated each moment.

When my son looked me in the eye,
when he smiled at me, when he laughed with me, when he got his monkey fist,
when he said, “I Love You, Mom” and I knew he meant it, each time he
checked in and let me know where he was going and what he was doing, when he
talked with me, when he actually contributed at home AND WHEN HE STARTED MAKING
PLANS FOR HIS LIFE. Cornerstone far surpassed my expectations!! The outpatient
counselor amazed me with how intuitive he was and once my son was out of OP, I
missed my weekly call from him. Today my son has 3 years of sobriety and is
currently attending Counselor Training thanks in part to the support and
generosity of our Cornerstone Extended Family.

I came into The Cornerstone Program at a part of my life
that I never thought I’d be. My true awakening happened at my first meeting
with one of the counselors from Cornerstone. By the end of the meeting, I had
found my self shaking and sweating because that whole day I had stayed sober,
which was the longest time I’d been sober in 6 years. That’s when I truly
realized I had a real problem. I joined the Cornerstone Program 4 months ago
and I’m already living a life I never thought existed. Joining this program was
the best thing I could have ever done for my life. I’m now happy to say that
The Cornerstone Program Saved My Life! And helped me have the best relationship
I’ve ever had with my family.

                            

I am very grateful for Cornerstone. I have met a lot of
really cool people there, and have been challenged in my recovery more than
ever. I have been taught to work the steps in my life in ways I never thought.
I have found support and understanding that has strengthened my sobriety. I
have been given the tools to work the steps and I have had the opportunity to
give some of those tools back to others. I am especially grateful for the
purity in the hearts of the staff. They really care and are committed to
helping people. Thanks Cornerstone!

                              

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