Aaron’s Story, The Aaron House Program, and Why It Works If You Work It
Aaron Meyer was a typical young person, growing up near Madison, WI.
Sometime in the summer of 2003 Aaron began experimenting with marijuana. Within three months, the drug had consumed sixteen year old Aaron. His parents didn’t understand addiction nor did they know the full extent of Aaron’s situation. Determined to address what they perceived an “emotional growth” issue, Aaron’s parents sent him to Mount Bachelor Academy in Prineville, OR in December 2003. Aaron returned home in January 2005 a mature, humble, and peaceful soul. Aaron and his family were now aware of addiction. Fully aware.
Responsibility is the word Aaron used to describe his feelings on turning 18 on May 6, 2005. He had a plan for his immediate future. A) Return to Oregon to attend Bend Community College. (B) Live with friends in recovery. (C) Get a job. (D) Attend recovery step meetings (E) Stay in touch with his emotional growth mentors. Aaron told his family, “We’ll help each other stay clean. It’ll work because nobody knows what we go through like we do.”
Aaron did not get the chance to put his plan into action. He died on May 10, 2005 while helping another young man in recovery. Clean and sober, in the middle of the day, Aaron died in an innocent one car accident 2.8 miles from his home. He was on his way to pick up a friend to give him a ride to a job interview.
Aaron’s seed of an idea did not die with him that day. The seed was planted and nourished by friends, family, professional recovery counselors, and others who recognized the potential in Aaron’s peer support idea. The Aaron House in Madison, WI opened in August 2007. Up to four men who are committed to a living in sobriety help each other stay clean and on track. They walk side by side with the House-Mentor who knows recovery is a life time commitment, one day at a time.
The Clinical Director at Aaron’s House helps the young men formulate Personal Lifestyle Plans with the cooperation of people in their lives who they trust. These are highly individualized plans. Evidence shows sober living is enhanced with peer support, mentorship, making recovery a priority, personal growth, and spiritual growth. The multiple avenues for each are explored by the student-residents with expert guidance.
A person who comes to Aaron’s House with no more personal items than he can fit in a back pack, and willing to change more than his address, will grow in sobriety. With sobriety, the young man will have choices. The Aaron Meyer Foundation network of people stretches across the country. The commitment level of those supporters is deep. The potential for connecting a student-resident who is committed to sobriety is unlimited. By embracing the choices only present in sobriety, days at Aaron’s House may be the most peaceful time in the life of a young man in recovery.
You have my promise; it works if you work it. I know from my experience.
Tom Meyer, Aaron’s Dad