Faces of Rosecrance: Johnny Cooper

September 21, 2016

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Johnny Cooper is a senior addiction counselor and he has been with Rosecrance for over 26 years. He works with adolescent clients assigned to probation. “It’s a way for me to be proactive and intervene, to prevent them from getting into further trouble legally.”

“Substance abuse can lead to problems in school, then trusts issues with family, then a variety of legal troubles. A large majority of them don’t volunteer to come here. At first, it’s difficult for adolescents to recognize that they have a problem. They think that they can control when they quit and it’s not problematic. The reality of it is that it is problematic. Things get so out of control that they can’t see the line that they crossed. Even great kids fall as a result of peer pressure and using substances.”

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“Treatment works. One of the things I have to tell the clients is to take it one day at a time. The program talks about honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. What does the ‘first step’ mean? What does ‘admitting’ mean? What is the difference between admitting and accepting? That’s the biggest hurdle – do you accept the fact that you are powerless, or ‘allergic’ to these drugs? Whatever drug you use, you’re allergic to it.”

“Then we set up a relapse prevention plan – they need to establish a support system within the community. What do they do when they go back to those individuals that they used with in the first place? That’s where the real challenge comes in. “

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Senior addiction counselor Johnny Cooper shared with us one of his success stories:

“Do I have clients that are successful? Yes. And that’s why I do what I do. I had one client who struggled, probably about two or three times in treatment before he had a spiritual awakening. It was like a light bulb. He started to like the new person he was becoming.”

“When you’re talking about spirituality, it’s not just religion; it’s the chaos being removed out of his life. So he had a sense of peace and serenity.”

“Now he’s in college. Started getting A’s instead of C’s, D’s and F’s. He got involved in activities that he used to do before he started using, sports and different things. And that’s why I do what I do, because of the success stories.”

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