From the Founder
- Turning Grief into Purpose -
For 15 years, my daughter Laura and I struggled to understand the disease that had her in its grips and that devastated our family. In December, she made one last fateful decision, overdosed and two days later died on December 21, 2017.
When we were holding vigil in the hospital watching Laura’s life slip away, her close friend and recovering addict reminded me that she and I were now in a “position of privilege”. Not of our own choosing, we had experienced the disease of addiction close up, gained insight from our struggles, and had the potential to make a difference with those that struggle to understand the disease and develop a plan to maintain health and recovery.
For over a year, I processed how to turn my grief into purpose and shortly after Laura’s death writing a series of articles, Lessons from Laura, to personalize our struggle and alert others that even the best families are not immune from the disease. In early 2019, how I could make an impact became clear. I had unique experiences as a parent of an addict, had founded and run an adolescent treatment program, and owned a technology company.
Researching how I could best use my experience, I discovered that individuals that stayed connected to their treatment program after rehab had a much lower relapse rate; however, programs did not have the staff or time to create an aftercare program. They lacked comfort and understanding of technology that had the potential to automate their processes, save their staff time and offer services to their clients and families. I also discovered that colleges were attempting to offer recovery communities for students, but often lacked the same automation, awareness, and funding to serve the students that needed them.
I already knew that most parents were not focused on a disease that their children didn’t yet have, failed to understand that 1 in 10 of children was at high risk and that once the child experimented with substances and developed the disease, it would be very difficult to manage and treat.
InterAct Lifeline is poised to make a significant impact in the way addiction treatment can evolve, the way students can have a safe and sober college experience and the way parents can keep their children safer and delay or eliminate the development of the disease. Laura has been my inspiration, my teacher, and my motivation to make sure that InterAct delivers a meaningful change in the way addiction is prevented and treated.
Carolyn & Laura Bradfield