Drug treatment program helps fathers recover: ‘I had to fight to get in here, but it was worth it’

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Fathers with Children Program is the only program of its kind west of Mississippi.

Operating in Salt Lake City, it’s a substance abuse treatment program that allows fathers to recover while still raising their children.

Jacob Allen, 34, and his 5-year-old daughter Daisy are enrolled.

“I had to fight to get in here, but it was worth it,” said Allen. “It’s giving me a better opportunity to have a healthy successful life with my daughter.”

Allen says he’s been using meth and heroin for 20 years. He’s been clean since the summer.

The last time he relapsed, it was when he gained full custody of Daisy. Allen says her mother is also in recovery.

“She lost her rights about two years ago,” said Allen.

Now to stay clean, Allen spends his days learning accountability, how to exercise more patience and other tools that will ultimately help him and Daisy once they leave the program. That includes family, solo and group therapy.

“The percentage of people who are successfully sober after this program are infinitely greater than the national average,” said Allen. “The average is like two percent. Odyssey graduates have 75%.”

Megan Gailey is the program’s director.

“They can come in a variety of ways,” said Gailey. “We’ve had fathers who have called our admissions department, and they mentioned that they have a child so they get routed to our fathers with children program. We work with the Division of Child and Family Services, who send referrals. We also work with the family drug court system, probation officers. We work with enough that they’re pretty familiar with our Fathers with Children programs. So, we get a lot of referrals that way if there’s a need for it.”

Gailey explains there are multiple options to pay for treatment.

“Whether it’s through the county, Medicaid or private insurance,” said Gailey.

Allen still has up to three months before he finishes the program.

After that, he has to undergo more steps that include outpatient treatment.

“It’s a pretty long process,” said Allen. “I feel like it might give me a chance for me to be more successful.”

If you’re interested in the Fathers with Children Program, you can contact Odyssey House at (801) 322-3222.


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