Breaking the cycle
As the adopted daughter of a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and a stay-at-home mom, Audrey Crouch’s outwardly pleasant childhood masked her own personal demons.
She dabbled with alcohol and marijuana at 12, which gave way to cocaine and ecstasy. By 16, her parents sent her to Missouri for her first round of rehab.
“It was a center for rich kids that were acting out,” Crouch says.
She, and her demons, then headed back to Dallas. Heroin and crack were her drugs of choice in her 20s.
She was a 26-year-old addict with a 1-year-old child when she found her way to Nexus Recovery Center, a substance abuse treatment facility for women and teen girls. Because of Nexus’ unique model, Crouch was able to keep her one-year old son with her as she went through treatment. After five months of treatment, she reestablished herself and her sense of normalcy.
But it wouldn’t last.
Her relapse sparked a three-year slide into addiction that led to stints in jail, homelessness and losing custody of her two children. Realizing she’d hit rock bottom, she called her parents for help.
“Each time in treatment makes a difference,” she says. “It is a stepping stone to being sober for a long time.”
Crouch has been clean for 13 years, time she’s used to transform her present into something that is unrecognizable from her past. She is married now, and has adopted children from a mother who was struggling with her own demons of addiction.
Her road to recovery left her wanting to give back. She returned to school for a degree in drug and alcohol counseling. Crouch always dreamed of working with Nexus, where she says the single-gender model best suited her skillset.
“[Clients] are not trying to look cute for guys or looking for new relationships,” she says. “I have found that we get further faster here.”
When an opportunity arose to work for Nexus, she jumped and worked her way up to be the nonprofit’s program director. She specifically addresses trauma to increase coping skills, as many addicts mask past trauma by abusing drugs and alcohol. The curriculum focuses on the 12-step program but allows the women to design their own recovery, too.
Crouch’s experience on both sides of recovery leaves her well informed about how trauma, genetics and nurturing can influence one’s path toward addiction.
The East Dallas facility on La Prada Drive is a converted Bible College where more than 2,000 women and their children receive treatment via inpatient and outpatient services, including counseling and support for single women, mothers, teens and expectant mothers, often for those who can’t afford it. They help patients find long-term sobriety, deal with trauma and develop coping skills, which has become even more salient during the opioid epidemic.
Unlike most treatment facilities, Nexus allows women to bring their children, with childcare facilities and Dallas ISD classes offered on campus. This allows the women to focus on their recovery without the added stress of being separated from their children.
Crouch doesn’t hide from her past and is proud of what she has done to turn her life around.
“I am grateful for my addiction,” she says. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today and have the openness and compassion I have without having gone through it.”
Ways to help:
Nexus has a wide range of volunteer opportunities, no matter how much time one has to give. Volunteers can help the Dallas ISD teachers in the teen classroom, assist in the office with administrative tasks or serve as
a mentor for a teenage girl. Contact Beth Hunter at 214.321.0156, ext. 2101, or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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