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  • Michael Matsoukas “Self Evaluation” 5/27/09 Primary Counselor: Marie Medina Facility: Daytop Fox Run My name is Michael Matsoukas, I am 17 years old, and I was born October, 11th 1991 and live in Hastings on The Hudson NY. My drugs of choice are Alcohol and Marijuana. All things must come to there closing stages. My time has come where I have to go back out into the real world and apply what I have learned from my time in being at Daytop Impatient Fox Run. As I get ready to walk out the door I look back on my life and begin to examine once again all the things that I have been through and all the things that have gotten me into trouble and my drug addiction. Life has not always been easy. Acknowledging problems and trying to fix them is quite the opposite. While I have been here, I have learned a lot about my self and my problems. I have shown changes beyond my imagination, I surprised myself. As the world keeps turning and people make changes for the best and for the worse I have decided which track to follow, the positive. People sometimes have a hard time changing because there not open to change, I promise if you open your mind and your hearts to the idea of change it is not impossible and you can achieve your wildest dreams. People’s tribulations don’t always become developed later in life some are born with problems or develop them at an early age of life. Some problems need medication to fix and some are worse then others. Imagine the differences people have just by there environment, where they were raised. I was born and raised in Westchester County on October 11th, 1991. Before I can remember I lived in Mt. Vernon, New York, and when my parents split up because of there differences I moved with my dad to a town called Dobbs Ferry. This town was a small town like the one I live in now, I remember being 4 years old before I had to go to pre-school and being such a blissful kid with the best intentions for life. One thing I had always in life was intelligence even since I was young I was very smart. My social life was not bad when I was younger I was easy to get along with, outgoing, and had high hopes and dreams. Early in life, I say when I was about 7 years old and in 2nd grade is when I started to act out in class. Class was not my thing, I hated being in it and I felt as if I had to get up and move. That is when my teachers started to have concern for me and discovered that I had a learning disability called ADHD and ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyper Active Disorder. The difference between the two is that one effects your concentration and the other means you have high levels of energy and don’t like to sit in one place for a long amount of time. Later on in life
  • at age 11 the summer going into 6th grade I moved right next door to a small town called Hastings-on-the-Hudson. It all started at the end of my freshman year in high school that was the first time I picked up a drug. I was a good kid who was against using drugs and said that I never would. One day during the summer I was hanging out with a friend who was an alcoholic since 8th grade and smoked pot and I decided to go to a keg party that was being held in the woods near my school. What led me to go to the event was to fit in I wanted to be with the cool crowd and I wanted to be liked. Once I arrived to the keg party, I immediately had decided to try out drinking for my first time several hours before I went to the party, and so I did. After that moment in time I exposed myself to the negative crowd I called my friends. A few days later I was with the same kid and decided to try smoking weed for my first time, at first I said no, but peer pressure got to me and I ended up trying it. After that night I started smoking, I didn’t stop for two years. When I was out in the streets smoking weed I never thought it would lead me to jail or programs, I thought I could handle it and still do good. Once school came around I was at the point where I was smoking before school with my friends and going out and smoking during lunch. It seemed to satisfy me but you know that it really messed me up because I acted like a fool in class and I fell asleep most of the times from feeling nervous about being in class. That ruined my social life I began to act like somebody I wasn’t. All my friends were always older then me, I rarely hung out with anybody in my age group. Still I was only smoking weed me and my friends were not to the point were we wanted to try any other drugs yet. At this moment in time my social life was screwed up and my family began to find out I was getting high. In the middle of my sophomore year in High school my teachers were worried about me and began to alert the cops of my drug use. One day during school the detective in my town came up to me and told me I needed to get drug tested and if I was alright with that, I didn’t want to look like and idiot so I said ok. Once I failed that drug test they wanted me to go to an NA program called Phelps Threshold. It was my first program and I got kicked out of it within two months. After that program they sent me to a more intense outpatient called St .Vincent’s excel program. They kicked me out of my school to go to this program. For the first 20 days I was messing up in it so they sent me to my first inpatient program called Arms Acres in Carmel, NY. This program is a short term program and I completed from there in 14 days. After I got out I stayed clean for the 30 days it took me to complete St. Vincent’s outpatient program when they took me back. When I got back to my school after completing the 30 day outpatient I fell right back into the negativity and started using marijuana again. Within two months of my return my school got fed up with me not being in class and being a blatant attitude in the school community getting into trouble almost everyday, they finally kicked me out after I got into a fight with this kid and got an assault charge. That is when I got mandated to Daytop the Hartsdale outreach. I was still doing the negative things I do such as smoke and party and stay out late and not listen to my
  • parents, I did not listen at all to anyone at the outpatient. Something good happened it seemed for once, my case had gotten dismissed and I was not mandated to treatment any more, I was so happy. Well the very next day no exaggeration, I got arrested for a burglary in the 3rd degree. Well I was really angry because that mandated me right back into the outpatient. I kept messing up in the outpatient as far as dirty urines. But I was able to get a job at a restaurant as a busboy. This job did not help me at all I used all the money to smoke and I even turned to using worse drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. Even though I did not become addicted or dependent on them it was the risk I was putting myself into that mattered. So eventually Daytop outpatient had enough of my dirty urines and decided to send me upstate to Millbrook. I completed Millbrook in six months and went back to the Daytop Outpatient in August and I was clean for 3 months. I started hanging out with my old friends again in the town and completely got lost in the crowd. I kept giving everybody around me a hard time for my mistakes when I could only blame myself. One night I was hanging out with an old friend at a party and got re-arrested while on probation for robbery and assault, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So I gave up on myself at that point and decided to start smoking weed to cope with my problems again. And recently in March, the judge was not happy with me failing drug tests again and locked me up for two weeks in Westchester County Jail. They recently let me out and that is how I ended up Mandated to treatment here at Daytop Fox Run. For the past 3 months I have been learning a lot and have changed a lot. For my second time in the Daytop impatient I learned what I did not bother to learn the first time. I have been relating more with my peers and taking a look at what they say are my problems and really using the tools of the environment such as groups, seminars and the books. More importantly I have worked on my self esteem issues, I have had low self esteem for a while because of how skinny I am but being here I have learned that size does not matter. I have also worked on my relapse triggers and I have built a plan to maintain my sobriety for when I go home. What works in my advantage is having two loving parents; I have learned to be grateful for them and all the things they have provided me with. I spent the past three months perseverance in the program and building positive peer associations and have learned how to change my surroundings and avoid the negativity. Responsibility is one of the basic tools that you need to survive, being here I learned not only how to be responsible and trust worthy but I have learned that I must admit to my wrongs and take responsibility for my own actions. Last but certainly not least I have learned much about my Daily Living Skills, those are the skills you need to present yourself well and to survive by yourself, such as personal hygiene and cleanliness. That also includes the importance of time management and how to follow a structure and have one set up in place of this. When I return to society I will be attending outpatient. College is the next step to my educational process. There will be effort put forth by myself into finding a job. Discussions with my mother led to the fact that I will be attending NA/AA meetings consistently. Working out will be part of my daily routine to keep me from getting in trouble. Helping my parents out by doing chores around the house and helping my mother with the kids will also keep me away
  • from potential trouble. Attending church with Minister Johnson who comes to the facility will keep me out of trouble, and is part of my structure. Passing my permit test was easy, and when I go back into society I will be able to take my road test so I can drive.