Testimonial: Lauren O

As a single mother and a recovering alcoholic I know from personal experience that addiction is a family disease, and children often bear the burden of its consequences.
When I entered treatment for alcoholism in March of 2010 that was merely a starting point for a sobriety process that never truly ends. My daughter has been my constant companion from the very beginning and unfortunately very few programs exist beyond inpatient treatment to assist families in the healing process afterward.

The Riley Foundation is a rare organization that provides families dealing with substance abuse long-term support at no cost while creating an environment that focuses on recovery from the children’s perspective. Every time we attend a Riley event my daughter builds a support group of her own through the friends she makes. She has also learned that we are not the only family that deals with substance abuse and that it’s ok to talk about it.

Through my daughter I can see the preventative nature of our participation and I believe if we had more organizations like the Riley Foundation we would see fewer children succumb to the cycle of addiction. 
This March will mark 5 years of sobriety for me, and the Riley Foundation has played a substantial role in where I am at today. The support my daughter and I have received helped us reach this rewarding milestone as a family.

I’ve found the best way to express my gratitude for the Riley Foundation is by working within the organization through their community outreach efforts in the hope that more families will heal together.

TESTIMONIAL: (Anonymous)

My daughter has been participating in the Riley Foundation program for about 2 years. As a recovering alcoholic I've chosen to be very transparent about my addiction with her. That's one of the reasons I was attracted to the Riley Foundation as an organization. It's a safe place where parents get to discuss addiction with their kids, from their child's perspective. My daughter came home from school the other day and told me about a friend she made at school. Through the typical "getting to know you" conversation this girl confided in my daughter by explaining that she was living temporarily at an aunt and uncle's house and that her dad had gone through rehab. My daughter quickly replied with her own experience of staying with her grandma when I received inpatient treatment. That was that and they went on with the game they were playing. It was a simple interaction but It warms my heart knowing my daughter could be a source of support for another kid in her school.

One of my favorite things about being involved with the Riley Foundation is watching the way these kids so readily reach out to one another. So much of the recovery process is hard and painful. These are necessary processes for healing. But so is fun, joy, and friendship. The Riley Foundation is really about celebrating families through the recovery process! I am so grateful we get to be a part of that!


I entered recovery about 3 years ago, completely paralyzed in fear. I felt like I was waking up from a coma, waking up with three kids to take care of and barely any life skills to do it. I had relied on drugs for so long and so completely to get me through parenting that without them I felt completely paralyzed.

Slowly one step at a time I began my journey in recovery. I learned many things that helped me to be a better more capable mom, and also to help me to heal. My kids weren’t really directly involved in my recovery program, and I wanted to help them to heal as well, but I didn’t know how. Then I was introduced to Riley through a close friend. Through attending Riley's activities I became more aware and started to learn life skills in areas I didn't even know I had lacked. I started to become more connected and aware of my kids needs.

Riley’s been a safe place for my kids and I to go, have some fun and bond, while also learning how to be a family together. We've learned to talk openly about my disease and recovery and about the disease of addiction in general. My kids have been able to express themselves and talk about some of the things they went through and begin their journey healing from my disease as well.

There's less shame and fear around it anymore, recovery has become our greatest asset as a family and Riley helped lead us to that mindset. We have all been able to heal and grow while being a part of Riley. I’m grateful I found riley, there really is no other program like it.