At just 18 years old, Miles Tidd found himself heavily addicted to the prescription drug Xanax. He was buying it off the streets, taking large amounts, and day after day enduring painful drug hangovers. One morning last spring, he woke up and knew it was time to do something to get control of his life.
“This [drug addiction] was killing me,” said Miles. His parents, who together have a combined total of more than 35 years clean and sober, were quick to help in any way that they could. They suggested Miles seek help from the experts at Turning Point in Minneapolis.
Miles recalls the bus ride from Dayton, Ohio to Minneapolis as a long, tear-filled journey. “I cried from Ohio to Milwaukee. But I knew it was the right decision because I needed help,” said Miles.
Turning Point became Miles’ new home in June 2016. But before he could feel the warmth, comfort and familiarity that family provides, he had to go through some pain and discomfort. As a part of almost all inpatient treatment programs, clients like Miles have to give up their luxuries and things that they enjoy.
Turning Point clients hand over their phones and ability to come and go without restrictions. They are required to seek medical attention and undergo drug tests.
“You have to focus on what you have and can control — and then surrender to the rest,” said Miles. “I don’t know many teens who can do that.” He understands now that going through the discomfort of getting clean is part of the recovery process.
It was after his surrendering that true healing began. Employees and fellow clients became the family he needed while he was living almost 1,000 miles away from his parents and friends. He created bonds with the staff members and found a community among others seeking sobriety.
Nearly 200 men enter into Turning Point’s chemical health treatment program each year. The North Minneapolis-based nonprofit offers inpatient and outpatient chemical treatment programs as well as housing, supportive services and training.
More than 90 percent of Turning Point’s clients are African American, and almost all live below the poverty level. The Kwanza principles influence the organization’s culturally specific model to treatment. Elements of faith and community are woven into the framework of their programming.
“Miles is the youngest client we’ve ever had to complete the Turning Point program,” says Greg Jones, director of Turning Point’s Chemical Health Division. “The process our clients go through when they’re on their way to recovery is significant. We’re happy for where Miles is today. He’s proof that when someone makes a choice to get clean, he can do it no matter his age or background.”
Drug-free and continuously optimistic after a 90-day inpatient treatment program, Miles now lives in Turning Point’s supportive housing. At the start of treatment and still today, he tells himself that it is possible to stay off drugs.
“When you see that this is killing you, and you make the decision to get clean and be sober, you can change your life,” said Miles. He is looking forward to applying to college and pursuing his interest in computer science, committed to becoming better than who he was before he came to Turning Point.
“My mom sends me texts daily to tell me how proud she is of me,” says Miles. And he’s proud of himself. A journey that started less than nine months ago with the help of Turning Point has permanently pointed Miles’s life in a new direction.
Mariah Owens is with MCO Communications. Story and photo courtesy of Turning Point.