Free and Clean Client Sobers Up Before Losing His Mom

Though still grieving from the recent death of his mother, Craig of Kansas City says he’s thankful for one thing – his mom was able to see him clean, sober and home from prison.

“She was so happy to have me home,” he says.

Just a few months ago, Craig finished a two-year sentence in prison for repeat drunk-driving offenses. A condition of his parole was participation in Heartland Center’s Free and Clean program.

Missouri’s Free and Clean program, which Heartland Center has managed since 2008, provides intensive treatment for male substance abuse offenders, as well as case management. The program addresses not only substance use but also criminality. Each participant is placed in specialized services to address their difficulties. In 2013, the program helped 505 men in Jackson County.

“I thought the program was really helpful; I learned a lot,” says Craig. “Hearing other people’s stories and relating to their problems really helped.”

The road to sobriety has been a long one for Craig, who started drinking at age 16 and really began struggling with alcoholism, DUI offenses and alcohol-related health issues at age 40.

Now, after two years in prison and four months in the Free and Clean program, Craig says he feels motivated and excited about his future. He even plans to go back to school so he can help others as an alcohol and substance abuse social worker or counselor.

“Hopefully, I can pass on what I’ve learned,” he says.

Heartland Center’s Free and Clean program recently moved; it is now located at 1730 Prospect Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64127. The new space is larger and provides easier access to clients with a private entrance and close proximity to bus routes and other community resources. To learn more, call 816-333-9999.