Pubdate: Sat, 24 Apr 2004
Source: Advocate, The (LA)
Copyright: 2004 The Advocate, Capital City Press
Author: Michelle Millhollon, Advocate staff writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Megan Fontenot's first trip to recovery was a fact-finding mission. 
Fontenot, 16, agreed to seek treatment last year after her mother found a 
stash of a dozen-plus boxes of over-the-counter cold and cough medicine.

A Gonzales teen-ager, Fontenot approached her first two-month recovery 
program stint as a way to get tips from other addicts on hiding her habit.

Fontenot is doing a second stint in treatment. The difference, she said, is 
that this time recovery was her idea.

"I didn't want it (before)," she said of rehabilitation. "I want it now. 
I'm only 16. I want to go to college."

Fontenot joined hundreds of other addicts and former addicts Friday at a 
rally on the steps of the State Capitol.

Hope Networks, a statewide drug- and alcohol-abuse prevention group, 
organized the event.

Participants wore lime green shirts emblazoned with "I'm in Recovery" or 
"Support Recovery."

Samantha-Hope Atkins, a recovering alcoholic, founded Hope Networks three 
years ago. The organization has about 6,000 members, she said.

Atkins said she was spurred to action after discovering that the state only 
had 32 alcohol detox beds.

Rally participants sang a support recovery anthem, prayed and held signs.

They also heard from the 12-year-old sister of Corey Domingue, an LSU 
student who died of acute alcohol poisoning last year. Domingue's death led 
to an investigation into the sale of fake driver's licenses to minors.

Domingue, 19, apparently bought a bottle of rum with a fake Texas driver's 

Kirsten said her brother wasn't a seasoned drinker.

"He drank four times in his life and the fourth time killed him," she said.

She urged support of House Bill 1535, which would establish a toll-free 
alcohol-abuse hot line.

Jennifer Ketchum, 14, is a month into a treatment program in Greenwell 
Springs for alcohol and marijuana abuse.

She was expelled from school in Gonzales for taking amphetamines. The 
expulsion put her under the supervision of drug court, where she flunked 
her weekly screenings.

Ketchum and Fontenot are both in the Springs of Recovery Adolescent 
Program. They stood together at the rally, dressed in faded blue jeans.

"I've learned how to be stronger and find other ways to get over my 
cravings," she said.
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