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I am a member of the board of directors for Pathway Family Centers in Indianapolis. Additionally, I am a retired police officer with a master's degree in family counseling. In 26 years of law enforcement, perhaps my greatest challenge was finding a middle-of-the-night solution for desperate parents seeking help with their children's substance abuse.

They did not need a "band-aid" approach to their nightmare. They needed a long-term, effective, total-person, family-oriented way to ensure their children ended up with a life that they loved. These were not parents ready to wash their hands of the child but parents willing to sell everything they have to find peace for their families and health for the teenager.

As more street-level police officers become aware of Pathway's remarkable success rate, they are greatly relieved to be able to provide a referral parents can call at 3 in the morning.

Mental health issues, of which substance abuse is exploding in frequency, are increasingly frustrating to officers who have no alternative other than jail for substance abusers -- unless, of course they can refer to Pathway.

Please get to know us at Pathway. More importantly, meet our kids. You will be as excited by our possibilities as we are by the possibilities our kids see in themselves.

Don Allen, board member, Pathway Family Centers, Carmel, Ind.

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