“After my parents split up when I was young, I spent time at both my mother’s house and my father’s house,” says Reverend Paul Rasmussen, keynote speaker at the CARE (Chemical Awareness Resource & Education) breakfast held in downtown Dallas on Monday, November 4th. “My father would go out drinking, leaving me alone in his apartment for a night or two. I would sit by myself watching cartoons, this was before Ipads, my mother would call me to see how the weekend was going, and I would always answer the same way. Fine. Great.” Rasmussen’s message was clear, and he used his, I experience of growing up in an alcoholic household where his dad and brother were active in their addictions to drive home the point. “If you don’t talk about it, it becomes normal.”

CARE is a non-profit, community-based organization established as a response to the increasing concerns and challenges associated with alcohol and drug abuse. CARE serves as a confidential resource and ally to families, offering tools to educate and empower substance abusers and their loved ones. Collaborating with schools, civic, educational, government, business and private groups, CARE continues to extend its message of hope and recovery throughout the greater Dallas area, employing comprehensive courses and community outreach programs such as New Directions, Because You Care, Red Ribbon Week, CARE Scholarships, Community Luncheons, and the CARE Calendar Art Contest. These initiatives combined with a compassionate staff and respected clinical referral network has enabled CARE to help thousands of individuals and families. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug use, please look to CARE for help. We’re more than a confidential resource, we’re caring members of your community.

Burning Tree Programs is a proud supporter of CARE, and several other organizations designed to help the alcoholic and addict find the treatment they need as well as the loved ones left in the wake of their disease. Burning Tree believes that treating the client is only half the job, due to the client needing to come back into a family dynamic that has changed, or made the commitment to change, for the good of the family. “I love family programs,” said Rasmussen jokingly. “I’ve been to nine thousand hours of family programs in my life. Family programs are expensive, treatment is expensive. That’s why I wish CARE was around when I was growing up. Would have helped my family and given me a place to talk about what was going on. You all paid a lot of money to come hear me speak this morning. Hate to tell you this, but you can hear me free every Sunday morning.”

“Burning Tree Programs works with the family more than any other treatment center my daughter has ever gone through, and this is her sixth treatment,” says a father of a current Burning Tree client. “You have this thought that you drop your kid off at treatment to get help, to turn their life around, but you’re made to realize at Burning Tree that this is a family disease. I feel a part of my daughter’s treatment plan at Burning Tree, and I am also getting the help that I and my daughter both deserve.”

Burning Tree has partnered with Caron Breakthrough to send family members of current Burning Tree clients through the Breakthrough program if there seems to be a benefit. “Burning Tree knows that a family member of a chronic relapser is going to have mental, sometime physical scars from years of addiction,” says Marketing Director Jay Staples. “Burning Tree’s partnership with Caron Foundation is exciting on two fronts. It allows us to give added help to family members that are dealing with their own demons, as well as, allows Caron Foundation and Burning Tree to work together on designing support for chronic relapse in regards to the client and the family.”