Outpatient Program

“When I walked into SAFE that first time, I thought my life was over. Thanks to the team at SAFE, my family and I are once again HAPPY.”

“I will always remember your kind, firm phone call as the most defining moment of my life.”

“At SAFE, I found people with whom I could share my pain without shame.”

“I have developed a new lease on life and have everyone at SAFE to thank for it.”

“I am grateful every day for the support I received from the team at The SAFE Foundation, who took the time to let me know I was lovable and taught me to love myself.”

“My brother is a testament to your hard work. Thank you SAFE!”

“When I look at my son’s face, happy and radiant; his eyes clear and laughing, my heart bursts with gratitude to Hashem and to SAFE, His messenger.”

“SAFE has given me the strength to lead a normal and healthy lifestyle, and for that I will always be grateful.”

“The SAFE Foundation’s approach is unique.”

“Thinking where we were a year ago, not a day has gone by where I wasn’t grateful. Thank you again!”

“I can now say with a hopeful heart that, I will see you one day, dancing at my daughter’s wedding.”

“SAFE was a tremendous part of my recovery, and I will be forever grateful! The miracle is that we really can change!”

“I am so proud of my daughter, who helped one of our relatives restore his life. She got him into SAFE and he even has a job now! He is doing so well!”

“I was speaking to the head of a popular Yeshivah in Brooklyn. When I mentioned SAFE, he said, ‘I know SAFE! I am familiar with the important work that they do and how they are saving lives!’”

Stories from SAFE therapists:

I had an assessment with a young man, whose addiction was so severe that I had to recommend he go to rehab for six months. He was resistant, so I decided to have him speak with a graduate, who was already three years clean. Although the graduate was traveling and the call came in at an odd hour because of the time difference, he picked up and even spent 45 minutes talking to the patient. The conversation was a successful one, and the young man went to the rehab.

One of my clients, a spouse of a substance abusing husband, was with SAFE as a family member for a year. She learned through therapy here to respond differently to her husband’s chemical dependency. She gained an understanding of addiction as a disease, reduced her enabling, and set healthier boundaries. She also stopped nagging and controlling. As she regained control over her emotions and behavior, she and her husband were able to talk about “the problem” in a calmer manner. After doing this work, her husband entered an inpatient rehab treatment program. This is another example of how helping a family member can result in their loved one getting help for an addiction.

 A mother of a son with addiction problems was initially dismayed at SAFE’s suggestion that she enter SAFE’s program and become a part of  SAFE’s Parent Group to deal with her son’s addiction. She resisted, saying, “I’m not the one who needs help – he does.” Consequently, she changed the way she thinks about addiction and the way she interacts with her son. She learned that she could feel better, whether her son sought help or not. And… her son is now in treatment for himself.

A husband and his wife came in because they were arguing about his drug use. He wanted to improve his life. The husband was also complaining about his wife’s marijuana use. We managed to get this gentleman into a 28-day inpatient program. His wife was very happy and stopped using marijuana. They are now going for couples counseling and he attends meetings for the first time in his life – finding them very beneficial.

When my client complained about her son being late for Shabbat dinner, I smiled. Less than a year ago, she was considering kicking him out of the house because of his addiction. Now that the mom is rooted in recovery and her son is in treatment at SAFE, it’s nice to see that their constant state of crisis has been replaced by a little annoyance associated with normal family life. Who would have thought being late for dinner could be such a beautiful thing?

Someone came to SAFE for an assessment. It was determined that his problems were not under SAFE’s umbrella of care, but we referred him to the proper place to get help. He was so appreciative of the time and care we gave to him that he gave our number to a friend, who we were able to treat.

I was so happy when a family gave the feedback that I was exactly what they needed to meet their difficult challenges. They said that my warmth and compassion compassion was what helped them pull through.

“ I was speaking to a mother who told me that my advice helped her so much with her drug-using child. She said that what I said made her recognize that her child was making a choice to continue his drug use. This helped her feel more comfortable setting boundaries in her home.”

A lady called to thank us for what we did for her son. SAFE’s Outreach Coordinator went to the jail he was in and got him into treatment. She was so grateful.

Project SAFE School Program

From Project SAFE Teachers

“One of my 12th graders mentioned, ‘I wait all week for this class.  It’s my best class!’”

“I asked my students to write down a list of people they admire and aspire to be like. A few wrote: My SAFE teacher :).”

“A mother stopped to tell me that she blesses me every year, when her daughter comes back from winter break with a mild tan because of the sun safety tips she learned in my class.”

“A student told me that she ended an abusive relationship because of what she learned in SAFE class about healthy and unhealthy relationships.”

“Every time I walk into school, the boys come running over to me from the lunch room and wherever. They surround me to greet me and ask which period they have SAFE that day!”

“I was talking to a student about body image issues and she mentioned that she kept thinking about the Special Program Assembly with Dahlia Abott. She said that many of the things Dahlia spoke about were echoing in her head and making her think. She said that since then, she has been able to make healthier decisions.”

“My last class with the 8th grade girls of MDY was really amazing. I asked them to share their favorite aspects of SAFE class. I wish I had a tape recorder! One student said she learned from our class how to adapt to the big changes that were happening in her family. Another said that she is a totally different person in terms of how she respects herself.”

“One of my students said to me, ‘I wanted to go home all day because I wasn’t feeling well, but stayed till last period because I wanted to have SAFE Class!’”

“One of my 12th graders said to me, “I wait all week for this class. It’s my best class!”

“After a discussion in class about body issues, one of my students approached me to say that she was struggling with these issues. She had never told anyone before and broke down crying. After working with her and telling her of different places to get help, she expressed great appreciation. After a few months she told me that she’s been improving, little by little.”

“A parent told me that because her daughter had a morning appointment outside of school, that she take the entire morning off. At first she agreed, but then remembered that she had SAFE class and did not want to miss. She said, ‘No thanks! I have SAFE on Monday morning, and I love SAFE!’”

A student who graduated wrote this to me, ‘So I started school and I’m dorming, and all of a sudden, those SAFE classes are becoming very useful. It’s crazy how different college and high school are with the social pressures of drinking and smoking and sex. Like I never saw it till now, but thanks to you, it’s been pretty easy staying true to myself! It’s crazy, because my group of friends was so good so I never thought I’d be exposed to all this stuff – but I just needed to say a big thank you to you for solidifying all these important lessons!’”

“One of my students said that she was dating a guy who was very controlling. He would boss her around, tell her what to do continuously, ‘check up on her,’ and make sure he approved of all of her behaviors. Because of our discussions about the difference between healthy and abusive relationships, she recognized that this relationship was unhealthy and could lead to many problems down the road. She broke up with him and shared with me, ‘I don’t know what would have happened if I would have stayed!’ She kept thanking me repeatedly.”

“A parent mentioned to me how blown away she is from how often her daughter mentions something she learned in SAFE class!”

“A mom told me that her daughter said that the ‘Sun Safety Program’ really made an impact on how she cares for her skin.”

“Students told me that they actually went out and got a Breathalyzer to test all the kids on the night of Prom. They said it was because of the special pre-prom talk we had about the potential dangers that come with drinking alcohol.”

“A parent told me that her 11-year-old son attends a school that does not have SAFE classes, but that he seems to know everything already. When she asked him how he knew these things, he replied, ‘From SAFE!’” Turns out that his older sister does have SAFE in her school and speaks of what she learns often.”

About the Contest

From a parent about the contest: “It was really great to see my kids and their friends spelling out their ideas for the SAFE Ad Contest. This contest created an awareness that was just fantastic!”

One of the winners of the contest said his ad was inspired by a video he saw inSAFE class about the dangers of gambling. From the video, he learned that at the end of the day, the odds are truly not in your favor. He said, “I realized that people don’t realize the dangers associated with gambling, and felt that more awareness was needed. When I found out that I won, I was really excited, not just about winning the MacBook Air, which is awesome, but also because my message came across, and because my attempt to spread this awareness was a success.”

From a SAFE teacher: Going through the contest ads sparked a lot of amazing conversation about internet safety – another benefit of the contest!

The first place winner of the contest in Panama said, “This was a great experience, and we learned a lot! We applied the concepts that we learned in Comsana (SAFE in Panama) and used our own ideas. The prizes motivated the kids to become part of the
project. We were very happy, and from our ads, the members of Comsana realized how important and productive their work has been.”

From Parents

From a Parent: “My daughter had her HS interview last week scheduled for 10:40 AM, so I suggested that she could just stay home in the morning and miss her morning class. At first, she said okay, but then, a second later, she turned to me enthusiastically and said, ‘No thanks! I have SAFE on Monday morning and I love SAFE!’ How nice is that?!”

From a parent: My 11-year-old attends a school that does not have SAFE classes. He was telling our family how his teacher began teaching them about drugs, but that he knows it all already. When asked how, he said, “From SAFE!” (His older siblings attend Hillel and have SAFE classes.)

From SAFE Employees

From a SAFE employee: “Last night was prom and today we got a call telling us that some of the kids actually brought Breathalyzers to test all before anyone got behind the wheel. Two of the kids were actually stopped from driving! She said that no one got rowdy or sick and it was a success from both parents’ and prom-goers’ perspectives. The caller said that surely it was their SAFE teacher that created this awareness. She also said that she received and read our Prom Prep email and that it helped her to speak to her child accordingly.