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Fritz’s Story

As a high school freshman, Fritz was a 4.0 student. During the next year, however, things took a turn for the worst.

Fritz gives remarks

Fritz recently spoke at a bill signing event at YSS, sharing his story and supporting legislation that realigns Iowa’s system for funding mental health services.

He was introduced to marijuana by his half-brother and began skipping school. Even though he sobered up for a while, he was still struggling. Breaking up with his girlfriend sent him back down the path of addiction—and this time, he stopped coming home. He wasn’t taking care of himself.

When he was charged with possession, Fritz was sentenced to probation and outpatient therapy, but he showed up high to therapy sessions. Nothing was getting better.

Fritz’s mom is a recovering addict herself. She knew that unless Fritz confronted what was causing him to use, this would become an endless cycle. She felt strongly that the next step should be a residential treatment facility, one that had a program longer than 30 days. After doing her research, she found YSS’s program in Ames.

Immediately, she knew this was a good place for her son. For Fritz, he figured he could do anything for 90 days and then resume his life.

However, somewhere around day 45, his counselors called him out—and for the first time, he listened. Things began to get better that day. YSS staff taught him how to identify and manage the anxieties that caused him to turn to addiction.

Now 10 months sober, Fritz is back in high school taking a college-level course and looking at what the future might hold. He attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings and outpatient therapy, and he wants to help others.

Fritz is grateful. He is grateful for his life, his mom, and his family.

He is grateful for YSS.

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