“People make choices,” my friend Doug often says. Indeed we do and so do our children. That’s precisely the premise on which the Lyberts based their organization, Your Choice to Live, Inc. n 2009.
The Lybert family has been through the wringer and come out on the other side. Rick and Sandi’s son Tyler was a full-blown drug addict by age 15. Wreaking havoc on his family as a Heroin addict and growing a police record, Lyberts couldn’t take it anymore. They made some hard choices. “I was afraid if we cut him loose he would die,” Sandi says, “but the truth is, he was an 80 pound Heroin addict — he was already dying.”
Today Tyler is six years clean and leading a spectacular life. The Lyberts are as close a family as they have ever been. That is convenient because they speak together all over the midwest with Your Choice to Live, Inc., the organization they formed to educate and help other families avoid and conquer the devastation of drug and alcohol abuse.
When presenting the realities of what addiction REALLY looks like in a young life, Tyler, sister Ashleigh and young emcee Bryan Roe challenge students, “It’s your choice — make the right one. Their goal is to reach the kids before the drugs do and educate parents to know more than their kids about drugs and alcohol. Toward that end, Your Choice offers invaluable programs that hit this issue hard and evoke change. Parent education, student education, family sessions, early intervention for at-risk students, school assemblies and interactive school health class presentations are just some of what Your Choice does with their always moving boots on the ground.
Crisis, semi-crisis, looming crisis or crisis avoidance with a teen or young adult regarding substance abuse? Your Choice can help. They are local in Southeastern Wisconsin, but try inviting them somewhere — I’m pretty sure they’re in.
I’m tempted to tell you everything they do, but best to go to their website for the gamut. Take note that they have two especially unique things that answer a parent’s SOS. The Lybert family will meet with you as a family in an evening meeting they call, “One Family to Another.” In their Hartland, WI office, parents and family members can come to the table with their desperation and chaos and the Lyberts will listen and offer suggestions, options and resources for next steps. Often parents are not on the same page with a child using substances. Rick and Sandi can relate to that. Parents feel manipulated by their using teen and relinquish parenting boundaries and values. Rick and Sandi can relate to that. Everything families can think of, families feel, has been tried and failed. Rick and Sandi can relate to that. Besides the Your Choice programs, their connections and associations arm them with lots of means to help families get their footing. There is no charge for this “One Family to Another” meeting, but as their friend I’ll tell you, donations are welcome.
Detour is an “Alcohol and Drug Awareness Lifestyle Risk Reduction Class.” Underage drinking ticket(s), suspensions from school, lost jobs and accumulated consequences piling up on your child? The Detour program is an excellent place to nip things in the bud or prune some negative branching out.
Used by local southeastern Wisconsin court systems, and concerned parents, Your Choice has detoured many a young person who was moving in a destructive direction.