“Our Dan Story” – By Parents

November 9, 2017

Our family met Dan Workman on October 26, 2017. The leader of the Utah Changes Parent Network recommended him to us when we were desperate to get our 20-year-old son Dane into detox and rehab as soon as possible. After a two-year decline into an overwhelming heroin addiction, Dane was fast losing the battle and our family was in despair.

When we contacted Dan, we were on our way to a meeting with our Changes parent mentoring team to discuss this quickly escalating situation. Dan was an hour away, about to tee off on a golf course. He got back into his car immediately to head our way and made it to the last part of our meeting.

Our Changes parent mentoring team is very experienced in dealing with addict children. Two of them have lost their children to heroin addiction. The other two have been involved in the Changes program for years and have used the principles of the Changes program successfully with their children. When Dan joined in the meeting, all four mentors could tell right away that we had found a very important ally. During that meeting and throughout the days that have followed, they have referenced Dan often, asking if we are involving him in our actions and decision making. This has been striking to me. With all their knowledge and experience, they put such a high degree of trust in this man of much younger years and only 18 months into his own recovery. Such is the impression Dan has made on all of us right from the start.

When the team meeting was over, Dan followed us to our home to meet Dane and take him on a drive “to go get Red Bulls.” When we walked into the house, I was the first one in and immediately saw a new packet of heroin on the floor next to the legs of the kitchen stool where Dane eats. I picked it up and showed it to Dan. On their drive, Dan told Dane that we had found the packet. Though this news shut down their conversation, Dan had already formed a bond and a high level of trust with Dane.

Throughout the hours and days that followed, Dane’s behavior was volatile. He knew we were about to give him an ultimatum and he balked at this. On three different days that week, he left with his skateboard, once getting into a drug dealer’s car, and would not answer calls or texts for many hours at a time. Dan was in touch with us constantly and drove all over the area when Dane was missing to try and find him. When Dan could have been trick-or-treating with his young daughters, he was looking for Dane. Meanwhile, he buoyed us up with a lot of loving encouragement. It felt like devotion—the kind we feel toward Dane.

When we found out that the rehab facilities Dan represents are not covered by our insurance, Dan did not slow down for a second. Perhaps this is not what his employers want to hear. But to the desperate parents of a young man on the brink, Dan’s constant presence and active assistance was a bright light shining in the darkness.

This was true for Dane, as well. As much as he wanted to run away from all three of us during those few days, he knew we were the most important people in his life. Sometimes he responded to Dan’s texts and calls while ignoring ours. Dane listened Dan, taking counsel that he won’t take from us and other counsel that we don’t know how to give. He came to love Dan very quickly, as we did.

Because of Dan’s influence, tenacity, and leadership, Dane entered detox on Thursday, November 2, only five days after meeting Dan. Dan drove him there and has kept in touch with him, even visiting with a huge care package.

Dane is going straight from detox to a 45-day rehab today, November 9. He is willing to do all of this after two years of adamant refusal not only because of the ultimatum we gave him; Dan is the rest of the reason why. Now that the worst is over in detox and Dane’s mind is starting to heal and clear, he has repeatedly mentioned Dan’s goodness, reached out to him on the phone and on Facebook, and telling us that he loves Dan as a brother.

Dan is a member of this family now. His dedication to Dane has worked miracles in our lives. We look forward to many years of friendship with him. Even if he were to accept monetary thanks, which he absolutely refuses to do, we would want to return something of what he has given us. We are determined to assist Dan as he works his magic with other souls gripped by this horror, in any way we can, for as long as he will let us.

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3 Responses to “Our Dan Story” – By Parents

  1. Sharon Gillis November 13, 2017 at 1:08 am #

    My heart smiles, as a few tears run down my face as I read, “Our Dan Story”. Very few people know, but I also have a”Dan Story” and today, I’m so very blessed to say my son is still working on his recovery. Dan, I think of you as family and always will; you are an amazing man, with an amazing heart who wants nothing more than to help others. The world is a better place because of you Dan Workman. <3

  2. Joyce Greene November 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    I became a FB friend with Dan at the very beginning of his recovery. I must say that I am not surprised by the results of this story. Dan seems to have that affect on people. His own experiences , though many sad and heartbreaking are part of what makes him the man he is today. We all have our trials and tribulations throughout life and ultimately, they can develop us into who and where we were meant to be. Reading his posts kept me full of Hope for my own child that was in the early stages of her own recovery. She is doing great today and has become a very productive member of our family. There have been some bumps in the road and Life isn’t always easy but we’re getting there. Keep Hoping People! It can happen. Many thanks to Dan for providing Hope to people he has never met but continues to provide support in other ways.

  3. Mary November 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m Dan’s cousin. It’s pointless to try to describe the depth of my admirariona and joy for Dan. I just want to scream from the housetops “KEEP HOPING PEOPLE!!!” He’s a constant reminder of the value of love and of each individual life. I’m so so so so so so amazied by you Dan! I love you!!

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