In this month’s issue, learn about Nexus’ Detox program, our new Young Supporters Council, and several fun events this fall to support the women and children of our recovery community. Then, read more from Nexus alum, Destiny Hall, who visited campus to share her victories since leaving treatment.
For many of the women we serve, detoxification is the first step on their recovery journey. Nexus’ Detox program provides an onsite medically supervised detoxification process that is designed to medically stabilize our clients, minimize their withdrawal symptoms, and prevent any potentially harmful effects of withdrawal so they can transition into a residential or outpatient program or another form of continued care to sustain long-term recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an especially challenging environment for our Detox staff, who are on the frontlines of the drug overdose epidemic it has produced. “Our Detox clients are coming to us on probably the worst possible day of their lives. They are in a very difficult place and are starting a hard journey,” says program director, Chris Whisnand. “Our Detox staff provide a welcoming, nonjudgmental environment where they can feel safe while they are sick and in a vulnerable state. The level of care and compassion that the staff bring just adds to the positive process of our Detox program.”
After admitting into Nexus, clients are seen by our onsite medical team, which includes Nurse Practitioners and Psychiatric Fellows from UT Southwestern to determine a treatment plan. Detox nurses play an important role at Nexus since they are the first contact when the client comes into the Detox dorm and provide ongoing support and care throughout their length of stay.
One of the key members of our nursing staff is Detox Nurse, LaQuitha Patton, who has worked at Nexus for a little over three years. In her role, she collaborates with our medical providers and ensures that clients in our Detox program receive the day-to-day care they need and are as comfortable as possible through each step of the detoxification process. She also helps train new nurses in our Detox program. LaQuitha has a passion for caring and helping others. Having been impacted by familial substance use, she especially wanted to provide support for clients who do not have support to show them that caring people do exist. Throughout the pandemic, she has come to work and continued to provide clients with the level of care and support they deserve. For LaQuitha, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Nexus is excited to announce our new Young Supporters Council (YSC), a unique circle for individuals ages 40 and under who are passionate about recovery and seeking social networks from across the North Texas community. Nexus board member, Cait Chapman, of the Daggerwing Group, is serving as the inaugural Chair of the YSC. As a Senior Consultant, Cait is passionate about communication strategies and creative, effective branding. Prior to Daggerwing, Cait led the marketing efforts for the Aerospace and Defense business of Texas Instruments.
Cait was first introduced to Nexus through the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professional Development Program and was completely touched by its mission to keep mothers and children together as they walk through recovery. She joined the Board at Nexus in 2018 and has served on the PR/Marketing and Strategic Planning committees. “Nexus is a fantastic organization where you’re able to see impact quickly,” says Cait. “We are entering into an exciting new chapter at this 50-year milestone, and it is the perfect time to get involved and support the next 50 (and beyond!).”
About 1 in 8 children in America, ages 17 or younger, live in households where at least one parent has a substance use disorder. At Nexus, we believe providing a safe and secure place for children while their mothers are in treatment is an essential service. We are one of the few treatment centers in the state that allows pregnant women, before and after childbirth, as well as parenting mothers to bring up to three children (ages 0-12) into treatment.
As a circle for community engagement, YSC memberships help raise funds to support Nexus’ Child Development Center, which is a licensed daycare facility that provides a nurturing environment for children as well as education, care, and onsite counseling so they can build resilience and thrive. Annual memberships include invitations to quarterly mixers held in the community or on campus at Nexus. Members also support Nexus by spreading awareness of our mission via social media, peer-to-peer fundraising, holiday events, and back-to-school drives.
Join the YSC to connect with like-minded people and support Nexus families in need along the way! For more information, contact Philanthropy Manager, Lauren McGregor, at 214-321-0156 ext. 2146 or visit the link below.
Nexus alum, Destiny Hall, recently stopped by Nexus to share her recovery story and show off her beautiful son, Xenova, who celebrates his first birthday this month. However, life was not always so great for Destiny, who has struggled with substance use disorders since she was 14 years old. She spent her teen years in and out of juvenile detention centers and faced many legal troubles because of her substance use. Originally from Michigan, Destiny moved to Dallas after turning 18 to have a fresh start and become sober. She arrived in Dallas with 20 Suboxones, which is commonly used as medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, her laptop, and some money for a room. She ran out of Suboxones and quickly began to spiral because of her substance use disorder and ended up on the streets. She was arrested and spent time in and out of jail over the next few years.
In early 2020, Destiny discovered that she was pregnant and entered treatment at Nexus, but left treatment early when the COVID-9 pandemic started. Months later, she found herself back at Parkland, who reached out to Nexus on her behalf. Before, she had really wanted help but wasn’t willing to put in the effort. But this time, she was ready and desperate to keep her baby since she had previously given birth twice and lost parental rights. Never having the chance to hold her second baby was devastating. “I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to get it right. I wanted to get sober. I wanted to get off drugs,” says Destiny. She was re-admitted into Nexus in July 2020, where she participated in both the Pregnant and Parenting Women with Children and the Mommies program for opiate-addicted mothers.
While in treatment, Destiny focused on her recovery, got a sponsor, and attended parenting classes, which helped her become the mom she is today. She credits Nexus and its staff for offering her the support she needed to rebuild her life, especially Amber Fisher and DeRisa Payne, who not only helped her get back into Nexus, but also advocated on her behalf so that she could bring her baby home, and even provided transportation for mom and baby after he was released from the NICU.
Destiny completed treatment at Nexus in September 2020 and moved into In My Shoes, a nonprofit that provides housing for homeless pregnant and parenting women, where she and Xenova still live. She has made great strides in getting her life back on track. She found a job with Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea, where she is a cook. Staying at In My Shoes has allowed her to save up money, which she used to purchase a car. She dreams of getting a home that she and her son can call their own and hopes to reunite with her other children. When she is not working, Destiny loves to spend time with her son. Since he loves the water, she enjoys taking him swimming and to other fun places.
“I used to wake up and be angry at everyone around me and everything. Now it’s not possible,” Destiny says. “I cherish the fact that I get to be a mom to my amazing boy. There is a not a day that I don’t wake up happy and in a good mood.”
Nexus 50th Anniversary Disco & Dessert
Friday, November 12, 2021
8:00 – 11:00 PM
Get out your dancing shoes and boogie attire! Disco and Dessert, Nexus’ fall fundraiser, is just around the corner. Event chairs, Angie and Rush Waghorne, invite you to join us for our 1970’s-themed anniversary celebration featuring funky town tunes by Emerald City Band, delectable desserts, and cocktail and mocktail libations at The Joule.
All Disco & Dessert sponsors are invited to attend an Honorary Reception for our 50 for 50 Campaign from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s not too late to secure a sponsorship to dance the night away! For sponsorship benefits, COVID-19 protocols, and more event information, click below.