For the last twenty years, in his work and his life, Larry Fritzlan has witnessed the transformative power of individuals and families in recovery. He has discovered the almost limitless capacity of individuals to grow and to change their dysfunctional relationships not only to drugs, but to other people.
Larry’s passion is to help teens and young adults escape from the downward spiral of addiction. His grounding as a family systems therapist has demonstrated that sustained sobriety for the addict and functional family relationships can best be achieved when the family undertakes recovery. His program, Steps to Freedom, is the nation’s first young adult after-care program that treats the whole family as the client. “From day one of treatment,” Larry says, “we view the addictive/codependent family system as the client. Actually, we like to start treatment with the enabling, codependent parents. It is they who have the power to change themselves in ways that effectively support the addict’s decision to choose recovery and commitment to a path that leads to independent adulthood.”
Learning to master the violin — or a new language, or any complex endeavor — is a lifestyle decision. It starts by making a commitment, asking for help and following suggestions, one day at a time, as you slowly rewire your brain to play better and better music.
Accomplishing long-term sobriety and serenity for a family is similar. It requires deciding to ask for help, embarking on a tried and true recovery path, and committing, one day at a time, to a long-term horizon.
“It is amazing,” says Larry. “I still talk with families I treated 20 years ago. The addict has recovered, married, and has children, and the previously unhappy and codependent parents now delight in the joy of seeing their grandchildren born into a functional and sober family, knowing that these children will not grow up in an environment of addiction and codependence.”
To form Steps to Freedom, Larry has brought together a team of experienced and dedicated licensed family therapists who specialize in addiction and codependence. Combining his unique perspective of family-based treatment with the work of substantive, clinically-grounded residential programs such as Second Nature and the contribution of 12 Step programs and other community resources, Larry has built a recovery system that supports a young adult addict, the family as a whole and the individual family members to attain sobriety, wellness and joy.
To learn more about Larry’s evolution from drug addict to family therapist and founder of a cutting edge treatment approach, read the “Dr. No” article.