Teen Wake-Up Calls: Allie

Teen Wake-Up Calls: Allie

"At first glance, my daughter, Allie, looks like the typical teenager. What most people don't know is that she has a drinking problem," laments Shelly.

Allie, 15, doesn't think she has a problem. "My mom blows everything out of proportion. It's fun to get drunk because it makes me enjoy whatever I'm doing," she says.

The teen's life took a dramatic turn when she got caught taking prescription drugs and was kicked off the cheerleading squad. Now, Shelly believes her daughter's bad behavior is escalating. "In the past six months, she's been arrested twice for public intoxication, and once for disorderly conduct at school. Allie's reaction was, 'What's the big deal?' I feel it is a big deal," Shelly says. 

Allie has also been caught with empty wine bottles in her room and a bong. "I've been drinking a lot more in the past few weeks. At 8:00 a.m. before going to school, I drank a whole bunch of tequila, and it got me very drunk. I can handle two 40s of malt liquor," she boasts. Yet, she remains unconvinced that she's on a dangerous path. "I do not think I have a drinking problem. Everybody drinks. My mother does not understand that."

Shelly reveals that Allie is now stealing money to buy alcohol and drugs, and she feels powerless to stop her. "I have grounded Allie. I've tried to take away everything that matters to her: her cell phone, her friends, her computer, TV. Nothing seems to work," she says, frustrated. "I want my daughter back."

Allie listens to Dr. Phil's videotaped message on her way to a very important wake-up call. "You're just arriving at the home of a mom who wants to sit down and talk with you about her daughter. All I ask is that you go in with an open mind, have an open heart and hear what she has to say," he stresses.

Allie is greeted at the door by Patty Spady. Patty points to a picture of a smiling blonde girl. "This is my daughter, Sam. Sam had gone to several parties one evening at a fraternity house. That was where she drank so much, so fast, that she died of alcohol poisoning."

 

As Allie watches footage of Sam's life on TV, Patty says, "I just want you to know, Allie, you could possibly end up with the same deadly consequences as my daughter."

Next, Patty shows Allie Sam's homecoming crown and cheerleading uniform, and encourages the teen. "I want you to know that there's still time and there's still hope for you. You will get your focus back, and you can someday be back on that cheerleading squad," she says.

Allie gets choked up and Patty embraces her.

Patty shows Allie a picture of Sam's headstone to drive home the dangers of underage drinking. "I want you to please think about that the next time you are confronted with the possibility of partying. I want you to think about my daughter's life, and the deadly consequences of that," she says somberly. "Hopefully, you can get on the right path, and you'll make it, girl. You really can."

Patty has one last piece of advice to impart. She hands Allie a ceramic frog with pom-poms. "Since your passion is cheerleading and Sam's passion was cheerleading as well as collecting frogs, I'd like for you to have this frog of Sam's to constantly remind you to, number one, stay focused and, number two, follow your dreams."

Accepting the gift, Allie says, "Thank you so much. I think you probably saved me."

When she leaves Patty's house, Allie reflects on her visit. "I learned from this trip that drinking is dangerous whether you binge or not, and that you shouldn't let your friends make your choices for you," she says.

Allie's drinking isn't the only problem. Shelly recently made another frightening discovery about her daughter. "She's cutting herself. She's got slash marks on her arms. That horrified me when I saw that," Shelly admits. "She told me she did it because she was sad."

"I cut to relieve pain. The pain I'm trying to stop is just my feelings," Allie explains.

 

Allie rolls up her sleeve to show Dr. Phil her arm. "There are probably 20 cuts here, some of them very fresh," he observes. "What are you cutting yourself with?"

 

Allie replies, "A razor blade."

"When you look at that now, does that concern you?" he asks her. 

"No, because I was intoxicated most of the time." 

"You were cited three times at school. Two times for public intoxication, once for taking some pills from somebody else," Dr. Phil observes. 

 

Dr. Phil points out that Shelly recently found empty wine and liquor bottles in her daughter's room, as well as prescription drugs. "She had stolen those from her grandfather, had broken into his house," Shelly elaborates. 

"You stole your brother's car a couple of days ago," Dr. Phil reminds Allie.

"Yeah, I wrecked it," she says casually.

"So, other than that, things seem to be going pretty smoothly," Dr. Phil quips. "Come on. Do you not see that this is spinning out of control?" 

"Yeah," Allie replies.

Dr. Phil believes there is an underlying reason for Allie's drinking. "It's not just to be cool. You clearly have an addiction to these substances."

 

Dr. Phil advises Shelly to get the problem under control quickly, or there will be disastrous consequences. "I think you and Mrs. Spady could have a whole lot in common very, very soon," he warns her. "If this was my child, the sun would not set today before she was in some type of in-patient care."

He turns to Mike Boss, the Executive Director of the Four Winds Ranch Recovery Center in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Mike is accompanied by Whitney Warren, a therapist at Four Winds. "Tell me what she could expect there," Dr. Phil says.

"Four Winds is out in the country. We only take 15 girls at one time," Mike says. Addressing Allie, he says, "You'll work on your emotional, spiritual and physical areas of recovery. You'll be treated with kindness and respect, but there will be some accountability for your sobriety and recovery."

"What do you think about saying, 'That's what I need to do, and if I need to go to this place, then I will go to this place'?" Dr. Phil asks Allie.

"I want to go to this place," Allie assures him. 

"You're here to fly right back with her, right?" Dr. Phil asks Mike. 

"Absolutely," Mike replies. 

"Are you good with this?" Dr. Phil asks Shelly.

Relieved, she answers, "Yes, I am. I think it could save Allie's life."

 

Allie and Dr. Phil shake on it.