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Boys Town in the News

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Kara Neuverth
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Lauren Laferla
Media Relations Specialist
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Boys Town Pulls Back Shadow of Drugs to Reunite Family

Addiction is a powerful, deadly intruder that robs people of everything they hold dear.

Nikki and Luis Bonner know this to be true from experience. Their addiction to alcohol and drugs separated them from their beloved 2-year-old son, Colin.

The Bonners were a young married couple, new to town, when they made friends with a group that regularly used alcohol and drugs. Nikki and Luis began to experiment with narcotics, and soon were within their grip.

Eventually, Nikki was pulled over by the police while drunk and high on drugs. She was charged with driving under the influence, drug possession and failure to provide proper supervision for Colin.

The arrest and a follow-up investigation that revealed both Nikki and Luis had substance abuse issues led to involvement by the state.

To ensure Colin’s safety, the state removed the little boy from his home; he eventually was placed in relative’s care.

Nikki and Luis were utterly devastated – they had both hit rock bottom, were unable to care for their little boy and desperately wanted to change.

Soon, help arrived in the person of a Family Consultant with Boys Town Iowa’s In-Home Family Services.

The Consultant’s first priority was to get Nikki and Luis on the road to recovery. He helped the couple find substance abuse counseling, and both parents began attending sobriety groups. The Bonners faithfully attended their meetings, making a commitment to put drug and alcohol use behind them for the sake of their son.

At the time, Nikki was unemployed and Luis had a part-time job that barely supported the family. The Consultant worked with Luis on how to apply for and find a full-time job. Within a couple weeks, Luis found employment with a local construction company.

With Boys Town’s support, Nikki and Luis also begin to build a positive support system around them that would help them stay away from their previous habits. They started attending a neighborhood church and making new friendships that supported a clean and sober lifestyle.

Nikki and Luis had another strength going for them. Despite their past behaviors, they were dedicated, loving parents to their son. When their Consultant worked with them on their parenting skills, it was mainly to reinforce the good things they were already doing with Colin.

After ten months of services and coaching, the couple’s hard work finally paid off. They met all the legal and state requirements, and Colin was returned to their care.

The Bonners still have a long way to go on their journey of healing. But with their family back together, they have turned the corner and can now see a promising future before them.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.


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