ROCKFORD – U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th) toured the Rosecrance adolescent treatment center Monday, July 15, and met with some of the 78 teens in treatment, commending them for seeking professional help and encouraging them to make healthy choices when they return home.
“This is a time of decision for you,” he told them. “By being here, you are taking a huge first step toward having a successful life. “You can do anything you want. You can be anything you want.”
Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton showed Kinzinger around the 50-acre residential Griffin Williamson Campus, which has a koi-stocked pond and a Healing Garden, a conservatory, a school with seven classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, fitness facilities and outdoor sports fields. Rosecrance is recognized as having one of the finest adolescent treatment programs in the nation.
Kinzinger, 35, is a former U.S. Air Force pilot who was elected in November 2012 to represent Illinois’ 16th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Some of the teens told Kinzinger they want to join the military in the future. The congressman encouraged them to stay in recovery because substance abuse is inconsistent with the military’s high standards. He urged them to prepare themselves physically and mentally to “put on the uniform of the greatest country in the world.”
Kinzinger and Eaton spoke at length about heroin addiction among teens and young adults, a growing problem in northern Illinois and one that is being reflected in the patient population at Rosecrance. Several teens told Kinzinger that they are being treated for heroin addiction.