Posted June, 12, 2012
In honor of the upcoming Father’s Day holiday and National Men’s Health Week, which is June 11 to 17, Pax Prentiss, CEO and co-founder of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers in Malibu and Ventura, Calif., is encouraging fathers to talk to their children about healthy living and the dangers of using drugs or alcohol.
Prentiss, who was hooked on heroin, cocaine and alcohol for 10 years before opening the drug and alcohol rehab center Passages Malibu in 2001 with his father Chris Prentiss, knows first-hand the importance of a healthy father/child relationship. When he found out his then-girlfriend was pregnant with his child – Taylor, now age 13 — his desire to get clean increased tremendously.
Today, he still credits being a father for his sobriety.
“When Taylor was born, I had been in and out of treatment centers for about nine years, none of them sticking,” single-dad Prentiss told Singular magazine in 2011. “Taylor was definitely motivation for me and helped me stay sober, but it took me another year before I actually achieved sobriety.”
The single dad and CEO waited to tell his daughter about his past addiction until she was old enough to understand.
“She has a clear idea about not using drugs or alcohol,” he says. “The best thing a father can do for their child is to lead by example. Even if drugs and alcohol are not an issue, showing your child how to live a healthy lifestyle by eating properly, exercising and taking care of yourself is an important role for a father. Taylor and I do a lot of things together and that’s really important for a child’s development. It’s great to have observances like National Men’s Health Week to bring awareness to better health.”
On the topic of talking to your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, he says “it’s never too early to start talking to your kids about that. Drug and alcohol abuse are starting earlier than the teen years today and the sooner you can educate and inform your child, the better.”
Prentiss, who lives in Calabasas, Calif., says he plans to spend Father’s Day, June 17, 2012, with his daughter having breakfast together, and then spending the days hiking and taking pictures in Malibu.
National Men’s Health Week is organized by the National Men’s Health Network as a way to bring awareness to preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.