Megan Grover was 17 when her substance abuse started. The young woman from Dracut, Massachusetts, battled addiction for years, and as the opioid addiction spread across Massachusetts, it became difficult to find her a full-time treatment center, said her father, Tim Grover.
Tim Grover decided to start his own facility to help his daughter, but in December 2014, Megan died of a heroin overdose. By then, he had already purchased a vacant school in nearby Lowell to turn into a residential treatment facility for women.
He closed on the property the day after his daughter’s funeral. “I decided to move forward with the project in her memory,” he said.
Megan’s House opened a few months later, providing women 18 to 26 an “A through Z” holistic approach to addiction recovery, Grover said. It includes individual counseling, family therapy and group sessions, plus life skills training, education and job placement assistance.
Grover knows there are more young women who need help, but may not know how or where to get it.
To help raise awareness for Megan’s House, Grover is doing something unusual: raffling off a new home for $100.
Grover, a businessman, helped build the three-bedroom colonial in Dracut. Proceeds will benefit Megan’s House, and Grover is selling 5,000 tickets at $100 each. If all the tickets are sold, the $500,000 from the raffle is about the same amount Grover said he could sell the house for on the open market. The drawing will be in June.
He hopes the publicity of the house giveaway can steer young women in need on a path to recovery, and he added, “get the community involved.”
Young women stay at Megan’s House from 6 months to a year. Grover said that amount of time is more than most other treatment centers, but maintained it was necessary in order to avoid relapsing.
Through the Megan House Foundation, Grover plans to establish additional resources, like a sober house he prefers to call a "success home," with help from private-public partnerships.
The center has already worked with dozens of young women. One of them is Samantha Pike, who graduated from Megan’s House in October 2015, after about five years of addiction. Now 27, Pike’s struggle began when she started taking Percocet, a painkiller that contains opioid, and is commonly abused.
Her substance abuse quickly spiraled. She began shooting heroin then moved on to fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that's been linked to a number of overdose deaths in Massachusetts and across the country.
Pike admits it took a lot of work to overcome her substance abuse, but said she want people to know that “recovery is possible.”
Grover acknowledged that it is hard for him to work with other young women on their substance abuse, since he never had the chance to with his daughter.
“But at the same time, it’s satisfying, because it’s in her name that I’m doing this,” he said. “And it makes a difference. I don’t think any parent should have to deal with the pain of losing a child.”