Stonewater thanks local police for a successful partnership in helping struggling youths

Published 2:31 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

The Fikes family knows all too well the importance of the role that law enforcement can play when dealing with youths who are struggling with substance use or mental health issues.

When Bryan Fikes was a teenager, his family watched him spiral down a dark path due to substance use. They felt helpless, with few resources for teenagers dealing with addiction in Mississippi, they had to go outside of the state to find help.

“Like many teenage boys, Bryan was not willing to go to treatment, and he did not feel like he needed to get treatment at that time,” said his sister, Elizabeth Fikes. “We had to use our local drug court and local police officers and on May 20, 2024, two police officers came to our home and took Bryan for the first step on his treatment journey.”

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In May of this year, Bryan Fikes celebrated 20 years of recovery.

“Without those two officers, we wouldn’t be here,” Elizabeth said. “They are an important part of our family’s journey.”

Seeing the need for adolescent substance abuse and mental health treatment options in Mississippi, the Fikes family opened Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center in 2017.

Last week, Stonewater held an Appreciation Luncheon for the first responders throughout Oxford and Lafayette County.

“Our family is so grateful for all that you do to help families like ours and families across the country who are coming here to get treatment,” she said during the event. “I just can’t say it enough.”

Stonewater treated about 100 first responders to lunch, catered by Moe’s BBQ during the event. Guest speaker House Rep. Sam Creekmore talked about new initiatives and bills passed recently by the Legislature to help improve resources for mental health, physical health and substance use.

Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen attended the event and said he was thankful for Stonewater’s support of first responders.

“Their work to help youth overcome addiction is a special calling,” he said. “Their work on their campus and their work hosting events in our community displays their heart for their mission.”

Built on a 65-acre campus off County Road 362, Stonewater can house up to 16 teen boys at one time and the residential treatment programs last between 60 to 90 days. 

The program provides treatment for male teens dealing with ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, substance use disorder, suicidal ideation and trauma.

Drug addiction and mental health issues can, and do, affect people from all walks of life. It’s a hard time for the youths and their family. When a teen arrives at Stonewater, things might be bleak for them and their loved ones. 

“We love that being here in Oxford, they get to experience some really positive memories during their stay in this community,” Elizabeth said. 

Stonewater currently only accepts boys in its residential program; however, they have recently started an outpatient virtual program that is offered to both boys and girls. The adolescents meet with therapists and other peers via Zoom.

“It’s an intervention before you go to residential treatment,” Elizabeth explained. “If you saw that your son or daughter was having trouble with anxiety or depression, ADHD, then it’s an opportunity to get them help before it advances to the need for residential help.”

For more information about Stonewater, visit their website at