ALTERNATIVE PEER GROUPS
Many adolescents who suffer from substance use disorder are admitted to hospitals or rehabilitation centers to receive treatment to abstain from substance use. Once released and home, they may enroll in an intense outpatient program intended to help them maintain their new sober lifestyle.
But what happens when kids return to school to face the stressors of full class schedules and managing relationships with peers?
It can be extremely challenging but there is help!
Alternative peer groups focus on prevention, early intervention, and recovery management. Group principles are consistent with those of other recovery programs. Youth have an opportunity to support each other while engaging in sober and fun social activities with recovering peer role models. Some groups offer a comprehensive program that includes clinical and recovery support services with long-term continuing care elements.
Alternative peer groups are welcoming and accepting yet structured. They are a "safe" place to discuss solutions to the challenges adolescents face in everyday life while on the path of life-long recovery. They are also a place where parent and family involvement is encouraged.
You may be asking if alternative peer groups really help.
The short answer is YES!
Early research shows that youth who completed an integrated intensive outpatient program/alternative peer group had two-year sobriety rates of 89% to 92%. Peers who didn't attend had two-year sobriety rates of less than 30%.
Youth enrolled also showed a greater attachment and improved communication with positive peers and their own families. When surveyed, parents reported that their participation helped them set more effective boundaries, support their child's recovery, and improved relationships with other members of the family.
Additional questions or want to learn more?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we continue our mission to promote sustained life-long recovery, know that there are solutions, and we are here to help!