Young people often seem to be at a disadvantage when trying to get off drugs. Less than half of addiction treatment centers in the US will accept teens, and not all of those actually offer programs specifically geared toward clients in this age group.
After a teen completes a course of treatment, there is typically little in the way of structured support. When they return to school, they are faced with offers to start using again from their friends.
When Students Hold Each Other Accountable
Recovery schools, like Hope Academy in Indianapolis, are places where all learners have something in common. These tuition-free schools create an environment where the students hold each other accountable.
The opioid epidemic has affected adults in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s for the most part, but teens haven’t been immune, thoug. Every day, 1,100 young people in this age group start misusing pain medications. Additionally, overdose rates continue rising for teens as well.
Researchers still have work do to get the full story about the effects of opioids on young brains. However, it is known that starting at an early age is one of the risk factors for addiction, as the majority of adults in treatment for a substance abuse problem say they were teens the first time they started using.
The research does show that adolescents in recovery do better in special schools that rely on peer communities to support students’ sobriety. Currently, there are about 36 schools of this type in the US. Interest in them is growing among educators and health officials due to the opioid crisis.
Drug Tests and Recovery Coaches Part of the Plan
Random drug tests are conducted on students at recovery schools. If they test positive for a substance, they attend a meeting with a recovery coach. During the session, the recovery coach uses tools such as motivational interviewing to ask open-ended questions and reflective listening to discuss the situation and get the students to think for themselves. These young people are not used to having someone say to them, “What do you think you should do next?”
There are times where residential treatment centers simply aren’t appropriate for teens who are abusin drugs, but they still need a change of environment. Resources like recovery schools help provide necessary interventions while being able to keep progressing socially in a supportive educational environment.