Drug and Alcohol Treatment for At-Risk Youth
George Junior Republic developed its first drug and alcohol program in 1984. The Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program is viewed as an integral part of the overall treatment program and was designed to meet the needs of the youth in placement. The Department of Human Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs dually license all of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.
The goal of the Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program is to provide for the education, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation of youth who have been significantly influenced by chemical abuse. Youth diagnosed to have established patterns of abuse, dependency, or an addiction to chemicals are considered for admission to our drug and alcohol program. The emphasis is to lead the youth through a series of steps that will enable him to identify himself as chemically dependent and to assist him in the steps to recovery.
The daily program is designed for youth who have been chemically abusive or who are chemically dependent. Referrals are made based on the results of our screening process or direct referrals from a placing agency. The drug and alcohol facility director approves the referral and the youth is placed accordingly. George Junior Republic’s drug and alcohol counselor will make efforts to obtain authorization for services through the American Society of Addictive Medicine.
- Delinquent and dependent males, 10 to 18 years of age
- Youth who have a DSM IV Axis 1-5 diagnosis
- Youth who are dually diagnosed with substance abuse and another type of mental illness or severe emotional disturbance
- Youth who are able to function within an open residential setting
- Youth who are able to maintain their own safety while under the supervision of staff
- Youth who are able to interact appropriately with peers and function with staff supervision and guidance
- Youth who have progressed in another program and have completed the drug and alcohol assessment
Treatment in a Home-Like Environment
Within the George Junior Republic 500 acre campus are three 10 bed drug and alcohol homes. The physical design of each facility replicates a traditional family home, which allows for a family room, kitchen, sunroom, bedrooms, and a master suite for the counselor/parents. This promotes and fosters a nurturing and home like environment. In addition, each drug and alcohol home features a group room and an individual counseling office.
Each home is staffed with a full time professional drug and alcohol counselor/parent couple (live-in married couple) who implements the behavioral educational model and coordinates the daily drug and alcohol rehabilitation segments of the program. The counselor/parents are carefully selected married couples, some with children of their own. At least one of the parents must have the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences or a related field. Additionally, each 10bed facility is staffed with a master’s level addiction counselor who conducts individual and group therapy within the facility and a campus director who oversees the treatment milieu. An evening child care worker monitors the facility during sleeping hours.
A Comprehensive Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program
Each youth who enters the drug and alcohol facility participates in individual counseling with a master’s level drug and alcohol addiction counselor. In addition, each youth participates in the weekly group therapy sessions and attends two outside support groups each week, which include Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to attending and participating in these groups, the youth reviews the twelve steps of recovery in residential family conferences. The group sessions, with the drug and alcohol therapist and the outside groups, are designed to confront each youth with his denial and encourage him to recognize his dependency. Group pressure and exercises are used to continually lead the youth to a realistic and accurate perception of his chemical use/abuse.
Because each youth needs to individually examine his problems, there is one hour per day dedicated to the completion of a drug and alcohol manual. Youth are required to work in the manual on an individual basis. The purpose of this manual is to facilitate the youth’s progress toward an accurate picture of his abuse and the consequences suffered as the result of the abusive lifestyle. The goal is to increase the awareness of his abuse and realistically face his abusive behavior as a problem. The data and information obtained in the manual are used for discussion in both formal and individual therapy and ongoing life-space sessions.
As the youth progressively works through the manual, he is challenged to critique his own behaviors and concepts of himself. The interaction between chemical abuse and the development of values is examined and explained. How chemical abuse attacks the person’s defense mechanism is clarified and discussed. The development and consequences of habitual chemical abuse are explored in an effort to establish recognition of chemical dependency. Alternatives to chemical abuse are offered and encouraged through his program in the drug and alcohol facility. He is confronted with the past, present, and future as it relates to his dependency. Participation and change are encouraged and rewarded positively through the behavior system.
All youth enrolled in the rehabilitation phase of the Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program are required to undergo regular drug screening. These screenings are administered after each home visit and as deemed necessary by the drug and alcohol prevention specialist or the drug and alcohol facility director. The purpose for drug screening is to verify and confirm a youth’s ability to maintain a drug free lifestyle and is considered a valuable tool in assisting the youth in identifying and recognizing his abuse and/or dependency. Drug screening provides the treatment team with an accurate picture of a youth’s chemical use. Reports of the screen results are shared with the placing agency and can provide agency representatives with a clear and accurate account of the youth’s progress.
Our consulting psychiatrists are available to assist with program planning and development for youth who have difficulty within the program and been identified as possessing more severe emotional disorders than first indicated. A psychologist is available to provide testing as necessary. A full medical infirmary is located on-site to provide routine care and treatment for physical health.
Academic and Vocational Services
Each youth is provided with a public education through a partnership with the Grove City Area School District. More information about academic and career and technical programming can be found under Education.
The Program Department develops and implements a wide range of supervised activities for the youth within the Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program.
Visitation and Home Passes Promote Family Reunification
Visits by immediate family members are available on weekends to promote family reunification and may include family therapy sessions. Visits are encouraged to occur on both Saturday and Sunday. George Junior Republic may assist each family in making visitation arrangements.
A youth may also earn six scheduled home passes per year during his drug and alcohol treatment. These passes occur in February, April/May, June, August, November, and December. Each youth must show the appropriate progress in his treatment in order for staff to recommend a home pass. Home passes are a necessary part of treatment and allow each youth the opportunity to show his progress in both the home and community settings, as well as to prepare for reunification.
Referrals and Discharge
Youth are recommended for discharge when the above outcomes have been obtained. Recommendations are made to the placing agency regarding the youth’s custody, court supervision, and supportive rehabilitations services. Youth completing the Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program may either be referred for a step down to a lower level of care such as the General Residential Program or may return to their parent or guardian’s home. Some youth may be referred to an alternative placement, depending on the resources available to them. Drug and alcohol aftercare services are recommended to assist the youth in his adjustment to the community, school, and home.