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Adolescent Substance Use

Parental Addiction

Substance use and addiction constitute one of the largest health problems in the United States.

Columbia’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2015 Guide for Policymakers
Substance Use Services

Substance use is a growing issue in this country, with some reporting it at epidemic proportions. In particular, we have increasingly seen substance use impact the families that we work with a number of ways:

  • we see more children and youth being placed into care due to parental substance use, with longer stays and more frequent placements than other youth;
  • we see greater incidences of kids in the juvenile justice system whose substance use impacts their well-being and recidivism rates; and
  • we see youth and adults who present with both mental health and substance use challenges.

For all of these individuals and their families, their outcomes across life domains and overall well-being are significantly impacted by their success in recovery. However, for many individuals with risky to chaotic to addictive substance use, treatment is not available or, in and of itself, is not enough. YAP provides additional support in the service "gaps" before, during and after treatment to promote sustained recovery. YAP also provides interventions for those who do not meet criteria for substance use treatment, who are unable to access treatment or who are not ready to enter treatment.

Based in the core YAP model and informed by current research in substance use, YAP uses screening tools to both understand the scope of use as well as the individual’s stage of change to help develop individualized strategies and interventions to address their use. In addition, YAP services address needs and build strengths in other life domains while developing a team of services and community connections that support recovery and well-being, including but not limited to the treatment provider and resources such as NA/AA.

Further, YAP matches each family with a Recovery Advocate, a caring, positive role model from their community. Recovery Advocates have a personal or family history of substance use and are specially trained in addiction and recovery. They work intensively with each family, providing individualized support within their home and community to help the family achieve the goals in their plan. This includes a combination of case management, mentoring, modeling, coaching, brokering supports, transportation and teaching.

Currently, YAP’s substance use services include programming for parents whose substance use has caused involvement in the child welfare system and for adolescents who may be involved in the juvenile justice, child welfare and mental health systems.