The Substance Abuse Program is run as a therapeutic community. This means that minors themselves are responsible for holding each other accountable, and helping each other in treatment.
Individual counseling is on an as-needed basis, at a minimum 1 time per week for both substance abuse and mental health.
- Recreational Therapy: This provides minors with an opportunity to learn sober activities that can be substituted for drug use, to alleviate mental health symptoms, and improve overall health. The Focus teaches minors to utilize time in a constructive and positive way.
- Process groups: Will address issues of personal responsibilities with activities such as journals, daily self-responsibility, behavior in the unit, and progress toward goals. This group also will deal with evaluations, level advancement, and disciplinary actions. Group size is a maximum of 10 clients.
- Life Skills: Focuses on teaching minors skills needed to survive on the "outs" such as balancing check books, job hunting, interview skills, resume writing, and applying for schools, colleges, etc.
- Community groups: Provide opportunities for youth to have an active voice in the treatment community. They can discuss concerns or make suggestions during the Community Meeting, which includes everyone in the unit. Youth are encouraged to confront and address peer behaviors that are not supportive of the community or healthy living. Clients can address these matters as a group, with staff oversight. Participants come together to resolve shared problems, plan activities, give and receive feedback to shape pro-social behavior, and share successes and failures.
- Psycho-educational Groups: Family group counseling is provided weekly in a multi-family group setting. During the initial phase of the program, members will be informed of the family support group and invited to participate. Any family member can speak with the substance abuse specialist at any time. Group size will vary according to parental attendance and type of family group. Family awareness (topic groups) are for parents only.
- Family Groups: Focuses on prevention topics discussed above and allows families to share experiences with other families. Many families identify a fear of talking about "family secrets." Some "secrets" include other members using drugs, violence in the home, financial struggles, judicial problems, and fears of losing their children. The group is designed to allow members to speak freely, and fosters mutual identification of possible solutions to common problems. Many issues, such a domestic violence/incest are referred for further assistance to appropriate resources.
- Gender Groups: Gender-specific treatment for both male and female minors with certified counselors focusing on unique gender treatment needs and issues such as sexuality, male/female roles, identity issues, cultural gender expectations, health issues specific to genders, etc. "Voices" by Stephanie Covington is the girls' gender-specific curriculum, and Hazelton's "Young Men's Lives" is in the process of being implemented for the boys gender-responsive group.
- Anger management: Focuses on recognizing anger and its relationships to criminal and drug using behavior, teaches minors to recognize types of anger, recognize triggers specific to each individual, as well as coping skills.
- Psycho Education: Focus is to educate minors on drugs use, relationship issues, family dynamics and topics that might or might not be covered in other groups. The group's format is more instructional although minor's participation is always encouraged.
- Art therapy: These groups are used to help minors find different ways of expressing themselves through different means. Various avenues of art are utilized to facilitate growth, self awareness, and understanding.