Filling a Gap in the Social Services Continuum: Transitional Supportive Housing for Youth Post Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment

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Rice, Allison
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This thesis will discuss the need to fill a gap in our social service continuum that directly affects the young people with whom I currently work. Peak House is a 10-week residential treatment program for young people struggling with the effects of drugs and alcohol. It is argued that treatment alone does not prepare young people for independent living, and consequently follow-up support will avoid predictable problems of relapse and possibly street involvment. The premise of the program design is self-responsible membership in a residential therapeutic community. A second stage transitional housing project would provide an environment for young people to implement their new and preferred ways of being and support long lasting change. The literature review documents the treatment options in place for youth who struggle with substance misuse, identifies specific and clinically relevant gaps in the provision of these services, and offers both a social and a neurobiological argument for long-term support of these youth. Literature is also reviewed identifying aspects of effective help that are crucial to treatment for addicted youth: peer support and peer driven programming. These principles are illustrated by de-identified case descriptions highlighting clients who have inspired this research and the associated clinical practice. A program description, general tenets and rationale for the proposed transitional housing project follows.
youth substance abuse treatment , residential treatment programs