For young people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, recovery is a difficult process due to peer expectations and pressure to engage in drinking and drugging behaviors in most social situations. Bars, parties, and social gatherings are common places for teens and young adults to meet friends and socialize. College students who are new to campus and are looking for a place to meet peers and develop new friendships are especially at risk to engage in drinking and drugging as a way to connect with others. A sober support system is very important to anyone in recovery, let alone young people who desire peer acceptance and acknowledgment. Although this is a normal part of any teen or young adults development and movement into adulthood, for those with an abuse or dependency problem it is one of the most significant challenges in their recovery process. If the young person has a willingness to find a new group of friends and peers who are sober, there are places to do so. However, the willingness to do so is the key ingredient. Many young people struggle with closing the door on their using friend group, which is understandable. Developing friendships is a very important task during the teen years and for some it doesn’t come easily. Here are opportunities for young people to find support from sober peers and adults;
AA: Alcoholics Anonymous often has young people’s meetings, especially in those areas where there are colleges and universities. In Boulder, CO, there are young people’s AA meetings 2 nights each week, which are appropriately called, “Campus Group” because of its close proximity to the CU-Boulder campus.
NA: Narcotics Anonymous offers groups in most cities, however, young peoples meetings are more difficult to come by. Call your local NA and inquire about groups that are open to and appropriate for young people.
Phoenix MultiSport — This organization is based in Boulder/Denver area of Colorado. Visit their website for a possible chapter in your area.
“Phoenix Multisport fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those who choose to live a sober life. Through such pursuits as climbing, hiking, running, swimming, road and mountain biking, and other activities, we seek to help our members develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to stay sober.”
Therapeutic Groups and Support Groups: Local therapists and coaches mental health centers, and other organizations (i.e. hospitals, etc) offer an array of opportunities for young people to find support and peer connections. Locate professionals in your area who specialize in teen and young adult issues and who also specialize in substance abuse and addictions.
College or University Campus often have counseling and group support for those in need of recovery services. Call your health center to find out more information.