One of the most difficult things for adolescent substance abuse treatment service systems to do is to support teens in recovery.
Fostering peer support has long been seen as critical in adult recovery, but duplicating that for teens raises difficult-to-solve issues of liability and concern for their safety.
Nevertheless, there's no question that peer support could be a powerful tool for teens in recovery, and many communities are looking at ways to accomplish it. Furthermore, new technological tools, like this iPhone app for 12 Step participants, may address some common barriers.
And now the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is offering a small number of grants to commmunities wishing to build peer-to-peer recovery support services. (It would be great if one of the grantees focused specifically on adolescents in the justice system.) Deadline is February 10, 2010.
However, note that the grant application specifies that "peer services must be designed and delivered primarily by individuals in recovery to meet the targeted community’s recovery support needs, as the community defines them." It also draws a sharp distinction between peer recovery and aftercare.
Updated: February 08 2018