I recently saw something where a doctor was asking if 12-step programs like AA and NA are hip enough for adolescents, which got me to thinking. When I first started going to meetings in teen drug treatment I was concerned with this very question. I certainly didn’t feel like they were very cool at all. It seemed like a lot of old people talking about things I’d never done. What were Quaaludes? I was really focused on the differences and not the similarities. As I stayed in treatment and began to honestly look at the severity and destruction of my drug and alcohol problem, I began to care less about how cool 12 step meetings were, and more about how they could help me.
As I stayed clean though, I realized that I could make my program whatever I needed it to be. When I got out of treatment and went back home to my adolescent outpatient program Santa Monica, I searched for young people’s meetings and decided to get involved. I could go to dances and barbeques. My clean and sober friends and I could be as cool as we wanted without using drugs and alcohol. I decided that it’s pretty cool to go from being dependent on drugs to creating a whole new life. My old idea of cool- like going to raves and partying- was killing me. I might be one of the few young people who prefers hanging out with a bunch of “old” sober people, but my quality of life has changed tremendously. If I decide to stick around and be as hip and cool as I want to be, then maybe my presence will make it easier for the next teenager trying to stay clean. I’m glad that Visions helped me focus on what was important- my life. That’s pretty cool. Please contact us for more information about adolescent drug and alcohol treatment.