New Horizon Recovery Responds to Research on Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

Health & Lifestyle, Parenting, Politics

rehab-newhorizoncounselin-orangeNew Horizon Recovery treats patients who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. The facility recognizes that prevention programs for young adults play a role in reducing the occurrence of addiction later on in life. Psych Central recently published an article regarding research on the effectiveness of these prevention programs on substance abuse. Evidence has shown that taking a proactive approach has beneficial results.

The article focuses on research conducted by Penn State University and Iowa State University. Researchers found that when young adults were part of a community-based prevention program in middle school, their overall prescription drug misuse was reduced by up to 65 percent. According to Richard Spoth, Ph.D., this is significant because prescription drug abuse has seen a dramatic increase. Spoth is the director of the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State.

The research was focused on “programs designed to reduce the risk for substance misuse.” It was published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study also showed that use of methamphetamines, marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and inhalants were also significantly reduced. The journal Preventive Medicine also reports that “teens and young adults also had better relationships with parents, improved life skills, and few problem behaviors in general.” The benefits of these programs are far reaching.

Iowa State and Penn State partnered to form PROSPER – Promoting School-Community-University-Partnerships to Enhance Resilience, and it was through this partnership that the research was conducted. According to the article, “PROSPER administers scientifically proven prevention programs in a community-based setting with the help of the extension systems in land grant universities.” The programs were developed in the 1980s and 1990s and targeted specific age groups. Understanding when and why adolescents experiment with drugs was a large part of the program.

It was important to implement the prevention programs when they were developmentally appropriate for students. Spoth notes, “That’s not too early, not too late: about the time when they’re beginning to try out these new risky behaviors that ultimately can get them in trouble.” According to Mark T. Greenburg, Ph.D., timing plays an important role in the effectiveness of the programs to reduce early substance use and conduct problems. Greenburg is the founding director of Penn State’s Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. Researchers followed up with participants six years after they had completed PROSPER in order to attain results on its effectiveness.

PROSPER interventions were conducted in 14 communities in Iowa, and 14 communities in Pennsylvania. The program combined family-focused and school-based programs. They were implemented starting with students in sixth grade. The article cites that “the goal is to teach parents and children the skills they need to build better relationships and limit exposure to substance use.” Skills include becoming more assertive and solving complex situations with friends. “As a result they are more comfortable with refusing to do something that might lead to trouble or doing things that they will later regret,” says Greenburg.

Parents were also educated during the program. They learned how to more effectively monitor, supervise, and communicate with their teens. This included staying alert to what their children were doing, who they were spending time with, and where they were. Parents found that the program works.

According to researchers, the results are further reaching than just reducing prescription drug or marijuana use. Other problematic behaviors that stem from substance abuse are also reduced through prevention programs. “Prevention can have a ripple effect and cut down on problems in school and violent behaviors in general” assert researchers.

New Horizon Recovery supports the efforts of substance abuse prevention programs. “It is important to start teaching children early on about the dangers of substance abuse,” says a spokesman for the facility. “When they learn better ways to cope with their problems and relate with others, they find other alternatives to turning to drugs or alcohol. Building their self-confidence can help them to say no and stand up for themselves when presented with peer pressure.”

Many of the same strategies of prevention are used to help addicts on the road to recovery. At New Horizon Recovery, treatment focuses on individual, group, and family therapy. Patients learn to identify triggers of their addiction, and how to better cope with temptation and pressure. They are educated on relapse prevention and learn to establish healthy routines and activities.

Part of treatment is building a strong support network. This includes finding others who can relate and understand the difficulties associated with dealing with addiction. It is necessary to eliminate the influence of negative people who might cause poor judgment choices. “That is essentially part of what prevention programs for young adults do,” comments a New Horizon Recovery spokesman. “They learn to build trusting relationships with friends and family. Surrounding themselves with positive, encouraging people helps them to make better choices. They are encouraged to stay away from people who may get them in trouble or lead them to make poor choices. And much like those programs, at our facility, we emphasize positive family relationships and help patients to work through difficult situations with family members. Family members are invited to become involved and learn how they can provide support for their loved ones.”

The New Horizon Facility incorporates family therapy into their treatment programs. They understand that addiction has an impact on family and it is important to repair those relationships when possible. Ongoing healing and recovery takes the effort of many and requires a lot of support and encouragement. Family is one resource for recovering addicts to turn to for support. In addition, the facility requires patients to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous programs in the community to build their network and resources for support. Talking with others who have experienced similar situations is beneficial in recovery. New Horizon Recovery incorporates a wide variety of therapies, activities, and resources into its treatment programs to provide maximum benefit for patients.

New Horizon Recovery is an alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility located in Encinitas, California. They provide inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. Patients participate in individual, group, and family therapy sessions as well as other beneficial activities. The facility is located close to the beach and hiking trails. Physical, mental, and emotional health are all addressed to provide a more comprehensive treatment program.

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