By Stephen C. Schultz
The clouds were white and fluffy, billowing up higher and higher. I could feel humidity in the air and there was the faint sound of thunder rumbling in the distance.
I was walking with Christin Prestwich, LAMFT. She is the Director of Admissions at Discovery Academy. The conversation was about the students at DA who desire to live a life of sobriety. There was the usual talk of use and abuse and individualized treatment plans. But, the one thing that stood out to me was the garden.
The garden is a great metaphor for life. The students have to work together to prepare the soil. It takes persistence and determination to stay on task and work with the end in mind. They then sow the seeds taking care they are planted at the right depth with appropriate spacing between plants. The plants need nourishment and water on a regular basis. There must be patience, because plants don’t grow overnight.
All of these same principles apply when working through the issues of recovery.
Discovery Academy offers robust substance abuse support to students who have struggled with using in the past. Students at Discovery Academy who desire a life of sobriety have many opportunities for integrated continued care.
Students can participate in the following groups:
AA - Students at Discovery Academy have the opportunity to attend local AA meetings. Students become part of a local group and gain experience in a 12 step process.
Relapse Prevention - Students create and work through a comprehensive relapse prevention plan. This plan includes about 80 assignments designed specifically to assist the student and their parents to fully understand the extent of the student’s substance abuse problem. These assignments also address the underlying emotional aspects of addiction and assist the student and family in fostering coping strategies to live a substance free life after treatment.
Addiction Recovery - This group is for students who still need some help in understanding their own addiction. They may be in the “Contemplation Stage” of change. These students spend time learning about the cycle of addiction and are provided a gentle opportunity to face some of the painful aspects of their young lives that have been associated with substance use and abuse.
If you enjoyed this particular aspect of Discovery Academy, you may also appreciate the way staff assist the students in developing healthy, appropriate relationships with peers and family. You can learn more here and here.