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Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide

What role do 12-step groups or other recovery support services play in addiction treatment for adolescents?

Adolescents may benefit from participation in self- or mutual-help groups like 12-step programs or other recovery support services, which can reinforce abstinence from drug use and other changes made during treatment, as well as support progress made toward important goals like succeeding in school and reuniting with family. Peer recovery support services and recovery high schools provide a community setting where fellow recovering adolescents can share their experiences and support each other in living a drug-free life.

It is important to note that recovery support services are not a substitute for drug abuse treatment. Also, there is sometimes a risk in support-group settings that conversation among adolescents can turn to talk extolling drug use; group leaders need to be aware of such a possibility and be ready to direct the discussion in more positive directions if necessary.

This page was last updated January 2014

What role do 12-step groups or other recovery support services play in addiction treatment for adolescents?

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