Introducing a new kind of program to meet the needs of adolescents experiencing co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
ACT NW takes an evidence-based approach drawing on the best practices of adolescent substance use and mental health treatment and combines it with the pro-social power of the Alternative Peer Group (APG) model. Our multidisciplinary treatment team of Licensed Clinicians and Certified Recovery Mentors ensures that our program is fun and relatable to youth, helping retain them in care, while at the same time effective at helping them learn the tools for recovery. In addition, we offer rich programming to caregivers providing them the tools and support that they need to create effective change at home.
ACT NW’s clinical program checks all the boxes that experts in the behavioral healthcare field say matter the most:
Be aware of developmental stage and use developmentally informed approaches (ie, meeting adolescents "where they are")
Know the level of care you as a provider are comfortable managing and the referral sources in your community for higher levels of care (ie, residential/inpatient)
Involve parents and family in the treatment process, which will improve family functioning and parent-teen relationships; changing parental monitoring, limit setting, and substance use beliefs can improve outcomes
Use evidence-based behavioral interventions as your treatment backbone
Evaluate all youth for co-occurring psychiatric disorders (ie, ADHD, conduct disorder, depression, PTSD) and provide integrated and concurrent treatment for co-occurring disorders with evidence-based interventions
Adjunctive pharmacotherapy may be used for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms and craving in youth in whom behavioral interventions have failed
Incorporate urine drug screening (UDS) in a systematic way as part of the initial screening and maintenance phases of treatment: use of a contingency management approach by providing rewards for negative UDS results can improve outcomes
Twelve-step programs, such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, especially those with a teen focus, may be helpful when added to (but not in place of) integrated treatment approaches
Certified Recovery Mentors join with Licensed Therapists to combine fun, pro-social activities and culture with evidence-based therapeutic supports.
A positive peer culture
Our Certified Recovery Mentors create an atmosphere of hope and recovery infused with laughter, fun and pro-social activities. Our mentors model healthy behaviors and relationships, support youth in integrating new skills in their relationships and connect them to resources and community supports.
We believe in multiple paths to recovery. Our Licensed Therapists collaborate with our Certified Recovery Mentors to provide evidence-based treatment such as Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other modalities of therapy to create a comprehensive treatment plan centered around each youth’s individual needs. We offer multiple levels of care including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs based on where each young person is on their path. Our staff are trained in providing trauma-informed care and are committed to creating an anti-racist and gender-inclusive program.
The alternative peer group model
In addition to the clinical programming above, ACT NW has adapted the Alternative Peer Group (APG) philosophy of creating an atmosphere that is fun and engaging for youth where the main focus is to offer and shape a new peer group that utilizes positive peer pressure to stay in recovery. APG’s make sobriety more fun than using by organizing and staffing after-school sober social functions throughout the week, weekends and summers.
Youth receive medication management by board-certified psychiatrists, as well as individual sessions, medication education and collaboration with families and outpatient providers.
Caregiver & family- centered program
Caregivers are provided weekly education by a Licensed Therapist utilizing CRAFT (Community Reinforcement And Family Training) with an ITC (Invitation to Change) lens. Caregivers and families participate in weekly multi-family group with youth to learn about family systems and practice new skills.
We believe a young person’s path of recovery continues as they transition out of clinical programming. Youth, caregivers and families will have opportunities to share what they have learned with new youth and families entering the program as they benefit from ongoing support from ACT NW’s therapeutic groups and support meetings.
A Developmentally Appropriate Recovery Support Model for Adolescents
A Rich Case Study of Building Recovery Communities One Voice at a Time
The originator of CRAFT, Dr. Meyers has a website with more information about CRAFT.
The originator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Marsha Linehan has a website with more information about DBT.
A website to learn more about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
A website to learn more about Motivational Interviewing (MI).