Early recovery is difficult for anyone but can be especially so for teens. For teens, it can be especially difficult to see any light at the end of tunnel when dealing with a substance use disorder. One the reasons it can be challenging is because most of them come from an environment where their peers, school system, and even family members are continuing to use mood and mind-altering substances. Feeling alone and alienated from their peers, and the need for some vital change in early recovery, can lead back to trying to find a connection with anything. That, most commonly, will come from the use of returning to substance abuse. Without the change, this mental illness can easily take them back to what they feel worked in the past to rid one of these feelings; the use of alcohol and drugs. Early recovery is something new and scary, and without a guide on this journey it can often lead to a re occurrence of use.
To walk with them and their families on this path is not merely to motivate them to want something more, but also to show them that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, as well as being invested in their personal journey of long term recovery. At River Oak Center, that is the privilege the counselors and staff get to experience. Counselors, be they academic or substance abuse, provide our students with insight into short and long terms goals, and help them develop of a plan on how to achieve these goals. Trade school certifications, the Military, and multiple levels of college education, River Oak Center specializes in supporting the academic experience for teens suffering from substance use disorders.
Our counselors meet with the students on an as needed basis helping them to keep traction towards their dream goals. Every student that is admitted to the military, college, university, or trade school is a potential life saved from the current substance use epidemic we are facing. The counselors at River Oak Center invest their time and talent into finding that light in our student. The light that will not only illuminate the lives of the students, but the families, communities, and potential future employers.
River Oak Center provides various forms of guidance throughout to assist the student in their journey through early recovery. Counselors at ROC work closely as a team to create the best plan for each student, based on their specific needs and goals. With the use of differing approaches and modalities of clinical support, traditional substance abuse treatment (group therapy and individual therapy), academic goals, twelve step meetings, and outdoor adventure therapy, students are given a diverse foundation from which to build a healthy foundation in their recovery.
We believe that becoming clean and sober can be accomplished while being supplemented with academic goals, even in early recovery. We are proud to assist students in exploring a new chapter in their lives involving self-exploration, inspiration, renewal, and learning. As students step down to each level of care, the student is encouraged to follow a natural succession of growth, resulting in interdependence with their new sober community rather than complete dependence on others. At the different phases of care, students typically have clear, achievable academic goals, are attending twelve step meetings, potentially working a part-time job and moving forward in their new journey.
Our intimate community is filled with people excited to be changing their lives. Our staff is supportive of each student and provides a tightly-knit community that fosters a healthy environment from which to grow. Working at River Oak Center in this department affords us the valuable opportunity to humbly inspire people in their lives at a time that may be filled with pain and possibly desperation. The opportunity to work with students and their families through this difficult time is something that River Oak Center and Florida Recovery Schools as a whole feel very fortunate to be a part of. We have seen that each individual is unique and has their own path to follow. We are here to meet you there and gently guide you towards a road to freedom, firmly rooted in personal and academic accomplishment.
We look forward to assisting you in your journey through early recovery,
This time of year for some is the prospect of getting mentally prepared to be "going off to college". For most it is a time of reflection and expectation. Parents realizing that their little boy or girl isn't so little anymore and it getting ready to embark on a life changing journey.
For the Student, the prospect of college means freedom, new friends, and the chance to recreate themselves. For many students this first taste of freedom can be more challenging then anticipated. Until now mom and/or dad may have woke us up in the morning, made breakfast or packed our lunch. Helped us with our school work, and with what to buy, wear, eat, when to go to bed and was a safe guard against potential if ever indulgence or worse overindulgence in alcohol or other drugs.
Its Just Drinking
Consequences of Harmful and Underage College Drinking Drinking affects college students, their families, and college communities at large. Researchers estimate that each year:
Death: About 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries
Assault: About 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
Sexual Assault: About 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault. (NIAAA)
Due to often inexperienced with use of alcohol or just a lack of understanding of the potential effects many students unintentional ingest to much to quickly. This as we have seen in recent years can cause in some instances fatal outcomes. One of the most common activities that students will engage in is known as "Binge Drinking" What is “binge drinking?” Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.
This last one is of chief concern for many universities. Gone are the days of FRAT Parties, and thoughts like its just a fad, phase, or, what you are supposed to to do in college. In fact several universities are making strides to introduce sobriety programs. Thes programs invite an alternative to the traditional. Due to this some of the students’ perceptions seem to be changing and a positive scenario is evolving. As per the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE), the number of addiction recovery programs on campuses nationwide has increased to 186 in 2018 from 29 in 2013. These programs offer counseling and substance-free housing along with sober social events ranging from tailgates to trips. A complete list and a ton more valuable resources visit Recovery Campus
Lastly it is believed - as trite and cliche as it may sound - still the greatest deterrent to your freshly minted college bound youth has against overindulgence once away at college are your words. So please talk with your son or daughter about the wonders that lie ahead but also about the dangers as well. They will listen.
June 18th – Jul 27th
8am – 3pm
(pickup by 4:00)
River Oak Center
7801 Lone Star Rd, Jacksonville FL 32211
High School Credit · Field Trips · Cook outs · Gardening · Yoga · Exercise
Families concerned that their teen might be struggling with a substance use issue.
Drug testing weekly
Counseling on site
Teacher on site
space is limited
No cost to participants
Florida Recovery Schools
by Mike McGuire, RMHCI, CAC
Living One Day at a Time
“But Mike, one day at a time everyday is forever!” Thoughts like this are common among newly clean and sober individuals. This statement, in-of-itself isn’t wrong. However, it misconstrues the concept of “one-day-at-a-time living. When I’m talking about living one day at a time, what I’m saying is that we need to stay in today by living in the moment. In other words, there’s nothing that we can do about what happened yesterday, and all we can do for tomorrow is plan and prepare. It is so easy to think that we may fail at something one day down the road and because of those thoughts, we never even begin to try!
In my first year of sobriety I decided that I wanted to go to college. I had a pretty good idea that I wanted to be a mental health counselor, but I knew that that would require getting a Master’s degree plus years of supervision. That seemed like such a momentous task, and I knew that it would take years. I explained to my father that I was probably too old that begin that journey (I was 25) because I would be 32 before I even finished school, and I should therefore just find a job that I could get right away and start making money. My dad responded to me with a simple, yet brilliant statement that has stuck with me to this day and that I pass on to people all the time. He told me “Time always passes, and God-willing, you will wake up and be 32 years old one day no matter what. You can wake up that day and have a Master’s degree or you can wake up and be in the same position you’re in today, but either way you’re going to be 32 years old. The only difference between the two situations are the choices you make today.”
I’m now 32 years old and have a Master’s degree.
I tell this story to point out that by focusing on what we need to do today instead of focusing on all the things that could go wrong in the future—we get things done! I’m reminded of a quote that’s often heard at the beginning of every Narcotics Anonymous meeting, “This sounds like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once. We didn’t become addicted in one day, so remember – Easy Does It. (1983)”
We can do together what we cannot do alone.
So a few years a go i asked that same question. Actually it was sort of the question that i backed into. Let me explain. One morning at our weekly men's breakfast meeting the topic turned to how can we get the steps (AAs 12 Steps) into the high schools. Since I am the one that usually gets those questions, my response was short and direct - we cant do that do to church and state issues. Not to be undone the leader of our little group said why don't you see what you can come up with and report back here and let us know.
Well I was pretty sure that I was going to do a quick search of the web and discovery what i already knew, there are not schools that have the 12 steps as their program. But when I entered the query what i got was amazing! Many many references to Recovery Schools, sober schools, etc. and the link to the Association of Recovery Schools it was at this site that i begin to learn what a Recovery School was about. Belor they outline what all schools have in common.
Recovery Schools seek:
Dan Renaud BS, CAP, ICADC