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Learn About the Alternative Peer Group (APG)

Recovery BUILD Alternative Peer Group (APG) – We are losing teens at an alarming rate to addiction. As a community, we need to find and fix the gaps. Recovery Build APG is a safe place where teens and young adults come together with their peers in recovery to build a sober life that will sustain them as they integrate into the broader recovery community. Research shows that adolescents are far more likely to relapse when experiencing social pressures than adults. This is a multi-faceted program for youth to collaborate and create a new sober life. The meetings, education, and the fun activities, designed for students, occur after school, on the weekends and during school vacations. The Cape Cod APG is a pilot program that will open in Spring 2018 with the intention of scaling the program out to other regions in the future.

Young people going back to the same community, friends and activities face extremely strong substance use triggers which result in high relapse rates and even deaths. Recovery Build APG provides hope and strong support for young people so they can be empowered to build amazing lives moving forward. This support model integrates recovering peers and prosocial activities into an evidence-based clinical practice.

The key components to the Recovery BUILD APG are
•Clinical counseling for the individual and families
•Peer recovery coaches
•Fun activities such as sober concerts, exercise classes, weekend camping trips
•Regular meetings, and a place to hang out with friends
•Group accountability
•Transition to a college, work and other recovery communities

Recovery BUILD APG is a collaborative effort involving many organizations in the Cape Cod community including the Duffy Health Center and the Gandara Treatment Centers. Thanks To our funders: The National Library of Medicine and The Tower Foundation for supporting this program. For more information, contact Stephanie Briody at

RAMPTM Risk Addiction Mapping ProgressionTM The screening, education and intervention framework is meant to identify risky behaviors in everyday language, in a staged progression so that young people can identify with them earlier. Given that ¾ of mental health and substance abuse issues start before age 24, more needs to be done to identify behaviors that come BEFORE an addiction, in a way that students can relate to them and understand the real impacts much earlier on in the process.

Using “patient journey mapping” research techniques with youth in recovery from addiction, we are identifying discrete everyday behaviors “on the ramp to addiction” as told by young people, using their own language. We will map these discrete behaviors into a staged progression. This staged progression will be used for self-assessment and education purposes with youth to augment school the SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) effort being mandated in many states. Our recovery student co-designers ALL say they were educated much earlier on about this progression, and they are eager to tell their stories to prevent others from experiencing the same painful trajectory.

So much of the effort in dealing with addiction, and especially in response to the opioid crisis, is addressing the issue at stage 4 when it is much more difficult to have a sustained recovery. Our co-designers will communicate their trajectory and real life consequences of progressive substance misuse in such a way that their peers will recognize those same behaviors and get off the ramp to addiction. This will be packaged in an app using evidence based motivational interviewing and goal setting techniques that serve to uncover the young person’s own reasons and strategies to stop or cut down their substance use. We are currently seeking funding for this project.