NCADD Westchester, Inc. has developed a psycho-education, experiential program aimed at young adults who are involved in underage drinking. The purpose of this program is to provide young adults who have been convicted of an underage drinking offense with the information necessary for them to avoid future alcohol/drug problems and to understand the dangers and risks associated with it.
Session 1: Knowledge of Alcohol and Other Drugs
Students become more knowledgeable of the neurobiology of drugs and alcohol. The session covers the current data regarding the neurophysiology of alcohol and other drug use, including the effects of alcohol and drugs on the developing adolescent brain and other biological processes. Students learn the definitions of alcohol use, abuse, and dependence and discuss the use of alcohol as a "gateway" drug predisposing individuals to develop other drug problems.
Session 2: Risks and Consequences of Underage Use
The many consequences of alcohol and drug use can include violence and impulsive, unprotected sexual behavior. Also, many people do not realize that students convicted of a drug offense are denied financial aid when it comes time to apply to college. In addition to the legal, social, and medical consequences, there are also psychological consequences of substance abuse. Escapism and self-medication can also become habits that are hard to unlearn. Many other risk factors are presented to students as well.
Session 3: Peer Pressure and How To Say "No"
This session focuses on developing refusal skills and learning techniques to stay sober, including building a sober support network. Students are required to attend an open AA meeting with a parent prior to session three so that it can be processed and discussed during sessions three and four.
Session 4: Just the Facts
This session begins with a presentation of the statistics concerning underage alcohol and other drug use. It concludes with a wrap-up discussion of the signs or indicators of alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, risk factors and preventative measures, and ways of intervening or getting help. At least one parent is asked to attend this session with the student.