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Exclusive Premiere Of Matt Butler’s Video for his inspirational song ‘Just One’, from the acclaimed documentary film, GENERATION FOUND, debuts on Billboard.com on December 7th. 

]The official music video for “Just One” is set to debut Wednesday, December 7th exclusively on Billboard.com.  Click and watch.
The official music video for “Just One” is set to debut Wednesday, December 7th exclusively on Billboard.com.
 
 
Inspiration has a way of being contagious and such is the case with a community in Houston, Texas that rose up together to face the problem of youth addiction head on. The community’s unprecedented efforts inspired filmmakers Greg Williams and Jeff Reilly to tell their story through a powerful new documentary called GENERATION FOUND
 
The film is an intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide. In this case, inspiration continues to pay it forward, as Williams’ and Reilly’s touching film has served as a catalyst for singer-songwriter Matt Butler’s new single, “Just One,” an original song written for GENERATION FOUND.
 

“Just One” is a moving call-to-action reminiscent of the revolutionary anthems of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.  Butler’s lyrics inspire us to see that while many may feel powerless to make a positive difference in our world, even the smallest individual act of compassion can multiply and ignite a revolution of love and healing.  Commenting on his experience working on the project, Matt Butler states, "There is nothing better than being able to do what you love in the service of a higher, greater good.  As an artist and as someone in recovery, writing ‘Just One’ for the film GENERATION FOUND gave me the chance to do exactly that.  This experience has been a gift and I’m grateful to be a part of this moment."

The official music video for “Just One” is set to debut Wednesday, December 7th exclusively on Billboard.com. (Watch it here). The video echoes GENERATION FOUND’s message of hope and inspiration with powerful imagery from the film interwoven with clips of Butler’s energetic and impassioned performance of a song that comes from his heart and hits close to home. Having struggled with addiction himself, Butler hopes the upcoming music video for “Just One” will show that recovery is not only possible, but that it is beautiful, and it all begins if we can help just one. 

Generation Found is being distributed by Gathr Films and will be premiering in New York City on Wednesday December 14th at SVA Theater located at 333 West 23rd Street.  Truly an event not to be missed, there will be a reception, a Q&A with a stellar set of panel speakers including the film’s creator Greg Williams, and Matt Butler will be performing “Just One” live over the end credits.

Purchase your tickets HERE.


About Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a folk artist, a rock’n roller, and a storyteller from New York City.  Released in September of 2016, Butler’s critically acclaimed debut album Reckless Son is a poignant confession of Butler’s struggle with alcoholism and addiction and his inspiring path to recovery. Rich and masterful storytelling makes a listen through the record a journey of its own.  Immediately following the release, Butler wrote and performed “Just One,” the original song for the feature length and nationally distributed documentary GENERATION FOUND.  Learn more about Matt at www.mattbutlerofficial.com 

About GENERATION FOUND

GENERATION FOUND (www.generationfoundfilm.com) is a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community. GENERATION FOUND is a great way to catalyze a dialogue on youth addiction and recovery issues in your community. The film has teamed up with independent film distributor Gathr® Films to make bringing GENERATION FOUND to your local community easier than ever.

 

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The Benefits and Challenges of Recovery High Schools

 

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Research has shown that 9 out of 10 people who suffer from addiction get their start on this path during their teenage years. It usually starts out fairly innocuous, smoking a joint here and there with friends or drinking on the weekends, but in time this gives way to an increase in usage and ever growing dangerous behaviors.

Yet knowing that the disease of addiction gets its start during teenage years did not affect the way that we treated adolescents for substance abuse, and for many years the only treatment options available were based on adult-models of rehabilitation. These teens would be sent away to drug treatment only to return to their same high schools, where the people they used with and sometimes even their dealers surrounded them. They would be asked to attend 12 Step meeting with people who were twice or sometimes three or four times their age, leaving them with a slim chance at relating or finding a fellowship that they felt comfortable in. There were no real services available to these adolescents beyond what we offered to adults and because of this many teens were unable to find success in recovery.

That was until the advent of Recovery High Schools in the late 1980s, which was a new concept of treatment that looked to surround adolescents in services and support as they made their journey through High School and College. These Recovery High School proposed that just getting teens sober was not enough, but that there needed to be an extra level of support in order to ensure that they made it out of these formative years sober, at which point they could then face recovery as adults.

One of the main benefits of looking at teenage recovery this way is that it gives kids who are attempting to get and stay sober a sense of community that they could not have had otherwise. It allows them to be surrounded by people their own age who are sober and because of this they are able to participate in a recovery fellowship that they can relate to, which is an integral part of staying sober.

Since these schools have an emphasis on recovery, students who attend are able to get an extra layer of support that they would not be able to receive at their regular high schools. This is not to say that public schools do not attempt to have resources for students in recovery, but since many are already underfunded and overworked, students can fall through the cracks much easier. Recovery High Schools do not have this same problem because sobriety and education are interwoven, which place the students in the best possible situation to maintain their recovery.

Many of these schools also incorporate some sort of Alternative Peer Group, that allows for support outside of the school setting. These Alternative Peer Groups, or APGs, act as a sort of 12 Step meeting specifically for kids who are under the age of 18. What this does is gives students the ability to relate to people their own age in regards to recovery and see what living a sober life looks like when you are an adolescent. For many teens understanding that they can live a sober and happy life is difficult to comprehend, so seeing that it is not only possible, but infinitely better than living a life of addiction is a great motivator for continued recovery.

Although, Recovery High Schools do face their own set of challenges, many of which are related to getting the funding necessary to continue to operate. Those schools that rely solely on public funding often find it difficult to keep their doors open because operating a Recovery High School can be costly. They not only have to educate students, many of whom have missed a significant amount of school and are behind, but they also have to offer counseling which can be tremendously expensive. Due to this some recovery schools have been shut down, even though the work they were doing was very promising.

It is also important to note that creating a curriculum that falls in line with State and Federal mandates, while also taking into account any emotional and psychological needs of the students can be very difficult. The students who attend Recovery High Schools often times have run into legal troubles, been expelled from a number of schools, and may have underlying psychological issues that need to be dealt with. Taking all of this into consideration and then finding a way to educate these students in a meaningful way is a tall order, and while many schools have done just that, it is still a challenge nonetheless.

For all of the challenges faced by Recovery High School the work they are doing is important and of students surveyed, 80% have said they are doing better with drugs and alcohol, 71% have said they are doing better academically, and 59% feel they have improved emotionally. Many of the students who attend Recovery High Schools would never have dreamed of attending college if they continued on their path of addiction, but many of these schools have a high college acceptance rate.

As the dialogue on addiction continues to shift in this country towards education and prevention, rather than incarceration and punishment, it will be interesting to see where Recovery High Schools fall into the discourse. So far they have shown to be effective in helping adolescents maintain sobriety, so hopefully in the future they will become more readily available and the issues of funding will be dealt with.


Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

Alternative Peer Groups: A Powerful Tool for Youth Recovery

by Dr. Crystal Collier

For anyone who has ever been in an Intensive Outpatient Program, you know that they are highly successful in treating substance use disorders but getting through 9-11 hours of group therapy every week for 8-16 weeks can be difficult for even the most focused adult. However, for a teenager…it can be arduous and boring to keep your but in a seat for so many hours per week!

Introducting Alternative Peer Groups (APGs)

An Alternative Peer Group (APG) is a community-based, family-centered, professionally staffed, positive peer support program that offers prosocial activities, counseling, and case-management for people who struggle with substance use or self-destructive behaviors. APGs are a much better fit for the adolescent who struggles with substance use and co-occurring disorders because the main focus is to offer and shape a new peer group that utilizes positive peer pressure to stay sober. In addition, APGs focus on making sobriety more fun than using by organizing and staffing sober social functions throughout the week, weekends, and summers.

Statistics on APGs

A 2011 study evaluated the perceived attachment to parents of 114 adolescents enrolled in an APG compared with 127 students from a local high school. Results from this study suggest that adolescents enrolled in an APG perceive greater attachment to and experience improved communication and trust with their parents compared with control group participants. Parents of adolescents enrolled in APGs were surveyed during this study and reported that the program helped improve their relationships with their children and other family members. In addition, these parents reported that the programs taught them how to set effective boundaries and support their adolescents in recovery (Rochat et al., 2011).

Another study found that APG participants described their APG as a place where they found a positive peer group, where they were accepted and learned new ways of coping with problems without using drugs or alcohol (Nelson et al, 2015). Currently, a pilot study is underway to collect data on the efficacy and process of change that adolescents and their families go through while attending an APG that just received funding through the Hogg Foundation.

Creating Enthusiastic Recovery in Your Community

On Febuary 10th, 2017, The Council on Recovery is hosting an Alternative Peer Group Conference to teach anyone in the country how to build, create, and maintain an Alternative Peer Group in their community. Each presenter at the conference is an actual owner and leader of a local Houston APG including Palmer Drug Abuse Program which is the original APG that began in Houston over 40 years ago. Other speakers at the conference include the directors of Houston’s two recovery high schools including John Cates of Cates Academy and Sasha McLean of Archway Academy. People who have seen Generation Found will recognize Sasha from the film. APG participants themselves will also be in attendance to discuss their lived experience. Conference participants will also have a chance to attend a local APG function on Friday night to view an actual sober social function.

In addition to teaching community leaders how to create, build, and maintain Alternative Peer Groups, we hope to inspire the proliferation of recovery schools so that more teens can feel safe and supported in sober environments during and after school. We will highlight how APGs and recovery schools in Houston have built a collaboration that withstands the test of tumultuous economies and funding deficits. Of course, the heart of our hope is that kids everywhere get the help they need and learn that sobriety can be more fun the using!

Generation Found Kicking Off the Event 

The Alternative Peer Group Conference will kick off with with a screening of Generation Found on February 9th, which is about the recovery journey of a couple of adolescents who attended APGs and recovery schools. Screening the film pays homage to the film makers who brought Houston’s recovery community into the national spotlight. The movie is a beautiful example of the trials, tribulations, and joys of how adolescents can navigate recovery with the help of a community who rallies around them. Showing the movie also sets the stage for the conference which will teach others how to re-create what they see in the move.

The Houston APG community hopes to share this model of youth recovery to the nation so that many other communities can learn how to come together and support our teens along their journey in a world filled with such a variety of high-risk behavior. We hope the film will inspire others to build APGs and recovery high schools that will offer long-term treatment for adolescence recovering from substance use disorders, mental health issues, and family problems.

Register for the conference at events@councilonrecovery.org. 

For more information about The Council on Recovery, please visit www.councilonrecovery.org.

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About the Author crystal_collier

Dr. Crystal Collier has been working with adolescents and adults suffering from mental illness, behavior disorders, and substance abuse since 1991.  She possesses a master’s degree in clinical psychology and a doctorate in counselor education. Her area of expertise includes adolescent brain development, prevention programming, independent living skills training, parent coaching, and training new clinicians. Crystal is currently the Director of the Behavioral Health Institute and the Choices Prevention Program for The Council on Recovery. Her innovative, comprehensive prevention program, Choices, recently was selected for the 2015 Prevention and Education Commendation from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The Choices program is currently being implemented in eight local schools. In addition, Crystal and her research partner from the University of Texas, Angi Nash, PhD, recently received a Hogg Grant to begin the Alternative Peer Group Efficacy pilot study in Houston, Texas. Crystal’s mission is to make recovery more fun than using drugs or alcohol!


Referrences: 

  • Collier, C., Hilliker, R., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2013, November). Alternative peer             group: A model for youth recovery. The Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery.
  • Nash, A., Marcus, M., Engebretson, J., & Bukstein, O. (2015). Recovery From Adolescent Substance Use Disorder: Young People in Recovery Describe the Process and Keys to Success in an Alternative Peer Group. Journal Of Groups In Addiction & Recovery10(4), 290. doi:10.1080/1556035X.2015.1089805
  • Nelson, J. A., Henderson, S. E., & Lackey, S. (2015). Adolescent recovery from substance use in alternative peer groups: A revelatory case study. Counseling Outcome Research And Evaluation, 6(2), 100-112. doi:10.1177/2150137815596044
  • Rochat, R., Rossiter, A., Nunley, E., Bahavar, S., Ferraro, K, MacPherson, C., & Basinger, S. (2011). Alternative peer groups: Are they effective? Manuscript in preparation.

December Screenings

Generation Found may be coming to a theatre near you this December. Be sure to check out the list of screenings below and reserve your tickets through the link ASAP: 

Screening# Venue City Venue State Screening Date Screening Time
http://gathr.us/screening/18569 Clinton Township MI 2016-12-05 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18396 New Braunfels TX 2016-12-12 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18552 Hyannis MA 2016-12-12 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18640 Lincolnshire IL 2016-12-12 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18426 Norwalk CT 2016-12-13 01:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18462 New Haven CT 2016-12-13 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18307 New York NY 2016-12-14 07:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18320 Oklahoma City OK 2016-12-14 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18499 New Hartford NY 2016-12-14 07:30 PM

 

Don't see your city listed above? Good news! GENERATION FOUND can now be viewed in three ways. Choose your viewing option: 

  • Host a Screening at a Theater
  • Host a Community Screening: This is a Single Screening Rental. This license grants the purchaser one (1) public screening of the film. The price depends on the estimated size of the audience and whether the event will be free to the public or if admission will be charged. Because the license associated with this purchase is for a single screening, you may only show the film once, and must purchase a separate DVD/license for any additional events where to wish to show the film.
  • Purchase a copy for your school, library, treatment center or nonpofit: This an Institutional & Public viewing License that includes the right to use the film in a classroom, library or other small face to face setting for the life of the DVD.

ABOUT THE FILM: 

GENERATION FOUND, a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.

Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

To learn more about the film or how to host a screening in your own community, please visit www.generationfoundilm.com.

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Announcing the Educational Release of Generation Found!


We are thrilled to expand the release of Generation Found so anyone now can experience this powerful film in their city. Here's how you can bring Generation Found to your community:

  • Institutional License: if you are an educational institution, film society, library, or non-profit organization with the intent of screening to groups of few people than 50 when no admission is charged, this is the option for you. Click here to purchase an Institutional License

If you have any questions about which screening type make sense for you or if you need an invoice for your organization contact us at PSL@Gathr.us


ABOUT THE FILM: 

GENERATION FOUND, a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.

Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

WATCH THE TRAILER:

"Peer-driven youth and family recovery

It’s Giving Tuesday: Please Support Our JUST ONE Pledge Music Campaign

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Giving Tuesday is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. It started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

On that note, we’d like to ask for your charity today in support of Giving Tuesday and our JUST ONE pledge music campaign.

Just One is the original song for our film, Generation Found, which highlights the city of Houston and how it was devastated by an epidemic of drug addiction, thus facing the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.The results from their cumulative efforts will surprise and move you, as it did Matt Butler, who was asked to write the closing credit song for the movie. Titled “Just One”, it capsulizes the power that one person’s actions can have to set off a chain reaction of love and desire to make a difference in the world.

Matt is offering up this song through PledgeMusic with all the proceeds going to support the distribution and promotion of GENERATION FOUND in hopes that more communities will learn of these life saving efforts and incorporate some of these lessons into their own recovery assistance initiatives.

There are also other exclusives offered up by Matt and the filmmakers, so please check them out and let your support be heard by making a pledge to help fight the scourge that is drug addiction. You can also find out about attending, or hosting, a screening in your community by going to: http://generationfoundfilm.com/see-the-film

DONATE to our JUST ONE Music Campaign here.

Generation Found Film is Coming to NYC on December 14th and in a Big Way

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Generation Found is coming to New York City on December 14th at 6 P.M and in a huge way! This special screening will be held at the SVA Theater located at 333 West 23rd Street and will kick off red-carpet style with a professional photographer and light refreshments, including Mocktails!

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring the film’s creator, Greg Williams, and Generation Found film stars, Sasha Coles McLean and Emilio Parker. The event will be moderated by Joe Shrank and leaders from the forefront of the recovery movement, such as Cortney Lovell. will be in attendance.

Generation Found Film's National Outreach Director, Mario Diurno, explains: "We are throwing this event on the heals of the Surgeon General’s recently released report, Facing Addiction In America. We want to use this film as a tool to help communities face addiction head on–and the only way we can do that is by creating an opportunity and safe place to talk about it. That's what these film screenings are all about, and honestly, I don't know a better way to spend three hours of my time. Event attendees can expect to be educated, empowered, and entertained in the heart of NYC  –and for less than $15!"

At the screening, singer and songwriter, Matt Butler, will be performing the film’s original song '‘Just One’ live over the end credits. Matt Butler is someone who struggled with addiction and mental health throughout his high school years and having the chance to write this song for the film and share this message represents a full circle.

ABOUT THE FILM: 

GENERATION FOUND, a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.

Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

Reserve your tickets here.  

Download the event flyer: gen-found-screening-flyer-nyc

To learn more about the film or how to host a screening in your own community, please visit www.generationfoundilm.com.

Generation Found November 2016 Screenings:

Generation Found may be coming to a theatre near you this November!  Be sure to check out the list of screenings below and reserve your tickets through the link ASAP: 

Screening Link Venue Venue City Venue State Screening Date Screening Time
http://gathr.us/screening/18099 Pastime Pavilion 8 Lexington SC 2016-11-01 06:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/17517 Deptford 8  Woodbury NJ 2016-11-01 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/17385 University Town Center 6 Irvine CA 2016-11-03 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/16323 Franklin Mills Mall 14 Philadelphia PA 2016-11-07 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18186 Foothill 12 Maryville TN 2016-11-07 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/17957 Northampton Cinema 14 Easton PA 2016-11-14 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18269 Patriot Cinemas at the Hingham Shipyard Hingham MA 2016-11-14 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18277 Sandhill Stadium 16 & Rpx Columbia SC 2016-11-14 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/17235 Green Hills Stadium 16 Nashville TN 2016-11-15 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18138 Rosedale 14  Saint Paul MN 2016-11-15 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18165 Headquarters 10 Morristown NJ 2016-11-15 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18299 Dickson City Stadium 14 & Imax Dickson City PA 2016-11-15 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18254 Tempe Marketplace 16 Tempe AZ 2016-11-16 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/16361 M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC) Atherton CA 2016-11-17 07:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/17514 Valley Mall Stadium 16 Hagerstown MD 2016-11-24 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18257 Century City 15 IMAX  Los Angeles CA 2016-11-28 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18415 Colonie Center Stadium 13 Albany NY 2016-11-28 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18451 Showplace 16 – Naperville Naperville IL 2016-11-28 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18464 Cypress Creek Station Stadium 16 Fort Lauderdale FL 2016-11-28 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18106 Massillon Stadium 12 Massillon OH 2016-11-29 03:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18159 Regal Waterford 9 Waterford CT 2016-11-29 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18387 Westmoreland 15 Greensburg PA 2016-11-29 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18048 Parkwood Cinema Waite Park MN 2016-11-30 07:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18318 Loews Port Chester 14 Port Chester NY 2016-11-30 07:00 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18059 Stonington 10 Pawcatuck CT 2016-11-30 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18352 Houston Marq'E Stadium 23 & Imax Houston TX 2016-11-30 07:30 PM
http://gathr.us/screening/18395 Cinema 9 Theatres Lufkin TX 2016-11-30 07:30 PM

IGNITING A YOUTH RECOVERY REVOLUTION 

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The National Youth Recovery Alliance (NYRA) was inspired by GENERTAION FOUND, a documentary film that focuses on a unique approach to adolescent and young adult substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Throughout the nation, local communities have hosted screenings of this important film as a way of educating about the youth addiction crisis in their hometown, connecting with key providers and allies, and advocating for the expansion of youth recovery support services throughout their state.

Regarding the film, Bill White, the author of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, stated, "The film Generation Found masterfully portrays the story of a youth-focused recovery revolution that could profoundly reshape the future of addiction, addiction treatment, and addiction recovery in the United States. This landmark film will serve as a dynamic catalyst for community education and mobilization. Organizing recovery support systems within high schools and collegiate communities is one of the most important developments within America's response to alcohol and other drug problems among adolescents and young adults. Generation Found beautifully conveys how such systems of support are transforming one American community. I commend this film to everyone concerned about the future of young people in America."

The film aims to ignite a youth recovery revolution throughout the nation by showing an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

To learn more about Generation Found and how you can support the youth recovery revolution visit: GenerationFoundFilm.com

4 Recovery Support Services Critical to Combatting America’s Youth Addiction Crisis

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According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence ‘there is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and drugs than young people’.  A recent study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University further validates this point by revealing that ‘90 percent of Americans who are addicted to tobacco, alcohol or other substances started smoking, drinking or using drugs before they were 18 year'.

The study also found that one-quarter of Americans who began using any addictive substance before age 18 are addicted, compared with one in 25 Americans who started using an addictive substance when they were 21 or older. Additionally, nearly half of American high school students now smoke, drink or use other drugs.

Since using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed dramatically increases the risk for future addiction, it is critical that family members, friends, and allies come together to support and educate about the new types of recovery support services available to our young people in order to combat America's growing addiction crisis before it is too late.  

Gaps in education, gaps in resources

Despite the startling statistics listed above, only 11% of young adults ages 18-25 with illicit drug dependence received treatment in 2015.  This low number showcases three critical points:  1) there is a significant lack of recovery resources available to our upcoming generations throughout the nation and 2) a lack of awarenss of the various types of supports available in each community, and 3) young people are tragically unaware of the dangers surrounding their substance use until they reach a later age and are forced to seek support because they've hit rock bottom.   

Initially, a young person may dabble with substances for a variety of reasons, such as peer pressure, lack of parental support or a positive role model, or substances are being misused within the home. However, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, whether or not they will develop alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by their genetics. If one has a history of alcoholism or addiction within the family, they will be four times more likely to develop an addiction to substances. As a result, young people will often find themselves addicted without fully comprehending what this even means, and before they know it they are headed down a troubling path that can lead to alcohol poisoning. drug overdose, an accident while under the influence, a police arrest which can jeopardize their reputation and freedom, and/or long-term health issues.

Innovative recovery support solutions making an impact:

Throughout the nation, public funding for substance use disorder  prevention, treatment, and recovery support services does not match current or projected needs for any of these services that are funded by public dollars. Fortunately, there are a handful of innovative and evidence-based recovery support solutions available to  help our young people to successfully transition from active addiction to sustained recovery and overall wellness. However, these supports are limited, which is why exactly we need to more education and awareness about their programs and the impact they can have so we can expand these services into other areas.  These supports include:

  1. Alternative peer groups: An Alternative Peer Group (APG) is a community-based, family-centered, professionally staffed, positive, peer support program that offers prosocial activities, counseling, and case-management for people who struggle with substance use or self-destructive behaviors. APGs provide recovery services outside of school or work hours that include counseling, family support, case management, psychosocial education, community recovery support, and sober social functions for weekdays and weekends.
  2. Recovery high schools:   Recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or dependency. Much like traditional high schools, recovery high schools often include administrative staff, teachers, and counselors that each play a critical role in supporting their students. Additionally, recovery schools support students in working a strong program of recovery from substance use disorders or co-occurring issues and offer support for families learning to how to live with, and provide support for, their teens entering into the recovery lifestyle. Recovery high schools may employ substance abuse counselors or mental health professionals that play a critical role in supporting recovering youth. Recovery high schools educate all available and eligible students who are in recovery from substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and award secondary school diplomas that meet state requirements.
  3. Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) and Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs): CRPs and CRCs provide the education, resources, and community connection needed to help change the trajectory of recovering student’s lives. A collegiate recovery program is a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces collegiate recovery community members decision to disengage from addictive behavior. It is designed to provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure that students do not have to sacrifice one for the other.
  4. Young People in Recovery Chapters: Young People in Recovery (YPR) is a national grassroots advocacy organization focused on creating recovery-ready communities throughout the nation for young people in, or seeking, recovery. YPR aims to improve access to treatment, educational resources, employment opportunities, and secure, quality housing on the local, state, and national levels. By creating a national network of young people in recovery, we empower young people to get involved in their communities by providing them with the tools and support to take charge of their futures.  The YPR national leadership team creates and cultivates local community-led chapters through grassroots organizing and training. Chapters support young people in or seeking recovery by empowering them to obtain stable employment, secure suitable housing, and explore continuing education. Chapters also advocate on the local and state levels for better accessibility of these services and other effective recovery resources.

A Case Study: Houston, Texas

For over forty years, Houston, Texas has been serving youth, young adults, and families through the use of a continuum of care model, which includes supporting youth in recovery through Alternative Peer Groups. The power of youth recovery groups to make sobriety more fun than using grew within the community as APGs expanded and flourished. With five APGs offering satellite locations throughout the Houston and surrounding areas by 2002, the stage was set to sustain two recovery high schools that opened their doors in 2003. Students who attend these two recovery high schools are required to maintain enrollment in a local APG. This requirement has proven to be the key to sustaining an integrated recovery system for Houston’s recovering youth. Students’ recovery, as well as their families’, is supported during the day at school and reinforced in the evenings and weekends in their APGs.

The evidence in Houston shows that these types of wrap around services create a more comprehensive and balanced environment for adolescents. Communities, who have shifted from an acute care system to this more holistic approach, are seeing very positive outcomes thanks to the support that young people are receiving at each stage of their early development.

Introducing: National Youth Recovery Alliance (NYRA)

In response to the rising tide of requests for youth specific recovery resources throughout the nation, the National Youth Recovery Alliance (NYRA) was created by linking youth recovery organizations together through an online platform. NYRA is an interconnected network of resources that anyone can and should be able to access easily through the web. The landing page links community leaders, young people, families, and professionals directly to each of the national organizations that specialize in a specific niche of the continuum of services model. The graphic below illustrates the NYRA continuum of services available depending upon the needs of the youth: 

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Igniting a Youth Recovery Revolution

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The National Youth Recovery Alliance (NYRA) was inspired by GENERTAION FOUND, a documentary film that focuses on a unique approach to adolescent and young adult substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery support services. Throughout the nation, local communities have hosted screenings of this important film as a way of educating about the youth addiction crisis in their hometown, connecting with key providers and allies, and advocating for the expansion of youth recovery support services throughout their state.

Regarding the film, Bill White, the author of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, stated, "The film Generation Found masterfully portrays the story of a youth-focused recovery revolution that could profoundly reshape the future of addiction, addiction treatment, and addiction recovery in the United States. This landmark film will serve as a dynamic catalyst for community education and mobilization. Organizing recovery support systems within high schools and collegiate communities is one of the most important developments within America's response to alcohol and other drug problems among adolescents and young adults. Generation Found beautifully conveys how such systems of support are transforming one American community. I commend this film to everyone concerned about the future of young people in America."

The film aims to ignite a youth recovery revolution throughout the nation by showing an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

To learn more about Generation Found and how you can support the youth recovery revolution visit: GenerationFoundFilm.com

Article written by Shannon Egan 

Additional Resources:

6 Reasons Why You Should Host a Community Screening of Generation Found

gf-social-12Film is a powerful tool to help ignite conversation, raise awareness, and drive social change. This is exactly why we created our feature documentary film, GENERATION FOUND.

GENERATION FOUND is an inspiring story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.”

With nearly 13,000 tickets sold nationwide, our film has already led to a powerful movement to action in a short period of time. But we can and should do more.  Nine out ten of the 22 million Americans suffering from addiction began using as teenagers, and overdoses are now the leading cause of death for young people under 35.  Now is the time to help empower the youth recovery revolution and you can do this by bringing our important film to your community. Here are 6 reasons why hosting a screening is of benefit:

  1. CONTINUING EDUCATION: Film screenings are a great way to educate your community about youth addiction issues and recovery resources specific to your area.  It’s also a great way for you to educate your community members about how and why they should get more involved. Think of the screening as 'continuing education' for people who are lifelong students. Since the issue of young people addiction is paramount across the nation, the film will resonate with your community members and attract activists and professionals working on similar causes, which can lead to ongoing engagement, collaboration, and education around the issues and resolutions discussed in the film.
  2. CONTINUING CONVERSATIONS: GENERATION FOUND aims to catalyze a dialogue on youth addiction and recovery issues across the globe, but the conversation has to start somewhere, and this is why your local recovery community is critical to the success of a larger conversation. There are several ways to create a powerful conversation during and after your screening. For your screening: bring in the filmmakers for a Question and Answer session so audience members can deeper understand the issues, gain behind-the-scenes insight, and get caught up on the storyline. If the filmmaker is not local and you're on a tight budget, consider bringing in a professor, writer, or practicing professional in the addiction field. After your screening: develop an ongoing communication plan and present it at the screening. Collect contact information so that you can host community listening forms in the months to come.
  3. BUIDLING RELATIONSHIPS: Some of the people who attend your screening will be friends or family members, but if you plan it right, many of your audience members will be people who have never really supported before or even known much about your organization. Now is your chance to engage with them. Give them a call or other form of contact, and find out what interests them and whether there’s a way they might become further involved with your organization. Perhaps you can get them to share their recovery story for your social platforms, volunteer at an event, subscribe to your newsletter, or donate to your cause.
  4. CREATING LEADERS. Your community is in need of passionate and dedicated recovery leaders to help sustain the recovery movement and drive it forward. Use your screening as a way of identifying potential  leaders. Who stands out? Let your audience members know you are looking for leaders to help educate about addiction and recovery, and to reduce barriers and the stigma surrounding addiction that people in recovery face every day.  Harnessing supporters of your screening and turning them into leaders can empower your community members and raise awareness about the issues and your organization later down the road.
  5. RAISING BRAND AWARNESS: Use your screening to get your business in front of potential partners. Answer their questions and highlight some of the local successes you or your organization have had. People want to invest in their backyard and local community and communicating face to face with individuals is a great way to remind them that the issues in the film are not isolated to the other cities or can only be found on a national level, they are local and you are there to help make an impact locally.
  6. RAISING FUNDS: We have learned from experience that individual reactions and emotional connection to a film is increased dramatically when they are sitting in a packed movie theater watching a well-crafted film about something they are passionate about on the big screen. The key to turning your screening into a fundraiser is harnessing that excitement and passion and we have ways to integrate asks into your screening marketing and communication plan very easily.  Learn more here…  

GENERTAION FOUND has teamed up with independent film distributor Gathr® Films to make bringing GENERATION FOUND to your local theater easier than ever! Contact Mario@GenerationFoundFilm.com for more information or check out our FAQ and Movie Captain support networks here: Host a Screening.

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