Our 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 75% 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 and can understand the real impacts much earlier 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 have mapped these discrete behaviors into a staged progression. This staged progression can be used for self-assessment and education purposes with youth to augment the school SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) effort being mandated in many states.
Our recovery student co-designers ALL say they wish they had been educated much earlier 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 have communicated their trajectory and real life consequences of progressive substance misuse in a way that their peers can 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.