RETORNO’S YOUTH PROGRAM
is a full inpatient therapeutic community for teenagers ages 14 to 18. Funded by Israel’s Welfare Department, the program accommodates up to 48 youth, with separate divisions for boys and girls. The program lasts approximately 18 months.
Besides the physical distance from chemical substances, the youth are also far away from the location in which they were using them. The therapeutic community is a group of kids who, with the help of positive peer pressure, are able to experiment with living a life without drugs and alcohol.
The kids attend RETORNO’S high school and take their matriculation exams for grades 10 and 12, as well as the Bagrut examination. Besides feeling empowered by their successes, they leave the program having completed part or all of their high school education. They can move on to institutions of higher education, army service, or employment.
The focus of treatment at RETORNO’S Youth Program is not on drug and alcohol use, but rather what drove them to use in the first place. Groups are an essential part of treatment, providing a sense of recognition, acceptance, belonging, and togetherness — a first-time experience for many kids.
In addition to self-care, every client has communal responsibilities. Having arrived feeling hopeless, helpless, and frustrated, with no trust in organizations or the educational system, these kids transition into young adults who can both give and receive support.
The combination of a group structure and lots of individualized attention and therapy helps them advance in their personal development and their studies. The 12 Steps program is an essential tool that teaches kids to take responsibility for themselves.
Phases of Treatment
Treatment has four phases:
Beginner Phase: Acclimating to the program and learning to accept the structure and rules
Phase 1: Acquiring tools to deal with emotions
Phase 2: Increased personal and communal responsibility
Phase 3: Gearing up for reintegration into society
Family involvement is essential. RETORNO provides:
- Weekly supervised family visits
- Parent groups, offering mutual support, help, understanding, and implementation strategies for family health
- Family therapy to improve parent-child communication and engender healthy relationships
We stay in touch with our graduates. They often stop by to visit for the day or Shabbat, to gain support, and get (or give) a hug. We invite our graduates to share their stories to current clients in order to encourage them, and to outside populations as part of our outreach and prevention programs. Besides inspiring others, these speaking opportunities are a powerful reminder of the road they’ve traveled, a strong motivator to stay clean.
Typical success rates for drug and alcohol rehab programs range from 12% to 20%. Among youth who received treatment in RETORNO’S Youth Program over the past four years, 70% have completed the entire treatment process, remaining drug-free.
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