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New Perspectives - Dec, 1994 Issue #31 

PATHWAYS of Casa Grande
Casa Grande, Arizona
Pete Anderson, Dir. of Program Development

Opening their doors on January 6th of this year, Pathways offers a drug Rehabilitation experience for 32 boys and girls ages 13 to 18 which averages 45 days in length. They distinguish between young people who suffer from chemical dependencies and those who abuse drugs for other reasons, and are very clear they want only those with an addiction disease. Pete Anderson has worked in the chemical addiction field for many years, and tells me the cases he has been seeing over the years seem to be getting worse in terms of poly-drug abuse and intensity of the dependency. 

Their young people come mostly from Arizona, but they are enrolling a few young people from surrounding states, and at least one emotional growth school has started referring to Pathways as a preliminary experience to enrollment at the emotional growth school. The plan is for Pathways to help the child get a handle on his/her addiction issues so he/she is ready to work on the other emotional and behavioral issues at the emotional growth school. The intent is similar to those long term schools which refer to short term wilderness programs as a preliminary to the long term enrollment, that is, jolt the child out of his/her denial so he/she is ready to fully take advantage of the opportunities at the long term residential school. 

They are proud of the multicultural experience they provide their young people, which is based on the fact that their clientele includes children with native American, Hispanic and Anglo heritage, as well as children from all economic levels. For example, the children might go through a native American sweat lodge experience. This not only gives those from other cultures an insight into the native American culture, but also opens all the children to spiritual issues in a non-threatening way. 

Virtually all of their graduates are referred on to some kind of after-care program, whether that be an emotional growth school, a half-way house, or counseling and local community support for those who are returning home. The Pathways program includes a one year post program so all graduates can have contact and support from the Pathways staff to complement what-ever program the child has moved on to. 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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