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New Perspectives - Sep, 1999 Issue #61 

A Division of Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc.
Orange, California
Gary Stansberry, Adms. Coordinator

TOUCHSTONES is an adolescent alcohol and drug treatment program that uses what they call a “Social Model Program,” which they define as a program that uses role modeling and peer support to achieve their goals. “Desirable behaviors are modeled by other residents and the program staff similar to the way we learn appropriate activities and behaviors in society. Unlike methods found in traditional behavior modification programs, confrontation, shame, guilt and belittling techniques are not used in social model programs.”

“Recovery relies on changing life habits. At Touchstones, teens gradually develop coping skills by finding a voice within the community. As they realize self-esteem and self worth, they develop new attitudes and become increasingly capable of making healthy, responsible decisions about their behavior. Treatment includes: residential and non-residential phases with emphasis on family recovery and support services; group and individual counseling; introduction to community 12-step groups; and formal academic instruction.”

Their goal is to give children the coping skills to deal with “life in a family environment. Making appropriate living decisions and acceptable value judgments is the focus of much of the therapeutic interaction.” Alumni and aftercare support groups are an important part of their program, and family participation is important throughout the program. They provide a 1:2 ratio of staff to residents, with treatment being provided by a multi- disciplined team of trained specialists.

“Admission is available to any child who meets the following criteria: is at least at the 9th grade level in school and younger than 18; shows evidence of alcohol or other drug abuse; expresses a willingness to participate in a voluntary recovery program; and is free from medical problems requiring treatment in a hospital.”

“Most services are covered by many health insurance plans. Private party payment is determined on a sliding scale based on income.” They are also partially supported by County, State and Federal funds.

Copyright © 1999, 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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