Teens engaged in group therapy

An Introduction to the 12-Step Program

As a young person impacted by addiction or substance abuse, your teen will need significant social support in order to stay on the path of recovery. Especially during teen years, when the need for social connection is high and self-identity is just forming, young people look to their peer group for validation and acceptance. For teens living in a world where risk-taking and substance use are too often the norm, this need for social connection can be directly at odds with a commitment to recovery.

12-Step peer support groups for young people offer a safe and nurturing community in which your teen can form social bonds and explore relationships with others who are committed to a life of healthy choices. Muir Wood teens are actively involved in 12-Step groups, attending group sessions in the community.

At Muir Wood, we believe that active participation in 12-Step communities while in treatment is critical for a teen’s long-term sobriety. This participation provides your child:

  • Positive reinforcement from other teens who are choosing a life of recovery
  • The daily structure and reinforcement necessary in early recovery
  • The chance to learn how to have fun without substances
  • Coping strategies for recovery outside of residential treatment
  • The opportunity to learn the value of being of service to others
  • The chance to build confidence and leadership skills through organizing groups, and leading meetings
  • A sustainable support system that can be easily accessed in just about any community throughout the country

In addition to active community participation in 12-Step peer support groups, teens in recovery for substance use disorders (not all are) work the 12-Steps in their daily lives on campus. These teens are guided by their therapists to work through daily struggles using the principles of the 12-Steps, whether they are facing addiction-related issues or learning to manage difficult relationships, academic challenges, or personal conflict.