Young People in Recovery is a nonprofit advocacy group that helps communities be recovery-ready to protect youth seeking reprieve from drug addiction. The grassroots organization is based in Denver, Colorado.
I’m excited about the awesome work YPR does. Anyone can get involved. No matter where you live, YPR gives you the tools to incite change.
Why Can’t You Just Stop?
I hate those words.
“Just stop,” they said. “Why can’t you just stop?”
Because I can’t! I couldn’t just stop.
I used and sold drugs for ten years—from 17 to 27. Times got ugly. But for the most part, I thought I was the shit.
There I was: no job, no skills, no cares. Yet, drugs gave me a sense of power. With them, I had control.
With drugs, I was a boss.
“Why can’t you just stop?”
I know my parents meant well. I’m smart enough to know that my non-using friends wanted what’s best for me. Everyone knew I was using too much—except me.
But how do I just stop? Although everyone was quick to judge, nobody could answer that. Nobody could look me in the eyes and tell me how to be powerful, popular, and perfect.
That’s why I couldn’t stop—I was on top of the world—soaring!—before I fell, face first—splat!
I’m not stupid. Like every other addict, I know that the obvious first step towards sobriety is simple: don’t use drugs.
But then what?
Young People in Recovery Community Programs
The key to staying clean is having access to resources that strengthen your new life in sobriety.
Since most addicts try their first drug before turning 21, staying clean is tough. A lot of us lack skills. Most of us are unsure of what we want out of life.
We won’t admit it, but we think we’re too good for menial labor. After a taste of fast money, we lost our way. How do we live as others live and play by the rules?
Luckily, that’s where Young People in Recovery comes in. YPR develops programs, workshops, and regional chapters to assist young people in maintaining sobriety after using and selling drugs becomes a fundamental aspect of their social experience.
The Phoenix Program
Drug addiction often leaves young people broken. For those of us unlucky enough to have pending charges, or felonies, life unfolds without direction. We ask ourselves, “what now? How can I possibly get a job with a criminal record?”
Addiction leaves us clueless.
YPR’s Phoenix Program is about new beginnings. It provides training to young adults who are involved in the criminal justice system. By partnering with jails, prisons, and courts, YPR establishes a funnel for fact-based assistance that helps addicts build a sustainable life after crime. The Phoenix Program teaches young people with shoddy credit and bad background checks how to:
- access healthcare;
- find affordable housing;
- discover a sense of self-worth; and
- develop skills to land a job.
My Recovery is EPIC
You don’t need a criminal record to feel lost.
As a young person who abused drugs, I felt like I had squandered my youth—wasted it. In spite of this, I felt fine at the time.
Hell, at the time, I felt great. Drugs will do that. Drugs will lie, cheat, and steal to hold your self-worth hostage.
Now that I’m older, I realize the value of knowing how to do something besides surf social media.
YPR’s My Recovery Is EPIC program empowers you. With it, you develop important skills that enable you to enter the workforce like a #boss.
If you’re in recovery, then you know about 12 Step meetings. You know the value of a good sponsor.
Once you earn some clean time, you become the sponsor.
YPR helps communities take the idea of sponsorship a step further. A recovery coach is a trained individual who guides others through their most challenging times, sorta like a counselor. Although they lack the formal training of therapists, recovery coaches have a wealth of real-life experience from which you learn. They help addicts access resources that are otherwise unavailable to them.
If you’re interested, YPR will train you.
You might ask yourself, “how can an addict like me make a meaningful impact?”
Just try. Start right now. Start today.
For out-of-state addicts, YPR’s Preventative Health Initiative is out-of-reach. It’s based in Denver, Colorado. However, by studying its effectiveness, you can bring a similar service to your community. Project PHI is a program that assists young adults between the ages of 18 to 26 reduce their reliance on drugs and alcohol. It receives state funding to teach healthy living, life-skills, and financial literacy.
Project PHI demonstrates that rock bottom is the perfect place to build a solid foundation. If you desire to make a change, Young People in Recovery has a proven track record.
You can find funding. Making a change has never been easier.
Local YPR Chapters
Without people like you, YPR would not exist.
Get involved. Join a local chapter.
YPR trains people from all walks of life on effective, grass-roots methodology. The organization has 52 chapters in 21 states. If you want to get your town, or city, recovery-ready, then do it.
Young People Do Recover From Drug Addiction
Young people do recover. Fact.
It takes persistence. You can do it. Arm yourself with knowledge, and you are well on your way. Start on the right foot with Young People in Recovery.
Whether you have a year clean, a month clean, or a day clean, getting involved with service work will keep you sober. Pass the gift of sobriety onto the next addict. The beauty of helping others rests in the fact that, in the act of helping, you’re actually saving yourself.
Begin your journey toward lifelong sobriety early. You will afford yourself a clean, happy life.
Then next time an old friend asks, “why can’t you just stop?” Tell them:
Actually, boo? I did. Where were you?