The Role of Sober High Schools in Continuing Care for Adolescent Alcohol
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Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a psychiatric syndrome that is prevalent in a large percentage of society. AUD is particularly important to study in adolescents ages 10-19 years, because this is a time of critical physical and neural development. Adolescents who are exposed to certain risk factors, such as low sociodemographic factors and limited social network, are more prone to develop AUD than adults exposed to the same risks. In recovery high schools around the US, adolescents are allowed a place for recovery where they are removed from risky environments. In this literature review, I analyze peer reviewed papers on risk factors and therapies surrounding continuing care for adolescent AUD. The risk factors include sociodemographic factors, genetics, health literacy, social networking, and conflict. The continuing care therapies analyzed include family based interventions, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and 12-step facilitation. I then discuss the application of these therapies and risk factors in the context of the University High School at the University of Texas, a sober high school where students are removed from risky environments. I argue that recovery high schools are beneficial for the continuing care of adolescents in recovery. I also argue that the formation of recovery high schools in partnership with college universities is beneficial for both parties. The goals of this effort are to provide adolescents in recovery with a structured mentorship system and access to extracurricular activities, ultimately benefitting in recovery.