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Addiction Treatment Offered To Teens In Rochester

Recently, a new program has been established at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The peer-to-peer assistance course helps recovering addicts overcome their substance abuse issues while working toward living a sober lifestyle.

Since last week, the Rochester Community Recovery Center downtown has been offering the program. Licensed professionals and youth counselors have come together to make this happen. Non-profit organization Live Free Recovery has collaborated with the hospital for this program, sending over the professionals to oversee the course.

John Marzinzik is the president and CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital. He believes that the use of youth counselors will impact the program significantly because patients in recovery will be able to see eye to eye with people closer to their age. Young adults from ages 13 to 18 will be eligible to participate in this peer-to-peer program.

“We need to get to the root of where the problem arises from,” said Marzinzik. “It’s about curing an illness, because it is an illness.”

The outpatient program was officially announced last Tuesday morning at a press conference.

For the past 6 months, Live Free Recovery has been operating a very similar program which has seen great success; there is promise for the new program at Frisbie.

The recovery center at the hospital has been up and running for a year, now they are beginning this program to supplement the success of the patients’ recovery long-term.

“There are things a 15-year-old girl might not want to tell a 50-year-old man,” said Bob Faghan, the owner and program director of Live Free Recovery.

Over the course of four weeks the patients will participate in three hour meetings four times a week. During the time they focus on all aspects of recovery; including relationships with family and friends, school and work.

Patients who participate in the program are able to continue even after the four weeks are up. Recovery is a long term, and even though an initial treatment program may end, the client is still at risk for relapse. Long-term commitment to sobriety is the key to overcoming addiction successfully.

“Traditional treatment is done and over with before good things start to happen,” said Faghan.

After the patients continue with the program for at least 3 months, they will be eligible to receive training to become a certified recovery support workers; paid jobs will then be offered to them. They will be able to guide other addicts through their recovery as well as keeping their own in tact.

Paige Raymond is a high school senior at Dover High, and is now a recovery support worker.

“I love it,” said Raymond, 17. “It’s a group of kids you’d never expect to be friends because they’re all so different, but they are because they’re all there for the same reason.”

She has now been sober for a year, and began drinking at the age of 15 as a result of her parents’ divorce.

“I had no idea I had a problem,” she said. “My excuse I was just a teenager ... If I could go back and talk to myself, I’d probably tell myself to own up to it. If you keep it to yourself, you won’t make any progress.”

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