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Wilderness retreat gives students in recovery chance to learn from one another

Students from Teen Recovery Solutions in Oklahoma City recently went on a spring wilderness retreat in West Texas with students from a similar substance abuse recovery program in Houston. The trip gave students a chance to share their challenges while developing relationships.
by Bryan Painter Modified: April 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm •  Published: April 13, 2013

About the program

Teen Recovery Solutions, formerly Oklahoma Outreach Foundation, includes Mission Academy high school and the Mission Peer Group.

The private recovery high school, currently with 10 students, assists teens in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse while allowing them to finish high school.

It is a recovery-based environment in which the student can complete their high school requirements for graduation rather than going back to their previous school setting, where relapse often occurs with the same friends, said Janet Oden, executive director of Teen Recovery Solutions.

Michael said the trip helped him develop relationships.

“I came back a lot closer with people from the school,” Michael said. “The last night we stayed up all night long.”

Being able to talk to someone day or night is one aspect McKenna appreciates about the school. “The whole environment is that you can just call anybody, any time and they'll answer,” McKenna said. “They'll talk with you for however long you want and they'll make you feel a little better. They'll give you advice.”

Maddox said part of the goal of Teen Recovery Solutions is to continue to help develop the recovery community for teens in the Oklahoma City metro area. That includes the classroom, as well as after-school and retreat activities.

“Teens have got to have fun in recovery, or they're going to go back to using drugs and alcohol,” Maddox said. “Counseling in itself, treatment in itself, it's not a quick fix.

“It's a process of change over time. It's getting away from that immediate gratification of drugs and alcohol.”

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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