The afterschool group program was jointly developed by School District #22 and AXIS Intervention Services in the latter part of the 2005-2006 School Year. This program was developed to fill the need to treat students who were engaging in high risk drug and alcohol use patterns, often students found using alcohol or drugs during the school day. Rather than the traditional approach of disciplining the students for breaking the rules, the School District looked at the disease model of addiction and took the progressive approach of introducing a program where students can learn more about addiction, their drugs of choice, conduct some self assessments and be provided with alternative choices in making healthy decisions around alcohol and drug use and peer influence.
The group runs every Thursday from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. at
Axis Intervention Services office, located off site from the school. The address is
Suite 8, 3101 29th Street, Vernon (The Old Railway Station). This is a continual intake program which means that students can be referred into the group during any session (Thursday). All five sessions must be completed in order for a student to receive a completion certificate.
This group is open to students in the community who have been recommended or mandated by either a School Teacher, School Counsellor, District Staff members, and even parents of students.
The student being referred must have a referral package sent to the AXIS Office prior to the student arriving at the 1st session. The student, parent/guardian, and the referral source must complete sections of the 3 page referral package. Once complete, the three pages are faxed to 250 545 1897 and the student begins the group the next session.
Following each Thursday session, students who have been mandated to be at the program will have their attendance confirmed by the Facilitator. A fax is sent out to each referral source the next morning. It is important for the referral source to look at these attendance confirmation records and follow up with a student who was recorded as a NO SHOW. Often the student who is a NO SHOW, is one who needs the program more diligently than the less resistant student.
The program begins with a “check in”, how the students are feeling about being at group, the circumstances that brought them there and their week thus far. It’s an opportunity to students to connect and begin sharing with each other. Juice and granola bars available for snacks during group. On occasion we bring in pizza and pop.
Group then moves into an educational component, combining a variety of methods to teach the material. There are videos and discussions, experiential exercises (games that provide a message), speakers who come in, brainstorming on flip charts (in two teams), several self assessments (movement through stages of change), symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction, continuum of their stage of use/ nonuse/ problem use/ dependent use, predisposition to becoming an alcoholic or addict, identifying personal triggers and cravings, binge drinking amounts, alcohol poisoning symptoms.
Afterschool Group Outline
Identify the progression of alcohol and drug abuse.
Identify the effects of alcohol and drug addiction.
Identify and assess personal stage of drug/ alcohol use.
Identify short term gains vs. long term consequences of using alcohol and drugs.
Identify and self assess symptoms of dependency to drugs and alcohol
Check-in (conducted at the beginning of each session)
Continuum of A&D Use and Self Assessment
Stages of Change and Self Assessment
Spin the Bottle
Identify feelings and emotionally fluency
Identify and assess how alcohol and drugs are used to manage feelings.
Assess difference between feeling, thinking, believing and knowing.
Video – Truth About Drugs
Discussion of Video – How is alcohol and drugs used to manage feelings
Identify the personal triggers to using alcohol and drugs.
Become knowledgeable about dangers of marijuana use and gateway to other drugs.
Video – Marijuana: A Gateway Drug
Discussion of video
Craving Cycle, Triggers and self assessment
Identify and discuss personal experiences of the consequences of alcohol and drug use.
Identify alcohol poisoning symptoms and binge drinking dangers.
Groups of students draw a house or bush party, indicating potential life threatening or dangerous situations. Develop action plans to keep those students safe in the high risk situations.
Video and Debrief – Binge Drinking Dangers
Fatal Vision Glasses exercise
Introduce problem solving skills
Identify Boundaries and Refusal Skills
Learn about enabling
Draw 2 Life Lines:
1) Drinking/ Using
2) Clean and Sober
Simulation Exercise where students engage in the merry go round of addiction
Peer pressure and enabling