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Importance of Survival Skills

OPI Young Adult Treatment and Transition Program

OPI is primarily a residential treatment
program for young adults, 17 to 28 year olds, all of whom are in some some way stuck right now in their lives. OPI’s primary focus is helping young adults move
forward and have an independent life. We are here to help them with a multitude
of things including overcoming what’s gotten them stuck. Whether it’s drug and
alcohol or whether it’s some behavioral addiction we look at all of that. Early on we’ll assess to see what’s gone on in the past what’s happening
right now and how can we best support each individual. We can
provide anything from the therapy to medication management and
DBT which is really important for a lot of them and helpful for a lot of them. My
favorite part about OPI I think is just the experience. It’s just a very
well-rounded program. They’re going to push you to your best
abilities – even to more of an ability than you think you have. It’s having that self-confidence that you gain when you’re coming into this
program. My favorite part of OPI would be the consistence of it – like waking up in the morning and knowing that I have this great group to
go to at 9:00 o’clock and knowing that what I put into it will be what I
get out of it. Every department is meeting with them we’re looking at their
schedule, we’re looking visually to find balance for them. What I like to do in
activities department is show the participants their schedule. If we notice
on a Monday they’re slammed from 9:00 to 5:00 programming with groups ,with
therapy, or with any other appointments, we may look and say, hey that would be a
great day for you to go out in the community, maybe take a yoga class, go do that one thing that you enjoy, go pick up that guitar that you like. We want them
to be part of the community, so having a part-time job, going back to
school, volunteering, experiencing some joy in their life
again. These are all things that are inclusive
in the program. OPI balances support and freedom in a variety of different ways.
First off, we really focus on creating this real world/real life environment
here. We want to be very realistic about what life is going to look like for a young adult when they’re out of treatment. Our goal is for this to be their last
stop in treatment. One of the interesting things about OPI is that they let you
have your phone the first day you come in. You’re allowed to have
electronics. You’re allowed to watch TV. You’re allowed to have your computer. I
know that all of these things might be on the “do not” list for some
programs but we really want to model what’s happening when you’re out there
in the world without OPI. They all have cell phones while they’re here, from the
first day. They all can have computers here from day one and we will only place
monitors on that if they prove to us or show us that they need that monitoring.
You’re still connected to the outside world so when you start having those
situations that are very overwhelming, you have staff to back you up and you
have support 24/7. They are allowed to date and we want to help them learn how to have healthy relationships. If we have to do couples therapy, we’ll do
couples therapy, but that’s a really appropriate thing for young adults to do.
How have I changed for the better and how I experienced personal growth at
OPI? I’ve been here two and a half weeks and all by myself, with just
nudges I have scheduled outside meetings. I have done some volunteering. I’ve
explored the neighborhood – all things that I wouldn’t want to do if I were not
in treatment and specifically not in treatment at a place like OPI. It is
to the point where I feel like I’m doing it myself, even though I’m receiving a
lot of wonderful help. I get to take a lot of ownership of all
the things I’m doing in and outside of the program. When I first came into
the program, I was a very angry kid. I was very upset with just everything in
general in life. Now learning all the skills that I’ve learned, meeting with my
therapist as much as I have, it’s changed where now I enjoy life more. It’s helping me find out who I am as myself. I’ve discovered
more things about myself. Where I was lacking self-confidence, now I have
that and I’ve gained that.

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