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The Alternative Peer Group: A Developmentally Appropriate Recovery Support Model for Adolescents

Nash, Angela PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS; Collier, Crystal PhD, LPC-S

doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000122
Original Articles

Recovery as the goal for substance use disorder treatment has been a key component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mission for the past decade. Consistent with their mission, there is a call for research and development of recovery-oriented systems of care to support affected individuals through all stages of the recovery process. Evidence is emerging to support recovery practice and research for adults, but recovery-oriented models for adolescents are scant. The Alternative Peer Group (APG) is a comprehensive adolescent recovery support model that integrates recovering peers and prosocial activities into evidence-based clinical practice. Employing APG participants’ own words, this article will describe the essential elements and three theoretical frameworks underlying the APG model to illustrate how the APG serves as a developmentally appropriate recovery support service for adolescents with substance use disorder.

Angela Nash, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing, Houston.

Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S, The Council for Alcohol and Drugs, Houston, Texas.

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the article.

Correspondence related to content to: Angela Nash, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing, 6901 Bertner Ave. SON 648, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:

© 2016International Nurses Society on Addictions
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