In preparation for the National Recovery Month, students at the Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles worked on educational and artistic projects that culminated with the Annual Recovery Month Celebration on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. The residents are enrolled in evidence-based substance abuse treatment program and attend high school classes while dealing with their emotional, psychological, social, and family issues, under the care of highly qualified and experienced counselors. The Recovery Month has a special meaning for the residents, as they are getting ready to return home, to a life in recovery, free of drugs and focused on realizing their personal goals. At the Academy, residents live in three units called Genesis and Odyssey for boys and Amethyst for girls. Each unit is divided into smaller teams of students who work on various projects together and compete for prizes.
Throughout September, all eight teams have been working on drug education workshops and creating Recovery Month banners. The team recovery education workshops presented by students to their peers and fellow residents included the following topics: Drug Prevention, Treatment Options, How to Stay Sober, Effects of Drug Abuse, What I Wish I Had Known before I Started Using, Recovery Support Systems, How to Ask for Help & Cultural or Social Impact of Drug Use. There was one winner on each unit for best workshop.
The annual National Recovery Month Celebration featured resident banner presentations and a contest, along with raffles, a poetry reading, an award presentation, and guest speakers: Officer Matt Zakarian from the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition and Peter Morales from Communities in Schools. These two speakers also served as guest judges in the banner competition. The other two guest judges were Sergeant Larry Martinez of the LAPD, a long-time close friend of Phoenix House Academyand the leader of our Speak Up! Workshops, as well as the member of the Community Advisory Board, and, last but not least, Lilit Aladadyan from Glendale Healthy Kids. Congratulations to the winners! Many thanks to our judges, guest speakers, and everyone who contributed to the success of this event.
In addition to working on the recovery banners, some students had a chance of participating in a large event in the community. On Thursday, September 13, 2012, 26 clients and 13 family members attended the Recovery Month Dodger Game to celebrate their recovery in a healthy way. All of the residents and families enjoyed the game – it is a traditional celebration of sobriety, sports and fun.