The Odyssey Program: Addressing the Needs of Young Adults

Most 19-year-olds are held to adult standards once they leave home and enter the workforce or college. But often, they aren’t prepared to handle this type of environment. Add drugs and alcohol to the equation, and there are even more complications.

Rachelle Gardner, director of adolescent services at Fairbanks, says a major factor is the newfound freedom that college life brings.

“When young people enter college or the workforce they have likely already experimented with drugs or alcohol,” said Gardner.

“The pressure of college and work can exacerbate their drug use and they are unable to regulate this kind of lifestyle which is why drug and alcohol use usually escalates during this phase in a person’s life.”

Brain development is delayed in young adults who begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol at a young age. This developmental delay causes an inability for young people to make sound decisions and properly care for themselves.

Finding the right treatment program for the college-aged individual can be difficult. They are no longer adolescents, but they are not ready for adulthood. In 2014, Fairbanks will offer The Odyssey Program to address the unique needs of this age group.

“Initially, this program will serve males ages 19-23. Our program will focus on teaching basic life skills,” said Gardner. “Our goal is to help these young people learn more about themselves and develop more mature coping skills.”

The program will offer all levels of care including detox, rehabilitation, outpatient programming and recovery management. Like all programs at Fairbanks, the young adult program will be unique to the individual.