By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Teen Recovery Solutions (TRS), a local nonprofit, whose goal is to get adolescents clean and sober, will host their first ever 5K/10K Run for Recovery on Saturday, February 18.
The run will step off at 9 a.m. at Lake Hefner Trails at Oklahoma City’s Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive. Registration is $25 for the 5K and $30 for the 10K event.
“Too often we focus on the negatives associated with addiction,” said Maggie Brown, director of development at TRS. “We should spend more of our energy focusing on all the lives who have been positively changed by recovery. It’s something to be excited about.”
Statistically, 50 percent of lifelong addicts began abusing substances before the age of 14. TRS focuses specifically on teaching recovery skills to young people. The organization offers a high school designed for students in addiction recovery, the only one of its kind in Oklahoma.
Brown says the school is an important piece of the puzzle, “Trying to stay sober as a teenager when you’re surrounded by old habits and familiar social circles is almost impossible. Our school offers a way for kids to stay on track with their education and still receive continual recovery support from peers and professionals.”
According to Brown, in addition to being a school, TRS has a clinical team that works with each teen’s family to correct underlying issues and create healthy environments at home.
“TRS saved my son by teaching me,” says a parent of a recovering teen, “I learned how to set healthy boundaries and take care of myself.”
Founded in 2000, TRS provides long-term addiction recovery tools for Oklahoma City teens and their families. The organization began by offering financial assistance to qualifying parents unable to afford the high cost of residential treatment programs.
“My own struggles with addiction as a teenager in the late 1980s and early 1990s make the work of TRS particularly personal,” said Andrew Rice, Executive Director.
After witnessing the fact that teens often relapsed into abuse after they returned to their neighborhood high schools, in 2006 TRS began a recovery high school at Mission Academy High School located at 7101 N. Classen Blvd., in Oklahoma City.
MAHS is one of only 37 recovery high schools in the United States. TRS receives no state or federal funding.
MAHS, serving students from every school district in the metro area, is accredited through the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS), which evaluates student learning, student recovery support and school administration. The school maintains accreditation through the Oklahoma State Department of Education, which it received in 2012.
“This accreditation affirms that our model, curriculum and outcomes are in line with the best standards for teens in recovery nationally,” Rice said.
TRS also recognized the need for a teen recovery community for after-school and weekend support. In 2012 TRS launched the Mission Peer Group, or APG (Alternative Peer Group). This program provides teens with weekly and weekend social activities, individual and group counseling, family support groups, age-appropriate recovery meetings, and retreats.
In 2014, TRS added Real Talk for Teens, a program that focuses on prevention by educating teens about the realities of substance abuse.
The Run for Recovery event’s goal is to bring the community together to support youth addiction recovery. Each participant will receive a Run for Recovery beanie and a finisher medal. First, second and third places by gender and age division will be awarded.
Leashed dogs are allowed, but participants need to be mindful of runners’ etiquette to prevent injury.
Packet pick-up will be available at Red Coyote, 5720 N Classen Boulevard, from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday prior to the run.
For vendor booth, sponsorship, or volunteer information, contact Maggie Brown at 405-843-2402 or [email protected]. To register for the Recovery Run or to learn more about Teen Recovery Solutions, visit TeenRecoverySolutions.org.