Teen Addiction Anonymous

a 12 step program generated by teens for teens with teens
To date, there have been over 20,000 times a teen has opted to attend meetings for support and outreach.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is MPOWRD different from other teen programs?
MPOWRD is the first program created by teens for teens. The format was developed with those standards and guidelines which teens felt were most successful and relative to their generation.

2. Who can join MPOWRD?
Any teen between the ages of 15-18 may join the program, however, with permission from the facilitator and a student interview, other teens may be allowed to participate.

3. Why don't all high schools have this program for teens?
MPOWRD was created by teens for teens. If it hadn't been for their initiative and perseverance, MPOWRD wouldn't exist. Therefore, it is up to teens to educate their parents, their counselors, and high school administration about the importance of this program. 

4. What is "addictive behavior"?
Addictive behavior, as defined by MPOWRD, is "any habit that causes personal harm." This definition is meant to be inclusive of all us, as no one is perfect, and everyone has some part of their own personal behavior that needs to be improved. 

5. Who joined the meetings?
Teens, who had faith in the concept and the facilitator, joined the meetings initially. Then when teens brought friends, the "word" about MPOWRD spread and more teens became part of the program. 

6. Who runs the meetings?
An adult facilitator is always present because MPOWRD is inclusive of minors, however, the entire objective of this organization is to turn the meetings over to teens. The leadership and empowerment is evident within the unconditional support that is shared in this group. All participating teens should have the opportunity to run MPOWRD meetings.

7. How do we let parents know about this program?
Parents need to be informed about MPOWRD so that they understand that if their child is in the program, it is not necessarily about drugs/alcohol. MPOWRD provides an opportunity for teens to reflect on life issues, work on all behavior, and define their own Higher Power as they see it. MPOWRD is a safe place to find peer support. Parents have always given MPOWRD their complete support, once they realized what the program offered.

8. Are teens allowed in the facilitator training program?
Yes. We encourage teen leaders to be part of the program with their facilitators as they will be the means to connect with their peers. Many student leaders have opted to be in the program on campus as well. As one student leader said, "We are all equal and are in this world to help each other. No one is perfect. We could all benefit from this program."

9. Why don't teens discuss addictions?
Teens decided that discussing an addiction or an addictive behavior, even something as simple as smoking, was a "trigger." The teens felt that when meetings centered on these behaviors, they became the focus. Instead teens chose to focus on positive action plans and opportunities.

By refusing to talk about the addictive behavior, teens felt that there was also no competition to convince the group that they had a right to be at a meeting. They wanted no discrimination felt toward a person, who was there for drug use vs. a person who was there because of bad attendance. It didn't matter. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was supported. Everyone was there without fear.

This rule became one of the most important pieces in MPOWRD as teens actually "raised the bar" for all teens. Meetings became a place to talk about how they got to the place of making destructive decisions. Instead of teens telling stories about getting "high," they might say, "I hung out with the wrong people and messed up." Therefore, they "owned" the choice that created the problem. The addictive behavior gradually loses its momentum as teens realize that they have the power to make those choices which can positively affect their lives.