Youth Programs



SUPER (Substance Use Prevention and Education Resource) is an enrichment program that is designed for both parents/guardians and youth.  SUPER was developed with a federal CSAP grant, and is periodically revised to include current data.  SUPER provides primary prevention and early intervention to arrest a teenager’s potential drug experimentation, and other high-risk behaviors. 


Teenage drug use – In recent years, the media has greatly publicized teenage drug use and concerned communities have talked about it, but now people need to do something about it. SUPER offers the comprehensive, proven, drug prevention and early intervention programming that communities need to deal realistically with the risk of teenage drug experimentation and use.  SUPER’s carefully researched program reinforces the entire family unit against the threat of teenage alcohol and drug use.  SUPER is designed for any adolescent between the ages of 11 and 18, parents, guardians, and age-appropriate siblings.  SUPER is also used as a positive alternative to suspension for first offender teens caught for possession, intoxication or distribution of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.


SUPER I is an 8-hour program, which encompasses four two-hour sessions usually, held over a two-week period evenings or Saturdays. SUPER’s educational exercises and group activities are designed to actively involve the participants. This family interaction in the SUPER program is the key to the program’s remarkable record of success.  The program includes:

Peer Skills Training -- This training provides participating adolescents with the substance abuse information, which enables the youth to understand effects and consequences of drug use. A special law enforcement session provides information on the legal consequences of drug use.

Family Skills Training -- These particular training exercises significantly bridge the gap between the parents and the youth. This renewal of the parent/child bond lessens a child’s need for peer approval through drug use.

Self-Evaluation Skills Training -- Activities that examine the self-concepts of both the parents and the youth. Research has shown a direct correlation between a child’s self esteem and drug use.

Listening Skills Training -- Group activities to develop the listening skills of both the parents and the youth. These skills are vital to family communication, which helps deter drug experimentation.

Positive Communication Skills Training -- Group activities to help a family unit develop positive means of communication about peer pressure and other factors related to adolescent alcohol and drug experimentation.

Substance Use Assessment Guide – Through this exercise, parents can determine whether or not a child needs additional professional help.


Beat the Street

The Mile High Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Urban Peak Denver partnered to develop and implement Beat the Street, which targets homeless and at-risk young adults in the Denver metro area with substance abuse, mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Its purpose is to improve youth’s residential stability and self-sufficiency by integrating age-appropriate housing and support services with individualized substance abuse and mental health treatment. This project is funded by a Treatment for Homeless – Services in Supportive Housing grant to support the program’s intensive case management, integrated treatment and performance assessment activities. Other program components - including outreach/ engagement, supportive housing, wraparound services (e.g., employment services, medical care, HIV/STI screening) and peer recovery support - are delivered using existing resources.

Like most of the nation, Denver has seen major increases in the number of homeless and runaway youth/young adults. A recent survey estimated that there are 1,500 homeless youth in the Denver area on any given night, and that this number has increased seven fold over the past decade. The study also found increases in the rates of addiction, dependency and untreated mental illness among this high risk age group. Many young people are reluctant to participate in housing and supportive services geared for older homeless adults. They may also encounter barriers due to providers’ inexperience in relating to or helping with their special needs.

Through Beat the Street, The Council and Urban Peak have integrated a constellation of evidence-based services into a seamless program specifically designed for transition age youth. This level of integration results from a shared staffing pattern merging The Council’s clinical team with Urban Peak’s outreach/case management team and housing resources. Among the evidence-based services provided through the project are: Strengths-Based Case Management, supportive housing, outreach and brief interventions, and integrated substance abuse and mental health treatment using the Stages of Changes/Motivational Interviewing model. Finally, Beat the Streets’ treatment component offers an array of additional evidence-based and best practice interventions to be delivered based on each individual’s service plan. The program provides integrated case management, supportive housing and intensive (5 days/week) or weekly outpatient treatment for 50 participants each year, for a total of 230 unduplicated clients served during the five-year project period.

The performance assessment is conducted by The OMNI Institute, a non-profit evaluation and social research company with extensive experience in the evaluation of substance abuse programs and services, including several current federal grant-funded projects. The evaluation includes both process and outcome evaluations, collects and analyzes all required GPRA performance measures. Results are used to meet federal reporting requirements, and to support continuous program improvements and the achievement of a stable program model.


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