Prior to Project Amp, person-centered peer supports have been underutilized in youth substance use prevention and early intervention models. This model leverages the unique strengths of young adults in recovery by offering skilled, developmentally appropriate peer support services to youth as a prevention and early intervention strategy. By sharing their own experiences of substance use and related challenges, mentors help adolescents recognize risks early on, build awareness and motivation to change, and garner the personal skills, strategies, and support needed to do so – now and in the future. The utilization of a skilled peer workforce also lessens the burden on clinicians, doctors, and school counselors while providing youth with a safe, near-age adult to talk to.
The Project Amp curriculum supports the development of a meaningful bond between young adult mentors and adolescent participants, and helps youth identify goals, social supports, strategies for stress reduction, wellness and risk factors, and explore key facts about alcohol and other drugs in ways that are most relevant to them.