According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, use of illicit drugs during 2015 was reported by 23.6 percent of 12th graders. Breaking down the numbers, alcohol use topped the charts at 58.2% with marijuana/Hashish use at 34.9%. These alarming numbers make it no surprise that between 5% and 8% of the youth population in the U.S. develop a substance use disorder. Though these statistics are readily available, it is shocking how little research and information is available on the topic of youth in recovery.
Inspired by the success of the collegiate recovery community at Rutgers University, Justin Luke Riley (YPR’s President & CEO) and a team of dedicated individuals created Young People in Recovery (YPR) in 2010. Establishing its nonprofit status in 2015, YPR has almost doubled in size to 89 chapters in 30 states in the last 5 years.
Chapters support young people in or seeking recovery by providing improve access to treatment and enabling them to obtain stable employment, secure suitable housing, and explore continuing education. Chapters also advocate on the local and state levels for better accessibility of these services and other effective recovery resources.
YPR is not a program of recovery. The organization advocates no one path out of addiction; instead it recognizes that people arrive at their destinations in different ways. Through two main arms: advocacy and action, YPR concentrates on promoting the formation of recovery-ready communities that make it easier for young people to find solutions that work for them and keep their positive momentum going.
In addition to face-to-face interaction, YPR has done an amazing job of using social media to empower young people by providing platforms for sharing of strategies, materials, encouragement, and personal stories.
In summary, YPR believes from the first day that a young person decides to make a change in their life and works on their coping mechanisms and recovery plan, that they are equipped to go out and better themselves.”
ABOUT JUSTIN LUKE RILEY
Justin Luke Riley now 28 years old, and has been in long term recovery since 2007. He is YPR’s President & CEO, and a founding member. Justin has done organizational development consulting for different industries. He was a Youth & Community Engagement Pastor as well as a private Life Coach.
He graduated cum laude from the University Colorado at Denver in the University’s Honors & Leadership Program in 2013, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Mediation, and Public Relations. He is currently completing his Executive MBA from the University of Colorado. As a natural leader and gifted public speaker, Justin has been featured in many media outlets for for his involvement in youth leadership and community engagement.
Justin is a prolific leader in recovery, served on the Executive Board of multiple nonprofit enterprises. Justin also serves in many other service-oriented capacities. Justin lives in Denver, Colorado, where he is married to the woman of his dreams, Rachel Marie. They recently had their first child, Everly Hope, who enjoys spending time with her puppy King Bear.