My Service Learning in BIS 201 took place at Sojourner Recovery Services. Sojourner Recovery Services is a drug recovery facility for drug dependents men, women and adolescents. Sojourner Recovery Services assisted me with choosing a specific location and demographic to complete my Service Learning. I decided to choose to work with the adolescent. The adolescent population at Sojourner Recovery Service for drug dependent teens and preteens has different sites depending on the issue.
Sojourner Recovery Services has an Inpatient facility as well as Outpatient. The honor was all mines to complete service at the Outpatient facility known as IOP. IOP is an abbreviation for Individualized Outpatient Treatment. The Outpatient treatment center consisted of the Clinical Therapist, facilitators, and at time courts and judges. These people come together to create an individualized treatment plan for each adolescent in the program, Sojourner Recovery Services IOP program offers a treatment plan that meets each persons specific needs.
The majority of my Service Learning hours were spent directly under the Clinical Therapist. The role of the Clinical Therapist is to make the individualized plan with the adolescent and their family and ensure the youth follows the projected plan. With any form of therapy, family members are essential to the sobriety of the youth. Family sessions were scheduled accordingly and listed on the treatment plan. I met families and youth at Sojourner Recovery Service and attempted to learn them as people, this made my experience “real”. While at Sojourner Recovery Services the Clinical Therapist taught me how to effectively facilitate with youth and families.
I facilitated drug meetings and assisted the youth in pointing out triggers and alternative methods of coping with life and set backs. The youth were eager to talk to me and open up about their issues of drug usage, family, school and home life. I chose to complete my Service Learning hours at Sojourner Recovery Services because the youth are my passion. Furthermore, working in my community with African American youth I felt compelled to get out of my comfort zone. Sojourner Recovery Services is a predominantly a Caucasian facility because Butler County demographics are majority Caucasian.
I normally work and volunteer in the African American community but I wanted a different experience. Sojourner Recovery Service was an experience that I obtained by widening my horizons. I love working and assisting the youth to become self sufficient productive members of society regardless of race. I felt it was time to talk the talk and walk the walk. The knowledge and understanding I experienced will be used daily. While at Sojourner Recovery Service I witnessed drug dependent white youth addicted to heroin, meth, marijuana, mucinex, ecstasy, crack, and pills. This was shocking and disheartening because the media and society leads us to believe that drugs are only problems in low income black communities.
The problem is drugs and the depiction that blacks use or sell drugs at a higher rate than whites. The other problem is the unfair treatment of blacks in the Criminal Justice System. While at Sojourner Recovery Services I observed that to be untrue. In this paper I will show the statistics of whites addicted to drugs compared to that of blacks. I will also provide research that proves blacks receive unfair treatment as an opposed to whites that receive preferential treatment as it relates to substance abuse. Completing three concentrations I chose to list Family, Gender and Society and Organizational Leadership as my concentrations.
I also completed Sociology as a concentration. I plan to change my concentrations to as follows, Family, Gender and Society and Sociology. I chose Organizational Leadership because I thought it would give me more incite into the Non Profit sector. I was taught facilitation through this Organization which was helpful at Sojourner Recovery Services. Organizational Leadership sharpened my leadership skills, as well my decision making skills. I believe my calling is Social Work. My concentrations are perfect for the field of a Youth Advocate which is my job at the present time. I know that if I want to take my Outreach to another level in my community I must obtain a Masters in Social Work.
I attempted to go in a different direction with my degree. After Sojourner Recovery Services experience I know that I am a Social Worker daily. I plan to enter Graduate School and receive my Master’s in Social Work. I attempted to stay away from being classified as a Social Worker, but my stint at Sojourner Recovery Service helped me make a clear and concise decision about my future. Negative connotations of Social Workers led me to think that Social Work was a career I strayed away from. I believe that understanding all races of youth will only heighten my skills as a Social Worker in the Non-profit sector. My hands on approach at Sojourner Recovery Services made me rethink my career goals.
Furthermore, my Service Learning experience helped me to see that society’s negative and untrue depiction of drugs as a race and class problem. In this paper I will provide research and statistics that will debunk society’s distortion about race and drugs. When assisting the youth at Sojourner Recovery Service I decided to not see race and stereotype any youth at the facility. In the black community, African Americans are given harsher penalties for drugs than whites.
As a black woman that grew up in a low income neighborhood with drugs and drug dependent family members I embraced and believed the lies society told about blacks and drugs. Substance abuse has no preference of race, class, or sex. Drug uses among whites are higher than that of blacks. Statistics reveal that blacks are less likely than whites to use drugs and become dependent upon them. Society leads us to believe that black men, women and youth use drugs at higher numbers than whites. In all actuality whites use drugs at a higher rate than blacks as well as stronger drugs such as heroin.
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