Adolescent Diversion Education Program (ADEP)

ADEP is a ten-hour program designed for individuals under the age of 21 who have been arrested or cited for alcohol- or drug-related offenses, such as Minor in Possession and Abuse and Lose. The mission of ADEP is to reduce deaths and injuries by educating young offenders about the risks and consequences of alcohol and drug use and abuse. ADEP is a timely and vital intervention designed to address the unique characteristics and problems shared by adolescent offenders. ADEP also helps adolescents develop the self-awareness and skills necessary to make healthy choices in the future. Over the course of the program, each student develops a Personal Action Plan that promotes permanent lifestyle changes and helps them avoid future problems with alcohol and other drug use.

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Course Organization

The program is divided into seven modules covering the following content:

  • Module 1: Introduction. A general program overview is provided and students identify and discuss reasons why they are in the program.
  • Module 2: Laws and Penalties. Students receive information about Missouri laws and penalties relating to alcohol and other drugs. In addition, they examine the legal, financial, and personal consequences of their behavior.
  • Module 3: Alcohol, Other Drugs and their Effects. Information is disseminated about alcohol and other drugs and their effects on the mind, body, judgment, and driving ability.
  • Module 4: Use, Abuse and Addiction. Students explore the differences between substance use, abuse, and addiction. Symptoms of chemical dependency are discussed.
  • Module 5: Self-Evaluation. Students assess their values and behaviors, as well as evaluate the impact alcohol and other drugs have had on their mind and body.
  • Module 6: Life Skills. Decision-making skills are appraised and strengthened. Healthy alternatives to alcohol and other drug-related activities are identified.
  • Module 7: Looking Ahead. Students share their completed Personal Action Plans with the class.

The program advocates positive decision-making and the reduction of recidivism by presenting accurate information, using "Interactive Journaling" group process, and the application of self-change and motivational strategies. "Interactive Journaling" encourages students to personalize information by posing the question "What does this mean to you?" This builds responsibility, promotes self-efficacy, and fosters a sense of accomplishment. Family participation in the program is encouraged as a further means of supporting student change.