Natural Highs Workshops
The Natural Highs Workshop is co-facilitated by Peer Mentors and Avani Dilger, a Certified Addiction Counselor (CACIII), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Motivational Interviewing Trainer (MINT).
The Natural Highs Workshop is an experiential class for teens that includes cutting-edge information on teen brain development, brain chemistry, the negative effects of drugs and alcohol, healthy activities, creative expression, herbs, and healthy social rituals. The Natural Highs Workshop is offered every quarter at New Vista High School and is open to 13 students and 2 peer mentors. Students learn through interactive, didactic presentations, exercises, and dialogue.
The class has a strengths-based approach includes homework assignments for students to practice sobriety tools in their daily lives. The class is based on motivational interviewing techniques, substance abuse prevention, positive psychology, nutrition, and addresses values and healthy social rituals. Upon completion of the workshop, students provide anonymous feedback regarding the course so that the workshop undergoes continual improvement and can effectively respond to student needs.
The course evaluation process is a way in which students help to shape the Natural Highs workshop as it continues to mature. Two peer mentors co-facilitate each workshop, engaging youth as partners and leaders, with the intention of building a positive peer culture in Boulder where teens inspire each other to choose healthy lifestyles. In the last 10 years, over 85% of all workshop participants reported in the anonymous evaluations that they either decided to decrease their use of drugs or stay completely clean and sober after taking the workshop.