JourneyPure Athens IOP Set to Launch Restore DUI School

by Chris Clancy

April 1, 2019

JourneyPure Athens DUI Program

JourneyPure Athens has expanded its treatment offerings with the planned opening of Restore DUI School, an alcohol training program.

Restore DUI School’s opening should take place within the next two months, or whenever the state issues its license.

The DUI school will offer screenings, assessments, and education for people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Classes will focus on how alcohol and other drugs affect driving performance and safety, as well as the legal ins and outs of a DUI or DWI conviction.

Restore DUI School is the brainchild of Brenda Thomas, LCSW, who took it upon herself to get the training necessary to run the school after attending a workshop hosted by the Tennessee Department of Health in late 2018.

“I met these people who had DUI school training, and I thought, ‘How do you do that?’” Thomas said. “During a break, I asked and they told me and I knew right away we had to do that, too. It’s about changing attitudes and behaviors around alcohol and drugs. I thought that would be a great mission statement.”

The name of the DUI school is a nod to Restoration Counseling Services, which was the name of the clinic before it merged with JourneyPure in early 2017.

The Curriculum

Those who attend a DUI school have typically been referred by the court system. DUI School is often a less severe alternative to hefty court fines or the suspension of one’s driver’s license. (Tuition for the school is $175 and comes with a workbook.)

In Tennessee, DUI schools teach the Prime for Life curriculum, an evidence-based intervention program that leads students through a process of self-evaluation to prevent future substance abuse.

“The training was intense,” Thomas said. “We got started at 8:30 in the morning and would finish at 5:30, with a test at the end of each day. But I liked the curriculum. I could see, even though I’ve been a therapist for the last 30 years, how it was based on the stages of change.”

The Stages of Change Model, or Transtheoretical Model, maintains that people move through five stages of change when it comes to health-related behaviors. The stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and, finally, maintenance.

“With this program, I can actually see someone moving through those stages,” Thomas said. “I can now see how you might get someone to move from not wanting to change to being ready for change. This program could be a strong vehicle for change to get people ready for treatment. That’s probably the biggest thing I’m excited about.”

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