Odyssey House: A Valuable Resource for Students in Addiction Recovery

Phineas Johnson

Today, I would like to talk to you all about a valuable resource for those in the Salt Lake City area. Odyssey House is a rehab home with multiple locations around Salt Lake. They offer courses at their homes for adults, teenagers, and parents. Their focus is not only overcoming addiction, but also building relationships and having a healthy mind. For those who want to stay living where they are, outpatient services are also available. They even have an accredited highschool for teens that students can run in their homes.

        The head of the youth programs at Odyssey House, Cami Clark, spoke to me about what they do. She said that their mission is “empowering people to heal and build better lives,” and that that mission is factored into everything that they do. She also mentioned that they have an integrated medical clinic, not just rehabilitation programs and therapy. I was particularly curious about what was available to teenagers, and she told me that they have “an array of programs, ranging from residential treatment to school based mental health, all with the focus of supporting youth in achieving improved mental health.” Their range of care, from living with students to simply giving them some treatment at school, allows for a lot of flexibility depending on each different person’s scenario. She also emphasized that treatment for a teenager is very different than it would be for an adult, as it has to be adapted to the developing teenage brain.

If you do choose to sign up for one of their programs, you will not be alone. About 125 teenagers use their Residential Program each year, and about 250 use their School Based Program. Odyssey House also recently established a new intensive after school program that has about 80 participants each year. Clark backs up all of them, saying that they are evidence-based, and that each program is constantly being improved.

When asked for her favorite success story, Clark could not decide on just one, saying that “We have many amazing success stories, and I don’t know that I could really pick a favorite.” She stays humble though, knowing that no matter how much it feels like it was the staff that was successful, “the client does the real work.” Her main message toward any teenager currently struggling with an addiction was to talk to an adult that they can trust. She also wants to tell them that “they are capable of change and worth it,” and to encourage them to find the courage to ask for help.” Hopefully anyone out there right now who is struggling can take her words to heart.