Helping teens and families thrive

The mission of Alternatives for Youth is to provide effective and efficient prevention and early intervention services to adolescents struggling with alcohol, substance use, and behavioral health issues. We deliver these services with compassion through a multi-systemic treatment approach with the end goal of providing hope, solutions, and a positive pathway towards healing for adolescents and their families.

AFY iTHRIVE Youth Program

6-Week AFY iTHRIVE Program

For teens, ages 12-17 struggling with drugs/alcohol, and their families. Referrals from school, courts, and self-refered.

AFY iWISE North Metro Program

For youth in Adams County, ages 10-20 with a first time drug/alcohol offense. Referred by Adams County courts, police, schools.


Presentations in middle and high schools on the negative effects of drugs on teens. AFY also conducts parents/community presentations on teen drug use.


In memory of Holt… Told by Deb Roberts, AFY Exec Director Emeritus

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Alternatives for Youth (AFY) is a non-profit agency that has been serving at-risk youth and their families for over 35 years in Colorado. Our flagship program is called AFY iTHRIVE, and is an early intervention program for teens 10-20 years of age who are facing drug and alcohol problems. We also offer AFY iWISE (North Metro Youth Division Program) and AFY iLEARN (our psychoeducational presentations for schools, parents, and community groups). Our program also helps the parents and guardians of participating teens.

Overview of AFY's iTHRIVE Program:

AFY’s iTHRIVE referrals come from diverse sources:  schools, probation, and non-profits as well as self-referrals via community and our website.  iTHRIVE’s curriculum is based on SAMSHA's best-practice CYT program using evidence-based strategies, meeting one night a week, 2 hours each night for 6 consecutive weeks.  Classes are held in community settings throughout our service area with Spanish interpretation.  Teens and parents attend together in separate groups each with their own set of professional facilitators ranging in size from 5-12 (more for parents to accommodate multiple family members).  TEEN GROUPS are led by an experienced CAC clinician and a young adult co-facilitator with recovery experience.  The teen class includes trust building, consequence awareness, learning coping and refusal skills, brain chemistry, the negative effects of substances on a teens' mind/body and hands-on positive activities, including equine therapy, Natural Highs and emotional support canines.  PARENT GROUPS include skill development and essential didactic teaching with focus on communication skills, conflict resolution and emotional & distress regulation along with education of current drug culture and the negative effects of substances on a teen's mind/body – all within a confidential setting of shared experience.   Parent groups are facilitated by an experienced CAC clinician as well as a parent co-facilitator with lived experience parenting troubled teens.

Cost of a 6-week session is on a sliding fee scale from $30-$500.

What We've Achieved

  • Serving the community since 1982.

  • Served over 36,000 clients.

  • AFY iLEARN reached over 6000 students just in 2017 thorough school presentations.

  • AFY iTHRIVE 6-week program held in four different locations.

  • AFY iWISE North Metro Youth Diversion program held at three different locations.

  • Provided hope and solutions to countless teens and families.