Wilderness And Adventure Therapy Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs

Wilderness drug and alcohol rehab centers offer an escape from the stress of everyday life in a natural setting that incorporates adventure, exploration, and healing. Many people struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol find connecting with the outdoors to be an extremely beneficial when it comes to recovery.

Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Rehab Centers

There are different ways to treat drug and alcohol addiction, from outpatient treatment to a residential stay at an inpatient facility. Outpatient treatment can be challenging, as it allows a person to live at home, rather than being immersed in a healing environment. Inpatient treatment has been found to be more effective in many situations, especially with severe addiction.

Wilderness drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a unique form of inpatient treatment that incorporates nature and adventure within a residential setting. It gets the individual out of their normal environment and, often, out of their comfort zone. It may help people suffering from addiction to find fulfillment through being active and connecting with the natural world.

What Is Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Rehab?

Wilderness therapy began decades ago as a way for adolescents to overcome mood disorders and learn life skills. Young people would stay for an extended period of time in a facility set up away from society. They would participate in individual and group activities that taught survival skills and connected them with nature.

Nature has long been associated with positive health benefits. A Japanese practice called “forest bathing” is based on the idea that being in the woods and soaking in the natural environment can rejuvenate someone. Simply walking through a forest has been shown to lower blood pressure and stress hormones in some individuals.

According to a study that examined potential causes of adolescent depression, “wilderness therapy is believed to serve as a powerful intervention that promotes cognitive, affective, and behavioral change.” The study found that wilderness therapy may lead to increased coping skills, confidence, competence, connection, and caring.

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Today, this form of therapy is used for many purposes, including treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. It can be difficult for someone to break free from substance abuse when their home life may encourage it. The natural environment of a wilderness rehab facility removes the possibility of drug use and replaces it with a peaceful reprieve from everyday life.

Without the option of using drugs, a person can focus more completely on healing. During a wilderness rehab program, they can learn to live in a different way.

What To Expect At A Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center

A form of treatment often found at a wilderness rehab center is adventure therapy. This gives the individual exhilarating experiences that can take the place of the high associated with drug use.

Adventure therapy may include:

  • hiking
  • camping
  • zip-lining
  • ropes courses
  • swimming
  • mountain-climbing
  • cross-country skiing
  • canoeing
  • fishing
  • backpacking

While participating in new outdoor activities, individuals may learn survival skills, such as building a fire or scavenging for food during a camping trip. This can help someone grow in confidence by overcoming physical obstacles and learn that they are capable of things they may never have otherwise tried.

Equine or animal therapy may be another aspect of treatment in a wilderness rehab program. This can teach a person the responsibility of caring for another living thing. It can also promote connection and positive mental health.

Some wilderness addiction treatment programs are gender-specific. Men and women may have different needs when it comes to therapy, and these programs are better able to focus on addressing those needs.

Men are more likely than women to struggle with illicit substance abuse. They may be less affected by social stigma, which can lead them to seek treatment sooner. Still, some men have difficulty expressing their feelings. Being in an environment with other men who have the same struggles may help them feel comfortable to share their experience.

Women who enter treatment are likely to have a more severe addiction or a co-occurring mental disorder. They may also struggle more with family responsibilities such as pregnancy or children. Female-specific drug rehab programs can provide a safe place where women can support each other and create a bond between them.

Some wilderness drug and alcohol rehab centers have age limitations as well. For example, a single facility may only offer programs to men in their teens and twenties. Others may offer programs for both genders with a required age of over 18 years old. Not all programs are so limited, but some people may prefer to be part of a more specific group.

Do Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Rehab Centers Offer Other Forms Of Therapy?

While wilderness rehab centers may specialize in therapy through nature, they generally offer a wide variety of treatment methods. Some use a 12-step program, with peer support groups for participants to encourage each other through overcoming addiction. This may be accompanied by cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy, counseling, or medication-assisted treatment.

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Some programs will teach stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, and exercise, which can go hand-in-hand with adventure therapy. The goal of a wilderness drug rehab program is to help an individual learn to live without drug use. Using a variety of treatment methods can help to heal the whole person so they can live a more positive life.

What To Consider When Choosing A Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Rehab Center

Before choosing a wilderness drug rehab center, a person may want to research their options. Wilderness treatment programs may be 30 days or more, and could last several months. The length of the stay, along with the additional amenities and treatment options that may come with wilderness therapy, can lead to a higher cost. Insurance plans that cover substance abuse may be able to help with this.

Wilderness programs often take place far away from civilization, and can be a drastic difference to the life someone is used to. That is the point, but that does not mean they are the best fit for everyone. Inpatient drug rehab centers can work with individuals to create a treatment plan that is unique to them, giving them the best chance at a successful recovery.

For more information on wilderness drug and alcohol rehab centers, contact us today.

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