August is officially here and for most of us, the desire to get outside under the sunshine is especially compelling. The outdoors provides an invigorating environment for healing, and can be extremely beneficial for young men battling drug or alcohol addiction. As a result, many teens with substance abuse issues take advantage of “Wilderness Therapy” programs during these summer months.
Wilderness therapy generally consists of alternative, experiential programs focused on treating adolescents and young adults with behavioral, mental, and substance use disorders. They are programs that place youth in different natural environments, such as the mountains or a forest, to physically separate them from the negative temptations and distractions of everyday life. Like Turnbridge’s treatment program for young men, wilderness therapy aims to replace old, drug-using habits with healthy routines and opportunities to build healthy relationships. The therapeutic elements of nature, though, allow youth with substance use disorders to find happiness in simpler pleasures, rather than through drugs or alcohol.
The wilderness calls for a re-evaluation of the self, in a way, showing teens facing addiction that there is light beyond darkness. The outdoors allows them to reflect on where they are now and how exactly they got to this point. Teens not only gain a new awareness for their surroundings, therefore, but also the ability to regain focus on their selves, their lives, their relationships, and start fresh once again. Wilderness programs help young men re-establish a sense of self. They aid in the development of self-confidence, independence, and well-being: three essential components to a successful recovery.
But what comes after wilderness treatment?
For those struggling with the disease of addiction, the transition back into normal life can be challenging. Teens in these wilderness programs are not always ready to seamlessly re-enter society. One may have difficulty moving from the woods directly back into the buzz of every day life. He may not know where to begin in finding a supportive sober network, a job, or how to cope with life’s daily pressures.
Turnbridge bridges the gap between wilderness treatment and independent living. Recovery, after all, is a process. Those in recovery need a progressive transition to acclimate back into a sober lifestyle, and long-term residential programs can offer just that. Turnbridge, for example, is located in the heart of New Haven, CT. At Turnbridge, under careful supervision, clients are gradually reintegrated back into the world. They are exposed to the stressors of everyday life in small, digestible chunks at first, giving them the opportunity to actively practice the coping skills and recovery tools they’ve learned at wilderness programs. As these skills develop through practical application, clients take on increasing levels of responsibility.
Responsibility stems from self-confidence, and wilderness therapy programs help in building just that. With freshly acquired skills and a newly discovered potential, young men leaving wilderness therapy come to us at Turnbridge fully ready for their next step towards recovery. Our long-term preparative care program continues to provide these clients with the active resources needed to fulfill a completely independent, sober lifestyle upon leaving treatment.
Turnbridge understands that young men facing substance addiction call for an innovative and individualized approach to drug treatment. They need an active environment and engaging program, supportive relationships with peers, and outlets that incorporate all of their interests. We believe rehabilitation, therefore, should constantly provide adolescents and young adults with opportunities to try new things and experience life sober.
At Turnbridge, we’ve developed our addiction treatment program to adhere to the specific wants and demands of young men with substance use disorders. Recreational activities are a core part of our preparative care program. From white water rafting to ski trips up North, from fishing to hiking, team sports to camping trips, we teach each young man teamwork, focus, self-reliance, and patience. Through each opportunity, our clients both grow together and mature on their own. They establish friendships, and learn how to live in good health once again. Here, we believe that inpatient addiction treatment can be an enriching experience, too. To learn more about our recreational programs, or for more information on Wilderness Therapy for teen addiction, call Turnbridge at 877-581-1793.