Wilderness Drug Rehab

Many who are battling addiction refuse to seek the treatment that they need because they are afraid of the stigma that is associated with rehab. Furthermore, they find the “institutionalized” setting that many drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities provide off-putting.

For these individuals, a treatment program that allows them to connect with nature can be very effective. Wilderness substance abuse and addiction centers offer the ideal setting for many people who are suffering from substance addiction disorder. These settings offer a more “back to basics” environment, as they are set in serene, remote locations that invoke the much-needed relaxation that can be so helpful on the road to recovery. This is the very foundation of wilderness drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a division of adventure therapy.

The History of Wilderness Drug and Alcohol Rehab

According to the United States Justice Department Juvenile Justice Bulletin, wilderness substance abuse and addiction programs were introduced as a way to help adolescents who were suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. This form of rehab offered very positive results for this demographic. Furthermore, patients who completed rehab in this type of setting report that they have had a very positive experience with their treatment; particularly because they offer an outdoor, natural setting and utilize drug-free methods and strategies to treat addiction.

Since adolescents were experiencing such positive results from this type of rehab environment, wilderness rehab centers were introduced for adults who were suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and dependency. Now there are several rehab facilities that offer this type of treatment around the country. Patients continuously report that they have had very positive experiences with wilderness rehab, and that the treatment they have received has helped them gain the strategies that they require in order to sustain long-term sobriety.

Wilderness Drug and Alcohol Rehab: What to Expect

What exactly can you expect when you attend a wilderness drug rehab center? Imagine, if you will, a camp-like atmosphere. These facilities are usually located in remote locations and are surrounded by nature. Because they are removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life, many patients say that they feel as if wilderness rehab gives them the opportunity to truly break away from society so that they aren’t distracted and can fully commit themselves to and concentrate on their sobriety.

Wilderness substance abuse and addiction treatment centers offer a variety of amenities, activities, and utilize various types of strategies for treatment. Some of the things that you can expect at this type of rehabilitation facility include:

  • Intimate connections with nature. Typically, wilderness rehab centers afford patients the opportunity to connect with nature. Some of the activities offered might include camping, hiking, rock climbing, rafting, fishing, and more. Through all of these activities, patients feel as if they are connected to nature, and many report that this interaction with the natural world is spiritual in a way.
  • Cooperative physical activities. Many wilderness rehabilitation programs also incorporate cooperative physical activities as part of treatment. Patients work together to complete certain tasks, such as pitching tents, felling trees and building firewood, foraging and hunting for dinner, figuring out how to get back to the center after being taken to a remote location, and so on. These experiences help to teach addicts how to contend with difficulties without turning to drugs or alcohol as a solution.
  • Animal therapy. Some wilderness rehab programs provide animal therapy for their patients. This might involve caring for horses, goats, or cows; feeding them, grooming them, riding them, walking them, and milking them (depending on the species, of course). Many professionals that specialize in addiction say that animals can be highly therapeutic for addicts. In addition to teaching them a sense of responsibility, they also make connections with non-judgmental beings, which is extremely important for recovery. Some wilderness rehabs offer patients the opportunity to train service dogs that will be used to assist the handicapped. This teaches them responsibility and also allows them to learn the value of helping other people that are in need.
  • One-to-one counseling. A lot of wilderness drug and alcohol programs use one-to-one counseling as a way to help their patients navigate through their addiction. Residents meet with a certified counselor and discuss their problems with drugs and alcohol, as well as any other issues that they may have encountered in their lives that could have lead to their addiction. They also learn strategies for dealing with their addiction and how to replace their negative behaviors with positive, health actions.
  • Group meetings. Wilderness drug and alcohol treatment centers can also utilize group meetings as a part of treatment. During these meetings, a group of patients meet with one or more counselors. The counselor(s) guide the session, but the patients share their insight and experiences with each other. The goal of group meetings is to develop a sense of community among individuals that share one thing in common: addiction. Patients learn to listen to and respect their peers, which allow them to better acclimate with their own peers when they complete their treatment. They also learn the value of helping, encouraging, and supporting others; skills that they can also apply to their “real” life once treatment has ended.

What Benefits Does Wilderness Rehab Offer?

Typically, these treatment programs utilize drug-free strategies to help their patients achieve sobriety. Instead, patients are provided natural supplements to help heal their bodies and replace the vital nutrients that they have lost as a result of drug abuse.

Another benefit of this type of treatment is the connection with nature that it offers. For many people, this can be completely life-changing. Spending time in nature can help to restore the body, mind, and spirit of addicts. Lastly, since wilderness rehab facilities encourage patients to work together, those who attend these treatment programs gain a wealth of useful skills that they can apply to their lives when their treatment is complete.

How Long Does Wilderness Rehab Last?

Despite all of the benefits that wilderness therapy can provide, there is one major flaw: the time commitment. Typically, these programs are longer than other rehab programs; generally 90 days or longer. In fact, some programs can last for up to a year. There are some centers that offer shorter treatment options, such as 30 days; however, this shortened period of time might not offer the same positive results as a longer treatment would.

Locate the Best Wilderness Rehab Center for You

To find the right wilderness drug and rehab center for you or a loved one, contact us today. We can help you find the best program for your specific needs to improve the chances of lifelong sobriety.