When most of us picture a drug and alcohol program, we likely don’t envision tents, backpacks, campfires, trees, and wildlife. But for those enrolled in wilderness drug rehab, these items will be fixtures in their daily lives for the extent of the program along with licensed counselors there to guide them on their healing journey.

According to validated, scientific research conducted by Open Sky Wilderness Therapy,  which compared the results of those participating in the typical inpatient rehab programs to those participating in wilderness rehab programs, wilderness therapy participants saw:

  • A statistically significant improvement in mental health
  • Significant increase in willingness to recognize their own problem behaviors and make changes
  • That within as few as 60 days participants were able to go from needing intensive inpatient treatment for their addiction to being ready and able to return to daily life
  • A higher rate of internalizing the coping skills needed to avoid relapse as evidenced by evaluating those who graduated from the program 12 months later (reduced chance of relapse)

What Is A Wilderness Rehab Program?

Wilderness programs are available around the country for all age groups from teen up and each is designed around meeting the needs of that age group. Teen addiction sufferers can be very different from those in their 20’s, 30’s or beyond, so many youth wilderness groups are specifically designed for the younger age group while others focus on other age groups.

Most adults who enter wilderness programs have been in inpatient or outpatient programs that were able to take them to a certain point, but left the individual and loved ones feeling that the one suffering needed something more. For teens and young adults, this may be the first time that an intervention has taken place.

Most wilderness programs involve support meetings, classes and workshops for parents and loved ones, where they learn the skills they’ll need to support their family member in recovery once they return home. This is critically important to support a lasting recovery.

Benefits of Wilderness Drug And Alcohol Rehab

1. Wilderness Therapy is Individualized

Participants work 1:1 with licensed professionals following individualized treatment plans within the wilderness setting. While there is a focus on teamwork and togetherness, each participant is receiving the individual attention he/she needs to heal.

2. A Structured Yet Free Environment

Unlike the hospital-type setting where things often seem sterile, uninviting and rigid, in a wilderness setting, participants feel a greater sense of freedom to explore who they are and how they feel. Because wilderness treatment takes place in remote locations, students are safe from substance temptation while still being free to move about in a supervised but free-will kind of setting. This helps the participants become empowered to make their own choices and take control of their own lives for the better.

3. Loved Ones Stay Informed

While the treatment does take place in the desert, forest or other remote location, counselors stay connected with the “outside world”, keeping loved ones informed of progress.

4. Turn Something Terrible into A Memory-Making Experience

As participants move through these programs, they feel less and less like they’re in treatment and more and more like they’re living an adventure, creating fun memories and becoming a better person. This takes the stigma and shame away from being admitted into an addiction treatment program.

What Do Participants Do In Wilderness Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Depending on the landscape, those in wilderness programs participate in activities like:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Nature observing
  • Swimming
  • Sports
  • Arts/crafts
  • Star-gazing
  • Campfire singing

As well as learning practical skills like:

  • Building a shelter
  • Wilderness safety
  • First Aid
  • Working with others

And coping skills like:

  • Self-reflecting
  • Dealing with cravings
  • Understanding their emotions
  • Recognizing triggers

Why Choose Wilderness Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

Wilderness programs are about reconnecting with nature and who you are. They allow the individual to be removed from negative influences, temptations and distractions like TV, video games and music that can be used in excess to help the addiction sufferer “numb-out”. They provide a safe and constructive environment where participants are supported as they grow.

Adrugrehab.org is dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction and their families find effective and respected facilities and programs that will help a loved one find lasting healing through recovery. When you call our free, confidential helpline, you’ll speak to a compassionate team of professionals who will listen, evaluate and connect you with the right treatment options for your loved one.