If you are worried about your teenager’s addiction and have tried other options, you might consider a wilderness program as a form of treatment. Kids in these programs engage in activities such as hiking and camping, as well as traditional therapeutic activities such as group and individual counseling. There are several reasons why this type of therapy can work for teenagers who haven’t responded to other types of treatment.
It Is Easier To Focus On Treatment
Some kids need to get away from their normal environment in order to avoid the distractions and stressors that led to their addiction. When they spend their days in a peaceful outdoor setting, they can focus on what is happening in their therapy sessions rather than wondering what their friends are doing or stressing about problems in school.
Some kids turn to drugs to cope with a lack of self-worth, or use drugs as a way into a bad crowd for the attention. When they are away in the wilderness they have to learn to cope with their problems in other ways. The confidence they build in themselves can help them cope and stay away from drugs when they get home.
Therapeutic Help From Trained Professionals
While some people think of a drill sergeant ordering kids around when they think of a wilderness program, there is actually group and individual therapy that is administered by trained professionals. Teens learn to communicate better, and use what they learn in team building exercises such as setting up camp, collecting firewood, and learning to share their problems in order to get help.
Lack of Access to Drugs
Some teens always seem to manage to get their drugs of choice when undergoing treatment on an outpatient basis, or even when in a facility. The great outdoors is a drug-free setting, and kids who want to sneak out and find a dealer or buy alcohol have nowhere to go. Addicted teens have to learn to cope in a world where obtaining drugs is not even an option, so that they can learn to abstain when they get back to where it is easier to feed their addictions.
Kids who don’t respond to other types of treatment may believe that if they just wait long enough, someone will take care of problems for them. When that doesn’t happen, they may turn to drugs to get away from the real world. Kids in wilderness programs learn to do things for themselves or with the help of others, rather than depending on others.
If your teenager hasn’t responded to other types of treatment, consider the benefits of wilderness therapy. The time they have to contemplate without distractions, deal with problems themselves, and participate in therapy can leave them with the skills to help the finally kick their habit.