Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? Have you tried quitting your drug of choice with little or no success? Every time you make progress battling your addiction, does something seem to set you back?
You are not alone. Many people have tried to stop using on their own but learning the skills necessary to stay sober is a crucial part of the process that can’t typically be accomplished alone.
Addiction is a complex mental health disorder. It stems from a variety of factors including family history, thought and behavioral patterns, previous trauma, and co-occurring mental health conditions. Because of these variations from person-to-person, treatment should be personalized and customized for each individual and their background as well.
You may have heard how yoga and meditation can help with addiction treatment, but did you know that quality experiences in the outdoors can be a very beneficial therapy for recovery? Outdoor drug rehab therapies have played a key role in helping many people recover from addiction. Use this guide to find out how it can help you.
Addiction treatment centers like Denver Recovery Center understand your struggles and know how to help you. Compassionate and highly-trained staff members are available now to treat your addiction using a variety of holistic therapies that can help you regain the physical, mental, and spiritual balance necessary to stay drug-free. By combining proven psychotherapy techniques with other holistic treatments, you can recover from addiction and finally enjoy a life of sobriety.
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What is Outdoor Therapy?
There is something special about connecting with the outdoors. Humans have a deep, ingrained appreciation of nature. Think of the last time you spent some time just appreciating the outdoors: taking in the fresh air, feeling the sun warming your face, hearing the ripples of a nearby stream. It brings a sense of peace that you can rarely find anywhere else.
Many drug rehabs have discovered just how powerful wilderness treatment programs can be for creating true transformation for those battling addiction. Wilderness therapy is a blanket term for several types of outdoor rehab programs such as camping, fishing, and hiking. These are led by qualified professionals to give you an experience unlike any other.
These programs can help people who already love the wilderness as well as those who haven’t had much experience with being in nature. In fact, you don’t have to be the “outdoorsy” type to reap the benefits of wilderness therapy. A trained professional will meet you at your comfort level for each experience. You can spend a little time in a scenic setting and just learn to appreciate being there at first. As you become more comfortable, you can try new activities to help with your recovery.
The main goal of this type of therapy is to provide you with experiences that will enrich your treatment. These programs combine psychotherapy, skill building, and development of an appreciation for the world outside of the self-destructive cycles of addiction.
How is Outdoor Therapy Used to Treat Addiction?
People suffering from addiction often have chaotic and emotionally-charged lives. The obsessive thoughts of using drugs or alcohol lead to compulsive behaviors to drink or get high. This usually breaks down any structure one has in his or her life. In addition, problems with family, friends, and coworkers may be amplified due to the erratic behaviors and lack of focus often exhibited by people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. The steady stream of negative emotions not only affects the mind, it also activates several stress hormones that can lead to fatigue, anxiety, and depression. As a result, a person struggling with addiction may turn to drugs or alcohol to escape from those feelings. Unfortunately, avoidance only makes the problems worse in the long run.
Outdoor therapy programs help a person “reset” the chaotic cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. By using the calming effects of nature, you can break free of the thought patterns that contributed to drug use in the first place. You can begin to see a world outside of the selfish behaviors that caused so many struggles in your life.
Denver Recovery Center uses an individualized approach to therapy. This means that our staff members will get to know your strengths, personal struggles, and goals for a happy, fulfilling life. After getting the opportunity to learn more about you, we create a specific program with individualized goals and objectives, so you have a better chance to succeed in treatment.
Just like any addiction treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to outdoor therapy. Simply participating in a wilderness treatment without customizing it to fit your experiences and plans can be ineffective. Even worse, it may set you up for failure. By understanding your strengths and struggles, our qualified therapists are able to match you with activities that resonate with you and help you accomplish your treatment goals.
For example, if you consider yourself an “adrenaline junkie” or a person that likes to engage in exhilarating, sometimes risky behaviors, a wilderness therapy program might include going on more adventurous trips. You can begin to discover there are ways to get an adrenaline rush without using drugs or engaging in other harmful behaviors.
Why Does Outdoor Therapy Work?
This type of therapy works because it holistically treats your withdrawal symptoms, underlying thought processes, and outlook on life. By using wilderness programs that resonate with you, your personal strengths will help guide you to challenge your struggles. Here are some ways this type of therapy can benefit you:
- Staying engaged in treatment. Individual counseling, group therapy, and other forms of psychotherapy have proven results for treating addiction. Sometimes, however, these therapies can be uncomfortable as people work through their past issues and experiences. Holistic activities like outdoor therapy can augment traditional therapies with exciting, engaging opportunities to embrace treatment which allows healing to occur.
- Promoting relaxation. Those in inpatient drug rehab may feel restless and anxious. They often experience cravings and are learning to deal with difficult emotions without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. Being in nature has a natural calming effect that can put you in a better frame of mind. In fact, one study revealed 95% of those who spent time in nature felt that their mood improved.
- Better physical and mental health. Participating in adventure therapy encourages physical activity to help you feel better without using drugs. All too often, people struggling with addiction neglect their bodies due to compulsive drug seeking behaviors. In addition, withdrawal symptoms can initially take a toll on the body’s physical and mental health. Physical activities release the body’s natural endorphins – the same pleasure hormones affected by drug use – so you can start feeling better without using.
- Gain new perspectives. In this modern age, distractions are a part of everyday life. If you’re bored or experiencing negative emotions, you can simply turn to the internet or your mobile device for entertainment. As you probably know, drug and alcohol use is a big distraction from confronting life’s challenges. What if you take some time away from those distractions? Being in nature, away from everything that normally allows you to escape, can help you put your life in perspective and give insight into ways that you can positively change yourself for the better. At first, this may seem uncomfortable, but the guided outdoor therapy programs give you a chance to engage in activities that make you less reliant on technology or drugs to escape from everyday problems.
- Learn valuable life skills. Many people struggling with addiction stunt their personal growth by escaping in a lifestyle of self-destructive behaviors. In doing so, they fail to learn crucial life skills like assertive communication, managing anger, leadership, and gratitude. Nature therapy programs provide an organic way to learn these skills in a structured environment. By developing your personal skills, you can become more emotionally resilient and empathetic to yourself and the world around you.
- Develop a positive leisure lifestyle. The choices you make in your free time will directly impact the success of your recovery. People in treatment programs find the time they previously spent using drugs now has to be replaced with meaningful activities. Outdoor therapy helps broaden your perspective about leisure, so you can find activities that resonate with you.
What Types of Outdoor Activities are Used in Drug Rehab?
As more and more treatment facilities embrace the concept of nature therapy for treating substance abuse, the variety of programs continues to grow. Because the wilderness offers so many valuable opportunities, it’s no wonder those struggling with addiction often find that an outdoor therapy program helps with their recovery. Here are some popular types of activities:
- Adventure therapy programs: These activities use exciting experiences to help people who are struggling with addiction face their fears, learn effective communication skills, and find positive ways to enjoy their leisure time. This can include water sports, hiking expeditions, mountain climbing, and other activities. These adventures are led by trained staff to ensure safety and address your specific need areas. Instead of just doing these activities, the staff mold them into teachable experiences where you can develop better life skills and coping habits.
- Challenge courses: These are specifically designed activities, such as a high ropes course, used to facilitate therapeutic experiences. For example, say you have a fear of heights. A high ropes course will test your courage, with the support of others, so you can complete the challenges and learn how your self-defeating thoughts are holding you back from the life you want to live. There are several types of challenge courses used to help with your leadership skills, manage stress, positively interact with others, and build emotional resilience.
- Camping therapy: A night under the stars can shift your perspective about the world around you. During these experiences, you may find a greater peace and connection with your primitive self that is both rewarding and exhilarating. Camping therapy also teaches you the fundamentals of interacting with nature.
- Wilderness counseling: Some people are uncomfortable sitting in a room and talking about their issues. Being in nature has a calming effect where counseling may not seem so rigid or structured. You may participate in a guided meditation where you focus on the sounds around you while letting any thoughts or emotions pass right through you. Alternatively, a simple walk in a natural area may help you gain new insights into your everyday issues.
Colorado is an Excellent Choice for Outdoor Therapy
Millions of people from all over the world visit Colorado each year. The natural scenery is the main tourist attraction of Colorado. Breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes, forests, and streams allow you to experience beauty in its purest form. There’s something both inspiring and humbling about the landscape of Colorado that you can’t find anywhere else in the country.
There are year-round opportunities for outdoor therapy programs. From a peaceful hike through a forest to the thrill of skiing down a snowy slope, there is something for everyone in Colorado. No matter what your interests are, you can find an experience that will help you discover a meaningful life without drugs.
Treatment programs harness your personal strengths to help you discover a new way of living. Similarly, the best wilderness therapy programs in Colorado use the strengths of nature to create true change for those struggling with addiction.
Is Outdoor Therapy Rehab Available Near Me?
If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, you have an excellent resource for getting outdoor drug rehab as part of your treatment at Denver Recovery Center. Located in nearby Broomfield, Colorado, we offer a continuum of care that will help you finally start living without drugs or alcohol.
If you are not from Colorado but feel a change of scenery may help you break free from your old habits, we are ready to help. People from all over the country have benefited from our extensive treatment and therapy programs.
From the moment you call our facility, Denver Recovery Center is ready to help. We believe holistic treatment is necessary to help those struggling with the complex issues contributing to addiction. This is why our experienced, dedicated staff get to know you, your story, and the struggles you have faced throughout your life. This comprehensive understanding allows us to develop a plan to help you finally enjoy a drug-free life.
Start Your Recovery Today at Denver Recovery Center
Addiction is a disease that only gets worse with time. Why wait until it completely destroys your health, relationships, and career? A simple call to Denver Recovery Center puts you in contact with a team that is dedicated to helping you get your life back.
You may be nervous, scared, and even a little apprehensive to finally seek help. After all, making major life changes takes effort, sacrifice, and the ability to confront issues that have previously seemed easier to avoid. Many people have called Denver Recovery Center not knowing what to expect. They just knew they needed a change. As a result, they found help despite the things they have been through. In fact, many people who have completed our program have only one regret: not calling sooner.
Get a jumpstart on your recovery by calling (844) 602-3175 today.