Many people who struggle with substance abuse use drugs or alcohol to fill a void in their life. This emptiness may result from a variety of issues, such as a broken relationship, job loss, depression, or lack of purpose.
When someone stops using drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with stress, they need alternative coping skills to prevent relapse.
Adventure therapy introduces people to new experiences that encourage healthy stress management and more fulfillment in life.
What To Expect In Adventure Therapy
Adventure therapy at Swift River is an outdoor-based rehab program set in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.
It involves physical exercise, working with others, and getting in touch with nature. Our 500-acre campus allows ample space for outdoor exploration.
Recovering individuals can challenge themselves on our ropes course to build physical strength, endurance, and self-reliance.
They may also participate in activities like fly fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. These experiences place people in a peaceful setting and foster the development of new skills and interests.
Cooperative games are another component of adventure therapy at Swift River. These games require people to work together to solve problems and overcome obstacles.
They encourage teamwork—rather than competition—as well as social skills, like communication and trust.
Adventure Therapy For Addiction Treatment
Addiction treatment is based on understanding addiction and providing tools to prevent relapse. A necessary part of recovery is replacing substance use with healthier habits.
Adventure therapy offers an alternative to drug and alcohol abuse through positive thrill-seeking. It involves physical activity, which prompts the body to release rewarding brain chemicals like dopamine.
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Most drugs increase dopamine levels to give a person a sense of pleasure. This same feeling can be achieved through adventure therapy. When someone feels better physically, they tend to feel better mentally, too.
Many people use drugs or alcohol to avoid uncomfortable or painful feelings, such as depression or stress. Adventure therapy teaches natural ways to relieve stress and enjoy life.
Benefits Of Adventure Therapy
Adventure therapy challenges people to learn new skills and build relationships. They begin to trust themselves and others.
This prepares them to live a more meaningful life after addiction treatment, which lowers the chance of relapse.
As the individual succeeds in adventure therapy activities, they experience growth in self-confidence and self-reliance.
They see that persistence pays off and that staying strong through the struggle leads to better outcomes than turning to substance abuse.
Because adventure therapy is set in nature, participants can enjoy the benefits of the natural environment. Research shows that simply being in nature reduces stress.
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing”—wandering peacefully through a forest—is proven to lower blood pressure and stress hormones.
Several recent studies found that people in natural settings have lower blood pressure and fewer mental health issues than those in urban areas.
Adventure therapy in nature also promotes mindfulness, a practice of living in the moment. Mindfulness allows someone to accept their feelings, thoughts, and sensory experience without stressing about them.
By focusing on the present, a mindful person is not crippled by past hurts and future worries. They are able to experience life as it comes and let go of things as they pass by.
Mindfulness helps the individual refrain from substance abuse rather than using drugs or alcohol to numb their pain.
Adventure Therapy In Massachusetts
Swift River offers adventure therapy for addiction treatment in Massachusetts within a residential rehab program. The inpatient setting provides a base for individuals to live away from the distractions of everyday life.
Because addiction is a multifaceted disease that affects physical, mental, and spiritual health, adventure therapy is most effective when paired with other treatment methods.
At Swift River, we consider each person’s experience with addiction and create a treatment plan just for them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, art therapy, and yoga are several options that help individuals change the way they think, act, and express themselves.
To learn more about our adventure therapy drug rehab program in Massachusetts, contact a Swift River treatment specialist today.
- Dana Foundation — How Does Exercise Affect the Brain?
- National Public Radio — Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America — Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation