Treatment Doesn’t Have To Be Boring. How Recreational Therapy Improves Addiction Treatment.
Many people, when they think of recovery treatment, they think about the detox (which is probably the least desirable part), all the individual and group therapies they will have to do, and how boring the sober days are going to be. This is not an accurate representation of all, if any, recovery center. Recovery centers are trying to discover the reasons behind the addiction and ways to move passed that into a healthy lifestyle without substances, but they are also teaching you new coping mechanisms and new ways to enjoy this sober life. Many of the day to day things that we all do can help suppress urges, give an outlet for emotion, and are just fun to do. One big thing that some treatment centers utilize is their surroundings with Recreational Therapy. Recreational Therapy is where a nationally certified and state licensed Recreation Therapist uses recreation activities of all kinds to bring about a positive change socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and/or spiritually. They use all kinds of activities to allow patients to discover and re-create themselves while practicing skills in a safe supportive environment. The Recreation Therapy process prepares patients in their recovery to initiate their leisure time with constructive activities, which may increase their self-efficacy, competence, and autonomy. It is a purposeful intervention designed to improve patient’s overall quality of life. One of the biggest struggles recovering addicts say they have when they are out of treatment and boredom. Through recreational therapy they can find a new activity or hobby that they can continue if they get bored instead of using again. It will also help them meet new friends and stay physically healthy. Some people even find peace and some sort of spirituality being out in nature. Recreational therapy is sometimes considered as experimental meaning it is engaging in hands-on that help recovering addicts process and deal with past trauma, offer a stronger sense of self, a new sober hobby, and even build more trust in themselves as well as others. Some of the more demanding activities can simulate real world stress for these recovering addicts that they will have to overcome without any drugs. Recreational therapy can also help with some co-occurring disorders such as PTSD, OCD, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Treating these disorders and the addiction together make relapse less likely. These activities also help recovering addicts become more personally responsible, develop their communication skills, learn problem solving skills, and teamwork and support. These are all skills they can use in their new sober lifestyles as well as the activities they participate in. It is possible to have fun while sober and through the treatment programs, such as recreational therapy, you will find some ways to do that. However, recreational therapy allows you the chance to try new things and accomplish things you’ve never done before, just as you can accomplish your goals for sobriety. You can use the activities done here as a way to enhance your health, functional abilities, independence, teamwork, and quality of life. These activities can help give you an outlet for stress or to remain active and not bored. Many recovering addicts do not remember what they enjoy outside of their substance abuse. Recreational therapy can help remind them or give them new interests. With the help from our staff and our alumni you will be able to overcome all obstacles. With Recovery Ways being located in Utah, the possibilities of activities for recreational therapy are almost unlimited. With patients of all ages and all capabilities, patients cannot skip out on the recreational therapy activity of the day, but they will be given some options for which they would like to do that day. We do encourage our patients to try new things and go out of their comfort zone a little bit so that they can accomplish new things, experience new adventures, and maybe even find a new sober hobby that they will love and will help make their transition into the real world sober even easier. Being located in Utah we are surround by a multitude of landscapes and recreational facilities. We are surrounded by mountains with some of the best powder(snow) around, deserts, lakes, rivers, canyons, and the recreation facilities. Some of the activities we participate in throughout treatment include: Snowshoeing, Skiing, Volleyball, Tai Chi, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Kayaking, Alpine Slides, Zip-lining, Rope Course, Canoeing, River Rafting, Wakeboarding, Golf, Broom-ball, Bowling, Billiards, Aquarium, Local Tours, Biking, Fly Fishing, Indoor Tennis, Miniature Golf, Go-carts, Laser Tag, Campfires, Disc Golf, Karaoke, Archery, Speed Skating, Library, Bobsledding, Snow Tubing, Cooking, Bocce, Croquet, Sled Hockey, Flag Football, Horse Riding, and many more! There are many benefits to Recreational Therapy. Some happen during treatment and all can occur after treatment programs are finished if they keep up some of the activities they experienced here. The major benefit is that it reduces boredom. It also improves self-esteem and social functioning. It helps patients develop exercise and relaxation skills and problem solving skills. It decreases loneliness and increases feelings of control, ability to focus, ability to cope with stress, ability to choose non chemical alternatives for achieving goals, and their ability to have fun sober. Who said treatment has to be boring?