Passages to Recovery, a Wilderness Treatment Program in Southern Utah, Celebrates Its Eighth Anniversary

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For eight years Passages has offered young adults a unique alternative to traditional residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction.

The addicted person has compromised coping skills that hamper their ability to deal with common stressors. In wilderness treatment, young people develop new skills in a uniquely challenging environment. They begin to recognize that they can deal with change and stress without using substances.

Passages To Recovery is celebrating their 8th year of providing young adult substance and alcohol abuse treatment and addiction treatment in the majestic high mountain desert of south central Utah.

Passages To Recovery offers a cutting edge addiction treatment program for young adults by coupling intensive clinical assessment and therapy with a 12 -step program and a 35-day wilderness experience.

"For many young adults the idea of spending a month in a treatment center seems daunting. Passages to Recovery removes the walls and makes the majesty of nature the environment for recovery. Ninety percent of our young adults go on to participate in aftercare - a phenomenal success rate," says Dori Them, Executive Director.

University-based research has validated the effectiveness of wilderness therapy programs, also known as outdoor treatment, for young people struggling with substance abuse.

In 2007, Passages To Recovery began sponsoring many of their long-term employees in their quest toward becoming licensed substance abuse counselors in the State of Utah. Coinciding with this effort, Passages To Recovery has also implemented weekly training for all staff with a focus on the neurobiology of chemical dependency.

"In recent years there have been great breakthroughs regarding the neuroscience of addiction. These findings indicate there are changes in the reward center of the brain," says Aaron Lopez, Program Manager at Passages, "The addicted person has compromised coping skills that hamper their ability to deal with common stressors. In wilderness treatment, young people develop new skills in a uniquely challenging environment. They begin to recognize that they can deal with change and stress without using substances."

In October 2007, Passages learned that all seven of the employees who participated in the weekly training sessions passed their competency exams to become Licensed Substance Abuse Counselors.

Passages to Recovery is part of Aspen Education Group, a network of over 30 programs in 13 states that provide enlightened, innovative approaches to help young people struggling with behavioral challenges, emotional issues, or substance abuse. Aspen's programs have been profiled by major news and television organizations, including: CNN, National Public Radio, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, ABC's "Good Morning America" and the syndicated TV program "Dr. Phil." For over two decades, Aspen Education Group has been achieving successful outcomes for families through its boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs, summer camps, and residential treatment centers.

If you would like to learn more about Passages to Recovery's wilderness treatment programs please visit http://www.passagestorecovery.com or call 866-625-8809.

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