The Benefits of the Outdoors in Pennsylvania Addiction Treatment

When it comes to substance abuse and addiction in Pennsylvania, the best thing a person can do is seek treatment. Treatment usually involves a stay in a rehab center in Pennsylvania, where trained medical professionals will help patients manage their symptoms and provide care and support. One of the key elements of a successful recovery is incorporating the great outdoors in the process. There are numerous benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment, such as improved self-esteem, exercise, enhanced cognitive functions, etc. In this article, we will explain exactly how the outdoors enhances recovery, the benefits you can reap, and present our own Adventure Program.

What is an outdoor addiction treatment and why it works?

In essence, outdoor addiction treatment is there to help people that are coping with addiction reconnect with nature. This creates a positive experience, one that augments recovery in a very significant way. Being outdoors promotes self-awareness, helps process and manage emotions, and offers something to do instead of relapsing to previous behavior. Most drug and alcohol treatment centers in Pennsylvania incorporate outdoor activities in their programs due to the hugely positive effects they can have on one’s recovery. Furthermore, outdoor addiction treatment also benefits people in need of social and emotional support, allowing them a smooth transition to their normal lives.

The principles behind outdoor addiction treatment are:

  • Identity development
  • Resilience
  • Growth
  • Self-efficacy
  • Grit
a man enjoying one of the benefits of the outdoors in pennsylvania addiction treatment
By spending time outdoors, you will learn to be more self-sufficient.

By spending time outdoors, you will also develop a variety of psychological principles that are required for a healthy, high-quality, lifestyle. Outdoor addiction treatment is a proven treatment method, one that utilizes the power of nature to promote recovery, development, and personal growth. While you can reap many of the benefits on your own by simply spending more time outdoors, having medical professionals to guide you along the way is much more effective. That way, you will be able to maximize the benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment.

Benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment

While every person is quite unique and may derive their own benefits from spending time outdoors, outdoors Pennsylvania addiction treatment programs will also provide you with the following benefits:

  • Less boredom and loneliness
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves sleep
  • Enhances cognitive function
  • Provides great introspection opportunities
  • Greater Vitamin D production
  • Natural exercise

Furthermore, by opting for a professional outdoors Pennsylvania addiction treatment, you will find that all the activities you partake in are intentionally therapeutic. These activities are specially designed to help people communicate and listen better, overcome challenges, build resilience, and create a strong sense of identity. Even a standard recreational therapy program PA can provide most of these benefits. However, to get the maximum out of your time outdoors, you may want to consider enrolling in a specialized program.

person running
Spending time outdoors will build up your innate resiliency.

Now, let’s take a look at these benefits in a bit more detail.

Being outdoors will have you feel less bored and lonely

Most people that are suffering from substance abuse and/or addiction find that they don’t know what to do with their time when sober. Most of their previous activities were all centered around substance use, after all. That is why many patients in, for example, heroin rehab centers in PA find themselves unable to lead a normal life after their stay there is over. By incorporating the outdoors into your routine, you will be able to keep your mind busy and lower the chances of a relapse. Furthermore, spending time outdoors will provide you with ample opportunities to reconnect with your loved ones or forge new relationships.

While spending your time outdoors is helpful in every stage of the recovery process, it is most important in the early stages when you may struggle to fill your time. You need something to provide structure and distraction. Being outdoors will provide you with both, as well as help you improve your mental health and reduce the chances of relapsing.

Spending time outdoors will improve your self-esteem

While you are spending your time outdoors, you are inevitably picking up a few new skills. Whether it is simply how to recognize various plants and animals, or learning how to build a fire, you will experience constant growth throughout your recovery process. And if you opt to enroll in a professional outdoors treatment program, you will have access to teachers that will enhance skill acquisition. For example, you will learn how to do a variety of things such as setting traps for predators, building your own shelter, cooking, preparing meals, and even how to make water portable.

skateboarder doing a trick
Learning new skills will improve your self-esteem.

Not only will you feel empowered by learning something productive but you will also redirect your attention to these new activities. What this will do is break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts and replace them with new, positive, experiences. Do note that the aforementioned skills were only examples. Outdoor treatment programs will customize their curriculum according to your preferences. You will get to learn what you want to learn, improving your self-esteem in the process!

Stress and anxiety are reduced when outdoors

Simply being outside has a tremendous effect on reducing your stress levels, as well as your anxiety. In fact, outdoor activities are the ultimate de-stressor. By spending time outdoors, you will slowly “recharge” your proverbial batteries and pave the road to complete recovery.

Your sleep will be improved

Many people that are suffering from addiction find that they can’t get a good night’s sleep, no matter what they do. This may be due to insomnia or other sleep disorders, or due to common drug withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, simply being outside for a set period of time will improve your sleep. The main reason for this is that being outdoors will help regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm, due to adequate sun exposure. By improving your sleep quality, you will also be able to benefit from the following:

  • Energy boost
  • Minimized mood swings
  • Better decision-making
one of the benefits of the outdoors in pennsylvania addiction treatment -improved sleep
Spending time outdoors will help you sleep like a baby!

Lastly, healthy sleep is all but necessary for relapse prevention. By being outdoors, you will have ample time to think through any experiences that might keep you up at night.

Being outdoors enhances your cognitive function

Thanks to extensive research, we know that spending your time outdoors improves our ability to focus and our problem-solving skills. These cognitive functions are very important for a healthy lifestyle. The fact of the matter is that addiction recovery comes with a set of challenges. Sometimes, the best way to deal with these challenges is to grow as a person. And being outdoors will provide you with the exact growth that you may require. That is why even the most “hardcore” inpatient rehab Pennsylvania programs incorporate time spent outdoors. Being outside simply makes it easier to invest your attention into whatever you are doing. Away from the invasive cravings and thoughts.

But the most important benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment are all about problem-solving. You want to equip yourself with the ability to deal with any issues that may occur on your road to recovery. And the best way to do so is to enroll in an outdoor addiction treatment program.

One of the most important benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment – Introspection

Introspection is, perhaps, one of the most important parts of the recovery process. It allows you to become comfortable in your own company. And being in a calm and relaxing environment will make introspection a lot easier. You can simply let your mind wander and enjoy your surroundings. Whether you are undergoing benzo addiction treatment or any other, spending your time outdoors will help calm your mind. And with a calm mind, you will be able to think through your next steps and think of solutions.

person meditating
Introspection and meditation are much easier when outdoors.

Introspection will allow you to get insight into your own feelings and behavior. It can be a great source of personal knowledge and may provide knowledge that is impossible to acquire otherwise.

Your body produces more Vitamin D when outdoors

Vitamin D is one of the most important components of a healthy body. It will help your body absorb phosphorous and calcium, improve your immune system and help you fight off infectious diseases. More Vitamin D will boost your energy levels, as well. This vitamin is especially important during alcohol addiction, as Vitamin D will minimize alcohol cancer risk.

Your body naturally produces Vitamin D in the skin in response to sunlight. That is why it is essential to spend more time outdoors and bask in the sun. Lastly, lack of exposure to sunlight may result in various mood disorders that may hinder recovery. By eliminating these mood disorders, you can focus on positive behavior and pave the road to a successful recovery!

You will exercise just by spending time outdoors

The last one of the benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment is rather simple. Any outdoor activity will inevitably involve exercise. Even hiking will produce a positive endorphin response. By exercising, you are also allowing your body to increase the flow of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. This results in overall higher energy levels as well as improved mood. Exercise will also alleviate many addiction withdrawal symptoms. Not to mention that you will be acquiring coping skills to prevent drug relapse on the way. However, it is very important that you find the exercise enjoyable. Another benefit of professional outdoor treatment programs is that they offer a variety of activities that will stimulate your body and mind. And if you can incorporate a little bit of adventure into your life, all the better!

person looking at a sunset
The outdoors provide ample opportunities for exercise.

One of the best outdoors Pennsylvania addiction treatments – Little Creek Adventure Program

The most important part of any recovery is finding joy. And that is precisely what Little Creek Adventure Program is all about! By enrolling in this program, you will be able to “Discover your true self physically, emotionally, and spiritually”. At Little Creek, we encourage our residents to forge life-long relationships, find their unique strengths, and take advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer. We fully understand what makes men more vulnerable to addiction, and are prepared to provide our residents with everything they need to overcome it. Whether you are spending time in the gorgeous Pennsylvania woods or taking a trip outside our borders, you will be able to rediscover parts of yourself that you thought were long lost.

And you are going to have a blast while doing it.

As its name implies, adventure is the most important part of our outdoor treatment program. By combining adventure with the power of nature, we help our patients overcome their addictions in a fun and interactive manner. Throughout the program, our adventure therapists will utilize various tools and activities to help you recover in the best possible way. Some of the available activities include hiking, kayaking, zip-lining, swimming, snowshoeing, horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing, snowboarding, go-karting, and many more.

At Little Creek, we fully understand that each person has unique recovery challenges. That is why our Adventure Program is customized to each person’s specific needs. Each activity is specially designed to build challenges that will help you recover from your addiction. Furthermore, we augment the entire program with other therapy modalities, such as music therapy for addiction.

Benefits of the Little Creek Adventure Program

Overall, the Little Creek Adventure Program will provide you with accurate clinical assessments, a noticeable decrease in depression and anxiety, increased resiliency, and improved self-confidence. The program will help you acquire positive social skills and build positive relationships. Throughout our outdoor adventure program, you will also have meaningful opportunities to face challenges, acquire healthy coping skills, and learn how to manage your stress levels.

If you want to maximize the benefits of the outdoors in Pennsylvania addiction treatment, enrolling in the Little Creek Adventure Program is pretty much the best thing you can do. Our team of medical experts will be with you every step of the way!


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“Adventure trek is always popular”

Little creek lodge is such an amazing place for people who want to make a serious change in their life. I’ve watched my loved one grow immensely through his recovery with the help of the caring staff and engaging programs. Adventure trek is always popular on the agenda!

Annabelle Stiso |

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