Start your Recovery 888.866.7504

How Adventure Therapy helps with Substance Abuse Recovery

There are a large variety of options for therapy to treat addiction; not every person will thrive from the same option and many people will even need multiple forms of therapy for the help they need.

Adventure therapy is a form of therapy that seeks to help individuals recover by gaining life skills that will enable them to handle challenges in everyday life and maintain their sobriety. This can include individual or group sessions, often with a combination of both to best support one’s recovery.

Addiction and Mental Health

Addiction can further deteriorate preexisting mental health problems and can cause new mental health issues. Left untreated, mental health problems can feed into addiction and addiction can cause new issues, or further deteriorate existing mental health problems, creating a vicious cycle.

Adventure therapy is a way for individuals to learn skills and gain experiences that will help manage addiction, mental health problems, and other issues they may face.

Benefits of Physical Activity in Recovery

Adventure therapy can be an important way for individuals to challenge themselves, learn to build strong relationships through teamwork, and set goals. There are many different ways to experience adventure therapy and this is something that will vary for each individual. Experiences can include group sports, walking or hiking outdoors, or even rock climbing among many other options.

It is a well known fact that physical activity, particularly time spent outdoors, can be an incredible boost to mental health. You may find yourself accomplishing things you never thought you could: summitting a 1400’ peak, running a marathon, developing solid relationships or simply getting out everyday and being active. Adventure Therapy can help develop survival skills, give you a sense of self-worth and accomplishment, and help build lifelong relationships.

A few examples of activities – both solitary and in groups – that can helps boost self esteem and mental health:


  • Team Sports
  • Weight Lifting
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Rugby
  • CrossFit
  • Spin

Outdoor Recreation

  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Trail Running
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountaineering
  • Camping/Survival
  • Hunting

Water Recreation

  • Fishing
  • White Water Rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling

Mental Health

  • Walking
  • Cooking
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Volunteering
  • Gardening
  • Mentoring

Adventure therapy is a form of therapy that seeks to help individuals recover by gaining life skills that will enable them to handle challenges in everyday life and maintain their sobriety.

When you engage in adventure therapy, you are able to improve your mental health which is an important facet to sobriety. If you are struggling with mental health, you will not be able to battle addiction to your best ability. Substance abuse is a complicated issue and these experiences are not a guarantee that one will never struggle with substance abuse again, but they are a significant way to develop tools to support you in your journey.

Community Support

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the most common forms of therapy is behavioral therapy. According to the NIDA, “…participation in group therapy and other peer support programs during and following treatment can help maintain abstinence.” Peer support is a vital part of many forms of adventure therapy, which helps build skills and provides motivation for continued sobriety. There is not one form of therapy that is going to help everyone and individuals will also need the support of others. Adventure therapy will allow individuals to build a community for support during and after treatment.

Physical Health and Diet

Your physical health is an important part of adventure therapy and your overall success in recovery. While research is still being done on how exactly nutrition and diet affect substance abuse recovery, it is widely accepted that a well-balanced diet and physical activity can both improve mental health.

According to Eva Selhub MD, with Harvard Medical school, when you consume a high amount of processed and refined foods, your brain can become damaged and your body becomes worse at regulating insulin, which also affects the health of your body. Maintaining a nutritious diet will improve your mental and physical health, both of which are significant parts of recovery from substance abuse.

How Reflections Uses Adventure Therapy to Help You

The team at reflections uses Adventure Therapy in many ways. Primarily, our goal is to improve the state of mental health in order to benefit addicts in their journey to recovery. Leveraging methods that we will explore further in our series, Reflections seeks to provide life skills, fitness, and a healthy attitude to improve mental outlook. This is key to setting you up for success!

Emphasizing health can help create a chance in lifestyle. If you want to change and overcome your addictions, contact us today: 866-324-8628