Phoenix Outdoor

363 Graphite Road
Old Fort, North Carolina 28762

Program Information

Wilderness therapy is a very effective treatment process for adolescents who are abusing drugs and alcohol when other traditional forms of intervention and treatment have not produced the desired results. Adolescents often reject attempts by parents to change negative behaviors, may sit silently in a therapist’s office and not engage, and do not believe that drugs and alcohol are a problem for them. The wilderness offers opportunities and advantages not found in other residentially-based substance abuse treatment programs.

Because of the controls at Phoenix Outdoor, there is no possibility of having illegal substance invade the treatment process and there are none of the other distractions in a residential setting such as television, telephones and visitors coming in and out. Participants can’t just walk out of treatment when they become frustrated with the process.

Collaborating with a peer group and trained instructors to live in a wilderness environment creates a bond that motivates adolescents to open up and share experiences and struggles that they face in common. The opportunity to reflect and consider how life may be different without substances is on-going in a wilderness environment. Trained therapists help the client draw analogies between their wilderness experience and real life to give them insight and perspective.

Adolescents who have been unwilling to consider their situation or engage in traditional therapy will use their wilderness experience to gain insights that they had difficulty realizing back home.