The journey from addiction to recovery is rarely easy, but it can prove particularly difficult for teenagers. During this tumultuous time, adolescents have to navigate hormonal changes, peer pressure and increased academic expectations. Finding a way to cope with these challenges — while also recovering from addiction — requires help from professionals who have a close, compassionate understanding of teenagers and their needs.
That’s where Next Generation Village (NGV) comes in. Since its first admission on September 2, 2015, NGV has helped over 550 patients between the ages of 13 and 17 enter recovery. Three years and nearly 20,000 collective days of treatment later, NGV continues to grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of teens in recovery.
In honor of three years of helping teens in the Sebring community and beyond, here are some of the ways that NGV sets itself apart from other adolescent treatment centers.
Comprehensive Care Delivered by Compassionate Professionals
Many addiction treatment centers exclusively provide care on an outpatient basis. However, NGV believes that a full continuum of inpatient, comprehensive care options is what best empowers teens in lifelong recovery. By working through a series of different treatment levels and living at a center full-time, teens can gradually learn the skills they need to stay sober, and gain confidence and enthusiasm in a life without drugs and alcohol.
Starting with detox, patients at NGV move through inpatient residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient levels of care. A broad range of clinical and medical treatment methods are offered during each of these phases of treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Because teen addiction is often driven by underlying mental health issues, NGV also provides care for co-occurring conditions, like anxiety, depression and personality disorders.
It’s the firm belief of every NGV treatment provider that all children deserves access to care for their addiction, and that any adolescent can be successful when they commit to recovery. While this attitude of ownership can be empowering for teens, it can also be intimidating. Fortunately, medical and clinical staff at NGV are dedicated to providing the encouragement each child needs to feel assured in their ability to build a better life in recovery. To help ensure each child has adequate support, there is always a minimum of one nurse staffed on every floor, and one behavioral health technician on staff for every 10 patients.
A Balance of Education and Extracurriculars
Education is crucial to every child’s intellectual development. While it’s important that adolescents grappling with addiction get the help they need, this professional treatment shouldn’t interfere with their schooling. To make sure that teens in recovery keep up with their studies, a significant portion of each patient’s time at NGV is spent on schoolwork. Two full-time educators work closely with patients to tailor the curriculum to each individual’s academic needs and goals.
However, while education is paramount, NGV also recognizes that enriching extracurricular activities are also key to a child’s development. After all, a large part of successful recovery lies in finding ways to replace maladaptive coping skills with healthy ones.
To help teens find joy and fulfillment in recovery, NGV offers a broad range of recreational activities, including:
- Equine therapy.
- Art and music therapy.
The center also holds regular off-campus day trips for patients who have received medical clearance. These can include visits to:
- Chocolate factories.
- Animal rehabilitation centers.
- Water parks.
- State parks.
Celebrating Success and Setting Clients up for Long-Term Recovery
Completing a rehab program as a teen is no easy feat. As such, NGV believes that this occasion should be celebrated for the accomplishment that it is. Each client graduating from treatment is honored with a special ceremony, where peers and treatment providers talk about the impact that the graduate had on their lives. They are also presented with a special NGV coin that they can take with them into lifelong recovery, that serves of a reminder of how far they’ve come.
Graduates also have the opportunity to decorate a small stepping stone that is placed in the center’s reflection area. This area serves as a place of contemplation for current admissions. Set among the stepping stones of people who have come before them, these stepping stones serve as a reminder of the possibility of recovery, memorializing the successes of past graduates and inspiring hope in current patients.
Here’s to many more years of hope and healing from NGV.