The Link Between Substance Abuse & Mental Health

While most, but not all, of our clients at Legacy Outdoor Adventures have problems with substance abuse, when young adults are struggling with trauma and/or mental health issues, they often turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain or disconnect from overwhelming challenges. Many of them started this pattern as teenagers, and by the time they become adults, their substance abuse has become an overarching challenge that must be addressed simultaneously with core mental health and trauma issues. Legacy invites but does not require clients to explore the 12 Step Program that has proven effective for substance abuse recovery. The principles are taught, and clients can participate as much as they want. They may also explore other substance abuse recovery modalities such as Smart Recovery, or Dharma Recovery.

Often when clients first start treatment they may not see their substance abuse as a contributing factor to their life struggles. Others enter treatment because their substance use has become unmanageable and is making adult responsibilities and expectations impossible. In either case, and for those who fall in between, including sobriety or responsible use of substances as part of recovery is essential. Legacy has Substance Use Disorder Counselors (SUDC) who facilitate relapse prevention groups, and in some cases are the primary therapist for clients whose treatment focus is substance abuse. These experts also train and educate our guides to understand addiction and support our clients in their recovery. It is important to note that addictive patterns of behavior are not limited to substances only, but can be what is referred to as “Process Addictions” such as gambling, excessive buying, sexual addiction, gaming/electronic device addiction, disordered eating, and other behaviors that can be detrimental to developing and sustaining healthy adulthood.