Petty Creek Ranch has an extensive recovery-oriented substance abuse program for struggling teens who are at risk of developing serious drug and alcohol dependencies. Following some of the most empirically proven trends with respect to treating addiction, Petty Creek Ranch focuses on improving the “global” well-being of the struggling teen in terms of health, home, purpose, and community. We believe that our person-centered philosophy and collaborative network of mental health professionals offers our boys many options that will assist them in overcoming their struggles with drugs and alcohol in order to live a self-directed life. Since PCR promotes job-skills training, education, spiritual growth, and improvement in the physical health of our teens, we are highly successful in helping our clients re-integrate back into their communities and to experience long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Petty Creek Ranch believes that there are many pathways to recovery and that our duty in working with struggling teens is to expose each boy to the many possibilities that they can take in order to reach their full potential. Our substance abuse recovery program offers struggling-teens access to mutual support groups, individual counselors, recovery coaches, and peer support specialists in order to create a multi-dimensional system of care that will help them recover from the horrible disease of addiction. Additionally, Petty Creek Ranch also creates an extensive transition and discharge plan as part of an exit strategy in order to ensure that the boys who leave our program are able to receive continuing care to prevent them from relapsing. We feel that our ability to succeed in initiating a sustained recovery and in building a strong resiliency in our boys is unmatched by any other youth program in the industry.
The majority of adolescents who begin abusing drugs and alcohol become “culturally enmeshed” in the drug culture: from the clothes they wear to their taste in music and choice of friends, they assume the identity and persona of a “druggie” in order to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. Recent studies have shown that the culturally enmeshed addict needs to become enmeshed in a recovery culture, as the natural need to be “a part of something” continues to be satisfied, although it is replaced with a community that promotes health and wellness.
Petty Creek Ranch offers a radical change of culture by providing at-risk teens with a chance to find purpose and belonging in therapeutic milieu. We feel that our use of the Montana wilderness along with our integration of a faith-based recovery program is a highly unique and effective way to re-build the sense of dignity and esteem in the struggling teens who are constantly searching for acceptance. Although providing a substitute community and recovery culture is the aim of most mutual aid groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.), we believe that our success comes from the fact that the wilderness educational activities we use does not suppress the thrill-seeking behavior that addicts exhibit and, therefore, poses as an attractive and alternative option to abusing substances.
Petty Creek Ranch also uses the principles of traditional 12-step programs and holds reading groups of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in order to both intensify the program’s recovery culture and to draw upon the proven methods for overcoming addiction from the most widespread and influential of all mutual aid groups. Our goal in doing so, is also to expose the struggling teens who enter our program to social support systems that are available to them when they return home, as daily A.A. meetings occur in almost every town in the United States. Additional benefits to using A.A.’s 12-step program is that it teaches the at-risk teens the need to surrender to a higher power, to accept the things that they cannot change, to make a rigorous moral inventory and, finally, to overcome the inherent selfish nature of addiction by helping other addicts overcome themselves.