The Importance of “Futures Planning” in Young Adult Rehabs

In some form or another, everyone carries a dream. More often than not, each person has a clear picture of how they see their lives down the road—they see a light at the end of their journey, through family, finances, or health. These dreams define our own personal success. They drive us forward, giving us something to work towards; they give us hope. 

Not everyone, however, knows how to make their dreams a reality, especially if they’ve been presented with constant battles over the course of their lives. For many battling addiction, this is often the case. At Turnbridge, we see it all the time. When young men enter our program, many bring with them a weight of self-disappointment. Some feel they don’t deserve to dream, some feel they cannot improve what they’ve already broken, some dwell on their past mistakes. Many lack hope.     

planning for your future at teen rehabWhile it is devastating to see anyone we love battle addiction, it is especially heart wrenching to see our own teens fall in the face of drugs. At Turnbridge, we aim to help them rebuild their capacity for hope. Teenagers are the next generation, the future. And in a way, we’re counting on them. We are planning for their futures, even when they aren’t, because of the young, fiery potential they each carry. It is this young population that will soon be changing society and running the world on their own ideas, on their own dreams. 

This means that for teens, rehabilitation must go beyond achieving sobriety. A drug treatment program for young adults should be mindful that the young brain is still developing, absorbing, and changing. Their ideas are still growing, along with their perceptions of themselves and the world around them. They can be positively influenced, and a hopeful mindset should be encouraged.

Enacting “Futures Planning” into teen rehab programs is one way of doing so. As a creative method to helping individuals plan for their next stage of life, Futures Planning can truly bring great positivity into the minds and hearts of teens struggling with addiction. It requires them to look at positive possibilities now and for the future. Futures Planning is a way of crafting opportunity, meaning, and purpose in one’s life. It is an ongoing process that begins with a sheer set of goals and a few strong connections. It is a process of mutual education amongst a community, a process of self-discovery, and a path of great adventure. 

Futures Planning can be a significant part of addiction treatment in that it addresses a person’s strengths and interests, and uses those to establish goals for life after rehab. Futures Planning addresses potential obstacles for an addict, and builds the resources needed to surpass them. 

For example, Turnbridge’s entire Preparative Care program focuses on the development of an individual’s life skills: each phase actively teaches our young clients how to transition from a drug or alcohol addiction to a positive, goal-oriented lifestyle. Phase I is a learning stage in which a client begins to accept his addiction, see how it affected his past, and how he can move forward from it. Clients learn how to cope with any possible bumps in the road. They learn how to rationalize against cravings, and how to avoid relapse triggers. By Phase II, residents are actively moving towards a future direction. They begin to plan for their education, employment, and other vocational pursuits. In Phase III, clients’ aspirations can fully grow and take flight as they gain greater independence. They enroll in college classes, take paying jobs outside treatment facilities, and/or volunteer nearby. 

Volunteering is another way that Turnbridge residents get involved and advance down their paths towards the future. Our Client Volunteer Program, available in the third phase of treatment, allows residents to take on one of the most inspiring roles of all: mentoring for newly enrolled young men struggling with substance addiction. Turnbridge volunteers become a defined, tangible future for new residents, because they were in the same shoes. Their journey is one to be shared. Phase III mentors prove firsthand that health, balance, and sobriety can be achieved, that addiction can be conquered, and that hope can be maintained. Goals are obtainable. By helping others, our volunteers find purpose in their own lives. They become a part of something large: they become a role model, and that in itself, brings an entire new meaning to life.

At Turnbridge, we believe a strong focus on education can bring some of the greatest meaning to life, and to the future of our residents, allowing them to fully pursue their goals. Clients work alongside advisors and tutors to enroll in necessary coursework, finish high school requirements, apply for college, and build resumes for potential jobs. Our support staff helps each resident plan for the future not only through academics, but also through financial literacy, management, and budgeting, use of local transportation, and specific job training. 

Futures Planning, in any form it takes throughout addiction treatment, encourages those in recovery to have hope, and to see each of themselves as a whole, purposeful being. It helps each resident, despite his previous obstacles, accept himself for who he is and who he will become.

At Turnbridge, residents learn to truly envision their future. Our drug treatment plan allows each resident to create personal goals from the very beginning, and to build a sober network who will support these goals throughout the journey of recovery. This will inspire him to get there.

A resident’s journey and progress towards recovery is not measured solely by medical evaluation, but by the acceptance of his addiction and his willingness to make changes for the better. Because in order to change the world, we must first spark changes within ourselves. 

For more information about Turnbridge’s addiction treatment program for young men, please call 1-877-581-1793.