What type of treatment for drug/alcohol addiction does the JVA provide?
Our program provides participants with all the tools they will need to handle life’s many challenges. They achieve this, in part, through extensive personal development, career preparation, and educational opportunities which are all crucial for a rewarding life of sobriety.
How does the JVA Therapeutic Community work?
Personal growth and proper living are achieved by peers serving as role models, providing support through interaction, and confronting each other in group sessions. By doing all of this, participants come to understand and resolve the cause of their addiction and also gain the tools they need to stay sober.
Program participants are expected to observe the behaviors and attitudes of their peers and act to promote change. The more senior participants teach by example and provide instruction and leadership. They act as big brothers and sisters to the more junior members. They show them how to work, encourage them, reach out to them, “pull them up”, monitor them, and correct their negative behaviors. In our Therapeutic Community, program participants are considered equals in their struggle to change their lives.
While they have no formal authority over their peers, they have considerable informal authority in their community management roles. They are taught to become leaders by handling increasing amounts of responsibility in their job functions and general supervision. As junior members are primarily in learning roles, less demand is placed on them to lead. As they progress through the stages of the program, their attitudes and behaviors change while their responsibility, accountability, and therefore, their self-worth, increases.
What does a day look like as a student at the John Volken Academy?
A typical day at the academy begins around 6 a.m. Students will get ready for their day in our state-of-the-art dormitories. A nutritious breakfast is prepared and served by students assigned to our cafeterias. Following breakfast there is morning group and chores. Students will then disperse to their assigned duties throughout one of our various businesses and functions within the program designed to support the community, allow them to gain work experience and continue their education and life skills training.
Assignments and learning experiences vary by each John Volken Academy location but include all aspects of running businesses such as furniture sales, horse boarding and ranch, grocery and market management, moving, lawn care, and woodshop services, and much more.
Students assignments and roles will rotate throughout their time at the academy from as they are provided the opportunity develop their skills and explore possible career opportunities.
Lunch and dinner are served at the assigned times and the students conclude their day with a variety of structured activities such as peer-to-peer counseling, leisure time, sports and fitness, as well as planned outings to experience the arts, entertainment, nature, and more.
Is a long-term Therapeutic Community effective in treating addiction?
Our Therapeutic Community approaches addiction treatment through the following key areas:
Group work and peer counseling
A look into the underlying cause of their addiction
Time to heal the brain and body
Learning and education opportunities
Job, career, and life skills training
What evidence is there for the success of a long-term Therapeutic Community like John Volken Academy?
You’re chances of gaining life-long sobriety increase SIGNIFICANTLY with a two-year commitment to fully getting well, overcoming addiction, and gaining the skills and tools needed to maintain sobriety.
How does the John Volken Academy program teach a recovering addict sufficient skills and tools necessary for lifelong sobriety?
After a few months in recovery the symptom of the addiction has been dealt with and students feel physically better, often better than they can remember. But for lifelong sobriety, treatment must not end there. Successfully treating the root cause of the addiction takes more time. Too many people relapse because the most important, most essential part needed for lifelong sobriety is not being considered, namely, the tools necessary to handle life’s many challenges.
Some of these tools are: to see obstacles not as problems but as challenges; the ability to face inconvenient realities; to be accountable for one’s actions; to practice self-control; to follow directions; to accept authority; to have self-confidence and self-worth; to be able to deal with changes, handle criticism, learn a “stick to it” attitude, and to cooperate with others.
Our program has four main areas of focus that provide students with these necessary tools:
1. Addressing the Root Cause of Addiction
The abuse of drugs and alcohol—along with other destructive behaviors—are not the real cause of addiction, they’re a symptom of something beneath the surface. To attain permanent recovery, the real cause of addiction, not just the symptom, must be treated. The cause is what drives a person to drugs and alcohol in the first place. It is almost always some underlying issues that makes an individual unable to be content with life as it is.
To determine and treat the causes of addiction, each student at the John Volken Academy undergoes an intense process of therapy in a safe place. Through individual counseling, group sessions, and appropriate peer-to-peer interactions, students learn how to share their thoughts and feelings, while facing and dealing with difficult situations. They learn to reflect on their own struggles and gain valuable insight into the sources of these struggles. In time, the causes of their addiction are identified, and students learn how to “let go” and to deal with those issues in a healthy manner.
2. Healing the Brain
The impairment caused by substance abuse is evident in many ways, such as impulsive, emotional, and irrational decisions and behaviors. During addiction, the brain still functions, but not effectively. Time and space away from substance is required for the brain and body to regain equilibrium.
During treatment, the brain begins to heal (or re-wire) itself. With a relative short time of abstinence, the proper environment, and new patterns of living, improvement in brain structure and function become evident. During this healing or re-wiring process, the person’s actions, reactions, and decision-making abilities remain distorted, but continue to improve as time goes on. After five years of sobriety, active recovery, and addiction treatment, the brain is usually as good as it will ever be, and if the recovered addicts continue to use the proper tools, they will be able to maintain sobriety for life.
This healing process takes time. It requires at least two years, and up to five years, of treatment for the brain to function at its optimum. That is why the minimum stay at the John Volken Academy is two years. It is the best investment of time that a struggling addict can ever make.
3. Adopting a New Lifestyle
To obtain life-long sobriety, it is essential that a person learns and adopts an entirely healthy new lifestyle. Under the direction of our Program Directors and other senior managers, our students do exactly that. This is accomplished, in part, by being taught and learning the following:
Learn to communicate effectively, co-operate with others, and better deal with the public
Become responsible, accountable, punctual, polite, reliable, and productive
Develop patience, tolerance, a “stick to it” attitude
Become valuable employees and to take pride in performance
Develop humility, self-control, and excellence in standards, manners and etiquette
Gain experience in business principles and entrepreneurship, management and leadership skills, problem solving, and how to handle criticism
Learn to go the extra mile and to be givers instead of takers
Develop the ability to deal with changes and improve self-confidence
Enjoy a wide range of healthy indoor and outdoor activities without any stimulants
4. Building Tools Required to Stay Sober
Like turning a big ship around, turning a life around takes time. To expect a person with a history of substance abuse to learn and adopt all the tools needed to stay sober in just a few months is simply unrealistic. We help students gain the tools needed to ultimately build good character through, group work and peer counseling, learning and education opportunities, job training and life skills.
What makes the John Volken Academy different from other treatment centers?
What age and gender do you provide treatment to?
The John Volken Academy accepts both men and women between the ages of 19-44 years old. Depending on the circumstances, exceptions can be made. We are currently accepting both men and women at our Phoenix, Arizona and Surrey, British Columbia locations and only accept men at our Seattle, Washington location.
How long have you been providing addiction treatment?
What kind of transitional services/relapse prevention does the John Volken Academy provide?
For graduates who want to ease back into the “real world”, we offer transition housing. This housing is affordable and located close to their JVA campus. This option allows graduates of the program to stay close to the Therapeutic Community and other graduates of our program. We also provide access to job opportunities at our Life-Skills Training Centers or other local businesses that we have developed relationships with.
Do you offer specialized plans for each student in the program?
Can my family visit me while I am in the program?
What is the application, evaluation and assessment process for becoming a student at the John Volken Academy?
Applying for our program is simple. Contact us and/or submit your application through our website. One of our Program Directors will get in touch with you. You must complete the following before your application is accepted and you can enroll as a student:
TB TEST: A TB test must have been performed within the last year with the date of the exam and test results faxed to our office or provided on the Pre-Admission Medical Evaluation.
PRE-ADDMISSION MEDICAL EVALUATION: You must be medically stabilized with the proper psychiatric support and mood stabilizing medications in place.
DRUG REPLACEMENT THERAPY: Each location has different rules on drug replacement therapy, depending on local laws and staff resources. Please ask our Program Directors at the site you want to apply to for more information. All applicants must be detoxed from illicit drugs before entering the program.
Along with the PRE-ADMISSION MEDICAL EVALUATION filled out by your doctor, you will also need to fill out the ADMISSION APPLICATION. Both forms must be filled out in full; if any information is missing, this will hold up the application process.
In the application, we will provide you a list of acceptable items to bring with you to the JVA, as well as our rules and standards.
Call 1-855-896-1318 to speak directly with us for more information.
Should I get treatment locally or away from home?
How do I arrange travel to the facility I plan to attend? Is there an airport nearby?
All three of our facilities are located near major airports. It is a good idea to work with your Program Director as you arrange your flight to one of the below airports, and we will be there upon your arrival to pick you up and transport you to our facility.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
What can I bring with me to John Volken Academy?
How do I prepare for entering the John Volken Academy?
From there, our staff will reach out to you and help you get your legal affairs in order if necessary. Please be sure to have a valid ID(s) with you. If you do not have a valid ID, please let us know. Medications and medical conditions must be disclosed on our application before entering the facility.
It also is helpful if you begin to lessen or completely stop your use of drugs, alcohol, and nicotine before entering our program. There are no nicotine products allowed on the premises.
Most of all, take a big breath. We know this can be an overwhelming and challenging time. You will be embarking upon the best opportunity available to overcome your addiction. We are here to support you. You will find there is an entire community ready to bring you into the fold to support you and guide you through this journey.
Medical & Legal
Are students of John Volken Academy insured?
Do you accept individuals who are on probation or are coming from a jail/prison facility?
Do you have professionals on staff?
Why no clinical staff on-site?
Do you offer medical detox?
Am I allowed to smoke cigarettes or use nicotine products while in the program?
Are you able to treat people with dual diagnosis?
Do you accept individuals in drug replacement therapy programs?
What are the facilities like?
Modern living quarters with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and access to necessary hygiene and toiletry items
Healthy meals prepared and served in excellent cafeterias
Furnished workout rooms and sports courts
Access to advanced computers and technology
Designed and developed space to spend time in and enjoy nature
Libraries and reading rooms
Music rooms with instruments provided
Where are you located?
We have three locations throughout Canada and the USA. Our locations are in Seattle Washington, Surrey British Columbia, and Phoenix Arizona. Take a tour of each location.
Does your program have a nutritional component?
Will I have a roommate?
How much does the program cost?
How is John Volken Academy free after the intake fee?
What payment options do I have?
Do you offer scholarships for those who cannot afford the in-take and incidental deposit?
How long is the John Volken Academy program?
Why two-years? Is that necessary?
According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, rehabilitation programs of at least 90 days or longer are needed to give an addicted person enough time to recover. Long-term drug rehab programs have 70% sobriety success rates, whereas short-term rehab programs have between 16-20% sobriety success rates.
You’re chances of gaining life-long sobriety increase SIGNIFICANTLY with a two-year commitment to fully getting well, overcoming addiction, and gaining the life skills and tools needed to maintain sobriety and have a successful future.
Is my addiction bad enough for a long-term treatment program?
Consider the amount of time you have already given and lost to your addiction. Consider the financial burden drugs and alcohol have become to you and your family. The cost of lost productivity at work or an inability to keep a job. Consider the legal fines, potential jail time you may be facing as well as the medical bills, and lost physical and mental health at the hands of your addiction. Your relationships and standing within your community are likely strained. The cost of your addiction (and ultimately, the potential cost of your life) is minimal compared to this commitment to getting sober and gaining the life skills needed to live the life you desire.
Chronic drug and alcohol use can take a minimum of two years for your brain and body to heal fully and can take up to five years for a full repair. Our program will ultimately be a blip on the radar of your entire life and will be well worth it for what you can still potentially lose to your addiction.
In considering our program, think of the hope you have for your future and your recovery from addiction. There is a lot of life to live and an extraordinary impact for you to still make in the world. We ask you to take this opportunity to completely change your life, which, in the long-term, will be a very short period. It is an investment in yourself to become the person you are meant to be.
Do you offer family support?
How can I, as a family member or friend, support my loved one in the John Volken Academy?
The best way in which you can be of support to your student is to allow them to complete their commitment to the program so they can fully heal and recover. Encourage them and love them from a distance. More importantly, support them in graduating from the program. Here they will remain safe with us, have opportunities to grow and learn, and a chance to heal their potentially broken relationships with you.
What do I need to know as a family member or friend of a loved one entering the John Volken Academy?
If you have any questions or concerns, you can connect with our John Volken Academy Support Group as well as have direct access to our family liaisons and Program Directors at each facility.
John is often asked why he embarked on this demanding mission. A typical response is:
“The other day, a student made a rather serious mistake…that’s expected. It gave me an opportunity to spend some time with him. After our “heart to heart” we hugged and I told him that I loved him. He responded with tears and said, “My father never said that to me…and how can you love me after all the stupid things I have done?” I reassured him that his mistakes were behind him, and that he was on his way to a new life. That is what the John Volken Academy is all about. Forgiveness and change. There are tears, there are laughs, there is hope, there are struggles, there is change…The transformations are incredible! Every day I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be part of changing lives.”