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 make 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 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 are required for the brain and body to regain equilibrium.
During treatment, the brain begins to heal (or rewire) itself. With a relative short time of abstinence, the proper environment, and new patterns of living, improvement in brain structure and function becomes evident. During this healing or rewiring 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 maintain a life of sobriety, it is paramount that the individual adopt a healthy new lifestyle. This requires developing proper social skills, life skills, and vocational skills. Additionally, it requires changing one’s attitudes, behaviors, and values.
The John Volken Academy program teaches how to set boundaries, communicate effectively, and get along with others in a positive manner. Students are constantly involved in social activities with other students, in the workplace and within the community.
They repair relationships with friends and family. They learn acceptable work ethics. They learn how to speak in public and become comfortable in any social setting. They learn all aspects expected from a well-adjusted, contributing individual.
This process takes a great deal of time, practice, and expertise. Adopting an entirely new way of living in a short period of time is simply unrealistic. This is why our inpatient substance abuse programs provide the best possible outcome.
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.
We offer the best drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Here’s our holistic approach to care:
Students are expected to take care of, and respect their bodies. They are required to achieve and maintain good physical health. Balanced meals, regular exercise, proper sleep, and good personal hygiene all contribute to a sound physical body.
Mental health is a top priority in healing. Students are taught to think positively and be assertive. They are taught to think for themselves and not to simply follow along or take the easy way out. They are taught how to analyze situations, prioritize, and make the “right” decisions.
During their time in our substance abuse treatment program, students develop the will-power to never use again. They learn to enjoy life without substances, to be motivating, humble and grateful, and to accept consequences for their actions.
Students broaden their knowledge through educational workshops on literacy, writing, debating, current events, legal matters, music, resumes, and computer skills. They are encouraged to read enriching books, watch educational films, and continually converse on positive and motivating topics.
At the John Volken rehab facility, students learn to understand, control, and express their emotions. They learn to acknowledge and overcome negative reactions and develop a healthy approach to challenging circumstances.
They learn to replace impulsive actions with thoughtful decision-making. They learn to deal with frustration and anger, developing patience and understanding.
They learn to respect and care for others, how to accept criticism, and how to laugh and enjoy life. They learn to forgive themselves and others while developing the desire to repair damaged relationships with friends and family.
Students are taught how to set boundaries, communicate effectively, and get along with others in a positive manner. They are constantly involved in social activities where they learn to engage in acceptable and meaningful interactions with others. They learn how to speak in public and be comfortable in any social setting.
The John Volken Academy acknowledges that one’s beliefs may lend strength, perseverance, and motivation through the recovery process. While the program is not faith-based, students are encouraged to explore and develop spiritually.
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.”