Fix Your Addiction

The Seven Challenges System

Intensive outpatient (IOP) and day treatment (PHP) for substance use and tech overuse. IOP is at least 3 times per week for 3 hours per day. PHP is at least 20 hours per week for 4 or 5 hours per day, 4 or 5 days per week.

A Way To Heal

We use the Seven Challenges as an alternative to the typical 12-Step program you may have already tried. What we like about the Seven Challenges is this: it doesn’t stigmatize you; it doesn’t disempower you; and you don’t need us to tell you what you “should” be doing. It’s a way of healing from substance use, porn addiction, and technology overuse (like gaming addiction) that is proven to work for adults and teens.

If You...

Struggle with keeping attention but you can focus on your favorite video game for hours on end; if you seem to learn slower than other people but you know you’re smart; if you feel you lack confidence except when you are behind your desk working away alone; if you feel more comfortable online than IRL situations with your friends and family, then these programs are perfect for you.

It's More Than One Thing

Some people call treatment for these things coupled with substance abuse “co-morbid”. We don’t like that term because it sounds like “dying together”. What comorbidity really means is that someone has more than one thing they are struggling with. For example, if you do meth and you feel depressed, you have “comorbidity” of substance abuse and depression. We think this is self-evident; of course people struggle with more than one thing at a time! (Name one person who doesn’t.) People like you don’t always need traditional, strictly addiction-focused treatment, yet that is often all they can find. Potomac’s treatment groups, based in the Seven Challenges, are different.

Potomac's Seven Challenges

Our Seven Challenges programs involve you in all of the things you might expect: group therapy, family therapy, and individual therapy. We provide a unique spin on those traditional things. We go outside a lot and do things together. We try different ways of communicating and discussing – verbally, non-verbally, with words, with pictures, with actions, with all kinds of expression. Participants are supportive. No one feels dumb or judged in our Seven Challenges programs.

Why Does Potomac Stress So Much Activity?

Some wonder why our program puts such heavy emphasis on being so active both inside our groups and in the community. Research shows that “doing” is more effective than “talking” when it comes to making deep change. The more senses one activates when working through challenges, the more those changes last. Expect us to involve you in the use of arts, games, walks and hikes. Expect us to utilize group interactions that might require teams and roles that may stretch you to get out of your comfort zone. Music, food, service, and other activities can help develop positive new habits while allowing you to know that new concepts you are learning aren’t just understood but practiced.

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Seven Challenges and AA

Many people who made changes using Seven Challenges have decided that for them, using even a little bit triggers them so much that they have decided to avoid using substances altogether. In that case, some also attend traditional AA recovery groups which are designed for those wanting to be fully drug and alcohol free. As part of our program we do offer opportunities to see what these meetings are like.

And certainly not everyone at AA meetings is there because they are not using. They may be there to find a group that doesn’t center their lives on drugs and alcohol use. The variety and availability of AA, NA, and other 12 Step groups is impressive. We know of great groups for young people, parents, for those with struggles with a specific addiction such as cocaine, or eating or gambling that can support you long after you complete treatment with us.

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Seven Challenges Parent Work

While you are working on understanding how drug and alcohol or other behaviors that can become addicting and then making changes that allow you to be more content, productive and connected to life, your parents are also doing their own work. Each week they are able to learn how their own part in the family system can affect others in the family. They are given skills to support you and make their own changes. Parents often feel disconnected from other families and can benefit from learning how other families have figured out how to cope with conflicts, how to support kids as they become more independent and what they might do when feeling overwhelmed in life. We know that healthy change works best in families when all family members make change.