The Seven Challenges®

The Program  |  Eligibility  |  Expectations  |  FAQs  |  Patient Stories  |  Locations

A New Choice - and Voice - For Adolescent Substance Abuse

Natchaug Hospital is now offering a substance abuse partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient for adolescents.

The Program

The Seven Challenges® Program was designed with the unique needs of substance abusing adolescents in mind. Through the Seven Challenges® teens address not only their drug or alcohol abuse, but also their underlying psychological, situational and life skills issues.

The Seven Challenges® provide a framework for helping youth think through their own decisions about their lives and their use of alcohol and other drugs. Counselors, trained specifically in the program methodology, facilitate discussions that help youth to identify and work on the issues most relevant to them, practice new skills and, eventually, make positive lifestyle changes.

Natchaug Hospital is pleased to bring this evidence-based treatment program for adolescents to eastern Connecticut.

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An Effective New Approach to Treating Addiction in Youth
Because Natchaug is committed to providing the most effective, up-to-date treatments, the hospital uses the Seven Challenges® Program to give young people a framework for recovery. For years, the treatment for youth with drug and alcohol problems involved dragging them into counseling and demanding they quit using. Research has shown this is not an effective approach.

The Seven Challenges® Program doesn’t force change, but rather motivates the young person to make a personal commitment to change. The program helps youth examine the importance of their choices and make healthy decisions on their personal road to recovery. The Seven Challenges® Program has been proven effective in treating substance abuse along with other mental health and trauma issues.

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The Seven Challenges® uses a group therapy approach. Therapists trained in the program facilitate discussion and help youth speak openly about their addiction. During these group discussions, counselors seamlessly integrate the challenges as part of the conversation.

The Seven Challenges® guides youth to make healthy decisions based on these principles:

  1. We decided to open up and talk honestly about ourselves and about alcohol and other drugs.
  2. We looked at what we liked about alcohol and other drugs, and why we were using them.
  3. We looked at our use of alcohol or other drugs to see if it has caused harm or could cause harm.
  4. We looked at our responsibility and the responsibility of others for our problems.
  5. We thought about where we seemed to be headed, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to accomplish.
  6. We made thoughtful decisions about our lives and about our use of alcohol and other drugs.
  7. We followed through on our decisions about our lives and drug use. If we saw problems, we went back to earlier challenges and mastered them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Seven Challenges FAQ video

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Patient Stories

Seven Challenges Patient Stories video

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Seven Challenges Services Map

  • Shoreline

    5 Research Parkway, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

  • Southeast

    1353 Gold Star Highway, Groton, CT 06360

  • Enfield

    72 Shaker Road, Suite 7, Enfield, CT 06082

  • Thames Valley

    11A Stott Ave., Norwich, CT 06360

  • The Joshua Centers

    Natchaug's Joshua Center Programs treat children as young as six and as old as 17 who are struggling with psychiatric or substance abuse issues, but do not require inpatient care.

  • Northeast

    934 North Main Street, Danielson, CT 06239

  • Mansfield

    189 Storrs Road, Mansfield Center, CT 06250-0260

Behavioral Health Network