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Gatehouse Academy Announces the Grand Opening of “Gatehouse in the Wilderness”


Wickenburg, AZ, December 10, 2008- Gatehouse Academy is excited to announce the opening of “Gatehouse in the Wilderness”. This is one of many new programs that Gatehouse Academy is launching this year. The wilderness rehabilitation program benefits referring professionals and families by providing an immediate solution for crisis intervention.

Gatehouse Academy, the leader in young adult recovery, recently opened this 90-day addiction and substance abuse experiential wilderness program, which takes place in two locations, Arizona and Canada. “Gatehouse in the Wilderness” teaches teen and young adult residents how to maintain their sobriety through 12 Step education, therapy, and participation within a natural environment. This unique approach to rehab gives residents a sense of belonging by experiencing authentic, intimate relationships that meet on the ground of shared pain, joy and spirituality in their journey of recovery. By stepping out of their comfort zones and handling the challenges of the outdoors, they will confront limited beliefs and long standing emotional patterns in a real and active way.

The Arizona location is set in the High Sonoran Desert of Central Arizona. Residents are taught basic survival skills such as fire starting, treating water, how to care for the environment and their campsites. Each resident is assigned to their own horse for the duration of the rehab program and they are responsible for its care. During the beginning of their stay residents are trained in the basic care and maintenance of their horse, while also learning to ride. Soon after, residents begin their wilderness experience through a series of short hiking and horseback riding expeditions. Once the resident gains some outdoor experience they have the opportunity to go on more physically extensive outings to such world famous areas such as Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon and Sedona.

The Canadian activities are set in Thunder Bay, Ontario in a log cabin built by a timber pioneer in the early 1900’s. Thunder Bay is perched on the edge of one of the largest wilderness parks in Canada- Wabakimi. Here residents gain more wilderness experience through a series of outings that are dependent upon the season, such as backpacking, canoeing, dog sledding and cross country skiing.

Jim Hanley, Managing Partner of all Gatehouse Academy divisions, shares: “I am convinced that both locations provide adventures that will create a truly spiritual and exciting experience while introducing individuals to the tools of sobriety. Residents will take these tools with them and provide themselves with a lifetime of recovery and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.” When residents are not on outings they attend the highly regarded 12 step meetings that both Thunder Bay and Wickenburg provide. In addition, the Arizona setting gives historical value since the setting takes place in the legendary lands of Geronimo, the Apache Native American tribe, and the lawless territories tamed by the Earp brothers and “Doc” Holiday. Arrowheads and decaying cavalry saddles can still be found amidst the land. Films such as “Geronimo”, “The Searchers” and the “Fort Apache Trilogy” are shown so that the resident can truly appreciate the history of the land.

Similarly, during canoeing trips in Canada young people in recovery will experience the same routes taken by the “coureur de bois” (the runners of the woods), who are the French fur traders that opened these passages to the west. Also, during hiking trips in Wabakimi, pictographs painted centuries ago by the Cree and Ojibwa Indians will be viewed.

Depending on the time of year residents may have both locations included in their wilderness rehab experience. During other parts of the year, depending on the climate, residents may have their entire 3-month rehabilitation in either Arizona or Canada. Weeks of hiking and riding in both vast and demanding settings inspire an acknowledgement of a higher power that encourages individuals to look inward.

For further detail and admissions information please call the Gatehouse Wilderness Program toll free at 1-888-251-9422.

About the Gatehouse Wilderness Program
The Gatehouse Wilderness Program is an intensive 90-day drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment experience for young adults between the ages of 17 to 25. Residents learn life skills and build the strong sense of character needed for long-term recovery through nature immersion. For more information about the Gatehouse Wilderness Program call toll-free 1-888-251-9422.

About Gatehouse Academy
Gatehouse Academy is a long-term residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility designed exclusively for young adults between the ages of 17 and 25. Residents learn life skills, continue formalized education, attend therapy, and enhance their physical well being while on the road to recovery from the damaging effects of alcohol and drug abuse. For more information about Gatehouse Academy call toll-free 1-888-730-0905 or visit them online at


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