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

  • Joshua Center Northeast

    From I-395 take Exit 93 (Dayville/E. Killingly). Turn onto Hartford Tpke. (Rte. 101) south, then take a quick right onto N. Main St. (Rt. 12). Go about 1 mile - Joshua Center will be on the left.

  • Joshua Center Enfield

    Take I-91 to Exit 48 (Elm St./Rt. 220). Continue on Elm St./Rt. 220 for 1.5 Miles to Joshua Center.

  • Joshua Center Mansfield

    Located at the Natchaug Hospital main building on Rte. 195 just north of the Eastbrook Mall and the intersection of Route 6.

  • Joshua Center Thames Valley

    Located across from Dodd Stadium in Norwich, behind the HHC East Region System Support Office.

  • Joshua Center Shoreline

    Easy access from Rt. 95. At intersection with Rt. 1/154 (Boston Post Rd/Middlesex Turnpike), take Mill Rock Road East (at Pat’s Country Kitchen). Continue across Railroad tracks. Joshua Center is on the left, at the corner of Mill Rock and Research Parkway, with driveway entrance on Research Parkway. Large number 5 on the building.

  • Joshua Center Southeast

    Take exit #86 off of I-95 onto Route 184 towards Gales Ferry. CarePlus is Located on Route 184 near the intersection with Route 117.

Natchaug Hospital