Chemical Dependency is the ultimate expression of existential vacuum; a state of habitual unconsciousness to the exclusion of all meaningful activity and relationships. In existential terms, it is necessary to discover some greater sense of purpose in order for the dissolution of such a painful state of emptiness to occur. The great existential theorist, Victor Frankl stated “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with any ‘how’.” In this case, the ‘why’ is the meaningfulness that the recovering person ascribes to their sobriety. However, many young clients arrive in treatment confused, fragmented, resistant or unwilling.
Life of Purpose Treatment provides a unique opportunity for young adults seeking recovery from a substance use disorder. Founder and CEO Andrew Burki, MSW created the vision to foster success in recovery and purpose in life through truly specialized academically-focused treatment. As the first facility on a university campus in the United States, Life of Purpose was founded to concurrently provide clinical services and educational support to young adults with substance use disorders whose academic path has been disrupted. Located in Boca Raton in the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, the facility lies in the center of an area densely populated with young people in recovery and provides access to three local universities.
Life of Purpose is specifically designed to treat young adults while concurrently promoting meaning and purpose in life through involvement in higher education. Collaboration with higher education affords clients in the primary stages of care the opportunity to develop age-appropriate assets and skills. Viewing young adults through the lens of person-in-environment and operating from a strengths-based perspective, the clinical team utilizes an existential approach to treatment. Through values clarification exercises and focused, honest dialogue, clients are able to explore the potential of recovery as a transitional conduit through which a greater sense of meaning and life purpose can be achieved. Education is regarded as an essential element of one’s identity.
The step-down treatment model includes 60 days of primary care in a partial hospitalization program, 60 days of intensive outpatient treatment, and Academically-Focused Aftercare (duration based on clinical need). Clients can enter the program at any phase of treatment and will receive services in a community composed of a homogenous sub-population of young adults aged 17-29. Clients at Life of Purpose experience a unique level of involvement from academically-focused case managers who address a gap in traditional addiction treatment services offered to young people. Throughout all levels of care, case managers work directly with clients to empower the development of self-advocacy skills and reinforce the coping mechanisms necessary to stay sober while navigating the challenge of a college education. The case management team also aids clients in the arduous process of readmitting to school, applying for financial aid, and reentering the workforce. Additionally, case management tracks the academic progress of clients and implements academic interventions when necessary.
Life of Purpose views higher education as beneficial extension in the continuum of care. Research suggests both self-esteem and education levels are insulating factors against relapse. Empowering a client to return to school while receiving treatment presents each individual with the opportunity to build a solid foundation for a life in long-term recovery. By providing a research driven solution to the treatment of young adults through integration with higher education, Life of Purpose produces a service unique to the industry.
Clinical Outreach Coordinator
Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431