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Life of Purpose: Existentialism and Education in Youth Addiction Treatment

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.

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A Problem-Solving Approach: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Through the Lens of a Social Worker

Life of Purpose was created as part of the implementation of a macro level social work intervention to address the systemic needs of young people receiving treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) in a modern environment. By providing a research driven solution through integration with higher education, we are implementing alternative solutions and goals in the field of alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) treatment. Drawing from social work theory and lived experience, the Life of Purpose model treats young adults with substance use disorders from a problem solving approach.  Evaluation of the normative treatment episode would suggest that the industry is not providing effective solutions for the decreasing age of onset and timing in AOD treatment. A treatment methodology where young adults concurrently receive clinical services and educational support produces a service unique and arguably superior to the more generalized and generic treatment models that currently dominate the industry.

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An Academic Approach to Treatment

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.

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