About 50 miles north of San Francisco in a historic lodge in the woods of Sebastopol is Azure Acres, a drug and alcohol rehab owned by the CRC Health recovery conglomerate. Surrounded by 30 acres of towering redwoods, the sprawling house was built in 1906 by famed Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck as a vacation home and became a rehab in 1959. Aside from its ownership, for the most part Azure Acres has remained the same with a treatment program heavy on tradition.
Accommodations and Food
The co-ed facility has 28 beds, and each bedroom has a rustic feel with log cabin-style furnishings consisting of two quilted beds, a nightstand and little else. The campus is serene with an outdoor pool, bench swing, hiking trails and picnic areas. While the spiritual focus at Azure Acres is non-religious, the yard does have a small shrine dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Because Azure Acres stresses healing the body as well as the mind and spirit, they have chefs serving balanced meals that stress nutrition over comfort.
Treatment and Staff
The inpatient program here lasts a minimum of 30 days. It offers medically-assisted detox with Subutex for limited periods of time (with consulting medical staff not on-site), but this is an ultimately abstinence-based approach. The program is mostly 12-step based with treatment methods that include lectures, individual and group counseling, on-site AA/NA meetings and relapse prevention classes.
Still, Azure Acres supplements its Big Book traditionalism with special offerings like Qi-Gong groups and an eight-part spiritual workshop series from their spiritual advisor. They also have special process groups for men and women, a closure group at the end of the day where alumni call in to share their wisdom (which has been a tradition there since the 80s) and a “humor in treatment” session once a month where a recovery comedian comes on-site to entertain the residents.
Daily life is balanced with plenty of free time alongside treatment sessions. Wake-up is at 6:45 am followed by a community meeting and book study before breakfast at 8 am. There are plenty of chores here, so a daily room-cleaning and inspection comes after breakfast before morning groups. Lunch is at 1 pm with some free time after and rotating groups in the afternoon as well. Big Book study is at 5 pm, dinner at 6 pm, AA/NA from 8-9 pm (four times a week) and lights out at 11 pm.
With between eight to ten drug counselors on-site at any given time (most of whom are in recovery), client-to-staff ratios are about three-to-one or lower when it’s not at maximum capacity.
Saturdays and Sundays are for the loosely structured family program, which includes lectures, process groups and free visiting time. All of the above is also offered in the outpatient track as well, with three-hour morning and evening groups available during a six-week period for a total of 24 sessions. Azure Acres doesn’t skimp on aftercare, either; their “lifetime” program boasts an individualized relapse prevention plan, referrals to therapists or halfway homes, free weekly groups, alumni meetings and more.
For the price, Azure Acres has a lot to offer. It’s a great value, and being part of a conglomerate doesn’t seem to have changed the intimate treatment offered here.
2264 Green Hill Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
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