Nestled in the scenic foothills of Yonah Mountain in the northeastern corner of Georgia, Black Bear Lodge offers recovery for those struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis is Black Bear Lodge’s specialty, and treatment advisers argue that substances are not the problem, they are the solution insofar as they are used to treat an underlying problem such as mental illness or previous trauma. This approach is a breath of fresh air for those who have self-medicated with substances but long to find healthier coping mechanisms and treatment.
Accommodations and Food
Beyond its treatment protocol, perhaps the greatest advantage of choosing Black Bear Lodge for rehabilitation is its awe-inspiring location. Hills and canyons blanketed with evergreen and deciduous trees stretch for miles in all directions. In the fall, the leaves change to brilliant shades of yellow and orange. In the winter, snow covers the landscape, making the lodge feel more like a mountain retreat than a rehab facility.
Black Bear Lodge was originally designed as a wedding resort and all of the original furniture and artwork remain intact, making it a stunning space. The interior features lodge-style decor with rough-hewn wood furniture, massive rock fireplaces and comfortable leather furniture. Black Bear Lodge offers a total of 85 beds, and bedrooms have a warm, cozy atmosphere. Some of the cabins house as many as a dozen men or women, but in the larger housing facility, each room offers two double beds with quilts, a desk and rocking chair.
Food is served in a large cafeteria, with menus designed by the lodge’s executive chef, Jordan Emerson, though he splits his time working for La Paloma, another rehab facility operated by the lodge’s parent company, Foundations Recovery Network.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Black Bear Lodge addresses substance abuse along with co-occurring mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder as well as grief, loss and previous psychological trauma. Treatment lasts for 30 days, although the program is able to care for residents for 90 days if that is determined to be beneficial. Sub-acute detox is available on-site along with physician-directed medication management. The treatment protocol does not follow a 12-step approach, though it supports residents who choose to follow the 12 steps and provides on-site and off-site meetings. The lodge uses numerous modalities, including DBT, CBT and acceptance and commitment therapy.
A sample daily schedule at Black Bear Lodge begins at 6:30 am with wake-up followed by chores at 7 am, then goal setting and meditation before an 8 am breakfast. Morning meetings are followed by educational seminars and process groups. Lunch is at 12:15 pm, followed by group and individual therapy, exercise and personal time before a 5 pm dinner. Evenings involve book studies, additional personal time and daily inventory. Saturdays are far less structured but include an outside meeting in the morning with an outing in the afternoon and a movie in the evening. On Sundays, an in-house meeting occurs before lunch and, in the afternoon, families are encouraged to visit.
Black Bear Lodge offers an outdoor pool for use during the summer along with a ropes course and a well-equipped fitness center.
The staff at Black Bear Lodge recognizes the interconnected nature of addiction and mental illness and is equipped to help residents make healthy steps toward recovery. Its tranquil location may provide the perfect escape to help people transition to a life of recovery.
Black Bear Lodge
310 Black Bear Ridge
Sautee, GA 30571
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