Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center is in a converted mansion atop a manicured hill, a 50-acre facility that houses 50 residents at a time is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Ball Ground, Georgia. A single glance at the facility might lead someone to believe it’s an estate, but Blue Ridge is both a detox and inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. It was founded by a group of professional chemical dependency counselors who saw the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to addiction treatment and recovery. Blue Ridge treats the individual as a whole person by addressing their spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, social, legal and vocational needs.
Accommodations and Food
Rooms are cozy and modestly furnished; each resident (two to a room) has a twin bed, nightstand, lamp and clock, with space for personal affects. Cell phones and computers, however, are not permitted and there’s no Internet access at all. Bonus points? Roommates are not assigned at random, but chosen by counselors based on temperaments. Men and women are housed in separate buildings.
Blue Ridge has a few TVs in community rooms that residents may watch during relaxation time, which follows evening 12-step meetings. If contacting the outside world is a priority, residents must do so on the old fashioned telephone, which they’re allowed to use twice a day. Clients can have visitors, but only after their counselors think they’re far enough in the recovery process and ready to see people from The Outside World.
In matters of cuisine, Blue Ridge is accommodating of dietary restrictions for health or cultural/religious reasons. A dietician oversees the menu—there’s both health and variety on the straightforward menu (think salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, and vegetarian options).
Treatment and Staff
An initial assessment is conducted via phone or in person to determine if Blue Ridge is a good fit for the client, as not everyone is allowed into the former mansion. People with acute psychotic disorders or those needing advanced medical care cannot be appropriately treated at Blue Ridge. Also not allowed in? Violent offenders, sex offenders, and those exhibiting homicidal or suicidal tendencies.
In addition to addiction treatment, Blue Ridge treats co-occurring disorders like anxiety, PTSD and depression. A licensed nurse is on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staff (six patients to every trained staff person) is friendly, supportive and highly trained. All counselors are either certified addiction counselors or MFTs. Typical inpatient treatment lasts 35 days—longer if necessary.
The program is 12-step based, with both individual and group therapy (ranging from three to 15 people). Individual session frequency is based on how often the patient needs to talk one-on-one, but typically patients meet with individual counselors every day. Twelve-step meetings are once a day, and non-AA groups are offered seven to eight times per day. Volunteers, counselors, doctors, and probably the potted plants sign confidentiality agreements and undergo background checks. All meetings are on-site and closed to the community.
Every three weeks, families are invited to participate in a (no-cost) two-day workshop. In it, they’re counseled about chemical dependency, addiction and mental illness in order to gather the skills necessary to help loved ones deal with addiction, through a family workshop offered every three weeks. At the conclusion of the workshop, family members are connected with community resources such as Alanon and Nar-Anon, to continue their own recovery process.
Each day begins with guided meditation, followed by a variety of group sessions that focus on relapse prevention and recovery skills—each one to two hours long. After lunch, residents attend small groups before taking part in experiential programs (CBT, DBT, recreational programming, art programming, spiritual therapy, nutritional counseling, AA and NA, guided meditation, etc.). A two-hour 12-step group follows dinner. From the end of the group to 11 pm curfew, residents have free time.
Blue Ridge does not offer outpatient care, but at the end of inpatient, they refer residents to outpatient counseling programs and ensure each has appointment times and a contact person before leaving.
Fifty acres in the beautiful foothills is a peaceful setting for plenty of quiet and relaxation time. Residents may also run (or walk) through the wooded trails and play volleyball, basketball and horseshoes, as long as a staff member is present. For the hunter-gatherer types, a fishing pond is available.
An addict could certainly do worse than this former mansion in the woods. Treatment methods at Blue Ridge are traditional, tried and true. Nothing out of the ordinary or new age here; instead it has a solid program that follows time-tested 12-step and clinical methodologies. The focus here is quiet, peaceful recovery, full of reflection and free of distractions.
Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center
255 Depot St, Ste 200
Ball Ground, GA 30107
Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Cost: $22,750 (30 days). Reach Blue Ridge by phone at (678) 515-9867. Find Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery on Facebook
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