The Bridge was founded in 1974 in Gadsden County, Alabama. It provides substance abuse rehabilitation and addiction prevention for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 throughout northern Alabama. A variety of programs are offered, including all male inpatient, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for both males and females, outpatient and a variety of community-based initiatives. The Bayview and Westwood addiction treatment centers are located in southern Alabama in Mobile County on The Bridge Mobile Campus, and house 16 boys each.
Accommodations and Food
Located on over 40 acres of land, the sprawling Mobile Campus where Bayview and Westwood are located, is a peaceful and secluded facility. Clients are housed three or four to a room and private quarters are not available. Every two rooms share a bathroom, and clients have a closet in which to store personal belongings. There is a very specific list of clothing and other items the young men are allowed to bring, and they are responsible for keeping their rooms and areas tidy. Meals are provided, and residents must assist with clean up and daily chores.
Treatment and Staff
Clients typically stay in residential treatment for an average of 90 days, but may leave after 30 or 60 if their treatment goals have been met. The highly structured treatment plans include group therapy, structured group activities, school and/or GED classes, life skills training, sports for exercise and other team-building activities. Education is provided by POINTE Academy and clients attend class five days a week. In an effort to make the transition form treatment back to regular life and school as seamless as possible, the credits earned count toward the state educational system.
The program at Bayview is an evidence-based therapeutic model, which includes the transtheoretical model of change, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and interactive journaling. On top of their schooling, clients participate in one to two hours of individual therapy, eight hours of group therapy and six to eight hours of basic living skills training a week. At least 10 hours of recreational activities and adventure therapy are also provided.
The Westwood program is more highly structured and intensive than Bayview. Clients participate in their relevant school program, as well as 20 hours of therapeutic activity each week. Medication management and counseling services are provided for clients that need dual diagnosis support. If the client is in need of services the program does not provide, such as medically monitored detox, referrals are made to local providers.
Staff is shared across both facilities, and includes several CSACs, therapists, a program manager and admissions specialist. Nursing and medical staff are on call and available as needed.
Family services are included in both programs, and parents are encouraged to attend. Clients participate in the aftercare program for a full year after completing residential treatment. This includes outpatient care at one of the many Bridge facilities across the state, as well as personal contact with the client’s outcomes manager on a regular basis. If the client relapses, Bridge also offers the Second Chance program.
Both the Westwood and Bayview programs of The Bridge Inc. offer valuable services for male adolescents in Alabama. By providing highly structured and stable environments, the boys in both facilities are able to find supportive environments in which to build recovery. The evidence-based systems used, as well as the sheer amount of time spent in therapy, means that the clients are offered an excellent chance to maintain recovery once they leave. Bridge offers comprehensive aftercare services as well, ensuring graduates are guided through the recovery process into and into fully functioning lives.
Cost is determined by the family income and is established on a sliding fee scale. Families that earn under $60,000 are required to pay only 5% of that amount, bringing the total cost of care to around $530. This amount can also be cleared through an interest-free payment plan. The Bridge Inc. does not believe anybody should be refused treatment based on inability to pay.
The Bridge, Inc. Mobile Campus
3401 Newman Rd
Mobile, AL 36695
The Bridge Inc. Mobile Campus Cost: $8,500 (for 30 days). Reach The Bridge Inc. Mobile Campus by phone at (251) 633-0475.
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Photo courtesy of BridgeInc