Bridges of Iowa Inc., located in Des Moines, Iowa, is a long-term inpatient and transitional living treatment facility for individuals voluntarily entering treatment as well as for those who have been court-ordered. The women’s program was started in 2013 after the success of the men’s program, which began in 1999. The Bridges program offers detox services as well as individual and group therapy for adult women seeking treatment for substance abuse. Using evidence and faith-based modalities, Bridges focuses on the healing of trauma and exploring the root causes of addiction.
Accommodations and Food
The residential program for women accommodates up to 20 at a time in double-occupancy bedrooms, each with two full beds, cabinet space and private bathrooms with showers. Clients are housed in a one-story brick building known as St. Gregory. Meals are prepared in a large kitchen and served cafeteria-style three times a day and always include several options for a main course, an open salad bar and healthy options like fruit. Residents eat their meals in a dining room with group tables.
Group meetings are hosted in a spacious living room which has a fireplace and comfortable chairs and also functions as a media room for when clients have free time to watch TV. There is also an outdoor sitting area with tables and chairs where clients can dine al fresco or socialize during down-time as weather permits. Smoking is only allowed outside of the facility in designated areas.
Clients move to the transitional housing facility after five or six months in the primary residential care program. Accommodations are apartment-style, two bedrooms units that host four women in each. Clients sleep in double beds and share one bathroom per unit. Every unit has its own fully-equipped kitchen and living rooms.
Treatment and Staff
The program at Bridges is designed to last a year and is broken into three phases. Though treatment is not based on the 12-steps, residents are encouraged to rely upon a Higher Power. In addition to trauma-based therapy like EMDR, counselors use CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). Clients also work on basic job skills—such as writing a resume and interviewing.
The first phase lasts eight weeks and begins with either a medical detox or direct admittance into the residential program when detox isn’t necessary. During this phase, residents do not leave the facility unless they are with staff on a recreational outing. Days consist of three to four group therapy sessions which cover relapse prevention, coping skills, a parenting class and psychoeducation. Clients also receive one individual therapy session per week.
After this phase ends, clients enter phase two which involves getting a job and working while still living at the facility. Each resident is still required to attend five meetings per week—three at the facility and two outside meetings which can include AA/NA or Celebrate Recovery. Frequent drug tests are used to monitor sobriety. This phase generally lasts five or six months.
The final phase of treatment involves clients moving into the transitional living facility while working jobs, attending meetings and being randomly drug tested. This phase is referred to as “supervised living” because though clients do not have to adhere to a specific schedule or do as many check-ins, they are still expected to communicate often with their case workers until the year-long program is completed.
Bridges of Iowa also offers a program called Spiritual Awareness and Family Enrichment (S.A.F.E.), which is a highly structured family program. S.A.F.E. meets weekly and is a mixed family group meeting that teaches coping skills and lets families discuss their loved ones’ progress. In order to visit clients, all family members must first attend a minimum of three S.A.F.E. meetings.
The highly structured treatment program through Bridges of Iowa is dedicated to helping women see deeper into the causes of their addictions. Through gender-specific programs, the facility uses a wide array of evidence-based treatment practices to help residents progress through different phases of recovery—all at an affordable price. For women in need of residential substance abuse treatment and a comprehensive game-plan for long-term recovery, Bridges provides community and credentialed care.
Bridges of Iowa, Inc.
1985 NE 51st St
Des Moines, IA 50313
Bridges of Iowa Inc. Cost: $250 (first 30 days); $700 (following six months); $500 (transitional living, 30 days). Reach Bridges of Iowa Inc. by phone at (515) 287-8255. Find Bridges of Iowa, Inc. on Facebook
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