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Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services (CADAS)


Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services (CADAS) Review

In operation since 1964 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services (CADAS) offers inpatient and outpatient treatment for addiction to adults and adolescents. The facility was founded by a group of clergy and businessmen who felt a collective calling to reach out to those in the area who were afflicted by chemical dependency.

Accommodations and Food

CADAS is a 56-bed facility with rooms overlooking a grassy area on the premises which brings a bit of nature to residents. Each room can host up to four people, and each comes with its own bathroom. Adolescents stay in the 40-bed Scholze Center for Adolescent Treatment located on the CADAS grounds, while mothers and their young children are accommodated in the 12-bed Family Way housing, which consists of 12 furnished duplexes ready to support mothers with their children. Treatment takes place in the same space as housing.

Because CADAS is required to offer education, treatment and prevention during a client’s 60-day stay, the facility doesn’t have many extravagant amenities. Instead, the focus is on the basics of recovery. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted, but clients can make personal calls on a pay phone located in the communal area where there is also a big-screen TV. Calls to family are free and unmonitored; when applicable, clients are also required to check in with their probation officers. There is no on-site pool or gym, but staff members may escort residents to the YMCA across the street.

Meals tend to be traditional—meat, vegetables, fruits and dessert— and are prepared on-site in the cafeteria. Milk and sweet tea are served, and residents are allowed sugar and caffeine. Vending machines in the common area hold snacks and additional beverages.

Treatment and Staff

Treatment modalities include CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and individual and group therapy. Though each client is required to participate in one individual session each week, additional sessions are determined by need. Group sessions take place six times a week with two on Thursdays.

The length of treatment at CADAS varies depending on each client’s source of payment. For example, private insurance can usually cover 14 days of inpatient care, but CADAS must work on their clients’ behalf to get approval for outpatient and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment. Those with co-occurring disorders may qualify for IOP more easily, however. The facility offers detox with Suboxone for adults only; teens must detox without the help of medication.

Though 12-step  is not required, CADAS recommends  AA meetings twice a week and weekly NA meetings.

There are nine clinical staff which includes a psychiatrist and addiction specialist who are on-call 24/7. Nursing staff are available around-the-clock. Credentials include LPCsLADCs and several counselors in the process of becoming certified. The staff-to-client ratio is one-to-ten.

A typical day begins with 6:30 am wake-up followed by breakfast at 7. After breakfast, residents meet and discuss that day’s affirmation assignment. The first educational lecture begins at 9 am for an hour and a 30-minute break after, followed by a small-group meeting that lasts between 90 minutes and two hours with individual counselors. Each group has between nine and 10 people. After lunch, clients participate in a psycho-educational program which may consist of a lecture or video, then one-on-one time with an individual counselor. After dinner, residents have some free time—male and female clients are generally separate but can mingle during recreational activities.

Family visitation for two hours on Sundays can only take place only after seven days of treatment, unless a family members participate in the facility’s family education program. Once clients are discharged, they may proceed into intensive outpatient or IOP which includes sessions three times a week for six months.


Though more upscale activities such as yoga and massage are not available, clients can take relaxation and meditation classes. Those who are doing especially well in treatment may go on a museum excursion or to a baseball game, on the recommendation of their counselors. Other recreational activities include horseshoes, volleyball and walks.

As an added bonus pet therapy in the form of a beloved therapy dog named “Katie” often visits and interacts with the residents. Alumni can participate in on-site NA and AA meetings, golf tournaments and a 5K run.

In Summary

Now more than 50 years old, CADAS is an integral part of the Chattanooga community’s substance abuse treatment options. While it is regarded as an economical facility, the competent staff and administrators do their best to make sure each client is treated with kindness and dignity. In all, CADAS is a solid option for those on a budget.

Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Location

207 Spears Ave
P.O. Box 4797
Chattanooga, TN 37405

Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Cost

Call for cost. Reach Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse by phone at (423) 756-7644. Find Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse on Facebook 

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