In the South, it seems, tradition still rules. At Cumberland Heights, Nashville’s premier rehab center with a 40-year history behind it, AA is in and TV is out—and forget about gender mixing. Still, for those who don’t mind a rigorous focus on the 12 steps, there is solid treatment to be found here with few unnecessary frills.
Accommodations and Food
One need only glimpse at the packing instructions to know that Cumberland Heights is serious about treatment. A plus is that there are no chores, and the facility itself is modest but well kept, with grounds resembling a small college campus of big lawns and rolling hills. All residents have at least one roommate, and men and women not only live separately but are also barred from interacting, even in the dining hall. Fortunately, unlike at many comparable facilities, the food here gets top marks.
Treatment and Staff
Rather than bells and whistles, Cumberland Heights focuses on treatment essentials. On arrival, clients can detox under round-the-clock nursing care and are assessed for co-occurring disorders. Although the staff-to-client to ratio may be higher than at the top-rated rehabs, each resident does receive a personalized treatment plan that is adjusted as needed on a weekly basis. Depending on circumstances, clients may choose to participate in specialized grief or parenting groups in addition to standard addiction counseling, CBT and process groups. Family members can visit every Sunday as well as participate in a four-day intensive family program.
After the initial 30 days of primary care, residents work a customized step-down program. In extended care, opportunities for adventure-based therapy and art therapy become available, as does community service work. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is offered at the main River Road center or at seven other locations throughout Tennessee and Kentucky.
Cell phones, laptops and iPods are 100% verboten, and only on special occasions (the Super Bowl, for example) does the TV get turned on. Residents are also encouraged to leave their Crichton, comic books and Cosmos at home—the only reading material allowed is the Bible or other spiritual, recovery-friendly lit.
Cumberland Heights also offers a special program for young men between the ages of 14 and 18. In addition to the services available to adult residents, teens in the youth program get opportunities for equine therapy, sand play therapy and a ropes course. To keep from falling behind in their studies while in treatment, they can also take classes at River Road Academy, a state-licensed private high school.
While its no-nonsense, AA-based approach may intimidate some, Cumberland Heights is committed to providing quality psychiatric and psychological care for those who are ready to recover. Though it’ll never be mistaken for a vacation, many have found it gets the job done.
8283 River Road
Nashville, TN 37209
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