Alaska might just be the most practical state in which to get sober and within this sensible backdrop, Genesis Recovery Services, Inc. is a haven for those struggling with substance abuse or dual diagnoses that require short- or long-term inpatient treatment, outpatient care, and transitional housing. Populations served include men, women, those with HIV/AIDS, DUI/DWI offenders and criminal justice clients.
Accommodations and Food
Genesis only has room for 20 inpatient clients, with two to three of them sharing a room in an apartment building. While there are occasionally wait lists for inpatient, their outpatient program typically has space available (though priority is given to those who have completed inpatient there).
Rooms are hospital-like and plain with functional but un-pretty furniture. Common areas include a patient lounge with one TV (though the cable channels are limited).
Food here is straightforward and plain, and can be generously called cafeteria food (Mac and Cheese, French Dip, soups and sandwiches). Some dietary restrictions are accommodated, but meals are purportedly nothing to write home about. One can assume that veganism and gluten-intolerance are not often encountered here. Meat eaters, on the other hand, are most welcome.
Treatment and Staff
Two clinical psychologists, interested in helping Alaskans struggling with addiction, founded Genesis Recovery Services in the late 80s. A small nonprofit center that utilizes a non-blaming and non-shaming approach to alcohol and drug abuse treatment, Genesis focuses on individual needs rather than strictly following 12-step, SMART Recovery or any religious approach (though they do offer 12-step groups at the facility as an option). Providing a well-rounded “bio-psycho-social spiritual” approach, Genesis gives each client an in-depth assessment to determine a treatment plan that addresses the whole person (which includes health, habits and family dynamics). Genesis prides itself on treating people individually rather than making them fit into a prescribed philosophy or approach to treatment.
There are no detox services so clients are expected to be completely free of substances and to have detoxed prior to entering treatment.
A typical day involves one group therapy session, the choice of two 12-step meetings daily, and one or two individual counseling sessions, depending on the needs of the individual. Medical staff is available for ongoing medication management.
There is an extensive evaluation and interview process before admittance to the program which includes a background check and safety assessment. While Genesis does work with those involved in the criminal justice system, patients who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others are not admitted. Most patients are treated for 30 days, though longer inpatient treatment is available.
The staff is made up of eight full-timers, three unpaid interns and several community volunteers.
In the first days of inpatient treatment, all cell phones and computers are kept with the assigned counselor until access is earned. There is no Internet service at any time during inpatient treatment and public phones are available only in the patient lounge area. New clients can use the common phone only with permission and there is a 15-minute limit per phone call unless otherwise specified.
Depending on the individualized treatment plan, the patient may have visitors at appointed times.
The extras here are inner delights rather than outer. No yoga or Pilates or equine therapy or hiking is integrated into treatment. But all of this time without Internet or other technology must surely be its own reward. Community outings are allowed according to the individual treatment plan and as people earn privileges, they’re allowed to go into town for movies and such with an accompanying staff person.
Genesis Recovery Services is a solid choice for those who like their treatment customized to individual needs rather than adhering strictly to a particular philosophy. Genesis Recovery is a small, personal treatment center that’s been around for ages, where the individual rather than an ideology or specific recovery practice is honored. And while the accommodations are on the plain side, the years of experience and warmth of staff members make this an excellent choice for people who don’t need all of the bells and whistles of the treatment resorts to the South.
Acceptable payment methods include private pay and private insurance.
Genesis Recovery Services
2825 W 42nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99517
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