There are many aspects of Jaywalker Lodge that make it special. For one, it’s in Carbondale, Colorado, and has been pioneering what’s called the “Colorado Model” of community immersion as part of recovery. For another, it very much takes personal fitness and motivation into account. Finally, Jaywalker Lodge is a recovery center that is exclusively for men.
History and Philosophy
Founded in 2003, Jaywalker Lodge takes its name from the jaywalker parable in the Big Book, a story comparing an alcoholic’s desire to drink to a jaywalker who can’t stop himself from running out in front of cars. The name is apropos since Jaywalker’s approach to recovery often seems metaphorical, with literal mountain climbing standing in for the emotional trudge addicts must make out of active addiction.
Accommodations and Food
Housing at the lodge means staying in a historic townhouse in downtown Carbondale, which is more a peaceful mountain getaway than a luxury resort. Residents share rooms, and there are communal spaces for TV and recreation, though computers and cell phones need to stay at home. But residents may welcome the unplugging, especially since there other positives to focus on—namely the gourmet skills of chef Brain Trom, a veteran of Aspen’s Ritz-Carlton (though clients are responsible for their own breakfast).
Treatment and Staff
Because treatment though Jaywalker Lodge follows the Colorado Model, it is broken into three stages (though clients can stay for just the 90-day extended care if they can’t commit to the entire program). The three stages are Primary Care, Extended Care (also known as The Lodge) and Transitional Care (also known as Solutions). Primary Care is a 30-45 day period that includes a seven-to 21-day special orientation program called The Landing, where residents are introduced to local AA and attend 10 meetings a week.
It’s the Extended Care program that’s the required meat-and-potatoes at Jaywalker. It’s intensive, restrictive and requires a 90-day minimum stay (though some stay as long as six months). The daily schedule during this portion is rigorous, with emphasis on group meetings, service work and plenty of physical activity. Though it is heavily 12-step based (with a particularly intense focus on step one), Jaywalker has no shortage of holistic therapy options—including guided meditation, acupuncture and yoga.
Finally, it’s recommended that this initial 90-day period be followed up with an additional 90 or more days of Transitional Care, where residents are rewarded for the trust they’ve established with more freedom; it’s essentially a halfway house with more rules. Alumni must be gainfully employed, attend 12-step meetings and have 11 hours of structured individual and group therapy every week.
The staff at Jaywalker is extremely dedicated and made up of a lot of people in recovery themselves. There are eight program directors at various levels, seven therapists and counselors, nine residential/patient care coordinators as well as eight administrative team members. Every employee touts extensive experience in the field of addiction and recovery.
The physical activities are a pivotal part of the treatment but mountain biking, rock climbing and kayaking could also be viewed as added perks. Jaywalker also offers outpatient and an educational program called Jaywalker U that’s affiliated with Colorado Mountain College. Its alumni network offers between six and nine months of weekly aftercare meetings.
Although residents are asked to bring most of their own equipment for mountain activities (which can get costly), at $14,250 a month for the Lodge and $9,750 for Solutions, this could be considered a bargain compared to the cost of some other facilities out there. Jaywalker also requires clients to be in relatively peak physical health (apart, of course, from addiction issues). Finally, if Jaywalker’s Colorado Model is followed to the letter, clients are looking at a minimum of around 210 days of intensive recovery, which simply isn’t possible for those who can’t leave home for extended periods of time.
Still, what really seems to set Jaywalker apart is its focus on self-actualization rather than just sobriety, and on teaching men how to take responsibility not just for themselves but also for the world around them. And it definitely does not care about quick turnover. Instead, it’s willing to risk losing a potentially bigger dollar in favor of offering intensive care for a small client base; in a growing recovery market, it’s hard not to admire this approach.
811 Main Ct
Carbondale, CO 81623
Jaywalker Lodge Cost: $14,250 for the Lodge (30 days); $9,750 for Solutions (30 days). Reach Jaywalker Lodge by phone at (970) 704-9292 or by email at email@example.com. Find Jaywalker Lodge on Twitter, Facebook and their blog
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