Positioned on the Idaho border, and halfway between Portland and Salt Lake City, Ontario’s slogan is “where Oregon Begins.” Lifeways Recovery Center (formerly UNIO Recovery) has been providing residential and outpatient substance abuse services for people in Ontario, Oregon and surrounding counties since 1979. Under the umbrella of Lifeways, Inc. since 2012, the facility is now directly linked to St. Alphonsus Medical Center, which is conveniently located down the street and has allowed for the expansion of mental health services.
Accommodations and Food
The residential facility is located in a rural part of Ontario. A large, two-story wood framed house on two acres of land hosts up to 40 residents. Furnishings are described as basic and down to earth but comfy. There are typically four to five clients per room, depending on the census. Men are upstairs and women are downstairs. Clients sleep in twin beds, and each have their own nightstand and a portable closet with drawers. Bathroom facilities are dormitory style. Unobstructed by any neighboring buildings, the house has plenty of natural light and each room has at least two windows. Residents are responsible for keeping their bedrooms and bathrooms clean. Chores are assigned weekly with specific house duties.
Food is prepared by staff and served buffet style in the main dining room on the first floor. The kitchen is not fully functioning, so clients get a continental breakfast and lunch is either sandwiches and fruit or anything that can be prepared in a crockpot. As for dinner, clients walk down the street to the cafeteria at St. Alphnosus Medical Center. Requests for for special dietary needs are limited.
Treatment and Staff
Lifeways Recovery residential treatment program lasts for 90 days. There are three beds on the ground floor next to the nurse’s station that are reserved for clients who require light detox. Anyone requiring more than Valium is referred to St. Alphonsus.
Clients at Lifeways wake up at 6:30 am. Breakfast is at 7 and the first group is at 8 am. Lifeways Recovery Center utilizes CBT and other evidence-based treatment practices. Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), individual and group therapy keep the residents busy from morning until dinnertime. Groups topics include domestic violence education, addiction studies, family support education, relapse prevention, anger management, communication skills, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and early recovery skills. Lunch is served at noon and dinner is at 5:30 pm. Three nights a week, clients walk to St. Alphonsus Hospital for AA meetings. Monday nights, residents have an in-house meeting and Friday night either an AA or NA panel comes to the house. Once a client reaches a certain level of recovery, they are allowed access to the local gym twice a week.
Lifeways provides outpatient substance abuse services to adults and adolescents at the main office on Sunset Drive. This single story building is divided into three sections: mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. The substance abuse unit has eight licensed counselors on staff and two Master’s-level therapists for those with co- occurring disorders. The frequency and duration of treatment is based on the clients needs as determined in the initial assessment and groups are assigned accordingly. As with residential treatment, there are several group topics ranging from relapse prevention to anger management and family dynamics. Individual therapy sessions are 60 minutes, and groups are 90 minutes. Outpatient services for adolescents are limited, as there is only one therapist who works with minors. Parents must sign a release form for treatment and participate in family group, which meets twice a month.
For those who do not care for dormitory accommodations, Lifeways has a Premiere Program, located across the street from the residential facility. Single occupancy townhouses (six in total) provide plenty of privacy for those who find sharing a bathroom impossible. Residents prepare meals in their own kitchen with food supplied by the facility. These clients have more individual therapy sessions and only attend groups with the “regular clients” if deemed appropriate by their counselor.
Lifeways Recovery Center provides educational and evidence-based treatment for substance abuse with a keep it simple attitude and a 12-step focus. After 90 days, clients have a connection to a sober community and support network by the time they leave. There is usually a 30 day waiting list; based on the price, even for the Premier Program, this makes sense. That being said, clients who are interested in treatment should call intake at least three times a week to express interest and remain on the list. For the “premiere client,” the townhouse is a nice alternative to living in the dorm and could better accommodate dual diagnosis issues with the extra individual therapy sessions.
Lifeways Recovery Center Residential
696 NW 9th St
Ontario, OR 97801
Lifeways Recovery Center Cost: $2,500-$7,500 (28 days). Reach Lifeways Recovery Center by phone at (541) 889-2400. Find Lifeways Recovery Center on Facebook
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