Those who attended Mountainside Treatment Center a few years ago, may find themselves pleasantly surprised by it’s recent slew of upgrades, including a modernized facility and a new fully staffed detox center. The rehab attracts a young, New England crowd who view it as a more relaxed alternative to Caron. While the scope of treatment is limited—co-occurring disorders don’t get addressed—it provides a pleasant mid-range environment for addicts seeking 12-step-based recovery.
Accommodations and Food
Mountainside is located in a picturesque setting in the Berkshires. Just one hour from Hartford, Connecticut, the 60-acre campus is surrounded by forests, hiking trails and waterfalls, which is especially breath taking in a fall. The recently remodeled decor fuses rustic alpine cabin decor with a modern aesthetic. Men and women live on separate floors, and most of the 60 beds are paired two to a room. Mountainside’s new buildings have an updated auditorium, a yoga studio and a large deck. But even with all these improvements, clients of Mountainside still report that the food served—while edible—doesn’t live up to the push surroundings.
Treatment and Staff
Upon arrival, clients receive thorough assessments at the new detox center, where nurses are available 24/7 to provide a combination of pharmaceutical and holistic treatments to ease withdrawal symptoms. After detox, primary care combines traditional and holistic therapies. Group counseling runs in the morning and one-on-one in the afternoon, using evidence-based practices like CBT, mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing and more. Other groups include Relapse Prevention, Anger Management, Addiction Education and 12-step Education.
Mountainside prides itself on a Mind-Body-Spirit approach and integrated care. In addition to regular fitness sessions at the gym and a 310-foot outdoor ropes course, the M-B-S program includes acupuncture, nutritional workshops, Qi Gong and sweat lodge therapy as well as the yoga, which can be done in classes or individual therapy sessions. A half-hour meditation is held daily after breakfast and chores, and spiritual enhancement is built into the daily routine. Then there are the quasi-mandatory “Change in Action” trips, where adventure therapists lead clients into the woods for two nights in designed to help improve self-esteem, interpersonal skills and spiritual awareness. Everyone praises the understanding and professional staff, though it’s worth noting that they lack some of the depth of credentials and range of specialties found at other treatment centers.
MTC is a 12-step facility with a non-denominational chapel onsite. Residents often take shuttles in the evenings to offsite AA meetings, while once a week alumni and community members gather for a big meeting at Mountainside.
Those who progress through the first week of treatment without a hitch can choose to incorporate more diverse activities into their plan, including art therapy, writing workshops or hiking on the trails surrounding Mountainside bordering the Housatonic State Park.
After the initial 30 to 90 days, Mountainside provides extended care in a sober living house walking distance away from the main facility, where clients receive outpatient treatment and life skills training. Financing plans and some insurance coverage are available. Ultimately, whether or not Mountainside is a good fit for perspective clients will hinge on their priorities. Those looking to treat other mental health issues alongside their addiction may want to look elsewhere. But those who love the outdoors and are open to 12-step spirituality might find Mountainside just the ticket.
Mountainside Treatment Center
187 South Canaan Road, Route 7
Canaan, CT 06018
372 Danbury Rd.
Wilton, CT 06897
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