New River Wellness Center is a 12-step based rehab in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, just north of Miami and south of West Palm Beach. Opened in 2012, New River is a women’s only facility in an urban environment that will probably appeal to clients who don’t want to escape city life.
Accommodations and Food
There are three small facilities at New River, all five minutes apart in different parts of downtown. Two are the small residences that have five beds apiece and the other is the main facility where treatment takes place. Clients live in duplexes on the Intracoastal Highway (which goes from the Atlantic Ocean throughout the city) and each have one other roommate. The kitchens are fully stocked and living rooms boast views of the water and flat screen TVs. Outside is a pool, a billiards room and even a private movie theater with a popcorn machine and comfy seats.
Clients cook for themselves and are taken to local grocery stores where they get food paid for by the staff. As part of a Life Skills portion of the program, each residence makes its own meals with the guidance of nutritional counselors.
Treatment and Staff
New River’s 30-day residential treatment program combines the 12 steps, therapy and holistic care. Clients attend group therapy daily (which includes educational courses on relapse prevention) and have one individual session a week. There are no on-site meetings but residents are taken to seven 12-step meetings a week (not solely AA, these can range from Crystal Meth Anonymous to NA). Clients are required to attend these meetings and encouraged to get sponsors while in treatment.
There are roughly 10 staff members who are a mixture of highly credentialed professionals (an MD, a licensed mental health counselor, Master’s-level social worker, psychologist and one with a doctorate in Chinese medicine) and peer counselors. Dual diagnosis support and treatment for eating disorders and trauma are also available.
A typical day at New River means waking up at 7 for breakfast at 8 am, which is followed by group therapy and educational courses from 9 am to noon. Clients are then taken to their residences for lunch and return to the facility by 1:30 pm for more therapy and courses. There’s free time from 4 to 6 pm and a 12-step meeting at 7 pm. After the meeting, it’s back to their residences for free time until lights out at 11 pm. Clients are allowed to watch TV during free time but cell phones and computers are not allowed.
The individualized family program takes place on weekends. Visitors hours are flexible but can’t interfere with the daily routine.
Among the holistic offerings at New River are acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, yoga and expressive arts therapy. Extra curricular activities include weekend outings to the movies, salon and the beach. The facility boasts a solid gym that features free weights, machines and five treadmills (exercise is not mandatory but is encouraged). There is also a pool, billiards room and movie theater.
Beautiful residences, strong extras, extensive holistic treatment and a family-like environment make New River an undeniably pleasant place for women to recover.
New River Wellness Center
420 NE 3rd St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
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