North Central Health Care
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North Central Health Care


Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 7.16.39 AMThe Basics

North Central Health Care (NCHC) is a community resource center in north central Wisconsin, three hours east of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now operational for more than a century, NCHC incorporated substance abuse treatment in 1972. Through their emergency crisis services and short term stabilization unit, NCHC offers treatment for those experiencing acute psychiatric distress, chemical dependency detox and substance abuse outpatient treatment. Because of their mental health capabilities, they also treat those with co-occurring disorders. While NCHC has multiple locations in the region, the outpatient facilities are located in Wausau, Tomahawk, Merrill and Antigo.

Treatment and Staff

Upon admission, clients meet with service facilitators to create an individualized treatment plan that will determine how frequently they will attend counseling and which groups best serve their needs. Treatment consists of individual therapy and group counseling and there are five tracks to chose from—day treatment, Foundations Group, Motivations Group, Relapse Prevention and the DUI program—each with its own duration and level of intensity. All NCHC programs utilize rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), a form of CBT, as well as music therapy and art therapy— giving clients freedom to process and express their emotions in a variety of ways. NCHC also offers a clinically-supervised, 48-hour detox from alcohol and opiates for clients 18 years old and above.

The day treatment program is new to NCHC. Clients in this program attend a mixture of  individual and group sessions four days a week, in three-hour increments, for six weeks. Some groups are educational, focusing on addiction and the consequences and others are a discussion format covering the 12-step philosophy.

The Foundations Group is a three-part program that meets twice a week for 14 weeks; one and a half to two hours at a time. Facilitated by a counselor, clients uncover what motivates them to stay sober, how to use tools and maintain recovery by identifying triggers and setting personal goals.

The Motivations Group meets once a week for 10 weeks for an hour and a half. Clients create personal goals with group input. A therapist facilitates decision-making, as well as topic meetings focusing on addiction education and changes in recovery. This program also offers a men-only group.

Relapse Prevention is designed for clients who have a history of staggered recovery and need additional tools and guidance. This group focuses on honing coping skills, identifying triggers, self-intervention strategies and creating plans for future success with the support of their peers.

The DUI program meets once a week for for 10 weeks and is available to anyone who has received a DUI. This group covers similar issues as the Motivations Group: relapse prevention, goals-setting, addiction education, self-care and accountability.

Staff is comprised of therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, service facilitators, peer specialists (uncertified sober peers who help clients through personal experience) and LPCs. The detox unit employs their own clinical staff of nurse practitioners, CSACs, physicians and registered nurses.


NCHC is an active participant in bringing addiction education to other Wisconsin organizations and institutions. They have partnered with area hospitals, schools, local government chapters and organizations to create “prevention partnerships,” joint efforts to discourage teens from making self-destructive choices. Their Juvenile Cognitive Intervention Program provides kids with 20 sessions on making changes and choices, along with a final exam which is required to complete the course. NCHC also offers drug awareness presentations like DARE, teen mentoring, conferences on substance abuse and parent education groups.

Their emergency services include a 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention hot line, a short-term stabilization and youth crisis bed unit for temporary shelter and support and behavioral health inpatient hospitalization for severe psychiatric emergencies.

In Summary

NCHC provides a wide range of substance abuse treatment programs to its community. Clients have a choice in where they want to start their process, whether that it be through detox or directly to outpatient groups. The various outpatient options and affordable prices make this an excellent option for building long term recovery tools.

North Central Health Care
Wausau Campus
1100 Lake View Dr.
Wausau, WI 54403

North Central Health Care Cost: $4,080 (30 days). Reach North Central Health Care by phone at (715) 848.4356 or by email at Find North Central Health Care on Facebook and Google+

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