A beacon amongst the pine trees of southern Mississippi, Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services originally opened in 1984 as an inpatient service center for adults. Now the largest rehabilitation facility in the state and one of the most extensive in the nation, Pine Grove provides a range of treatment services for addiction and psychiatric issues to people of all ages, ranging from children to senior citizens.
Accommodations and Food
Located on 22 acres of land in the small town of Hattiesburg, not far from the Gulf of Mexico, Pine Grove has four core inpatient 45-90 day programs for drug and alcohol addiction (in addition to an inpatient program specifically designed for sexual addiction): the Next Step Men’s Program, the Women’s Center, Legacy: Addiction Treatment for Older Adults and the Professional Enhancement Program (or PEP, designed solely to treat the specific stresses of working professionals).
In the two primary programs, women and men are housed separately, with the women located on a different campus entirely, just a few minutes’ drive from the primary headquarters. Women live in a large, 24-bed manor home complete with a state of the art kitchen and pool. Women stay three per room and have access to the main campus gym. Many of the female residents are dual-diagnosed eating disorder clients, which dictates both mealtime etiquette and the type of food served. Good nutrition and developing healthy relationships with food are prioritized in the women’s kitchen.
The men live in cottage-style apartments on the main campus and are housed one to two people per room, depending on availability and their amount of time in the program. There are a total of 36 beds but eight of those beds are assigned for the sober living inpatient program graduates. The men eat cafeteria-style at the primary campus’ dining hall. Home cooking, Southern style (picture collard greens and various fried items) is the staple menu offering at Pine Grove meal facility. The men are expected to prepare their own meals in residences on the weekends. They shop for and cook meals together as a part of the treatment’s emphasis on learning to work with others and help each other in a group setting.
The Legacy program participants are housed in a separate 16-bed unit in private, cozy rooms and there are apartments available for those in the PEP program as well.
Treatment and Staff
If necessary, treatment begins with on-site medical detox. From that point forward, the treatment at Pine Grove is not only gender-specific but also age and profession-specific, as seen by both the Legacy and PEP programs. The curriculum for all of the addiction treatment is 12-step oriented and primarily conducted within a group setting. Group counseling is king here. Beyond that, the treatment incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention, stress management teachings, family conferences, expressive therapy, recreational therapy, dietary advice, anger management, medication management, EMDR therapy trauma treatment, lectures and films.
Each day, beginning usually around 8 am and concluding with evening activities after a 5 pm dinner, is a combination of group therapy in the morning then wellness activities and meetings in the afternoon. Nights are often designated for guest speakers, yoga and continued group counseling. Community involvement, such as volunteering at the detox unit after a certain length of stay, is a common thread throughout any patient’s time at Pine Grove.
The Women’s Center treatment program is a little different from the men’s program because it’s made up of four phases: Assessment, Breakthrough, Acceptance and Empowerment. Each phase transitions a patient from stabilization to removal of any traces of denial then self-discovery and spiritual freedom. In addition to the aforementioned aspects of treatment, the Women’s Center also utilizes, eating disorder treatment, experimental therapy (art, drama and music) and hypnotherapy, just to name a few. Women’s specific trauma healing is also available.
The Legacy program is geared for those aged 55 and up, so expect grief and loss counseling as well as more extensive medical treatment that might be unrelated to any addiction or psychological problems. The Professional Enhancement Program targets the specific issues that arise for those who might have developed addictive tendencies or deviant behaviors due to extreme stress in the workplace. Part of a larger national program, in addition to 12-step treatment, PEP also involves schooling participants on boundary setting, ethical principles, leadership, teamwork, professionalism and creating a healthy work-life balance.
The goal of the staff is to help clients focus on their individual lives and how sobriety will change their future. To this end, leadership patients work closely with the staff to express the needs of each community as a whole.
Due to its association with Forrest General Hospital, the staff at Pine Grove includes 12 full-time medical doctors in addition to a licensed nursing staff and a Master’s level therapy team, with expressive therapists, counselors, registered dietitians and nurse practitioners. The number of employees working full-time and just associated with the facility in some way, shape or form is at 5,000. Some former clients in recent years claim many of the staff that Pine Grove was renowned for in its glory days have left but the extent of their backgrounds and qualifications are definitely not up for debate.
In 1990, Pine Grove started offering REACH (Realistic Experiences and Challenging Horizons), a fully equipped ropes course where both its patients and groups from the general public can participate in problem solving and team building. Viewing climbing trees and mining obstacle courses as a form of therapy, both the staff and patients at Pine Grove bond through this outlet and it’s provided at no additional cost to residents.
Four times a year, Pine Grove hosts Day of Hope events where their alumni can revisit the campus to catch up with both staff and fellow former patients. They can also meet with current residents in an effort to inspire and relate.
In addition, Pine Grove has an on-site book store, gym and pool, as well as offering yoga, art, drama, music and hypnotherapy to its clients.
Pine Grove seems to truly offer something for everyone in a serene, supportive setting at a bargain basement price for such a bounty. They accept insurance and even offer a relapse payment track for those who might have to enter the facility more than once. All housing, food and recreational activities are covered under the cost of treatment. Additional costs might only arise with a person’s specific medical needs. Its association with a prominent hospital and it’s deeply rooted community connection are also selling points that assure patients will have anything and everything they might need at their disposal in order to garner successful, long term recovery.
Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services
2255 Broadway Dr
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
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Photo courtesy of Soil-Science.info on Flickr (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)