What started in 1971 as a sober living in a former rooming house in Twin Falls, Idaho has grown into a full-fledged alcohol and substance abuse treatment center with tens of thousands of men and women treated to date. Port of Hope Treatment Center serves the chemically dependent at two locations in the Northwest by providing residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, court-ordered education classes and DUI evaluations, all at a reasonable price point.
Accommodations and Food
Port of Hope’s Nampa center is a tidy, single story brick square set smack dab in the middle of a parking lot, surrounded by a newer residential subdivision 20 miles west of Boise while the Coeur d’Alene facility sits behind a partial brick wall and is backed by towering pines in a residential neighborhood.
The Nampa location hosts up to nine residential clients at time; the Coeur d’Alene location 10. The facilities are small, made up of a hallway with a few offices and bedrooms on either side and one large group room where residents sit on chairs for all group sessions. Both locations are co-ed, as are all the group sessions, though bedrooms (and bathrooms) are divided by gender. At least two and sometimes three residents share a room depending on how many people are in treatment at any given time. Each home has a television in the communal area but it is only to be used for Sunday movies. Or football.
Breakfast is made in house—usually waffles, cereal, oatmeal or yogurt and fruit. Snacks are available twice a day. Lunch and dinner, brought in from the nearby hospital, are planned by a nutritionist but it is essentially take out. Residents are not allowed to bring in outside food but they get one five-minute phone call on Fridays to schedule visits for the upcoming weekend and during this time they can make requests for cigarettes or non-edible sundries.
Treatment and Staff
Port of Hope bills itself as a non-medical facility, which means it doesn’t give new drugs to get clients off old ones. It does, however, have medical centers near each of its locations should medical assistance be required and monitors new residents by checking vitals every two, then four, then eight hours until stabilization is reached. Most likely, however, if a potential client has serious medical needs, they will not pass the medical clearance necessary for admission.
The non-medical detox Port of Hope offers is what’s called a social detox—what the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration calls “residential detoxification in settings with limited medical oversight” or what is better known as cold turkey. Port of Hope does not treat co-occurring mental disorders because there are neither MDs nor psychiatrists on staff. Counselors do, however, administer prescription medications to those clients already taking them upon admission.
Days begin at 6:30 am for breakfast, chores and goal setting. From 9 to 11 am and 1 to 3 pm, counselors lead formal education groups on topics like addiction education, relapse prevention and life skills. Group work runs all day with an hour break for lunch and an hour-and-a-half break for dinner. Every night after dinner, residents attend a 12-step or support group meeting followed by chores and snacks before lights out at 11 pm.
The typical program starts with one week of detox followed by another four weeks of treatment. Depending on a client’s needs, this works out to between 28 and 35 days. During that time, clients can expect group therapy with and without a counselor and one-on-one sessions, which are provided at a minimum of once per week. Clients are also expected to attend 12-step meetings and are encouraged to get sponsors and to start working the steps.
The staff-to-client ratio at Port of Hope is one-to-four. Most of the staff members are recovered addicts themselves and residential counselors have CDAC credentials and Master’s degrees. In addition they are also licensed by the state of Idaho.
Port of Hope Treatment Center provides a needed service and a low staff-to-client ratio is a point in its favor.
Port of Hope Center
508 East Florida Ave
Nampa, ID 83686
Port of Hope Center Cost: $4,200-$5,250 (28 to 35 days). Reach Port of Hope Center Nampa by phone at 800-974-0118. Reach Port of Hope Center Coeur d’Alene at 800-245-6132.
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