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Powell Chemical Dependency Center


Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 4.55.34 PMPowell Chemical Dependency Center Review

Since 1973, the Powell Chemical Dependency Center at Iowa Lutheran Hospital has treated over 30,000 clients for alcoholism and addiction. Located in Des Moines, Iowa Lutheran was the first private hospital to offer care to alcoholics in Iowa.

Accommodations and Food

Powell Chemical Dependency Center is located within Iowa Lutheran Hospital. Six gender-specific rooms with plain white walls and spare furnishings house two people per room in twin beds. There are phones in each room, and a communal area with a TV is available for use during free time.

The kitchen staff provide hot tray meals three times a day for inpatient clients. Between meals, cold and non-perishable snacks and beverages are provided such as cereal, crackers, milk and juice.

Treatment and Staff

The treatment process begins with an evaluation which determines the best course of treatment. In severe cases, this evaluation will take place in the emergency room with a doctor otherwise it will be a scheduled appointment with a case manager. If detox is needed, it is provided to clients under medical supervision. Several programs are offered—short term inpatient, where the typical stay is up to 14 days, day treatment, evening outpatient and a relapse specific outpatient program. Clients can move from one level of treatment to another based on their needs.

A typical day for a resident of Powell CDC’s inpatient program starts at the nurse’s station receiving any required medication, after which one hour of community group occurs with all residents. Residents are then assigned to a specific counselor and smaller groups for more intimate and in depth group therapy. Individual therapy also takes place once a week. Education is a large part of the program, as there is one hour each day devoted to educational topics pertaining to substance abuse. Two nights a week, families are invited to attend educational lectures and group discussions about addiction.

Evening outpatient care is takes place Mondays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 9 pm. Clients must stay the whole time and initially attend all four days per week. After a week or two, depending on individual need, clients can step down to attending three evenings a week. From there, clients continue to reduce attendance to twice and then once per week. A weekend outpatient program is also offered for clients with conflicting and demanding schedules, open Saturdays and Sundays 8:30 am to 3 pm.

The Adolescent Recovery Program meets after school three days per week. On Wednesdays, parents join their teens for family group or educational lectures as well as dinner.

Staffed under the direction of a Medical Director who is board certified in Addiction Medicine, the professionals at Powell include CADCs, counselor techs, registered nurses and licensed mental health therapists.


Extended care is offered with counselor led group therapy, peer support groups as well as individual therapy. Aftercare is also offered, specifically known as the highlight of the program with some clients continuing to come to aftercare since 1975. The aftercare program consists of volunteer-led groups with people in recovery, with approximately 300 people attending on a weekly basis.

Powell CDC offers a family program, which provides an outlet for loved ones who have been affected by addiction. Addiction is a family disease and Powell strives to help all individuals involved.

 In Summary

Those who choose Powell Chemical Dependency Center will be paying a luxury price for a hospital experience. However, what it lacks in frills. it makes up for in community. The aftercare program is strong and many former clients use it as a means of connecting with peers and helping other recovering clients, it’s no wonder their alumni association is so strong. Strength in numbers along with comprehensive medical care is what you will find at Powell in the Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

Powell Chemical Dependency Center

700 E. University
Des Moines, IA 50315

Powell Chemical Dependency Center Cost

$16,800 (14 days). Reach Iowa Lutheran Hospital by phone at (515) 263-2424.

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Photo courtesy of UnityPoint

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