Rapha Residential Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Attalla, Alabama (population: 6,800) is in close proximity to the greater Gadsden. Its beautiful surroundings make it the perfect mix of the country and small town America. Although Rapha is a Christian faith-based facility, treatment is non-denominational and welcomes all people regardless of their religious preference.
This male-only facility was founded in 1997 by Steve and Marilyn Yarbrough when they realized that more traditional treatment centers placed no emphasis on the Christian faith. Steve is an ordained minister who has worked in the recovery field for nearly 20 years. His wife, Marilyn, is a registered nurse who specializes in both psychiatric and addiction nursing. With 57 beds, Rapha is the largest long-term residential treatment center in Alabama.
Accommodations and Food
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rapha sits on 10 sprawling acres that contain housing, meeting and school buildings, a basketball court and riverfront pathways. Men here live two or three to a room. From the exterior, the buildings and grounds look like a small community. There are several residential buildings, with rooms that are simply furnished. Each has twin beds, a single sink and not much else. Think monk-like and clean. Shared bathrooms are available in every hall. There are separate buildings for recovery meetings and classrooms, in addition to a chapel where devotions and church services are held.
No body piercings, clothing that promotes drinking or drug use (put away those Budweiser T-shirts) or electronic devices are permitted. No books are allowed except the Bible. There is no WiFi and the Internet can only be used in certain classrooms when supervised by a counselor or instructor. Telephone calls can only be made or received via a pay telephone during free time, between 3 pm and 5 pm and again from 8pm to 10 pm.
A typical breakfast might consist of pancakes and eggs or potatoes and toast. Lunch and dinner menus vary and include things like spaghetti and meatloaf. Meals are served cafeteria style in a large community dining room. Coffee is not provided but patients are allowed to bring in instant coffee (anything not requiring a coffee maker).
Treatment and Staff
The level and length of treatment is decided in part by an Alabama Department of Mental Health approved Six Dimension Assessment, which is used by mental health professionals to diagnose the severity of any mental health issues. Other factors affecting length of stay include the client’s history of drug and/or alcohol abuse and severity of addiction-related issues (such as financial or legal problems).
Each day begins with a 6:30 am wake-up call, followed by breakfast, chores, clean up, and group devotionals. Lunch is at noon, followed by groups and classes addressing life skills such as stress reduction and parenting. Class attendance is mandatory and is customized for each client.
Participation in 12-step AA and NA meetings is not optional and meetings are offered every evening in the main building. The 12 steps have been reworded to reflect Rapha’s belief that God is the only Higher Power, and on-site meetings are closed to the public. Though daily group devotional sessions are compulsory, attendees needn’t follow a particular faith or be Christian at all. Still, this is definitely not the spot for those adamantly opposed to Bible-based teachings.
Rapha uses evidence-based practices such as CBT for treatment of addiction as well as related issues such as co-dependency. As recovery progresses, staff at Rapha help residents establish a support network, avail themselves of peer groups, legal advocacy groups, and relapse prevention programs. Rapha also offers anger management, parenting, and family systems classes.
Rapha’s three full and two part-time employees are trained in the treatment of addiction and are either LCSWs or certified addiction counselors. There are also 10 volunteers.
Additionally, residents must complete a full physical within two weeks of admission, and also must be free of chronic illnesses that would require regular visits to the doctor
During daily recreational free time, clients can play basketball, swim, sit by the Big Wills Creek and reflect or fish (at no additional charge). On Saturdays, residents can venture into nearby Attalla and/or Gadsden to shop for necessities, eat lunch off-site or attend outside 12-step meetings.
Rapha may not be the Ritz, but it’s not Motel 6 either. There’s no equine therapy or acupuncture but clients seeking a peaceful, simple place to learn how to recover from addiction may find this facility to be the perfect fit. And let’s be perfectly clear: This is one of the least expensive long-term (six to 12-month) inpatient treatment options in the country. Rapha offers male-only Christian-based treatment in a rural setting. To put it simply: for men with addiction issues in need of long-term inpatient care of at least six months, this is an extremely affordable option.
677 W Covington Ave
Attalla, AL 35954
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