Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of Asheville, North Carolina, Red Oak Recovery provides treatment for men and women aged 18 to 30 who have substance abuse issues and co-occurring mental health problems. With a wide range of treatment modalities offered, Red Oak provides holistic, gender-separated care with an emphasis on adventure therapy.
Accommodations and Food
Both the men’s and the women’s houses are located on the beautiful, sprawling Red Oak campus. Clients sleep two or three to a room, and while there is ample space to store possessions and relax, furnishings are very basic. All are encouraged to immerse themselves in the eco-therapy experience by forgoing electronic devices.
Nutritional therapy is an essential component at Red Oak, where building a healthy relationship with food and its preparation is essential. Delicious, nutrient-dense food is provided, with significant assistance from all. Clients study and tend to the farm, learning to cultivate a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as participating in a dialogue about the preparation and origin of the food they consume. The animal husbandry program includes egg-laying chickens, which the clients also learn to tend. Cooking skills are also taught, and clients learn to enjoy the labor of meal preparation.
Treatment and Staff
While the men’s program averages 65 days and the women’s 90, clients may extend their treatment plans for up to six months or longer. The basic treatment methods are the same for both, the programs include therapies that address developmental and transitional difficulties specific to their gender. The men’s program has additional focus on anger management and asking for help, while the women’s on body image and healthy relationships. Both medication management and medically monitored detox are available for clients that require assistance in these areas.
Clients attend an immersive and highly structured schedule of therapeutic modalities. Days consist of individual and group therapy, adventure therapy, psychoeducation, 12-step meetings and related work. The combination of these, and other therapies, is aimed at combating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues, trauma, grief, and underlying causes for addictive behavior. The primary methods of therapy are CBT and DBT. Motivational interviewing (MI) techniques, Gestalt, EMDR, rational emotive behavioral therapy and canine therapy are introduced into the client’s treatment plan upon recommendation of their primary therapist. Groups focus on instilling hope, social and communication skills, goal and boundary setting and relapse prevention skills.
Staff consists of Master’s-level therapists, LADCs, and licensed support staff.
The adventure therapy component is what makes Red Oak somewhat unique. The campus includes a ROPES course, as well as zip-line, and regular hiking, fishing, and camping trips. Additional therapies include art therapy, yoga and acupuncture, which are offered on a weekly basis.
Red Oak Recovery provides an interesting alternative to traditional residential treatment. By offering adventure therapy as a primary part of their program, clients are able to find an immersive, eco-centered environment in which to recover. The broad range of therapeutic modalities offered also means that client’s individual needs can be met. Residing for several months in the beautiful, rural mountain ranges is sure to be a healing and inspiring environment for many. Clients are treated as a whole and deeper emotional issues, as well as co-occurring issues, are addressed in a supportive, nurturing environment.
Red Oak Recovery
631 Willow Creek Road
Leicester, NC 28748
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Photo courtesy of Ken Thomas (KenThomas.us (personal website of photographer)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)