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RosecranceThe Basics

Rosecrance was not always the sprawling network it has become. Once an orphanage for boys, the mission of Rosecrance became the treatment of chemical dependency in adolescents in 1982. In the 1990s, the organization extended further, adding long term teen recovery homes and adult services for addiction. As recently as 2011, a major merger between Rosecrance and the Janet Wattles Center, an organization of facilities for mental health treatment, realized the physical expansion of Rosecrance and its move towards providing thorough care for clients with co-occurring addiction and mental health issues.

The Rosecrance web—made up of over 20 addiction and mental health treatment facilities—spans the Rockford and Chicago, Illinois area. Rosecrance boasts the largest inpatient addiction treatment facility for teens in the state: its Griffin Williamson campus, just east of Rockford. Just a hop and a skip away is the Harrison campus, which provides inpatient substance abuse treatment for adults and a detox facility open to clients sixteen and above.

Accommodations and Food

Two hours drive from both Milwaukee and Chicago, the Griffin Williamson campus for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 looks like a glorified junior college, the exposed beams and high ceilings in the main lobby resembling a ski lodge.

Eighty clients live in cozy houses scattered across the 50-acre property, each with its own kitchenette and laundry room. The bedrooms offer leafy, bright views; up to four people share bedrooms, sleeping on twin beds and often bunk beds.

The Harrison campus, by contrast, has more beds (97) but fewer frills: no conservatory or Japanese-influenced effects in these grounds. There is a men’s house and a women’s house. The campus is tempered to suit its older residents, adults 18 and above: well-groomed walkways, a fitness center, leather chairs in the lobby waiting room—the environs of your white-collar office retreat.

Private rooms are not available at all for either site. On the Harrison campus men and women are housed separately; on the Griffin Williamson campus, girls and boys are fiercely segregated—even when passing in the halls, rules stipulate that boys and girls cannot communicate or meet eye contact with one another. Parents of boy and girl crazy teenagers rejoice.

All meals, on both campuses, are served buffet-style. Any dietary restrictions are managed by the clients themselves—vegetarians have to make due with salad and sides when meat is on the menu. Vending machines are available at particular times on both campuses, however, so the diet is not especially strict.

Treatment and Staff

Griffin Williamson clients stay on as needed, determined jointly by family and treatment team but the average stay on both campuses is between 35 and 45 days. Clients 16 and older may detox, if needed, in the medical facility on the Harrison campus before entering treatment. All inpatient clients work with a highly accredited clinical and medical treatment team to figure out a proper individual program, both in length and in terms of medication and appropriate therapies.

Rosecrance’s substance abuse treatment philosophy is grounded in evidence-based and 12-step based models. Six days a week, clients attend group counseling. Groups may be directly related to education around substance abuse or, particularly in the case of Griffin Williamson clients, attend to life and coping skills in recovery. Monday through Friday, Griffin Williamson clients have about four hours of regular school after breakfast; Rosecrance is open to working with home schools so that clients can keep up with their regular assignments. Harrison clients have more sophisticated lectures in their schedules, as well as team building exercises and groups on spirituality and relapse prevention.

Unless they are at meals or in twice-weekly individual sessions with primary counselors or case managers, clients are nearly always occupied in group activity. All clients attend 12-step NA and AA meetings off campus. Programming also includes experiential therapies: think middle school schedule (physical fitness, art, music, creative writing) with a recovery bent, and residents have the option of trying TMS as an additional form of therapy.

On the Griffin campus, residents have a chance to meet with their families and a counselor for an individual session every week, by Skype or phone if not in person. Regular family visiting hours vary slightly for clients on both campuses, but are typically for two hours on weekend afternoons. Cell phones are a no go for all clients.


The Griffin Williamson campus boasts a game room complete with foosball table, a chapel, a basketball court, yoga lessons, an on-site school, a brand new conservatory and a sprawling serenity garden. The program offers meditation exercises, horticultural therapy, visual art, percussive music and creative writing therapies.

The Harrison campus is smaller, true, but still presents nicely with 10 acres (warning: these may not be as suited to winter months, this is still the Chicago area, people!), outdoor dining and its very own serenity path. A childcare center and playground are also available to residents for family visits.

In Summary

The way Rosecrance has recently embraced treatment of co-occurring issues might make this facility a good choice for potential clients with dual diagnoses; the treatment is solid. Rosecrance provides a reliable evidence-based recovery program for all of its residents.

Rosecrance Health Network
1021 North Mulford Rd
Rockford, IL 61107-3877

Rosecrance Cost: $31,050 (45 days). Reach Rosecrance by phone at (888) 928-5278. Find Rosecrance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn

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