Serenity is a 28-day intensive residential treatment program that has been running for six years in Commerce City, Colorado, just 20 minutes outside of Denver. An extension of the non-profit Stout Street Foundation, Serenity defines its establishment as a structured rehabilitation community for addicts and alcoholics. President and CEO Christopher Conway, once a resident himself, came to the facility in 1998 and has since created an affordable recovery community based on 12-step ideology and positive reinforcement.
Accommodations and Food
Serenity is located next to a major highway in Commerce: not exactly a tranquil setting. The setup resembles that of a hotel—from the community lounge areas to the bedrooms. The decor is modest yet comfortable; positive affirmations are posted throughout the common areas; plants placed strategically to give it a more homey feel. There is even a small outdoor courtyard for sitting and reading.
Treatment happens right down the hall, so clients have easy access to group meetings and counselors. There are usually no more than 20 clients at a time (with 12 to 14 being the average), which makes for an intimate and personal setting for group meetings. The rooms sleep two, with a shared bathroom, and while the program is co-ed, the rooms are gender segregated.
Residents eat together in the dining hall. The food here is standard rehab fare; three hot meals, heavy on the carbs. The chef will, however, prepare special meals if the client is vegetarian or vegan. Smoking is allowed, along with caffeine and sugar. Clients are expected to clean up after themselves and are not allowed cell phones or laptops, though MP3 players are okay. Television is allowed at certain times at night in the designated common areas only.
Treatment and Staff
Serenity is not a detox facility; it requires that the client be free of drugs and alcohol for at least 28 days. Treatment is geared towards biological, social and psychological healing. The program utilizes CBT to alleviate negative thought patterns while implementing self-worth and awareness. There are seven counselors seeing the clients at Serenity; treatment orientation includes Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Solution Focused Brief (building self-esteem and praising strengths rather than harping on weaknesses).
Group meetings are held three times a day for one- to two-hour sessions, where clients interact with their peers and counselors in dealing with such issues as anger management, coping skills and career goals. Attendance at and participation in 12-step programming is mandatory at Serenity—this is a social model program. Family sessions are also available and encouraged through individual counselors. Along with the rigorous schedule of group classes and meetings, Serenity offers yoga and acupuncture to its clients, who can also exercise on-site.
Upon completion of the program, the client receives a personalized aftercare program to provide further support through re-entry into the community. There is even an opportunity for the client to work within the facility as an assistant or counselor once they are released.
Because there is no detox program, there is not a nurse on-site. Staff includes a mix of certified chemical dependency/addiction counselors, family counselors and around the clock managers who are available for support whenever needed.
An outdoor pool, on-site gym, yoga and acupuncture are some of the extras offered at Serenity.
The Serenity program builds on a solid 12-step foundation, paying particular attention to promoting positive self-image and boosting the self-esteem of its residents. Clients also receive more personal attention than at other facilities in this price range and the treatment seems solid.
Stout Street Foundation & Serenity
7251 E 49th Ave
Commerce City, CO 80022
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