Since 1987, Sundown Ranch has offered young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction relief and hope “one sundown at a time.” Located on 450 acres of wooded land in the northeast Texan city of Canton, Sundown Ranch specializes in treating clients between the ages of 12 and 24 who are suffering from chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders. It offers an impressive amount of resources in a safe, peaceful atmosphere in the hopes that young people who’ve lost their footing can permanently get back on track.
Accommodations and Food
Sundown Ranch is like a sober summer camp with its restorative natural location surrounded by trees, rolling hills and lakes. The actual treatment facilities and residences are located in a working ranch which really does resemble at least an old Western movie set. The facility can treat up to 70 residents at a time, all grouped by age and gender, where they shard rooms with bunk beds.
Sundown Ranch offers its clients exceptional home cooked, healthy food in the mess hall. Seasonal menu options rotate every four weeks and salad bars are available at every lunch and dinner. Allergies, nutritional needs and dietary preferences are all accommodated in the “country kitchen” and overseen by a dietician, food service manager and their staff.
Treatment and Staff
If it is deemed necessary at admission, detox services are provided on-site before clients move into the residential program. A medical director and a psychiatrist oversee all treatment at Sundown Ranch, with the aid of a 24/7 nursing staff. This team conducts a physical exam for each resident so that each person’s physical progress can be monitored alongside his or her emotional and spiritual progress throughout the length of stay. The rest of the clinical team at Sundown Ranch runs the gamut of alcohol and drug expertise, with MFTs social worker, addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists, nursing and chemical dependency counselors all on staff. A lot of the staff are also in recovery themselves which could add a level of relatability (especially for adolescents) not all rehabs can provide. In any case, each client has a team dedicated to their specific sobriety goals and needs.
Sundown Ranch creates what it refers to as a Master Treatment Plan for every resident. This working document is revised and reviewed the entire time someone is in treatment; goals, progress, strengths and weaknesses are all recorded. The clinician, client and the client’s family all work together to find a system for establishing secure sobriety and a long term maintenance program for that sobriety. Twelve-step recovery is the core of Sundown Ranch’s approach but it is also combined with CBT in the form of daily group therapy and extensive individual counseling.
Supervised physical activity is also considered part of the treatment protocol at Sundown Ranch. There are an abundance of fun recreational opportunities worked into the schedule, including fishing, camping, volleyball, basketball and arts & crafts. Clients have the opportunity to go horseback riding (where equine therapy is implemented) and to participate in the ropes course, known as The Therapeutic Outdoor Experimental Challenge Program, in the hopes of increasing self-confidence and problem solving skills. There is also a 12-step themed wilderness trail around one of the lakes where counselors lead group therapy or clients can experience solo meditation if they prefer.
Family programming is an essential part of life at Sundown Ranch. In addition to group education and therapy where the families of those in treatment may speak freely and express concerns or ask questions, there is also the routinely held Intensive Family Program weekend. Here families work with loved ones in treatment to elevate communication, repair past wounds and understand how to move forward together.
Another unique aspect of this program is the fully accredited academic program. The Texas Education Agency facilitated charter school operates onsite so residents can continue junior high and high school education while receiving treatment.
Sundown Ranch also goes the extra mile when it comes to planning a client’s aftercare. The client’s family and sponsor are all involved in setting up a specific plan of action post-treatment. The staff is then on call for any relapse prevention or aid after the client is released.
As mentioned above, fishing, camping, hiking, volleyball, basketball, a ropes course, expressive art therapy, horseback riding and equine therapy are some of the extras offered at Sundown Ranch.
The combination of 12-step community support, therapy, exercise, family involvement and academics at a low cost make this facility seem like a no brainer when exploring a young person’s options for treatment. Sundown Ranch combines the crucial elements of safety and security with comprehensive treatment and adventure; the goal being to present the possibility of a fun sober life (which might, of course, seem at first like an oxymoron to prospective young clients).
3120 VZCR 2318
Canton, TX 75103
Sundown Ranch Cost: $10,500 (30 days). Reach Sundown Ranch by phone at (903) 479-3933 or by email at [email protected].
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