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Wells Center


Wells CenterWells Center Review

Potential clients from urban locales will encounter few familiar triggers at Wells Center to get in the way of their recovery. This area of central Illinois is green with corn and soybean fields in spring and summer and the small town of Jacksonville has a vintage small town vibe. Started in 1968 with the goal of total community wellness, the Wells Center is an affordable addiction treatment facility offering a full range of evidence-based services, from detox to aftercare.


Set back from the road on a rural stretch of land, the stately Wells Center sits on a large lot dotted with tall trees, giving the appearance of a comfortable, expansive ranch home. Though Wells Center may have up to 250 outpatient clients at any given time, the inpatient program is more intimate with just 20 beds. The programs are gender segregated; meals, group sessions and smoking/socializing are divided for men and women. Residents share a room and each room has its own bathroom with a shower.

Treatment and Staff

Wells Center provides evidence-based treatment, which means its methods are rigorously studied by researchers who are well known and respected for their mental health research. Detox clients are medically monitored 24 hours a day in a social setting—meaning treatment starts here, both group and individual therapy—in the hopes that clients will continue to the residential or the outpatient programs.

Inpatient residents spend the bulk of their time—25 hours per week for 28 days—in educational process groups, focusing on a rotating roster of topics such as relapse prevention, managing cravings and anger and communication. Residents meet with their assigned counselor for individual therapy one hour per week (potentially more often depending on client need). Though Wells Center is not technically regarded as a dual diagnosis facility, psychiatric records are assessed upon intake and some dual diagnosis treatment can be provided per the staff psychiatrist’s recommendation.

Days at Wells Center begin around 7 am when residents wake themselves up. Breakfast is served at 7:30 am, meds are administered at 8 am; morning meditation/inspiration follows. Between each half hour break for lunch and dinner, residents attend process groups or one-on-one therapy sessions and there is a daily activities break (sometimes off site with a walk or a visit to the local park). Study time is reserved for after dinner, when educational worksheets must be completed. This program is not 12-step in focus, but transportation is provided on occasion to meetings in the community. During free time, clients are given the opportunity to watch TV in the lounge, but there are no computers or cell phones are allowed. Curfew is at 10 pm, when residents must be in their rooms for the night.

Upon admission, residents create a list of people with whom contact will be allowed via telephone or in person. Visiting hours are Tuesday and Sunday afternoons. Any visitor must attend the mandatory one-hour Tuesday family group session with the resident at least one time before being allowed to stay for the visiting hour that follows, or the Sunday visitation. On Sundays, residents have dinner at 4:30 pm, followed by a family group session and a visiting hour.

Outpatient services are available to adults, adolescents and specifically women who are pregnant or with children. Individual, group and family therapy are used to address addiction education and relapse prevention as well as social, legal, peer, family and school life problems, when applicable. A case manager may connect with other community agencies that serve women and children to guarantee that necessary healthcare is provided. Wells Center also operates an extensive corrections program, bringing treatment into detention facilities and offering residential and outpatient services upon release.

In Summary

Wells Center accepts insurance, but for those for whom insurance is not an option, the sliding fee is very affordable (an unmarried adult without dependents or insurance can expect to pay in the ballpark of $8 per day, including food and lodging). Extra dispensations are also made for the unemployed with documented lack of income. That bargain price may require a wait for admission, but is still hard to beat.

Wells Center Location

1300 Lincoln Ave
Jacksonville, IL 62650

Wells Center Cost

Sliding scale (28 days). Reach the Wells Center by phone at (800) 307-2125 or by email at findhelp@welsscenter.org.

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Photo courtesy of Dailynetworks [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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