Founded in 1976 by Norman Wells, Wells House Incorporated originally started as a halfway house for homeless alcoholic men in Baltimore, Maryland. Over the years, the program has expanded, and there are now three houses that offer residential treatment to both women and men with substance use disorders, including those with dual diagnoses.
Wells House offers outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), as well as aftercare programs, with an emphasis on 12-step recovery. Wells House offers a dignified, supportive and peer-based treatment program for anyone looking to end dependency on alcohol and drugs and gain the tools to reenter society. The program does not offer detox.
Accommodations and Food
All houses have comfortable living spaces with double occupancy rooms. Clients have single beds, dressers and closet space. There are between 27 and 30 beds in the homes and clients have constant supervision by drug and alcohol counselors. Scattered throughout the houses are common areas, including family rooms and dining areas.
Breakfast and dinner are prepared on-site by professional cooks while the food for lunches is stocked in the kitchen so clients can prepare their own sandwiches or salads; fruit and other snacks are also available. Breakfast and dinner include a wide array of foods served as a buffet for clients. Dietary restrictions or allergies can be accommodated.
Treatment and Staff
Most clients remain in the residential program for four to six weeks and sometimes up to a year in aftercare—the length of time depends primarily on clients’ needs. Treatment at Wells House addresses all aspects of clients’ dependency, including the body, mind and spirit. Upon initial assessment, staff members create an individualized treatment plan for each person. This includes both individual and group therapy and substance education courses that address various addictions, along with groups addressing dual diagnosis. Each client has his or her own treatment team, though clients needing psychiatric treatment are referred to the county mental health facility nearby.
Group therapy topics include relapse prevention, self-diagnosis and self-awareness and identifying defense mechanisms. Wells House emphasizes and highly encourages participation in 12-step programs and while they don’t have any on-site meetings, there are plenty within walking distance.
The IOP program begins with three-hour sessions four times a week. Clients in this program are required to attend 12-step groups and get sponsors. Once treatment goals are met, they can drop down to three sessions a week. Clients must be willing to take random breathalyzer and drug tests.
The outpatient group requires three sessions a week. It is designed for those who have stepped down from IOP, or who have experienced some negative consequences from their drinking but nothing too major. It also is recommended for anyone who’s had a mild relapse.
Staff members are credentialed professionals—licensed drug and alcohol counselors, mental health therapists, psychologists and a physician, along with spiritual and wellness specialists. Each house has 12 licensed drug and alcohol counselors on site, along with a house manager and an administrator.
Family involvement is a big part of treatment at Wells House. Services for family members include education, guidance, support and individual or group counseling.
Every residential client is encouraged to incorporate physical fitness into their recovery. Two-month scholarships to the local YMCA are provided, and they are transported to the facilities.
In addition, Wells House provides clients with resources in educational training, financial planning, employment, housing, medical and mental health treatment and legal issues.
For those looking for affordable residential or outpatient treatment that emphasizes the 12 steps in a supportive community, the programs at the Wells House will prove a good fit. With treatment for dual diagnosis and many resources to help people get their lives together, these non-profit rehab homes are an important part of recovery in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wells House, Inc.
124 E Baltimore St
Hagerstown, MD 21740
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