Established in 1978 as a men’s residential facility in the Minnesota town of Owatonna, not far south of Minneapolis, West Hills Lodge now offers residential substance abuse treatment for men and women 18 years old and over. It has expanded its services to include a facility for women 30 minutes away in Northfield. West Hills Lodge provides extended sober living and addiction treatment to ease the transition back into the community.
Accommodations and Food
The residential facility in Owatonna, a two-story home with a large front yard, houses 15 men. Two or three men share rooms, depending on the census. All bedrooms have twin beds, shared dressers and closets. Along with sleeping quarters, there are four bathrooms and two lounges upstairs (one with a TV and a computer). Downstairs, there is a dining room, kitchen, pool table and two group rooms. Laundry facilities are provided. While the facility provides food, clients are responsible for making breakfast and lunch. Staff prepares the evening meal. Food is basic but nutritionally correct.
The Northfield facility houses six women in three bedrooms with three bathrooms. The second floor also has a TV room and a computer room, while the first floor features a living room, group room, dining room and kitchen. Décor is simple but homey and bright. Staff at the Northfield house provides the food but clients are responsible for preparing their own meals.
Residential clients are not permitted visitors for the first two weeks and no calls for one week. Cell phones are permitted after 30 days and smoking is allowed outside during breaks.
Treatment and Staff
West Hills Lodge offers a 90-day residential program. Dual diagnosis clients and those needing detox cannot be accommodated, as there are no medical personnel on staff. The primary therapeutic methods employed are CBT and DBT. The first 30 days, clients have individual therapy twice per week and group therapy Monday through Friday. Breakfast is at 7 am and morning group begins at 9 am. Groups run 60 minutes and topics include anger management, stress triggers, dealing with cravings, anger management and relapse prevention.
During the second month, clients are expected to have jobs or be enrolled in school. They may have cell phones and are allowed to carry up to $20 in cash. While there is no vocational counselor on staff, residents do have computer access for employment searches. Clinical time is cut down to 10 hours per week with individual therapy once per week.
By the final month, residents are required to be working. Individual is limited to just two more sessions.
Residents are required to attend four 12-step meetings per week. While West Hills does not transport clients to meetings, both residential locations are within walking distance to AA clubhouses. For the first 30 days of treatment, clients must show proof of attendance. For the remainder of treatment, residents are expected to attend meetings on the honor system.
Visiting hours are during the week from 4 pm to 7 pm and are scheduled through the primary counselor. West Hills does not offer a family program.
The treatment team consists of Master’s-level therapists and CSACs, for a client-to-staff ratio of six-to-one.
Both residential facilities offer recreational therapy two nights per week. One night is yoga and the other is an introduction to meditation. Both houses are also within walking distance of an affiliated fitness center.
West Hills Lodge is ideal for men and women needing extra support during the first few months of sobriety. While outpatient and family group are not offered, the amount of freedom is ideal for those who have already had some primary intensive treatment.
West Hills Lodge
545 Florence Ave
Owatonna, MN 55060
1101 South Spring St
Northfield, MN 55057
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