Youth Recovery Center
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Youth Recovery Center


youth-recovery-centerYouth Recovery Center Review

For more than 25 years, the Youth Recovery Center has been giving young people the tools they need to battle addiction and co-occurring disorders. This small, inpatient treatment center at Valley View Hospital in picturesque Glenwood Springs, Colorado, provides comprehensive and individualized treatment in an understanding and respectful environment. Known for its sunny skies and crisp mountain weather, Glenwood Springs is a perfect area for hiking, healthy living and recovery.

Accommodations and Food

Youth Recovery Center is a 10-bed adolescent unit on the fourth floor of Valley View Hospital. While the setting is within a hospital, all rooms are carpeted and brightly decorated and have mountain views. There are four double occupancy rooms and two single rooms (for an extra fee), each with a full bathroom. Clients have a twin bed, nightstand, desk and closet. The kids are responsible for their own laundry; washers and dryers are provided.  Youth Recovery Center provides a game room with a TV to be used at designated times only.

Breakfast and lunch are served family style in the unit’s dining area. Nutrition is a core component of treatment, so the food is first-rate. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish and grains are provided. No sugar or caffeine is permitted. At dinnertime, staff accompanies the residents to the plaza level, where they can choose from a variety of food options in the hospital cafeteria. Special dietary requests are accommodated.

Treatment and Staff

Youth Recovery Center addresses every aspect of addiction and offers an array of support. The program is designed for adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 18. Admission criteria include: diagnosis of chemical dependence, co-occurring mental health/behavioral diagnosis, prior experience with a lower level of treatment such as an outpatient program, counseling or residential treatment within the past 12 months; and motivation to commit to inpatient treatment.

There is no detox offered by Youth Recovery Center, but there is an acute care unit in the hospital that could accommodate certain cases. The 42-day inpatient program is comprehensive in every other way, including biopsychosocial assessment, medical evaluation and treatment, individual and group therapy, family therapy, recreation therapy, stress management, life skills education, journaling work and community 12- step meetings. Specific areas of focus include psychoeducational and experiential therapy, biofeedback, EMDR, trauma-informed care, relapse prevention techniques and relaxation skills.

The client-to-staff ratio is close to two-to-one, providing a nurturing and intimate environment. There is an RN on duty 24/7. From 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday, two therapists, one clinical supervisor, a psychiatric nurse, a family therapist and a schoolteacher are on board. The weekend staff includes two therapists, a nurse and an on-call physician. Aside from the unit staff, a medical doctor, a psychiatrist and a dietician from Valley View Hospital visit residents twice a week. The therapists are all Master’s-level, use CBT and DBT and are trained in EMDR and trauma work.

Monday through Friday, the kids are up for breakfast at 7 am with the first group session at 8 am. From 9 am to 11 am, a certified teacher conducts a two-hour class that all residents must attend. The curriculum is tailored to meet the age level and requirements of each client. After lunch, there is group, followed by individual therapy. Schedules vary on a day-to-day basis and each client’s program is based on their initial assessment. After the last afternoon therapy session, the kids pile into a van with two therapists for recreation time. They are back on the unit by 6:30 pm for dinner. From 7:30 pm until 9 pm, there is either an in-house 12-step meeting facilitated by a therapist, a movie or game night. Saturday mornings the kids get to sleep until 8 am. After breakfast, it is double scrub day. Everyone on the unit (including staff) participates in cleaning. After chores are finished in the late afternoon, there is a process group and the evening ends with clients watching a movie of their choice. On Sunday, the kids are out all day for supervised fun time.

Residents cannot leave the unit unless they are supervised. Visits are allowed after at least one family session and must be approved by the treatment team. After three days, residents are allowed two phone calls per day.


Clients are treated to art, music and equine therapy, in addition to yoga and meditation. Recreation time includes movie and game nights, visiting museums, art galleries, hiking and other outdoor activities. Accompanied by two staff members (and depending on the weather), trips range from snow boarding and horseback riding to rafting in the Colorado River.

In Summary

Youth Recovery Center provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to treating adolescent substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. This place understands that recovery needs to be fun in order for it to stick, especially with kids. With this in mind, they offer a full range of recreational and experiential therapies in addition to evidence-based practices. The price tag is hefty, but this is specialized treatment in an intimate setting (only 10 beds) for dual diagnosis kids who have struggled with treatment in the past. The staff members are all highly educated, experienced and, above all, appear to be engaged with their young clients.

Youth Recovery Center Location

1906 Blake Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Youth Recovery Center Cost

$53,000 (42 days). Reach Youth Recovery Center by phone at (970) 945-6435. Find Youth Recovery Center on Facebook

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