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Cold Creek Behavioral Health

By The Fix staff 10/14/16

Cold Creek's two Utah locations—The Wellness Center and The Lodge—both offer individualized treatment models, comprehensive therapies, and continued recovery in IOP and sober living houses.

View of Utah mountainside and trees.
Location : Brighton, UT
Phone : 888-744-9656
Price : $20,000/ 30 days at the Lodge, $15,000/ 30 days at the Wellness Center; programs including IOP and Sober Living are also available.
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : No

Cold Creek Behavioral Health Addiction Treatment Center is actually comprised of two main treatment facilities, the Wellness Center, in Kaysville, Utah, and the Lodge, located in Brighton, Utah. The Wellness Center is housed in an upscale neighborhood, while the Lodge is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, surrounded by mountain lakes, hikes and scenic views. Both locations offer the same individualized treatment model and comprehensive therapies and also have their corresponding local IOP and sober living houses for continued treatment. The daily routine is a good mix of keeping busy with group therapy, individual therapy, recreational therapies, meals, personal time and even the occasional 12-step meeting. On weekends there is visitation time and group outings in addition to personal time and movie nights.

Cold Creek is evidenced-based, but because they realize that some people do find help and support in 12-step programs, they do take clients to two 12-step meetings. Cold Creek also treats people with co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis). Length of stay varies but is generally about 2-4 weeks of PHP, or inpatient, followed by 90-120 days of IOP. Client to staff ratio is about 3:1. Treatment plans and length of stay are individualized.

The number one reason people chose Cold Creek over other facilities was treatment quality: "I had been to two other facilities and didn't get as much therapy as I had hoped to," a recent alumnus told us. The second most popular reason given for choosing Cold Creek was the beautiful locations. There is a mix of clientele at Cold Creek as well, which tends to give a patient a well-rounded perspective on addiction: "It was a blend of males and females. We all came from different beliefs, values, ages, from being a parent to adult children to being young. I am still quite close to quite a few of them...almost six years later." Many alumni expressed an appreciation for the diverse group of clients.

The Food at Cold Creek was generally well liked. During the inpatient stage of treatment, a chef cooks about 90% of all meals, with the occasional continental breakfast being served and sometimes a weekend dinner at a restaurant. One possible drawback for some clients is the strict policy on limited caffeine and sugar. Most residents we surveyed seemed to grow to appreciate the policy.

The menu was highly praised, with comments like, "It was very healthy food! Zero coffee and hardly any sugar was allowed," and "The meals were great! Always cooked with fresh, healthy ingredients by the in-house chef. They were served family style, we all ate together around a nice kitchen table, then we all cleaned up. No coffee. There were some snacks, nuts and fruits, always available and sweets made with sweeteners other than sugar (like honey) after dinner." Main courses include such items as spaghetti squash (instead of pasta), Chicken Cordon Bleu, pot roast and grilled flank and skirt steaks. Not everything was perfect, though. Some residents were less than fond of salad bar or vegetarian nights. "I'm a meat and potato kinda guy, " said one such former resident. Note: Cold Creek has informed us that while they used to be a no-coffee facility, they now put out two pots of coffee every morning and allow clients to drink decaf coffee throughout the day. Also, the Lodge location provides vapes (electronic cigarettes) for their clients. Both locations offer tobacco cessation programs where clients are assisted with tapering down using nicotine patches, lozenges, or gum.

Cold Creek prides itself on having a very limited amount of residents at one time. At the Lodge there are a max of 10 residents, and at the Wellness Center there are only nine. Accommodations were rated highly. Residents live in private or shared rooms and must do some chores: "We had daily chores like making our beds, room cleaning, doing dishes. But, overall our focus was completely on our treatment program," said one former resident. Days are busy and include much more than traditional therapy. "Daily life was very full and structured. The staff had something planned for us most of every day. We had therapy, classes, art projects, recreational activities like hiking, go cart racing, sledding, volleyball, etc....Sundays were mostly free time and visiting from friends and family," said another.

There are lots of amenities available to residents at the two facilities: "We had great activities from going on hikes and rock climbing to bowling, movies and yoga.” According to another resident, "Equestrian therapy was my favorite part of my whole experience at Cold Creek.....The horses were so well behaved and they really helped me to live in and love the moment." One alumnus raved about a certain unique amenity: "A Gold's gym was available to us as well as ‘FTR,’ a recovery based cross-fit style gym that is huge in building a recovery community for cold creek clients when they get out of treatment." There are also other activities available such as paint ball excursions, guided meditations, going out to eat on weekends, water rafting, skiing, and more. 

Access to internet, phones and TV is limited. Phone use is allowed only four times per week, TV is available in the evenings and weekends and there is no internet access unless it is supervised and approved. But, as one former patient put it, "I plugged into life a lot. Played games and puzzles and sat out back and talked with my fellow housemates." So, don't plan on connecting with social media while you're here.

Residents feel the rules are strictly enforced, but fair. Usually a warning or two precedes any serious action. But for severe infractions, you can get kicked out. "A patient I was with had left the facility in the middle of the night without permission and was allowed to return. However, a few weeks later he snuck cigarettes into the facility and was caught and got kicked out." No one is above the rules, and most clients felt the enforcement was neither too harsh nor too soft. "It wasn't tough love or permissive. I felt it was fair in all aspects," an alumnus told us, adding, "I certainly wasn't permitted to just do anything I wanted." So, if you're looking for the kind of rehab that lets you get away with stuff just as long as your insurance is paying, this isn't it.

As far as medical treatment available while at Cold Creek, a Doctor is on call 24 hours a day, but visits residents weekly. A nurse is on staff and available 24 hours a day. "The Doctor visited us regularly. He was so good I continued to see him after I left as my personal doctor," a recent client told us. As for the non-medical treatment, alumni almost universally rated it as excellent. Again, this is not a 12-step based program, though 12-step was available. "I love that each person's recovery [program] was different and [designed] for them," a former patient said. "The program was cognitive therapy based which was really cool, learning about the addictive brain and the psychology behind addiction," another added. Religion is not emphasized here either. Religious patients are given an opportunity to attend a church of their choosing if they wish. "They covered the gambit of recovery options" a former patient noted.

Cold Creek’s relatively affordable treatment facilities are highly rated by the majority of alumni who took our survey. Whether you choose the more traditional Wellness Center or the Lodge located in the mountains, you will get the same individualized treatment program, same comfortable living situation and amenities and you will be given guidance and the opportunity to recover. "Cold Creek was my 11th rehab and by far the best tool in the shed," said one alumnus. Another wanted us to know that, "Cold Creek saved my life and taught me things I never knew about myself and [gave me] tons of tools to stay sober. I didn't want to leave!"

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