California Drug Rehab Center Review
Cowboys don’t need five-star chefs, luxury accommodations, personal masseuses, pedicures and celebrity neighbors to kick the habit. Which is a good job, 'cause they ain’t gonna get none at Austin Recovery. A completely different beast to the lavish luxury rehabs of glossy gossip mags, the Austin Recovery Center provides solid, affordable, decent treatment. Founded in 1967, it is the oldest chemical dependency treatment center in Central Texas. However, it's deceptive to think of this Texas drug rehab facility as one "center." With two separate campuses—each with its own distinct ambiance and decor—Austin Recovery caters for a range of people that is both sociologically and geographically broad.
The Hicks Family Ranch, an attractive—well, ranch—is used for the center's residential programs which include 30- and 90-day women's and men's programs, and the unique "Family House program" which provides residential treatment for women in recovery, alongside their children. This program is one of only three in the entire state of Texas, and the women who stay here can use state funding. Unlike many treatment centers, AR has many funding options available for those unable to pay.
Each client shares a clean, comfortable, plain room and a bathroom with one other in an extremely protected environment—no mall trips or bowling evenings here. Instead, residents attend a heavy program of classes, from 8am until 8pm each day. One-on-one sessions with a counselor are available once or twice a week, but Austin Recovery’s primary focus is twelve-step work, combined with educational classes on drug and alcohol issues. AR's practical, utilitarian approach to recovery works on preparing residents for re-entry into the outside world, with an emphasis on the skills many addicts and alcoholics need to acquire to successfully build upon recovery: resumé writing, how to dress for an interview, how to make a doctor’s appointment, how to get food stamps and apply for welfare.
However, one former participant felt that some of the classes she had to attend were pointless, even upsetting. “I had to attend parenting classes, which is great for people who have kids, but I’m not allowed to see my kids because of my past drug abuse and alcoholism. The last thing I needed was to have to sit in on a parenting class! They need to do a better job at picking and choosing what people need to see and hear.” Another veteran reported finding the center to have a very positive, spiritual vibe, alongside the heavy emphasis on education. “We did music therapy, where we lay on the floor and the music was real loud—tribal, symphonic—and we just lay there absorbing it for like an hour and a half, and it takes you on a journey. At the end, you get up and draw your journey. That was amazing for me. Really spiritual.” Other less conventional treatments on offer include art expression and inner child work.
Despite the emphasis on experiential treatment, Austin Recovery doesn't include more hands-on therapies such as working with clay, or gardening. Most former clients reported a regrettable lack of physical exercise, which could have improved the treatment. “I mean, it’s not until the second or third week of treatment that your head's back in the game and your body’s able to contemplate exercise,” said one, “but even for the people on 30-day programs—and definitely for long-term residents—a pool, a gym, more yoga classes [clients reported one half hour session per week], organized walks, team sports, could have really put some more physical emphasis into recovery and getting well.”
The food here is tasty and nutritious, if nothing earth-shattering—and that kind of sums up the Austin Recovery center. It’s a great place to go for “30 days of not being on drugs and learning how to think again," and if you become a long-term resident, the skills it teaches you are “invaluable for re-entry into the real world.” This Texas treatment and rehab center has all the basic, essential tools you need to get healthy and sober—but it's not a vacation, and it's not a resort. If you’re expecting either, scuttle a little further west and dig deeper into your pocket.