Jaywalker Lodge

By The Fix staff 08/02/11

An all-male clientele and a passion for mountain sports differentiate Colorado's Jaywalker Lodge, a rugged but reliable drug and alcohol rehab that attempts to treat men who have failed elsewhere.

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The men-only Jaywalker Lodge. Photo via
Location : Carbondale, Colo.
Phone : (866) 529-9255
Price : $14,250/mo. ($9,750/mo. for Solutions program)
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : No
Detox : No

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They may not provide detox at the Jaywalker Lodge drug and alcohol rehab, a facility of two large, modern buildings on Main Street in Carbondale, Colorado, which opened in 2005. But that doesn’t mean they shy away from those who are struggling with the toughest addiction problems. On the contrary, they specialize in patients with previous failed recovery attempts. “It’s designed around guys like me, who’ve been to many treatment centers in the past and haven’t been able to stay sober,” explains one former client. “They deal with addiction head-on, with a peer-driven focus that’s heavily based on Step 1.”

While some treatment centers may have a primarily mental approach—trying to figure out if a client has mental illnesses, going deeply into therapy—Jaywalker Lodge is hands-on, expecting residents to work on themselves by staying physically busy and motivated, and being of service. The all-male clientele—the average age of the 21 residents is mid-to-late twenties—work together to support newcomers.

The Jaywalker Lodge treatment program is a structured, more traditional 90-day deal that sets limits on clients’ freedom: no cellphones, no leaving the lodge unaccompanied, no cars. Bedrooms are shared, basic and comfortable, with flat-screen TVs, leather furniture, a hot tub and a view of the Rockies. A structured work day starts out with morning meditation at 7:15 AM, followed by cross fit, yoga or hiking, and then the clients' "therapeutic daily assignments" or clean ups. After a break for breakfast, group therapy starts at 10 AM. 3 PM is time for rock-climbing, bouldering or mountain biking. AA and NA meetings are held in-house every evening and are open to the public.

Residents can opt to join the Solutions Program—which can house up to 15 at a time—after 90 days in the Lodge. Those who choose Solutions move into a self-contained, shared apartment. They can have cars and cellphones, get jobs and volunteer on the Lodge Program. But staff and graduates are quick to dismiss claims that Solutions is merely a sober living facility. “Solutions gives you real life skills, it keeps you busy: volunteering, working, putting back into the program,” explains one former participant, who adds that it’s about “teaching you how to live, not just getting you dried out.” The Lodge Program, on the other hand, “is more retrospective and reflective. It’s for guys fresh from detox who need a lot of therapy.”

Clients prepare their own breakfast and lunch from options prepared by a former Executive Chef of the Ritz Carlton, who also prepares dinner five evenings a week—typical examples of Chef Brian's menu are pork tenderloin with goat cheese grits and a zucchini pappardelle, or maple-glazed salmon with risotto and jumbo asparagus. Clients take turns cooking on the weekends, and once a month there's an AA BBQ for members in the local community. Sunday is take-out night.

Mountain sports are a huge deal at Jaywalker Lodge: prospective clients are screened for physical fitness and suitability for activities including skiing, biking, climbing, swimming, snowboarding and more. Staff also co-ordinate with Phoenix Multisport, a Boulder-based activity center for sober people that organizes a vast array physical activities. It’s no surprise, then, that the Lodge attracts predominantly younger men, though there is no upper age limit for either program.

All the testosterone and outdoor pursuits don’t distract Jaywalker from the serious business of recovery. Executive Director Jeff Kremer has an excellent reputation and runs a tight ship of therapists, counselors, medical professionals and substance abuse specialists. Jaywalker offers an exceptional program of its kind, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Those averse to physical fitness will probably find it an uphill struggle. But if you’re a man who’s tried all else and failed, why not step off the sidewalk and take a chance?

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