Recovery Ways

By The Fix staff 07/22/17

This Salt Lake City facility offers individualized and high quality addiction treatment--including everything from detox to aftercare--at a competitive price.

Recovery Ways at Mountain View Building
Recovery Ways at Mountain View
Location : Salt Lake City, UT
Phone : (855) 534-2854
Price : $25,000 for 30 days including detox); $22,000 for 30 days without detox.
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

Situated in the southern, suburban side of Salt Lake City, Utah, is a group of satellite apartment complexes surrounding a central treatment center. Together they make up Recovery Ways, a residential co-ed drug and alcohol treatment facility (though day treatment and intensive outpatient programs are also available). Rather than reaching for clients’ wallets with an excess of trendy treatments-du-jour, Recovery Ways’ self-reported mission is to provide premier recovery programs at a reasonable price.

Recovery Ways welcomes clients from any number of substance abuse backgrounds, whether they be alcoholics or cocaine addicts. Clients also tend to come in a variety of ages—anywhere from 17 to 70—as well as professions and backgrounds, “street rats to lawyers,” as one former resident said. Though some participants noted a fair showing of LGBTQ peers, another alum put it rather succinctly: “There was as much diversity as you might expect In Utah for race and sexual orientation.” Still, a thread among those who attended was that group sessions were quick to “[shatter] stereotypes,” and that the residents were just “people from all different walks of life with a common problem.”

The facility consists of four buildings clustered together in Murray, Utah, each of which combines residential living with therapeutic space. Each home features clean interiors with modern decor and predominantly private rooms—though some alums reported having roommates for part of their stay, all of which were reportedly positive. The Recovery Way facilities got high ratings overall as well, with some surveyed noting that the assigned chores were “nothing major,” though they often included things like keeping bedrooms tidy and cleaning the laundry room.

On the other hand, opinions were split on the quality of meals. The general consensus was that the food was “healthier, cafeteria-style food” which included a salad bar and lots of coffee. Though the vegetarian clients polled were grateful that there were plenty of options available for them, others bemoaned that the food was not always served fresh—and was sometimes a little on the cold side. Despite the prevalence of “low-budget, carb-heavy” meals, many participants sung the praises of the fresh fruit and salad bar, and that it was “always served with a smile.” One former resident suggested “more options or times available for snacks” since they were available “only a couple times a day and they pretty much got wiped out within minutes.” Favorites were “café rio,” “fresh fruit,” and “whatever Luigi comes up with.” Least fave: “Turkey with gravy.”

Alums said that life at Recovery Ways was strictly regimented with full “13 hours a day” of activities which “didn’t really leave any free time for much else.” Programs typically last for 40 days with a curriculum that includes daily AA meetings, one-on-one therapy (though not always daily), daily trips to the gym and educational groups. Clients were also given regular journalling assignments to do as group homework, though nobody surveyed particularly objected to this extra recovery work. In addition to the exercise time, residents may also be taken on recreational therapy trips, typically things like “bowling and rock climbing,” though the specifics can vary—others mentioned go-kart racing, putt-putt golf, pottery classes and more. To blow off steam, clients were allowed smoke breaks throughout the day. On the other hand, access to Internet and television was described as pretty limited. “You had to get all those things approved by a therapist,” one alum said. With approval, residents could sign up for daily phone time.

In general, the curriculum was described as “a good blend” of tough love and permissiveness delivered by a flexible staff. While some felt the staff “handled things appropriately” and “provided appropriate re-direction” when conflicts arose, others felt rules were applied inconsistently and one alum complained that "there are a couple RCs that are a little power hungry."

Alums said that they gained “a better understanding and acceptance of [their] addiction” through 12-step recovery and alternative therapy. While the AA/NA approach is “heavily advocated,” religion is not particularly emphasized—residents are free to think of their Higher Power however best suits them. For those completely not into the 12-step thing, other options available include Refuge Recovery and SMART Recovery.

On the fancier side of things, the facility also has a special sensory room which was a hit among the alums. And regarding modalities, “I liked the blend of 12-step principles and alternative treatments,” one person said. “There was even a reiki practitioner.” In addition to the yoga classes and exercise time, those in need of medical support can also receive it—though the reviews were mixed. Alums reported that while doctors and psychiatrists visited, they were sometimes “hard to see” and one was “rude to mostly all the people.” Others disagreed and reported “very helpful” and “awesome” doctors, noting that “they were very nice and would always help when I was in pain with my withdrawals or needed simple medicine such as benadryl.” One resident also commented: “Love the fact I could stay on suboxone, helped me actually stay clean long term.” When it came to therapy: “My [therapists were] extremely helpful and caring. I have never built the types of relationships I built with [those] two.”

Overall, those interviewed seemed to describe a Goldilocks-style program: not too strict, not too lenient and in many respects just right. “I was taught tools that have been working in my life for over 2.5 years sober,” one alum said. Though a few people reported bumps along the way, the vast majority of attendees have remained sober after discharge, with clean time ranging from two weeks (someone who just completed treatment) to six years. While some were critical of the 12-step emphasis, the majority of alums considered Recovery Ways a worthwhile decision. According to one former client, “The best memories I have was waking up to a new life and new things every day” and another put it simply: “the program changed and saved my life.”

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