Mountainside Treatment Center in Canaan, CT

Overall Rating

(4.1 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
187 S Canaan Rd.
Canaan CT 06018

Mountainside Treatment Center Philosophy

Located at the base of the Berkshire Mountains of Connecticut, Mountainside Treatment Center offers comprehensive treatment programs for people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Mountainside combines evidence-based methodology with the latest advances in the treatment field to provide an experience unlike any other. Mountainside’s integrative care philosophy ensures that each client follows a program specifically designed to meet his or her individual needs and issues. With a professional and dedicated staff, Mountainside is committed to helping clients achieve lasting, meaningful recovery from addiction.

Areas of Specialization

  • Medical Detoxification
    Drugs and alcohol have widespread effects throughout your body, including but not limited to the addiction and/or physical/psychological dependence that develops with substance abuse over time. Many organ systems are affected by addiction and will react to withdrawal. The term “medical detoxification” means that there is a trained and licensed medical professional onsite to monitor your vital signs and protect your physical and emotional health as your body goes through withdrawal.

  • Dual Diagnosis/ Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
    These two terms describe a person who is not only addicted to drugs or alcohol, but also has a mental or emotional illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Facilities that treat patients with dual-diagnosis or co-occurring disorders provide psychiatric treatment in addition to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

Facility Highlights

Comfortable Medically Monitored Detoxification

Mind Body Spirit Program

Convenient Day and Evening Hours

Meet the Staff

Sarah Osbourne, LPC, LADC, NCC, MATS

Director, Clinical Operations

Photo of Sarah Osbourne, LPC, LADC, NCC, MATS

Sarah holds a dual Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counselor Education. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist. Sarah has extensive experience working with individuals suffering from addiction, including those with co-occurring disorders, personality disorders, and a history of trauma. As the Clinical Director, Sarah oversees all clinical programming in detox, residential and out-patient treatment. In partnership with the Program Development team, she develops and coordinates programming updates to ensure all clients are receiving the highest quality care and treatment interventions. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys gardening, running with her dog, learning about Buddhism, and reading about neuropsychology.

Randall Dwenger, MD

Medical Director

Photo of Randall Dwenger, MD

Throughout his 30-year career, Randall has built extensive knowledge in psychiatric evaluation, medication management, and individual psychotherapy services. His career path has led him to a variety of experiences, from his development and management of a detox center to his psychiatric work with veterans. He has been the Consulting Psychiatrist at Mountainside since 2008 and believes that there is great hope that each person who wants to recover has the ability to do so. At Mountainside, he provides guidance and leadership over the detoxification program, ensuring that safe and efficient services and practices are provided to our clients.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT MOUNTAINSIDE TREATMENT CENTER

Nestled in the woods of rural north Connecticut, Mountainside Treatment Center provides medical detox along with residential and outpatient treatment to adults struggling with substance abuse. In addition, the facility offers an outpatient program to adolescents.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

According to the center’s website, Mountainside was founded on a desire to heal mind, body, and spirit by supplementing traditional treatment methodologies with alternative and holistic therapies,

Those traditional methodologies include an introduction to the 12-Steps and individual and group counseling, some gender specific programming, plus relapse prevention and addiction education. Family counseling is offered, and families are invited to attend a multi-day family workshop. A sense of adventure is added through ropes courses, hikes, and walks, plus a wilderness expedition.

The center also supports a philosophy of client-empowered care, where residents are encouraged to learn and heal of their own accord. Empowerment occurs primarily through clients choosing their own options from an extensive roster of supplementary activities including acupuncture, yoga, meditation, sweat lodge ceremonies, positional therapy, and qigong.

Mountainside Treatment Center offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as well as general outpatient care. Outpatient treatment modalities include individual, group, and family counseling; Vivitrol treatment; and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

A 12-week IOP for adolescents ages 15 to 17 is also offered. It combines education about addiction and training in coping skills and refusal strategies with individual, group, and family counseling. Parents and guardians may enroll in a parallel 12-week family program.

Each client leaves with a comprehensive aftercare plan put together during the course of treatment. There are also alumni support groups and events.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

The team includes an M.D., a psychiatrist, a registered nurse, licensed therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, and case managers, according to the center’s website.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

The campus spreads over 75 acres. Photos published on the facility’s website show a striking, modern treatment facility and cozy accommodations. There’s a climbing wall, a basketball court, and a fitness room on-site, plus trails for running and hiking.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

The 20 alumni who were polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing provided mostly positive feedback. Thirteen alumni gave the center an average 4.6 out of five stars when asked if they would recommend Mountainside Treatment Center.

The 13 alumni awarded the center more than four stars in a number of categories including exercise and leisure, holistic offerings, family participation, cleanliness, and the staff’s level of experience and training. Alumni rated the center’s visitor policy the worst with 3.8 stars.

Multiple alumni praised the center’s staff, and some even credited the center with saving their lives. “Mountainside changed and literally saved my life,” Amy wrote in a representative review. “I am forever grateful to the staff and facility. I would go back in a second and would recommend it for anyone struggling with addiction.”

Alumni often praised the center’s mind, body, soul approach in reviews. “Absolutely wonderful mind body spirituality staff,” an alum wrote. “Loved the morning “meditations.”

Only one alum provided a mostly negative review. They gave the center poor marks, and commented the center’s staff was rude.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Almost all of the 14 loved ones questioned by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing indicated they would recommend treatment here. On average, loved ones awarded the center 4.1 out of five stars when asked if they would recommend the center.

They rated the center’s family participation and cleanliness the highest with 4.2 stars. However, the center’s counseling options were rated the worst with 3.6 stars.

In their comments, they often praised the staff and the facilities. “Great environment peaceful place to recover… Staff was great ad very nice,” K.R. wrote.

Loved ones’ feedback did not illuminate any areas of profound weakness, though several did indicate that some areas of treatment — such as the facility’s ability to treat dual diagnoses — were lacking. “Weaknesses: Treatment of co-occuring conditions,” C.G. wrote.

FINANCING

According to its website, Mountainside accepts most insurance plans, and works with a number of loans companies to increase the accessibility of treatment.

Updated March 2017

Published on April 2017

User Reviews

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Beautiful Place. Decent Housing. 50% Of The Staff Were Okay. The Rest Had No Idea What They Were Doing. Access To Medical And Psych Was Way Difficult. Had 2 Seperate Cases Of Privacy Situations... releases of information mean nothing to them. Best advice stay ONTOP OF YOUR OWN TREATMENT. don't rely on anyone else.

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My daughter was seriously hooked on heroin. She tried two other rehabs but each time she got out, she went back to drugs within days. It was an endless struggle. She knew she needed help and, like us, were desperate! Our doctor suggested we try Mountainside. She was accepted with a welcoming smile and made to feel at home. Not going to lie, she struggled, but she's an addict and getting drugs physically and mentally out of your system is not easy. The great news is, she completed the program and went into their extended care program. She finally learned how to cope with everyday stress without having to lean on drugs as a crutch. She even realized she has a passion for cooking! She is coming up on her one year clean date and we have never been so proud of her and the team at Mountainside! THANK YOU!!!!

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Facilities, Alumni relations, Good / Caring people were all strengths. Cost was a downfall. There is a loyal group of us that have bonded together because of or connection to Mountainside. We keep in touch and see each other often.

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This facility was great!

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Offers a multi discipline approach to recovery which addresses mind, body and spiritual needs. Allows too much personal choice in determining curriculum which resulted in undisciplined individuals lots of yoga and acupuncture in lieu of developing knowledge and skills of staff and 12 steps in developing lifestyle changes. i.e., fun vs. survival strategies. The recovery program at Mountainside saved my life. But an individual needs to want to be saved and work the program.

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Openness, understanding, fairness were all strengths. Evening meetings could have been better. They do a great job, I am very fortunate to have gone there compared to other places I have heard about

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Staff and program Some of the facility and policies The program is outstanding, the staff is highly trained and the facility is in wonderful shape. Is it perfect no, but is there that is? I would highly recommend this facility to family and friends.

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mind body spirit was a strength. upper management involvement could have been better. it was a mystical place!

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Absolutely wonderful mind body spirituality staff. Loved the morning "meditations" which were discussions based on a wide range of New Age and literary texts. Lovely location. Hiking and other activities available. Some people complained about weekend programming but it was one of my favorite parts. It's small, Men and women are not supposed to socialize at all, even during breaks which I thought was ridiculous.

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Mind body spirit program was great. Top heavy management could improve.

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Facilities, Alumni relations, Good / Caring people were all strengths. Cost was a downfall. There is a loyal group of us that have bonded together because of or connection to Mountainside. We keep in touch and see each other often.

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Offers clients choices Vague financial disclosure Friendly staff,approachable,good dictation of time,flexible schedule,well guided,clean,not overly strict,not enough supervision in the tv lounge things got out of hand a number of times otherwise I had a good experience what you put in is in direct proportion to your result,excellent staffing in acupuncture and Chi-Gong,loved the mind body spiritual approach that is what has helped me stay sober the most.

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Openness, understanding, fairness were all strengths. Evening meetings could have been better. They do a great job, I am very fortunate to have gone there compared to other places I have heard about

Official Facility Response

My 18 year old daughter was there and was asked to leave without notice. They called us and said she was in the lobby and needed to get picked up. They left her to fend for herself which tells me they weren't professionals caring about her recovery but reckless. There's a lot of drama going on there and my daughter was too young to deal with it. This is more a money making place for the business - careless disregard for the patients. The staff is nasty when you go to visit as well.

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I came here two years ago and this place truly changed my life. It really begins and ends with the quality of the staff at Mountainside. The Adventure Based Counseling is second to none, and provided me with a new outlook on life. One thing that I think they should add in the future is massage therapy. Other than that, they really have it all.

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I can't say enough- From the genuine staff that would always stop to say Hi to my counselor that always made time for me. This facility was amazing. The food to the groups are the best I've ever expierance. I have been to many facilities in the north east and Mountainside truly was the best. I loved the staff and their commitment. I felt it wasn't a facility where people showed up for paychecks but I place people loved to work and cared for how I felt. Shortly before I finished my stay I had a case manager who helped me continue treatment. One guy assisted me entering the Extended Care program where I had the best expierance of my life. From the 12 steps , to a clinical program, to the life skills they tough me. I truely learned about education and application. I AM PROUD TO SAY O HAVE OVER A YEAR SOBER! ECare feels like it saved my life. 3 individuals in particular really showed me how to enjoy a sober life. I couldn't say enough of Mountainside, they showed me how to reach my true potential.

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I came to Mountainside about a year or so ago and had a pleasant time. I think the best part was the facility itself and the therapists in detox and residential. Today I work the steps and am involved in helping others. I started working in the energy field and can support myself!

Official Facility Response

I have mixed feelings about this place. Beautiful grounds, friendly staff. Then I get to the detox unit. I wait three days to see the doctor who is a condescending little man. Most of the nurses were friendly and informative. As my luck would have it, most of the days I was there, there was this one nurse on duty. I literally watched this woman sit on her butt ALL day. Diverting patients away from her, ordering the aides around like they were servants in her kingdom and gossiping about other coworkers in earshot of other patients. The facility would get 5 stars from me without her and Dr.

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They're all about the money simple as that

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Just got a bill for $9,875 for 3 days of alcohol evaluation.....I hope it's a billing error.

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Incredibly dedicated, empathetic, knowledgeable and helpful start from "top" to "bottom". Wide variety of approaches and options and the ability to choose and focus on those that speak to you. Excellent four-star-hotel quality detox facility, and improving (very comfortable, but not "luxe" residential facility, largely reasonable "rules" that are applied even-handedly and provide a safe environment. Health insurance and post-treatment staff who's knowledge and determination greatly exceeded my expectations. Very well-prepared and healthy food. An active and growing alumni support program that my wife and I have participated in and plane to continue doing so. Few. The post-detox residential rooms and common areas could be updated to match the overall excellence of the facilities in all other respects. I cannot empasize enough what a first-rate, progressive place Mountainside is, and it is the sole place I'd recommend to others, and that I would return to if I run into difficulty that requires in-patient treatment again.

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Amazing faculty, good connectivity. Traffic outside the building is a nightmare. I thought they did a good job overall with what they are given.c

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Convenience was nice.

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Staff is attentive. Treatments were good Some parts of treatment dragged on. It helped when no one else would. Affordable and easy to get to. Staff was great

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It was conventional therapy

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Croup seccion was nice. It help me get better change my life

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Dedicated and professional staff They don't accept all insurance plans. If you have the correct insurance, it is a very affordable choice. The staff is very dedicated to their patients and conducts themselves in a very professional manner. There are a high number of programs to select from within this facility in order to get the best course of treatment for the individual need.

Official Facility Response

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Strengths: Updated rooms, dining hall, common areas; Relaxed, pleasant surroundings free from outside distractions; extended care includes employment in facility-run restaurant. Weaknesses: Treatment of co-occuring conditions; extended care program does not include comprehensive transition plan for after care. Our 25 year old son was admitted twice to Mountainside's 30 day in-patient program. Therapist are well trained, caring, and connected to clients. Second stay included 3 months at Mountainside's E-Care program. Facility is stellar, unique opportunity to work (serving, prep work, bussing, etc.) at Mountainside's own restaurant a few miles away (transportation provided). But when time came to transition out of E-Care, there was no specific plan provided, one thing led to another, and our son is currently being treated in another facility.

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One on one was a strength but No phone or internet I am clean from still 7 years later

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Great environment peaceful place to recover. Needs to spend more time about issues with clients. Staff was great ad very nice

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Spirituality was a strength. I am grateful I had the opportunity. I have over 7 years of sobriety since leaving the facility. I still live in the town. I lived in a sober house for one year after and created a whole new life as a productive member of the town.

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very clean with people who seem to care a lot, the food was no big deal, people that care also a nice setting

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Proximity was good. Treatments were a weakness. Has potential to be very good

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Staff was a strength. Contact response time should improve. Great place overall

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nice Staff, nice facility, decor was a weakness. My brother had an overall good, productive experience and would highly recommend.

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If you could get past the admissions people then I would give a higher rating. My daughter completed treatment a year ago but fell "off the wagon". Having been to an out of state place that didn't help, she wanted Mountainside again feeling it a better choice. The admission director will take a message if they are busy but no one calls you back. They first said they couldn't take her because she had a balance. Then billing told us that she owed $250 from the previous admit but it hadn't been billed to us because they just receive the notice from the insurance company. She called again and Even though our insurance covers detox they told her they couldn't detox her unless she paid $8,000 cash and another $2,000 copayment for an admit. They haven't returned our call asking about why someone who has met their annual out of pocket and is asking for medical care covered by their insurance must bring cash. I think the admission people must be commissioned. I would love to give my opinion on their claim to treate dual diagnosis but I have a rehab to find.

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Bottom line for me is my wife started drinking within 2 weeks of discharge from mountainside. I never heard from them after she left. I could have been the particular circumstances with my wife, but I would ask them the rate of relapse amongst patients. I'd be surprised if they could tell you

Official Facility Response

I was an inpatient at Mountainside in 2012 and this place saved my life. The staff cared and the fact that most of them were in recovery helped because I felt like they really understood my situation. I liked that while they offered the 12 step approach, they also had adventure-based counseling and a mind body spirit program so that I could explore different approaches to recovery and coping tools. After I left, I was able to take a little from each experience and create my own customized approach to recovery that works for me. While I attended the suggested 90 meetings in the first 90 days of recovery while living in a sober house right after mountainside (often the next suggested step), I ultimately decided NA and AA weren't really for me. Thanks to exposure to the adventure-based and mind body spirit approaches at Mountainside, I have other options and over 3 years later I continue to be strong in recovery. One of the staff members created the mind body spirit program there, was absolutely amazing - unfortunately I don't think he works there anymore. When I got to Mountainside, I was scared and didn't want to be there. When I left, I was sad to leave.

Official Facility Response

I am currently an out-patient client at Mountainside. I thought that by spending the $1,800 out-patient tuition, I would get access to world class medical and psychiatric care. I understand that the cost is additional. I did not, however, expect that I would have to request help. It seemed to me that a menu of services would be provided from which I could choose medical, psychiatric or psychology help. None was offered. I had to advocate for access to a psychiatrist. I was provided the services of a doctor for $600 for an initial meeting. The cost is fine, if a bit steep. The doctor was energetic and I'm comfortable recommending him. He's competent. ... Mountainside mixes both in-patient and out-patient clients in group therapy. This creates awkward energy in group therapy because the in-patients have had bonding experiences like sports, paintball, fishing trips, a carnival (whatever that is), while the out-patient clients have had no ability to enjoy sober activities with the other clients. Thus it’s harder to build a sober life without making sober friends. As an out-patient client, I would not have chosen Mountainside knowing what I know now. Out-patient treatment at Mountainside is weak on services, heavy on the 12-step agenda and leaves the out-patient clients feeling alienated. Mountainside’s out-patient program is relatively new, and hugely disorganized. I was subject to many scheduling errors, resulting in me not being able to see my psychiatrist for two weeks. Steer clear of out-patient services at Mountainside. While I cannot speak to the inpatient experience, I can certainly comment on the outpatient deficiencies. Save your pennies for inpatient somewhere. Mountainside might be an option for this, but for outpatient treatment, Mountainside is of little help.

Official Facility Response

I was just watching a popular reality show where a celeb had a cell phone. What bull. I stayed 28 days and not only couldn't have phone, but was practically strip searched. I couldn't even bring a magazine and had to get papal dispensation to get clothes. Yes clothes people. Had to wait 2 weeks to get my stuff. The place sucks. Good luck. Be sure to stand firm on sweat house. They pressure big time.

Official Facility Response

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I needed to be removed from society in order to stop using. I was angry and did not want to be there.The food was good so that I stayed. After 2-days the fog started to lift, and I figured I may as well give it a try.It was a good experience. I met a few good men and we encouraged each other to stay positive.

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Facility is located away from all distractions. The staff is well trained, professional and compassionate. They have an outdoor challenge course that patients can use. Only downfall was that it was located a little far from our home.

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I was there twice relapsed both times. It was not their fault. They made every effort. I refused. I am doing well now and using the tools I learned from them. Outstanding staff and facilities.

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I attended a sober house as aftercare.

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Mountainside ripoff!! All they care about is taking your money. They lost their way when they went for profit. Everyone pays a different price.

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They have some very educated and talented staff; many are very caring, however the administration there is extremely rigid and passive-aggressive. They don't respect the patient who asks questions or raises concerns. They get very resistant when their authority is threatened - very egotistical. They even go the extreme of avoiding the patient who asks to meet and talk with them. ... As long as you do exactly what they say you will be fine, but if you try to individualize your care and voice concerns of any kind, expect to meet great resistance, avoidance and unprofessional behavior (even retaliation). Many of the administration are very inflexible; they do not work with patient to make individualized plan. The aftercare was terrible. The aftercare person had no idea what she was doing.

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Mountainside changed and literally saved my life. I am forever grateful to the staff and facility. I would go back in a second and would recommend it for anyone struggling with addiction.

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My sister struggled with addiction for 25 years and finally received inpatient treatment a year ago. I thank God for Mountainside. My sister really wanted sobriety and she found it through her own program but Mountainside detoxed her, gave her the tools that she needed, and the push she needed to get started and to stay engaged. Mountainside is in a beautiful location. My sister said she felt at ease there. She really liked the counselors and said the food was good. She said that some of the other patients got away with a lot and that some stuff went missing. I explained to her that that is typical of any rehab.

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I have achieved multiple years of sobriety and started my journey in Canaan Connecticut. While there I was given tools to live a sober life. I have a debt of gratitude to Mountainside!

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After my detox and 28 days at Mountainside it was more than apparent, this facility does not support sobriety...every thing comes with a cost...Your aftercare will solely be based on how deep your pockets are. After being out for several weeks, months...not one follow up phone call from this facility. Nothing!!! Sundays are filled with absolutely nothing to do, If you don't have family visiting you're on your own. If you do have family visiting they are subjected to a 2.5hr meeting in which they are required to attend and participate...You will then experience the sub-par food, yesterdays meatloaf is now today's Chili...It was also interesting to find out the huge disparity in out of pocket cost, this is based on your bank account (cash on hand). You will also be told you can have a spending account in which money can be put on account for incidentals such as candy, cigarettes, laundry etc. .... If you like ultra modern furniture, this is the place for you, if you have deep pockets and a big bank account , this is the place for you.... I can proudly say I'm clean and sober and succeeding day to day in spite of my time at Mountainside...Proud to be clean but this was my choice, my time .

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An ideal place to begin my recovery. Regardless, I had to want to get sober, and today I have to want to STAY sober.

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This center is staffed mostly by individuals in recovery. It is a positive atmosphere which empowers residents. It offers activities such as hiking, ropes courses, and sweat lodges. They have 12 step meetings at the center and also take you to meetings within the surrounding community. They dispense medication but do not have doctors on staff, they will help you find a doctor in the area for a specific need you may have and transport you there. Accommodations were not luxurious but they were comfortable. The food was very good and they offered choices for different diets. They had a chore list the residents would help with. They allow smoking but also do a lot of education on it and offer assistance in quitting. They did not take insurance but were affordable. I was there twice back in approximately 2003 and 2004 so things may have changed some. I would absolutely recommend this facility to someone who has a desire to get help.

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The group meetings were excellent at helping the patients deal with our emotions. I am very thankful that I went to Mountainside. So many different cases of drugs and alcohol addiction get treated here; and yet no one is bunched together as just an addict. Everyone is a person and the counselors make sure to help each one according to their needs.

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Pure and simple, I needed to get sober and I needed a place that would not only help me to do that but give me the tools I need to stay that way. Mountainside checked all the boxes!

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Beautiful place, amazing people who will work with you every way possible to get you clean and sober AND stay that way!

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