Arapahoe House Healing First in Thornton, CO

Call (303) 412-3818 to Contact Arapahoe House Healing First

Overall Rating

(3.3 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
8801 Lipan Street
Thornton CO 80260

Arapahoe House Healing First Philosophy

Healing First is an intensive residential program designed to stabilize and prepare clients for a lower level of treatment, such as outpatient care. Geared toward those who, in a less restrictive environment, may be unlikely to achieve changes in attitude necessary to maintain long-term sobriety, Healing First provides individualized treatment for adults lasting from one to four weeks. Treatment includes psychiatric stabilization, individual, group and family therapy, medication management, 12-step meetings, and exercise and wellness programs.

Areas of Specialization

  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
    Patients who undergo intensive outpatient treatment continue to live at home and sometimes go to school or work while participating in a highly structured treatment protocol that is focused on ending substance abuse. Programs vary in terms of how much treatment patients receive, how often and for how long. Some facilities design individualized intensive outpatient treatment programs.

  • Outpatient
    Outpatient treatment describes all addiction treatment that is not residential. Patients live at home while undergoing rehab.

Facility Highlights

Recovery Therapy

Family Therapy

Group Therapy

Meet the Staff

Arthur Schut

President and CEO

Photo of Arthur Schut

Arthur Schut, formerly Arapahoe House’s deputy director and COO was named CEO in 2012. He has served for more than 35 years as an executive and clinical director in several comprehensive community-based organizations in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and New York. He also held a faculty appointment to the graduate program in substance abuse counseling at the University of Iowa for more than two decades. In addition to his position at Arapahoe House, Art currently serves on the board of directors of two Colorado managed behavioral health care organizations. He currently serves on the CSAT National Advisory Council. Art has been involved with a variety of national substance use disorder evidence based practice, quality, and process improvement efforts, including Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), National Quality Forum (NQF), and Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx). He has served on numerous public policy boards, executive committees, clinical task forces and work groups, and expert panels. Schut was recently appointed to SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment National Advisory Council and Colorado's Use of Recreational Marijuana Sales Tax Revenues Committee.

Sheryl Blythe

Director of Human Resources

Photo of Sheryl Blythe

Sheryl Blythe is the new Human Resources Director at Arapahoe House and has been in the human resources arena for more than 20 years. She spent the last 14 years working in human resources at St. Anthony Hospital, an acute care-Level 1 Trauma Center in Denver, having been their director for the past eight years. Sheryl holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She is very excited to be part of the mission that Arapahoe House represents, and to learn the substance abuse sector in a most complex healthcare world. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Located in Thorton, Colo., just about 10 miles outside of Denver, the Healing First program at Arapahoe House provides residential substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment for adult men and women. One of eight treatment centers run by Araphoe House, detox is not provided on-site.


Treatment at Healing First is intensive, highly structured, and designed to stabilize and prepare clients for continued care at a lower level, such as transitional living or outpatient treatment. Clinical services include individual and group therapy, psychiatric stabilization and medication management (if necessary), relapse prevention, addiction education, and 12-step groups.

The website also notes that while treatment for co-occurring disorders is provided, clients “must be free of psychiatric symptoms that place them at high risk to harm themselves or others.” Length of stay is dependent upon individual needs but may last up to three months.

There’s also a focused wellness program, which offers nutrition counseling and rigorous exercise regimens that are specially tailored to each client’s abilities and needs. Family members are incorporated into treatment via a weekly family education program, and may also be included in counseling sessions with the client.


There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff; however, at the time of this writing, the two alumni queried about the staff’s level of training and experience gave mixed feedback: one awarded the facility a rating of five out five stars, while the other gave it a rating of only one out of five stars.


To complement the program’s individualized wellness and exercise program, Arapahoe boasts a fully equipped gym with treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, and an entertainment system, as well as volleyball, basketball, and yoga classes.


The seven alumni surveyed by at the time of this writing provided mixed reviews for Healing First. Five alumni left ratings for treatment effectiveness that averaged 3.8 out of five stars. Three former clients gave the facility highly positive feedback, praising the program for its compassionate staff and solid treatment program. One anonymous alum credited the facility with saving their life, while Monica gave the facility five out of five stars for its treatment effectiveness and wrote: “Overall very amazing and helpful experience in my life. Strengths were the counselors and staff.”

Negative comments included complaints regarding non-individualized programming, staff overturn, and a small, rarely used exercise room. Jeremy added that "it took a month to get in and I didn't like that when someone did something wrong everyone got in trouble."

Additional reviews appear on Google to date where the facility have earned an average of 2.6 out of five stars based on five reviews.[1] "Since I was the only person in the room for cannabis use even the counselor agreed that I should't be there, " a one-star reviewer wrote. Their comment echoed complaints about cost and payments as well. "Arapahoe house is a very unorganized scammy headache..."


According to the facility’s website, Arapahoe House accepts private insurance from most major providers, including but not limited to Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and Value Options. A sliding fee scale is also available to clients who qualify.


Published on September 2017

User Reviews

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This clinic houses men and women. They will put 5 to 6 beds in a small room with an extremely small bathroom. The man in the women’s quarters are in the same hallway so there is no privacy. People that are recovering, need sleep and because of the close quarters in the rooms if there are any noises like snoring it’s impossible to sleep. Also, men who only come at night will shine a flashlight into the small room every hour. There would be literally up to six women and one tiny bathroom with the dirty shower. You had to be up very early in the morning and somehow take a shower, and make your bed just so or you would be reprimanded. Slight wrinkle And your blanket or a sheet not typed improperly could get you in trouble. You had to be out I love your room and everybody had to meet in a common area . They treated you like a child. They had a 12 step program that you had to attend every night which was led By people from the outside. Then you had to sit through another hour have a group discussion before you were allowed to go to your bed . Then every morning after breakfast he would have to sit in a huge room with everyone and they would go around and ask everyone how they were doing. Most people said they were doing fine because if you weren’t you’d be in trouble. After 10 nights of not sleeping because of your bedmates snoring and the heat, not to mention you’re locked up in the facility you were mentally and physically exhausted. It’s not conducive to healing. At some point the day you were let out into a small backyard area and watched like a hawk. Many of the other people at the facility that were patients, were agitated and belligerent because they were detoxing. There was a nurse that would come in and supposedly duel out Dr. prescribed medication. He was angry, and uncaring, not to mention unprofessional. Several people went without their antidepressants or other needed medication because they didn’t take the time to call their primary care physicians and get refills. They pretty much didn’t care. You take somebody, put them in this type environment without their necessary medication for mood stabilization, severely deprived of sleep, and treated like a child, and you don’t get healing you get a bunch of people that are on the edge anyway, and put them in a horrible situation. There’s no respect, dignity, and staff is very unprofessional. It’s a scary place, I would never put my loved one in that situation again .

I was here while withdrawing from heroin, xanax and methamphetamines simultaneously. luckily, great staff, like the one in particular (his name slips my mind), sat through every seizure I had with me and used classical psychologoical techniques to alleviate my stress. However, it seems as though the head honchos don't understand what is going on in the field, like a general not knowing where his special ops soldiers are going to hit next, and bombing the house which they were going to kidnap a terrorist from and beat the crud out of him to get information. Also, most tenants are borderline mentally handicapped, although with an IQ of 156 most people seem slightly slow to my Audobon of a Prefrontal Cortex. The one staff member in particular that was awesome was a great help in showing me that by trying to earn a PHD by 27 in Physics and Propulsion Theory, I had caused undue stress that manifested itself as a desire to dumb myself down by mixing smoked heroin, eaten meth and insufflated benzodiazepines. I was truly a walking, talking GABA dopaminergic / endorphin-addled robot of my former self, with the norepinephrine giving me an uncomfortable edge that did not serve me well with the non-drug abusers of the world. Sometimes differential equations and proofs are extremely trying, but nothing is worth doing a drug (meth) that agonizes 1400x the normal amount of dopamine into the synapses, then uses calcium to block the axons so only the dendrites can absord the dopamine, therefore actine as an agonist, a reuptake inhibitor and a psychotic euphoriant. The heroin caused my miu opiod receptors to think that my body lacked endorphins, and pumped out tons of them, which numbed me to the core. In turn, my brain produced seretonin, as though I had been shot or broken a limb and I needed stable and rewarding neurotransmitters to give me that 20-minute window to get out of danger. finally, Xanax simply bound to BABA 1, 2 and 5 in my Hippocampus, which classifies it as a hypnotic anxiolytic. I already was euphoric, yet I sought anxiety relief from a pill, which, in high enough dosages, can cause amnesia, extremely inhibited decision making and violence. The counselor helped me realize all these truths, and even sat with me and filled out a 32 digit matrice for my Acceleration and Propultion in Zero Gravity 7980 course, despite not knowintg anything about astrophysics. He was on loan from watching teens the week I was in rehab, so I can only assume all the employees are as smart as him, which made me feel, well, only slightly more intelligenct than my nearest companion to being my equal/

As a out patient I would hope to find someone to talk to on a weekend buy no one answered any line. I called many numbers even on a Friday but couldn't get any support. I had a relapse & was looking for support but found no one. They should set up an after hours line.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
They helped with grief and loss as well as co occurring disorders, meals, exercise nursing staf were all godf...Revolving door of staff

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
i enjoyed the women's self esteem class I felt like a number and my success didn't matter don't really have any more options

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
The location was great. However, it took a month to get in and I didn't like that when someone did something wrong everyone got in trouble.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Overall very amazing and helpful experience in my life. Strengths were the counselors and staff. A downfall was that there was a little exercise room and we couldn't even use it.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It got me sober and probably saved my life.

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