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Schools, Programs, & Visit Reports - Aug, 1992 Issue 

Circle S Recovery Ranch
Eileen Kelly, Admissions
Leavenworth, Washington
(800) 544-1668
Lon's Visit - July 15, 1992

Located on 310 acres six miles outside of town, Circle S is a 60-day, 20-bed Substance Abuse Treatment Center for boys ages 14-24, with a difference. Affiliated with Valley General Hospital in Monroe, Washington, it was founded five years ago by the hospital to move adolescents out of a hospital setting, and away from the adult program. The staff feels the move has significantly increased their effectiveness.

In developing the new program, they have adopted many elements from the Special Purpose School and Program concept of healing through character education. This seems to be a direction many treatment facilities are moving in. They have an extensive ropes course, which is an experiential education method of teaching group cooperation, trust, and building self-esteem. In the 60-day program each child goes on a 16-day wilderness expedition to learn consequences and self-reliance, along with other lessons including an appreciation of nature and its reality. They push long-term follow-up, pointing out that program success doubles when the child has an opportunity to continue to work on his issues past the 60-day limits of the program. The children looked good, and showed strong signs of feeling they were in a safe place and know their needs were being met.

The program’s tuition is low, being competitive with short-term special purpose programs, which is much less than most treatment programs. On the other hand, the staff and literature use conventional treatment center terms like “patients”, “illness”, “progressive disease”, “recovery”, and other terms and concepts which have been standard for substance abuse treatment facilities for year. They are Champus approved, and have the advantage of likely coverage for insurance.

The overriding focus is coordinating everything through the twelve-step approach. It seems to me they describe themselves as a treatment center, while having modified their program cost and actual program to act much like a Special Purpose Program.

Copyright © 1992, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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