I have been in recovery since 2013, had a relapse in 2015, and spent 45 days at Arrowhead lodge starting at the end of 2016. I am thankful for my experience, but also disappointed.
The location of the lodge is absolutely amazing; out the front door are nice areas to walk, hike, or run. And the view of Thumb Butte at sunrise is breath taking.
While I was there, they had 3-6 people (mid 30's to early 60's). Each one of the BHT's contributed positively on a daily basis, and one even helped me do my 12 steps (i.e. sponsor-like). The two main counselors were good, and had very different educational approaches .One counselor introduced many personal reflection tools/concepts that I haven't seen in any 12 step program, almost all of which have guided me well past my Arrowhead days.
With regards to the program itself, there didn't really seem to be any accountability or progress benchmarks. Meaning; forward progress really amounted to each individuals effort. Example: I was complete step 11 in my 45 days, among other activities, while others didn't finish step 4 in 90 days.
Additionally, when I entered the program they claimed to support sex addiction and PTSD, as well as drug/alcohol addiction. I was not allowed to go to any local SA/SLA/SAA meetings, even though I had asked on several occasions. Not being able to go was mainly a policy issue; "patients travel as a group." Even so, they said they would take me to SA if I extended my stay for another 45 days. What?
With regards to their policies, I am not sure they are in the best interest of the patients. I entered the program completely intoxicated (no detox), known by counselor, and was introduced to the other patients in that state. During my last week, a new patient was brought to the lodge intoxicated, no detox, and so weak he could barely walk.
The lodge is cleaned by the patients, with the deep clean happening before the Saturday day trip, so it was completely half-assed. I am not a super clean freak, but: dried skin build up on the floor molding in each room?
Through all that, my biggest issues was with the owner!
He performed a psychological intake exam when I arrived. We then video conference with the psychiatrist but the owner guiding him, with regards to my symptoms (i.e. sounds like he may be bipolar). With very little direct communication with me, the psychiatrist prescribed some medication for me. The result; I ended up at the hospital (ER).
Part of the Arrowhead program is to help find an aftercare program for exiting patience. The owner stated he had some good contact for me, but in the end when I asked about IOP options, I got the run around. So, my wife and I figured it out.
Ultimately, the reason I decided not to stay was because about 25-30 days into the program, I started experiencing PVC's for the first time in my life. After a week of trying to see the medical staff, I decided staying wasn't in my best interest.
Months after leaving I experienced most of the owner's mistruths. The first was around my bill; an excel spreadsheet indicating a return of ~ $9K of my deposit. When I inquired about my deposit check, I was told the owner wasn't available. About 1.5 months later I received a revised bill, and my deposit return decreased to ~5K. When I tried to contact him for simple clarification, he avoided my calls and didn't answer my emails. I received my $5K return, with a nonsensical letter from him.
Before entering Arrowhead, he stated that they would work with my insurance company, and also stated they were Blue Shield and Blue Cross preferred providers. He hired a company to negotiate with my primary insurance, without informing me of doing so, and then charged me for this, without providing any sort of proof (i.e. no paid invoice). When I asked for the proof of the fees, he again ignored my emails and phone calls. Since my secondary insurance was Blue Shield, I found out that they aren't a preferred provider for code: H0025 (I believe), which is essentially the first 30 days. The remaining time of stay is code: H0018 (I believe) , so the good news is; if you have blue shield he has to write off a significant amount of the $995/day he charges during those days.
I have other examples of my interactions with the owner, but my general assessment is he lacks integrity, which is ironic since he runs a recovery facility based on 12 steps. He had some really good staff when I was there, which seemed genuinely there to help. My general feelings from my experience; He acts as if he cares as long as you are a source of income, once that ends don't expect anything from him - even if you are still patient at his facility.
Insurance companies are paying providers less and less each year. He is correct that we have a rehab program second to none that treats men over 30 exclusively and all new clients are cleared by a board-certified physician prior to admission into our program. Our staff members are highly educated and trained and provide the highest level of care to our clients. When we recommend someone stays longer, it is because our multi-disciplinary clinical team recommends it rather than an effort to increase revenue. The other comments by Mr. “J” are without merit and it’s unfortunate that he feels mistreated by an organization. We wish him the best in living a life free from addiction with good mental health.