Clinical Treatment

“Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully.  Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives.”

– The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Lasting recovery begins with effective, integrated treatment.  At Swift River, we combine our world-class Adventure Therapy Program with scientifically-validated clinical treatment.

Our approach is holistic:  we treat the addiction, but we also address the behaviors that underlie drug use, and any medical and mental health challenges that could trigger a relapse.  This multi-pronged strategy gives you every advantage for a healthy, lifelong recovery.

Your care at our peaceful mountain retreat is guided by an expert Medical Director and a team of licensed, caring therapists and clinicians.  Working together, we tailor treatment to your unique needs – including the extent and severity of your addiction and how the disease impacts your brain, physical health and interpersonal relationships.

Evidence-Based Recovery Care:

Swift River uses treatment methods based on the latest addiction science.  This includes Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) to prevent relapse and ease withdrawal symptoms, and psychotherapies such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to teach a new repertoire of skills for long-term success.

These and other research-proven interventions are the cornerstone of our treatment program at Swift River.

The Clinical Assessment:

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction recovery.  To determine your best course of treatment – individualized to your specific needs – Swift River conducts a full clinical assessment.

We’ll evaluate the level of your addiction and any co-occurring disorders (such as clinical depression) that need to be addressed.  We’ll also identify and review any occupational, legal or social issues that could impact your recovery. Throughout your journey at Swift River, we’ll continue to evaluate your progress and adjust your treatment and services as needed.

Integrated Treatment for Dual Diagnoses:

Mental health issues such as anxiety, trauma and depression often co-occur with drug and alcohol addiction.  A patient in rehab treatment may also be dealing with serious medical issues such as liver disease or HIV.  These co-occurring disorders, or “dual diagnoses,” are part of your overall treatment plan at Swift River.

We recognize that holistic care, tailored to your mental and physical health needs, improves your overall well-being and chances for addiction recovery.  Our therapists are skilled in treating complex conditions, using proven psychotherapies and other evidence-based techniques.

Treatment Programs:

Medically Supervised Detox

America’s opioid epidemic has increased the need for quality addiction treatment and safe opioid detoxification.  Our physician-supervised detox program – the initial stage of treatment – can ease withdrawal symptoms and gradually wean you off prescription narcotics, heroin or other opioids. We’ll make you as comfortable as possible so that you can focus on healing – ready to engage in the important work of recovery.

Psychosocial Therapies

Changing attitudes and behaviors that fuel substance use is crucial to long-term recovery.  Swift River provides a broad range of psychosocial therapies, which are well-proven to help people cope with cravings, change their thinking patterns, and effectively deal with high-risk situations that can lead to drug relapse.

Our individual and group psychotherapies include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – teaches practical skills to identify and correct self-defeating talk (“cognitive distortions”) before the spiral of addiction begins.  Using CBT, clients learn to remove these barriers and challenge obsessive, automatic thought patterns about drug and alcohol use.  CBT shows clients how to visualize their cravings and mentally detach from the experience, so they can tolerate strong emotions without resorting to drug use.  Multiple studies have concluded that CBT is an effective, evidence-based therapy with results that continue after treatment ends.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – is a proven psychotherapy treatment, used worldwide, that teaches clients how to observe impulsive urges and regulate their emotional reactions.  DBT has been shown to ease the symptoms of complex conditions such as borderline personality disorder, drug addiction, major depression and traumatic brain injury.  As a therapeutic treatment for addiction, DBT combines the basic tenets of behavior therapy with mindfulness practices to help clients manage disturbing emotions and learn more functional behaviors and interpersonal skills.

“We have done several (DBT) studies on basic drug abuse, and several studies on heroin addiction, and have had very positive results.  To a large extent, the treatment was effective.”

––– Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP, Creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Motivational Interviewing (MI) – is a supportive counseling approach that helps you look inward, tapping your own skills and resources to reduce substance use.  As the therapist asks open-ended questions, Motivational Interviewing builds confidence in your intrinsic desire to improve yourself.  This non-confrontational therapy can help you explore your readiness and willingness to change, and consider the pros and cons of changing vs. doing nothing.  More than 200 clinical trials generally support the effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing.


A wealth of scientific research validates the effectiveness of Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) – especially when combined with behavioral therapies – for addiction recovery.

These therapies may include medications such as low-dose buprenorphine (Suboxone) to reduce cravings, ease withdrawal during detox, and block or minimize the effects of opioids.  Other medication assisted therapies include Naltrexone to treat alcohol dependence and opioid addiction and Topiramate to help patients with alcoholism.


After you leave Swift River, our support for your recovery continues.   Addiction is a chronic disease that requires long-term maintenance to prevent relapse; therefore, we provide transition and after care services are part of the treatment continuum.  Our recovery specialists will connect with you to re-affirm your post-treatment success.  You can also participate in our Swift River alumni and peer fellowship programs.


Swift River recognizes that family can be invaluable in helping you complete treatment and sustain recovery.  Research shows that having a strong support network improves your chances of remaining drug-free.

We also recognize that the stress and chaos of addiction can impact the entire family, and professional help may be needed to heal relationships.  Family counseling and educational support is a vital part of our treatment program at Swift River.  Our compassionate team will engage with you and your loved ones to explore family dynamics, learn effective communication and coping skills, and restore the family’s stability and well-being.

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