CeDAR offers Colorado Citizens Hope, Help – LIVING WELL Magazine

CeDAR Offers Colorado Citizens Hope, Help

Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs Huge National Problem

By Rollie Fisher,  East Denver LIVING WELL Magazine

Addiction to alcohol and other drugs in the U.S. is known to affect almost 69% of the people in our nation…whether it is their own or someone else’s problem. One in every four deaths each year can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use. Alcoholism alone is estimated to cause 500 million lost workdays each year and healthcare costs to employers was $186.9 billion in 2009.

Different drugs people use have different effects. But what almost all drugs have in common is over stimulation of the pleasure center of the brain. With time, the brain’s chemistry is actually altered to the point where not having the drug becomes extremely uncomfortable and even painful. Thus the compelling urge to use, or addiction, becomes more and more powerful, disrupting work, relationships and health.

Addiction is not a matter of moral weakness or faulty willpower. It is a vicious cycle that causes changes in the brain, leading to stronger and stronger impulses to use. Without help, the addiction will destroy families and take lives. Addiction is a multifaceted disease – similar to asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes – and can be treated and managed successfully.

What people in Denver and other communities across Colorado as well as the Rocky Mountain region now recognize as CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation) at University of Colorado Hospital offers a foundation for recovery…a foundation built with compassion, respect and hope.

CeDAR was the dream of the facility’s first medical director, the late Dr. Robert (Bob) J. Harmon. He died unexpectedly four months after the center opened in November 2005. His wife Darlene still participates in the Family Week Program, held twice a month at CeDAR. The Amazing Grace Meditation Garden was donated in his memory by Darlene and their two children, Jaeda and Ian, and has become a place for reflection and quiet time for patients, family members and staff.

His dream is alive today through the generosity of Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, who saw the need for a quality alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Colorado. He still supports CeDAR through the Anschutz Family Foundation and in 2010 provided funds for the facility’s Marian Pfister Anschutz Spiritual and Family Center. The Amazing Grace Meditation Garden is nestled against the building.

In the six years CeDAR has been open, it has become a nationally recognized, world-class facility for residential addiction and co-occurring disorders treatment. We are a partnership between University of Colorado Hospital and the internationally recognized Department of Psychiatry at University of Colorado Medical School. This alliance allows CeDAR to offer a rare blend of treatment partnering the proven and established 12-Step tradition with evidence-based practices and pharmacologic advances.

CeDAR truly has become just what Dr. Harmon believed it would.

Our facility is nestled on a private, six-acre portion of the Anschutz Medical Campus that offers a soothing and serene atmosphere in a setting conducive to individual recovery. CeDAR offers an intensive 30-day residential program that features gender specific treatment and housing for adults age 18 and over. Our individualized behavioral care plans are comprehensive and include work with certified addiction counselors, addiction psychiatrists, nurses, behavioral and coping skills specialists, family therapists and chaplains.

Staff to client ratio is an industry-low – five to one…meaning individuals in treatment receive more individualized attention from professionals who understand addiction. We balance our treatment with a holistic approach that includes art education, acupuncture, drum circle work, massage therapy, outdoor recreation, team building and yoga. Physical fitness and nutrition are important components of our treatment program as are daily reflections and meditation.

CeDAR’s weeklong Family Program provides education about the disease and shows family members how to support their loved one in the recovery process. Our Alumni Program and Support Services help individuals make the transition from the safety of the CeDAR community to a new and enriching lifestyle in recovery.

Other treatment services provided by CeDAR include a Gold Standard 90-day program for males age 24 and above, Residential Extended Care for 60 to 180 days, and a 3 ½ day Diagnostic Assessment Program. 

For information, contact Rollie Fisher, business development supervisor: office: 720-848-3008, cell: 303-328-5442, or Rollie.Fisher@uch.edu.