Wood from the cedar tree has long been recognized by Native American and other cultures as having healing, soothing properties. It seems fitting, then, that this wood was used in building the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR) in Aurora, Colorado. CeDAR is a partnership between the University of Colorado's Department of Psychiatry and University of Colorado Hospital, as well as a collaboration with the Betty Ford Center.
Located on the University of Colorado Hospital's Fitzsimons campus, CeDAR provides a setting where, according to Executive Director Frank Lisnow, “patients can feel serene and be part of nature.” He adds, “The open space gives them room to separate themselves from the fast pace of addiction, which helps in the recovery process.” Some of that open space is provided by the courtyards and paths surrounding the residential treatment cottages, which are provided for exercise and meditation.
The 50,000-square-foot facility can house 50 patients in two 20-bed cottages and a 10-bed assessment/detoxification center. With its cathedral ceilings in the lecture hall and dining room, cedar façades, and exposed interior beams, CeDAR was designed to resemble a chalet, giving it a distinctive Rocky Mountain “feel.”
Photographer: Terry Shapiro
Also included is a fitness and family center, where families can join their loved ones Wednesday through Saturday and, according to Lisnow, “learn how to stay healthy and address their own needs rather than being held hostage by their addicted family member.” An administrative building and the Lori Wolf House complete the CeDAR complex. The latter is being renovated thanks to the generosity of the Wolf family, who lost their beloved Lori—who was a daughter, sister, and mother—to addiction. It will house a gift shop and offices, and it will help other families who have been affected by the disease of addiction, Lisnow explains.
The typical stay at CeDAR is 30 days, but if further treatment is needed, patients may extend their stay, housed dormitory-style in one of four duplexes nearby on the UCH campus, each of which accommodates 14 patients. These patients may return to work but continue to receive individualized outpatient treatment during evenings and weekends. These on-campus outpatients are expected to live in a “sober, supportive environment,” says Lisnow.