Business View Magazine interviews Chico West, CEO of Casa Colina Addiction Treatment Center, as part of our series on addiction treatment facilities.
The field of addiction recovery is both full of resources and filled with fluctuation. It is undoubtedly difficult for individuals seeking addiction treatment to find the correct course of action amongst the myriad of options. The mark of a superior addiction treatment center, however, is simple: it’s one of trust. Casa Colina has built its facility, staff, and patient support system on trust. A 20-year dream finally realized, Casa Colina is a 90-day men’s treatment center just outside of Dallas, Texas, that offers its patients a fully immersive experience that lays the groundwork for a healthy life ahead.
Casa Colina is the product of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chico West, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Experiential Therapist; and the father of a patient he once helped. “The man that owns the property that Casa Colina is located on is the father of a young man I worked with 10 years ago,” West recounts. Long after the young man received treatment, the relationship with the family continued and, according to West, the father, “called me in the fall of 2014 and said, ‘I just bought this property and it’s perfect for a treatment center.’ I had shared with him over the years that I wanted to open a 90-day all-male treatment center.”
Chico mulled over the land, the feasibility and the potential surrounding opening his facility, and, “In spring of 2016, I decided to pull the trigger.” Casa Colina admitted its first patient in February of 2017. West explains, “We’re set up as a residential treatment center. As such, we are required to have staff that is awake 24 hours a day. We have two gentlemen on staff who are resident assistants that work overnight. There are 22 people on staff right now, with the 16 current residents. And all our staff lives nearby.”
When asked what sets Casa Colina apart from other centers, West outlines the program he and his team offer: “We’re 90-day versus your typical 30-day model. While we are 12-Step focused and we get them involved with outside meetings and working with sponsors, we also address trauma through programs such as equine therapy and psycho-drama workshops.” Casa Colina offers a full suite of services, from intake to after-care, as well as programs that address the entire family’s health and wellness. Patients at Casa Colina can expect cognitive behavioral therapy, dual-diagnosis treatment, family therapy and programming, and individualized treatment plans. Further, the center treats mind and body for whole health.
“We don’t offer the residents any soft drinks or sugar drinks; we’re big on nutrition and wellness; our chef and assistant chef create healthy diets,” West insists. “We have a wellness instructor who comes and works out with the guys five days a week. We have an equine instructor two days a week.” The site is abundant with ways to stay active. Situated on the 220 acres are a fully outfitted gym, bike trails, a fishing pond, and a swimming pool.
West continues, “We are licensed for 23 clients and we stay at around 15-16 clients on average. We get guys from all over. In our first year we’ve gotten men from Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Oregon.”
Casa Colina works to ensure that the men and their families receive the most appropriate treatment possible, regardless of the client’s ability to pay. West explains, “We work with clients who can’t afford the standard rate. And we work with families on a needs-basis. If we don’t place them in our facility, we will find them another facility that is like-minded. Over the past year, we’ve referred 40 to 50 people to other facilities.”
This openness to working towards the patients’ best interest is just the beginning of the process. For those who do enter the program at Casa Colina, a well-equipped and wellbeing-centered staff awaits. West explains, “When I set up Casa Colina, I wanted to make sure I had staff that was, first and foremost, healthy. So as staff, I always ask ‘are we taking care of ourselves?’ If we are healthy, then we’ll be better able to help others. So we’re always checking in with each other mentally, physically, and spiritually, as well. This lays the foundation for treatment that is consistent and long-lasting.” Over the twelve-week program, the men develop relationships with one another and the staff, becoming part of the community. “The guys who come through our programs feel heard and listened to and feel that they are part of the Casa Colina family,” West adds.
Part of the community feeling is due to the facility’s dedication to family. West describes his views on program success: “We look at success in several ways. Are the guys maintaining sobriety after they leave the program? And has the family system changed? Is the family getting out of rescuing – getting out of being the sobriety managers of their loved one? We see that as success too, if the family is getting healthy too and ending those old behaviors.”
As West continues to grow his community of men who have conquered their addictions, he hopes to facilitate growth through future expansion. As he explains, “Long term facility-wise, I’d like to expand to a total of 40 beds and increase our staff. I’d also like to have a few more offices and group rooms for those new individuals.” Treatment-wise, he’d like to dig deeper. “I would like to really grab hold of the trauma and psycho-drama piece and incorporate it more into our practice. I’d like to have those intense workshops with the clients, and possibly with the families as well, more often.”
With his eye on the future, and plenty of room to grow, Casa Colina Addiction Treatment Center is set and ready to build its network of men, their families, and the professionals who help them work toward wellness and a healthy life. “Our mission is: to give men and their families the tools to achieve a lifetime of sobriety,” says West.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Casa Colina Addiction Treatment Center
WHAT: A men’s residential treatment facility
WHERE: Waxahachie, Texas