Red Oak Recovery

This North Carolina-based program continues to redefine the clinical experience.

The feeling you get when you walk on to the expansive 38-acre campus at Red Oak Recovery can be described in many ways and is a special place in the hearts of clients and families that have been served over the past four years. With a focus specifically on the unique needs of the young adult population, ages 18 to 30, Red Oak Recovery is a clinically dynamic program focusing on the needs of those struggling with trauma, substance abuse and mental health issues. By working on the underlying emotional issues that accompany drug and alcohol use, all issues can be addressed in a simultaneous and integrated fashion.

Clients receive a minimum of 25 hours of clinical care from master-level clinicians dually licensed in mental health and substance abuse as well as trained in trauma resolution. Using the latest research-supported clinical methodologies integrated with experiential and adventure therapy creates a uniquely engaging and highly effective treatment experience. As a small program, clinicians can individualize treatment in a way that will best serve the client to ensure the foundation for sustainable, long-term recovery.

Although the men’s campus at Red Oak Recovery is located just north of Asheville, North Carolina, the women’s campus at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery is nestled to the south. Both campuses offer plenty of space to spread out and utilize the beautiful natural surroundings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

Experiential and adventure programming include whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, equine therapy, rock climbing, canoeing, gardening and much more. These activities, combined with yoga, fitness classes, acupuncture, nutritional assessments and education, life skills classes, psychiatric visits, and many more healing activities, offer clients the opportunity to use what best works for their individual needs to begin their journey to healing.

The young adult programs offer men and women gender-separate, safe and protected spaces to work on trauma that may have contributed to their substance use and mental health issues. All members of the highly experienced clinical team are trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, somatic experiencing and other trauma-resolution models. If needed, clients work with an eating disorder specialist and a nutritionist to round out a truly integrated care model that focuses on holistic healing of mind, body and spirit.

Red Oak Recovery and The Willows offer a family program that includes a family therapist to work specifically with the family during the time their loved one is with us. The family can work on their own healing process and gain an understanding of how intergenerational trauma may be carried across generations in their family. This allows for the best outcomes when families are brought back together during a family intensive session where family members can express themselves in a healthy, productive manner that may not have been possible in earlier times.

This time together typically takes place after a two-day, multifamily workshop where families are learning about topics including emotional intelligence, reflective listing, empathy and boundaries. Education is also provided for trauma, addiction, mental health and recovery management.

“We are committed to the long-term health and wellness of our clients and families,” says Jack Kline, president and founder. “As the issues and needs of the clients presenting for treatment are evolving and changing, we believe that a program must continually evolve and change to continue to effectively meet their needs. We incorporate the latest research and proven methodologies to develop a strong foundation for sustained recovery. It is such a gift that we are able to help people find their inner joy, beauty and strength and go forth on their journey.”

As intentionally clinically driven boutique programs, Red Oak Recovery and The Willows at Red Oak Recovery have the ability to meet each client where they are mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally to design a treatment experience that is unique to them. Plans to continue growing their services are underway and include an expansion of therapeutic space in a newly renovated barn on the women’s campus. A clinically dynamic adolescent program that is gender-separate, ages 14 to 17, will also be opening in the winter of 2018 in North Carolina.

Side Note

Summary of Research Findings

In cooperation with the Center for Research, Assessment and Treatment Efficacy and the Arkansas Interdisciplinary Sciences Laboratory, Red Oak Recovery is collaborating on a comprehensive treatment outcome study, investigating the effectiveness of adventure programming for young adults with substance use disorders.  From 2015 to 2018, 256 young adults participated in the outcome study, which includes a pre-treatment assessment, a post-treatment assessment, and follow-up assessments at three and 12-months post treatment.

Upon admission to Red Oak Recovery, the majority of clients were consistently using alcohol, marijuana, and stimulant and/or anxiolytic medications. Eighty percent of clients at admission reported symptoms of substance use which exceed that of 99 percent of the population as well as significant depression, anxiety and sleep disruption.

At graduation from Red Oak Recovery, clients reported highly significant improvements across these areas and all other areas of functioning. Of note, these improvements were maintained when clients were assessed at their first follow-up assessment (three months’ post-treatment). Importantly, less than 4 percent of clients reported any substance use at this assessment, with upwards of 90 percent of clients maintaining their recovery program.

Mindfulness is a component of treatment at Red Oak Recovery and, thus, was measured to gauge skill acquisition and impact on sobriety and psychopathology. The majority of clients demonstrated improved mindfulness skills, from pre- to post-treatment and, importantly, these skills were associated with improvements in functioning.

More specifically, clients who demonstrated the greatest improvement in mindfulness skills also demonstrated the greatest improvement in symptoms of depression, suicidality and substance use disorders when compared to clients who did not improve their skills. This suggests that skills associated with a mindful approach to recovery may be an active treatment component and integral to the successful maintenance of sobriety for young adults.

To download a PDF of the study, visit

Written by Meg Nygren

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