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Jefferson Center for Mental Health Substance Abuse Program

Jefferson Center for Mental Health Substance Abuse Program


Addiction and chemical dependency treatment at Jefferson Center for Mental Health (JCMH) is available to individuals who have received a dual diagnosis of substance use and a co-occurring mental health disorder. Treatment is offered as part of an array of programs, including specialized groups for veterans and youth.

While the Denver-based center’s primary focus is on serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), clients can also receive integrated basic medical care through a Family Health Clinic. Since the summer of 2017, non-medical detoxification services are available at a Wheat Ridge site that JCMH took over from Arapahoe House, a separate facility which continues to provide other residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment. JCMH operates as a large, nonprofit community partnership and has been in existence for six decades, now serving three Colorado counties.


All substance use disorder treatment programming at Jefferson Center for Mental Health facilities is designed to identify and build on clients’ strengths, and all clients are struggling with some form of co-occurring mental illness.

Individuals needing detoxification and crisis stabilization support have two JCMH partner facilities available. Colorado Crisis Services in Lakewood is a walk-in clinic focused on providing immediate and transition-oriented care. The detox unit in Wheat Ridge now operated by JCMH provides short-term, observational and motivation-oriented, residential care during a client’s withdrawal process from drugs or alcohol. Following a typical stay of 12 hours to three days, clients receive referrals and assistance in connecting with another facility for continued treatment.

The center’s outpatient program, with integrated dual diagnosis treatment, includes individual, group, and family counseling. Treatment modalities utilize peer specialist support and cognitive behavioral (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapies (DBT). Medication management is also provided. Residential treatment is offered in a more intensive program for clients experiencing SPMI. One residential track functions in collaboration with the criminal justice system.

EPIC is JCMH’s treatment program for adolescents and young adults who have experienced psychosis. As with other opportunities for treatment through the center, EPIC includes substance abuse care. Among the more than a dozen evidence-based modalities applied in addiction to CBT and DBT are motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitmen therapyt, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. All treatment is trauma-informed.


Mental health professionals on staff specialize in several different areas, according to the JCMH website. These include co-occurring substance use disorders. The treatment team includes interns in graduate studies for psychology. Substance abuse counselors must hold an advanced certification or license in addiction counseling as well as a master’s degree and a posted job description notes that bilingual skiils are preferred. Some services are available in Spanish.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY has yet to receive feedback from any JCMH program alumni. Reviews on Yelp, however, are overwhelmingly critical at the time of this writing. None mentions substance abuse treatment. Out of 10 reviews, only one is favorable, praising the center’s wellness classes and successful treatment results. Unprofessional interactions with staff, whom a majority of alumni characterized as uncaring, was the most common complaint. About one-third also reported problems with scheduling and inconsistencies due to high turnover in treatment staff.[1]


Opinions provided by two loved ones in surveys were more tempered. The capacity of Jefferson Center for Mental Health to treat co-occurring disorders fared the worst, with ratings of one and three stars. Both reviewers indicated their likelihood to recommend the facility to others on a scale of one to five with three stars. A few aspects of the program’s aspects evaluated received the same three-star ratings, including the staff’s level of training and experience, availability of options in counseling approaches, opportunities for family participation, and admission and discharge procedures. The survey respondents also agreed that the facility was clean and well maintained and that treatment was affordable, with ratings of four and five stars.


Compared to alumni and loved ones’ reviews, former and current employees of Jefferson Center for mental Health shared highly favorable opinions on Glassdoor. Twenty-six individuals contributed to an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars. Considered together, the reviews reflect a conscientious, positive staff. About one-third used terms like “supportive” and “helpful.” Staff also tended to characterize fellow treatment team members as skilled, collaborative, caring, and dedicated. Concerns expressed centered on the organization’s overly fast growth and related communication and organizational problems.[2]


Jefferson Center accepts Medicaid, some private insurance coverage, and self-pay.


Reviews about Jefferson Center for Mental Health Substance Abuse Program

They are available for all types of MILD and MINOR mental health issues. They are not prepared or capable of dealing with severe mental illnesses.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Nice people that care about the patients health. Needs more extracurricular activity and better nutrition. Better food and more activities to keep mind off of pain.