Lifeline For Youth

Lifeline For Youth


Located in northwestern Salt Lake City, Utah, LifeLine for Youth offers residential treatment and outpatient services at a variety of intensities for male and female youth. It is one of the only 74 (31.5 percent) treatment facilities in the state with programming specifically-tailored to adolescents. The organization helps youth struggling with problematic substance use alongside a range of other disorders and destructive behaviors, including criminal behavior, school problems, family problems, and depression.


In Utah, 4.16 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 17 exhibited substance use disorder in the past year. The program at this center includes treatment, education, and recreation, of which the treatment element prioritizes family involvement, the use of community resources, and structured aftercare provisions. By first focusing on building trust and a sense of safety, the program aims to instill in its clients a sense of honesty, personal accountability, spirituality, and service.

Residential treatment begins with a three-week evaluation, which includes a psychiatric evaluation, psychological testing, a psychosocial history, and comprehensive lab work. During residential treatment, clients attend an education program that features certified teachers and a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:10.

The program progresses through four stages: residential, a day treatment program (or partial hospitalization/PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and aftercare. During all stages of treatment, clients participate in individual, group, and family counseling, and relapse prevention training. Aftercare support consists of weekly group counseling sessions.


The team is multidisciplinary, including a child and adolescent psychiatrist, licensed clinical social workers, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a nurse. In Utah, 98.8 percent of all substance abuse treatment facilities have higher education requirements for staff. The single individual polled by to date gave the facility two out of five stars for its staff’s level of training and experience.


All residents exercise daily. Residents may also participate in a range of recreational activities, including basketball, volleyball, running, and yoga, plus off-site activities including rock climbing, river rafting, snow shoeing, hiking, camping, and biking. The single individual polled by to date gave the facility four stars for its cleanliness and meals and three stars for its accommodations and exercise/leisure offerings.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY has not yet received any reviews directly from alumni of this facility to date, and secondary sites yielded mixed feedback at the time of this writing: the center had a 3.4 out of five-star average rating based on 37 reviews on Google,[1] two one-star ratings on Yelp,[2] and a four out of five-star average rating based on 40 reviews on Facebook, where the facility can manage its own page.[3] The negative reviews tended to come from alumni of the facility, whereas positive reviews tended to come from their parents and other family members.

Alumni repeatedly described a very strict, even oppressive atmosphere, with severe restrictions to communication with families, inadequate programming, and a lack of proper care. The reviewers often noted that they felt worse after leaving the facility than they did upon admission. “This place is a glorified prison that you can feel good about sending your child to because it’s ‘for their own good’. If you actually want to see your child get better, do not send them here. I’m shocked that this facility has not been shut down for malpractice yet,” S.R. wrote in a representative review on Facebook.

However, some alumni disagreed: “Lots of people will down-vote this place because it’s very strict – especially when you first get accepted, there’s a lot of freedoms that you don’t have anymore. For anyone, that can be a nuisance, and it is in particular for young, stubborn teenagers who are acting out… I would be dead if it were not for this program,” J.M. wrote in a representative positive review on Google.


The single loved one polled by to date would recommend this facility. “Peer counseling model worked wonders for a teen,” the anonymous reviewer wrote, though this individual added, “Staff should seek info from relatives, should be consistent in enforcing rules, should not be able to be manipulated by clients,” and described the facility as disorganized. This loved one gave the facility five stars for its treatment effectiveness and its family participation, three stars for its ability to treat co-occurring disorders, and two stars for its counseling options and holistic offerings.

Loved ones posting on secondary sites repeatedly praised Lifeline for Youth, describing it as having saved their families. “Lifeline helped us in a difficult time! The Staff is wonderful and very helpful! They are caring and work well with the youth. They helped our son get some perspective and he came home with better understanding that he shared a part in creating difficult situations and was much more workable,” S.W. wrote in a representative review on Google.[1] Other reviewers also praised the program’s family programming.


There is currently no information provided on the facility’s website regarding its costs; however, the single individual polled by to date gave the center three out of five stars for its affordability.

Services provided by Lifeline For Youth

Service Setting

  • Outpatient
  • Residential
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Type of Care

  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Treatment Approaches

  • Anger Management
  • Brief Intervention
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency Managementmotivational Incentives
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Trauma-related Counseling
  • 12-step Facilitation
  • License/Certification/Accreditation

  • State Substance Abuse Agency
  • State Department Of Health
  • State Mental Health Department
  • The Joint Commission
  • Genders Accepted

  • Male
  • Female
  • Lifeline For Youth Reviews

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Strengths:Peer counseling model worked wonders for a teen Weaknesses:Disorganized, staff inconsistent, program director brilliant but arrogant Staff should seek info from relatives, should be consistent in enforcing rules, should not be able to be manipulated by clients (!), should walk the walk of the 12 step program they try to sell to clients