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County board learns about treatment center

Five years ago, New Visions Center opened in Alexandria and since that time, its staff has helped dozens of people with their drug and alcohol addictions.

Jim Monson, director of New Visions, which has two locations in Alexandria and one in Morris, spoke before the Douglas County Board of Commissioners last week.

Monson provided an update to the board on the New Visions programs and facilities.

In Alexandria, there is a residential treatment program and an outpatient treatment program. Morris has an outpatient treatment program.

Monson told the commissioners that New Visions works with clients who have a drug or alcohol addiction. He has seen different drugs come and go within the last five years, but noted that marijuana and alcohol stay consistent. Methamphetamine was a large problem awhile back, but Monson said there's not as much of a problem nowadays.

It is the belief of New Visions that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease and not a character flaw or weakness. Monson referred to it as a chronic illness.

"We like to sell people on the notion that they need to take better care of themselves," he told the commissioners.

The goals of objectives of New Visions is to:

•Identify the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.

•Bring hope to clients and their families.

•Provide highly individualized treatment.

•Provide a safe and confidential atmosphere.

•Help each person once again become part of the community.

Monson said that New Visions works with mental health services and with local doctors to provide the necessary treatment for its clients.

Mike Woods, director of Douglas County Social Services, said he appreciates New Visions and its ability to handle patients and cases in an evidence-based model approach.

"People build a better life when they go through the New Visions program," Woods said.

According to Monson, the New Visions residential program consists of four phases:

•Phase One - primary treatment or co-occurring. This level of care offers group and one to one therapy, co-occurring education and screening, gender specific groups, family programming and individualized assignments.

The co-occurring track includes 45 days of residential care, specific groups, education and awareness, medication management and family programming specific to co-occurring.

•Phase Two - Extended care 45 to 90 days. The extended care is designed for those who need a slower paced treatment and longer in duration. This allows for better stabilization and the client is more prepared to manage his/her illness on an ongoing basis.

•Phase Three - halfway house up to 90 days. After completing Phase One or Two, these clients are stable enough to actively be seeking employment, attending school and securing housing. These clients still attend a variety of therapeutic programming, however individual schedules vary by client.

•Phase Four - intensive outpatient six weeks. This level of care is for those who have a stable home, transportation, supportive family and community involvement to participate in an intensive level of care without residing at the facility.

The outpatient program has treatment options for both adults and adolescents.

For more information about New Visions Center, call (320) 763-3912 in Alexandria, send an e-mail to or visit its website at