University of Colorado ARTS – Peer 1, Denver, Colorado

University of Colorado ARTS - Peer 1 Rehab Review
3762 W Princeton Circle
Denver, CO, 80236

As a part of the University of Colorado, Addiction Research Treatment Services represents a clinical program for the Division of Substance Abuse under the Department of Psychiatry. For over 40 years, ARTS has provided residential and outpatient, empirically supported substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado. One of their services is a long-term residential treatment program for men, known as Peer 1.

University of Colorado ARTS – Peer 1: Treatments, Programs, and Staff

For over 40 years, Peer 1 has been a characteristic ARTS long-term residential treatment program, serving adult men referred from the criminal justice system. It usually lasts from 9 months to a year, plus a year of outpatient care. Peer 1 addresses substance abuse disorders, criminal behavior, co-occurring mental health disorders and other areas of life disrupted by addiction to drugs.

The entire program has three phases. Before the first step, the clients undergo an orientation, which lasts approximately 30 days and consists of initial assessment and treatment planning, motivational counseling and program philosophy.

  1. The first phase focuses on developing problem-solving and social skills, identifying and addressing behavioral problems, acquiring pro-social attitudes and values, in-house job assignments, vocational coaching and job searching techniques.
  2. Phase II – striking phase, lasts for 2-3 months and involves in-house job assignments, pursuing full-time employment, and maintaining health support systems outside the program.
  3. The last phase – transitional phase (approximately 3-5 months) focuses on re-socialization, financial issues and employment placement and monitoring.

A typical client is a criminal justice referral and the treatment implemented is evidence-based, and combines individual and group therapy, with CBT.

Other services include pharmacological treatment (Methadone, Buprenorphine, Vivitrol, Antabuse, and Naltrexone), relapse prevention, drug and alcohol testing, 12-step meetings, coping skills, care coordination – linking men to health care, dental care, vision care.

Individuals who complete treatment at Peer 1 receive aftercare services at ARTS’ Outpatient Therapeutic Community (OTC). This is a continuing care model which lasts for up to one year or until a client fulfills his legal obligation. OTC also assists clients with housing and their transition to the community.

Facilities and Extras

Peer 1 house accommodates 126 clients suited in double-occupancy rooms in an up-to-date dorm-like facility. Communal bathrooms can be found on each floor, as well as recreation rooms equipped with TVs and computers. There are also common living areas.

Meals are served three times a day in the cafeteria, and the typical menu includes sandwiches, salads and soups.

Peer 1 strongly supports fun and pro-social activities, and thinks of them as vital components of the recovery through holistic approach. Clients enjoy annual camping trips, sporting events, the theater, water rafting, biking, hiking, and mountain climbing. Individuals are also encouraged to engage in community “give-back” projects such as assisting local churches, feeding the homeless, helping nursing homes, animal shelters, community and gardening projects, assisting the students enrolled in Mero State’s Criminal Justice Track.

In addition to Peer 1, ARTS offers services for women only. These services are provided at the Haven House. The Haven Mother’s House helps pregnant women and women with infants to recover from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Haven Mother’s House policy is based on “community as method”, mutual self-help as well as building positive community and family ties.

Rules and Regulations

ARTS’ unique treatment service cost is on a sliding scale. Those interested in learning more or to schedule an intake appointment should make a phone call and find out all the necessary information. ARTS’ staff accompanies the financial possibilities of each client and helps them find a suitable payment method.

All residents must follow rules and regulations presented at the very beginning of the treatment.


Peer 1 is fully licensed by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health and contracts with multiple entities. The unique, multi-phase program implemented at Peer 1 allows clients to receive a well-rounded and comprehensive care, which combines evidence-based therapies, real-life skills and vocational training.

ARTS Contact Details

ARTS University of Colorado-Peer 1
3762 W Princeton Circle
Denver, CO 80236

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