The founders of Nugen's Ranch had some unusual ideas, back in the early 1980's, when they were making plans to open the first long-term alcoholism treatment program in Alaska.
Leonard and Henrietta Nugen opened Nugen's Ranch in 1981, with the support of a visionary Board of Directors. Their views on the successfull treatment of long-term alcoholism, since then, have provided blueprints for sober living for people throughout Alaska.
Nugen's Ranch became the first long-term treatment program in Alaska to receive national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitaion Facilities (CARF) in 1993.
Karen Nugen-Logan, daughter of the founders, was named Executive Director in 1994. Her appointment created a second generation of Nugen-based philosophy - training and education balanced with the cold reality of experience with addiction behaviors. Employed by the Ranch since 1985, Karen Nugen-Logan has guided the Ranch's operations into a new century.
Today Nugen's Ranch serves adult men and women who have abused alcohol and drugs. The beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley setting, daily Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, NA meetings, farm activities, work therapy, individual and small group counseling combine to create a supportive low-key family atmosphere.
Nugen's Ranch is the real thing. A large homey facility with standard living and learning areas. A large garden, animal pens and sheds, and a large greenhouse take up a portion of the 116-acre site located at the corner of W. Pt. MacKenzie Rd. and Holstein Rd. The care of pigs and work in the greenhouse provides food for the program and an importent sense of self-worth to its clients. Clients also help market seedlings, plants and produce from the greenhouse and gardens to the public as part of their work therapy. An outside workshop and a workout room, as well as a computer lab and arts and crafts areas are also available to Nugen's clients.
Every treatment plan begins with a careful, personalized assessment. The client and the counselor draft a treatment plan together, that lists problem areas, target issues, and the steps needed to solve them. Through individual weekly sessions, therapy groups and other personal growth activities, each client learns how to apply healthy solutions to problems in all areas of their life.
The treatment program at Nugen's Ranch is based on the AA Twelve Step philosophy. That philosophy, which has guided thousands of Alaskans to sober lives, believes that alcoholism and drug addictions are overcome and controlled by a basic change in self-understanding and an improved sense of self-worth.
Staff members at Nugen's Ranch lead educational programs, provide healthy adult role models, and make themselves available for individuals help on special issues like money management and good eating habits. The staff is always willing to participate in the many special celebrations and down-home social activities at the Ranch.
Just sobering up isn't enough for recovery for a long-term abuser. Recovery means a return to physical and mental well-being, as well as sobriety. Clients learn new skills for staying sober, and develop new habits that can support staying clean and sober for the rest of their lives.
Nugen's Ranch is a place where clients and staff are involved in the daily life and operation of the community. Our Valley neighbors appreciate and support this participation. Clients have been proud to win ribbons and awards for crafts and greenhouse produce at the Alaska State Fair. Other community activities, like creating parade floats or amateur theater productions, help our clients achieve a feeling of belonging in the community, and sense of fulfillment important to building their self esteem.