Treatment Effectiveness Study

Study Overview

Shadow Mountain Recovery is excited to share the results of a treatment effectiveness study we requisitioned between January 31, 2019 and January 31, 2020. This study focused on the efficacy of addiction and mental health treatment outcomes here at Shadow Mountain compared to national industry averages. 

The data displays patient experiences prior to treatment like patient perception, why patients seek treatment, addiction severity, suicidality, past treatment experiences, and occurrence of mental health disorders. The other half of the data collected focuses on treatment progress and effectiveness, including progress on co-occurring disorders and treatment completion.  This webpage summarizes our outcomes from the study starting with a look at the demographics of the study population. We’re proud to say that Shadow Mountain patients as a whole showed significant gains compared to national averages. 

Treatment Completion Vs. National Average

Among the 267 clients discharged between January 31, 2019 and January 31, 2020, a total of 90% across the various facilities successfully completed treatment. Every center had at least 90% successful completion:

new mexico study

The typical length of stay for patients completing their recommended treatment was 29 days at Albuquerque and Taos. The closest comparable national data on treatment completion is the 2017 TEDS-D Discharge data for short-term residential and detox programs, in which 53% and 64% of patients, respectively, completed treatment.

Comparatively, the completion rates for Shadow Mountain, varying between 85% and 95%, are much higher than national averages. The majority (73%) of Shadow Mountain patients completing ongoing monitoring surveys were satisfied with the treatment they were receiving, while another 20% reported being somewhat satisfied.  


patient satisfaction with treatment

Patients who indicated a survey was likely to be the last one they would submit during treatment were asked several questions about their treatment goals. Nearly all these patients, whether in detox or non-detox treatment, reported having been asked about their treatment goals during treatment. The vast majority (97%) of detox patients reported their treatment goals had been met, with the proportion of non-detox patients reporting at (88%). 

Addiction Severity Prior to Treatment

The vast majority (91%) of Shadow Mountain’s patients met the definition of having a severe alcohol or drug use disorder, and 58% reported having experienced all 11 of the DSM-5 SUD criteria in the year before starting treatment. 

addiction severity

Our facilities in New Mexico average 92%.

previous SUD treatment episodes

Just over half (52%) of the patients had been in SUD treatment before, and 21% had attended four or more previous treatment programs. Two thirds (67%) of Albuquerque and Taos patients were new to SUD treatment. 

Co-occurring Disorder Symptoms


As part of their Intake Questionnaire, patients were asked a series of screening questions about the 30 days before they started treatment. If they answered one or more of the screening questions for a particular co-occurring disorder positively, they were then taken to a full instrument to measure the severity of their symptoms of that disorder.

stas on recovery

If a patient answered the screening questions negatively for a specific disorder, they are classified as “Symptom Unlikely” on the following charts. Most patients entering Shadow Mountain reported suffering moderate or severe symptoms of one or more co-occurring disorders in the 30 days prior to entering treatment: 


During the time they were in treatment, the severity of the co-occurring disorder symptoms that Shadow Mountain patients were experiencing declined dramatically. The following graphs compare how the percentage of patients reporting moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD declined between intake and the last Progress Monitoring survey they submitted. 

Albuquerque/Taos patients who enter treatment with co-occurring disorders experience a sizable reduction in symptoms while in treatment.

Consequently, Albuquerque/Taos patients tended to leave treatment with much lower levels of co-occurring disorder symptoms.

depression symptoms study
anxiety study

Suicidality and Self-Harm


85% of Shadow Mountain patients reported having had some level of suicidal thoughts in the month before entering treatment. For 35%, this was restricted to thoughts of wishing they could go to sleep and not wake up, but 13% reported thinking about how they might kill themselves, and 3% had actually prepared, started to, or attempted suicide in the 30 days before treatment.

Only five patients (2%) entering treatment at Shadow Mountain reported harming themselves on purpose, like by cutting themselves, in the month before starting treatment. 

suicidality study


Among patients who completed at least one progress monitoring update, the percentage reporting that they wished they could go to sleep and not wake up decreased from 40% at intake to only 5% by the last survey before discharge!

Other Study Information

Shadow Mountain Recovery Center operates four treatment centers in New Mexico.  

The center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has two main programs: Detox Treatment and Residential Treatment. Detox offers both ambulatory and medical detox from drugs and alcohol. A 2-4 week residential treatment program can follow a medically managed detox. There is also a stand-alone two-week residential program. 

The recovery center in Taos, New Mexico, is a gender-specific center for men. Patients participate in either a 12-Step program with added psychotherapy or a 12-Step Alternative program, depending on their personal needs.  

This webpage summarizes data reported by clients being treated at Shadow Mountain during the period between January 31, 2019 and January 31, 2020.

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