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Right Step acquisition establishes foothold in young adult treatment

January 24, 2012
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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San Cristobal known for its experiential component in 90-day program

A record year in 2011 for the parent company of The Right Step and Spirit Lodge in Texas has paved the way for the organization’s expansion into residential treatment in New Mexico, with this month’s acquisition of Taos-based San Cristobal Treatment Center.

TRS Behavioral Care, Inc. CEO George Joseph says San Cristobal’s innovative approach to treating young men ages 17 to 26 makes the center an “amazing addition” to the Texas company.

Joseph adds that San Cristobal’s program complements that of Spirit Lodge, which targets a slightly older client population. Both are private-pay programs, while The Right Step offers options for clients accessing insurance benefits.

Joseph and San Cristobal CEO Dave Johnson began discussing an affiliation in December, so it did not take long for a final agreement to take shape. Johnson says he had considered the idea of partnering with another organization for some time, adding that becoming part of TRS will offer tremendous opportunities for growth. San Cristobal currently has 30 beds but rests on a 120-acre campus that formerly housed a YMCA camp.

San Cristobal has become known for its young adult program’s 21-day wilderness component, featuring activities such as high and low ropes courses, hiking, whitewater rafting and equine therapy, among several others. “I’ve always felt that young adult men need very specific treatment,” Johnson says, adding that his program’s elements must speak to key issues affecting young men’s lives (from rites of passage to experiences of trauma).

He adds that it is important to include numerous activities in experiential therapies because “you never know which activities will reach which young men,” and each builds different types of skills.

Joseph says San Cristobal’s program offers an especially comfortable fit for individuals who have experienced treatment failures and who have unresolved anger issues. About three-quarters of San Cristobal’s clients have had a prior experience of primary treatment.

Coming off a year of record financial growth, TRS is poised to expand its services with the help of emerging relationships with the insurance market and expanded Internet marketing, says Joseph. Its approach to acquisitions is less about geography and more focused to identifying like-minded facilities with strong track records, he says.

The Right Step was founded in 1990 and now operates 20 locations covering most of Texas’s metropolitan areas, making it the Southwest’s largest private provider of addiction treatment services.



George Joseph is a visionary. This certainly will work out well.

Different people in the world take the loan in various creditors, just because that's easy.

As an affiliate of The Right Step, I know that the leadership that George Joseph provides and the support of the corporate team in administration allows affiliates to focus on providing exceptional clinical service, which is our expertise. I am confident that San Cristobal will flourish through its partnership with TRS and I am excited that we have this new program in the TRS system.

David Hanna, M.A., LCDC
Dasu Enterprises Inc.
Right Step IOP
Woodlands|North Houston|Northwest Houston

Right Step Ambulatory Detox Woodlands