Find out the answers to your most pressing questions.

Does Fire Mountain work with behavioral/mental health issues and substance abuse?

Yes. Many teens struggle with mental health issues and substance abuse while some are dealing with one or the other. We focus on the underlying issues causing your teen to feel so much pain while treating the expression of that pain. Many FMRTC teens do not abuse substances. Please call us to discuss whether we are a good fit for your teen and family.

My kid mostly smokes pot. Isn’t it just an expected part of adolescence?
  • More kids enter treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illegal drugs combined, –National Youth AntiDrugCampaign:
  • “[I]n the 1970s and 80s, the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, was at 3.5 percent. Today, the THC found in most marijuana averages more than 7 percent. But specific techniques can skyrocket the amount of THC to as high as 27 percent. Today’s marijuana is much more powerful and much more addictive than it was a generation ago.” – Andrea Barthwell, MD, former Deputy Director at the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
What if my teen does not use drugs but has mental health, video game/screen addiction, behavioral and/or other issues?

Many teens struggle with mental health and behavioral issues and have not turned to drugs or alcohol.

How long would my teen stay at Fire Mountain?

The average is 5-6 months with a recommended minimum stay of 4 months (120 days). If finances permit, we recommend keeping your teen with us until he or she is truly ready to restart life in earnest. Ultimately, with our team’s input and recommendations, you (the parents/guardians) will make the final decision.

What is the admissions process and how do I apply?

After reviewing the general information provided on the website, we suggest you call the Fire Mountain office to speak with an admissions counselor. You and the counselor will complete a preliminary assessment to determine whether your teen is a good fit for the program. If you decide to move forward, specific arrangements will be made depending upon your specific circumstances. You are welcome to set up an appointment to tour the facility by calling 303-443-3343.

Will I be able to get references from parents of graduates?

Yes, please call or email to request a list of parents/graduates (303)443-3343 or We encourage you to contact them.

Do I bring my teenager myself or will you conduct an intervention?

Every situation is different. Some kids agree to enroll in the program and will pack and get in the car/on the plane with little or no resistance. In these cases, we recommend that you make the arrangements. Other times, assistance from a friend or family member may help. And sometimes an intervention is required. Please call the office for details (303-443-3343).

Do you do interventions?

Yes, in most cases we can conduct an intervention or refer you to our preferred interventionists. Please call the office for details. We do not do recommend “hard” interventions where your teenager would be physically restrained in order to transport. A skilled intervention should not require that level of intensity. If your situation calls for an intricate or hard intervention, we will give special attention to evaluating whether your teen is a good fit for FMRTC before approving admission.

What are Fire Mountain’s outcomes and success rate?

The best way to answer this question is to refer you to speak with parents and teens who have graduated from the program. Human success is hard to box into a precise measurement. Please call the office for a list of graduate parents and teens. 303-443-3343.

The involvement of our graduates at the treatment center and postgraduate programs are a testament to the success rate. Many graduates voluntarily return to mentor, participate in graduations and initiations.

I hear you work with a Phase System of success and achievement. How does that work?

Our program is built around a FIve Phase Program. Our program is designed to support your child in successfully completing each phase in order to reach the goal of graduation (Phases 1-5) and transformation from troubled teen to confident teen, with a vision and a plan.

Is Fire Mountain a Wilderness Program?

No. Your teen will spend time in nature in and around the Rocky Mountains. Because we work with insurance, we do not do expeditions.

What is the cost?

For details on our Current Program Costs please call us at 303-443-3343

Will my insurance cover the costs of sending my child to Fire Mountain?

It depends upon your policy. Insurance may cover a large portion of treatment. Please contact Admissions for details at 303-443-3343 x204.

You may also be able to use funds for uncovered costs from a Health Savings and/or College Savings Account. Upon completion at Fire Mountain, we can break down all costs, including individual therapy, group therapy, and group processing. In addition, we will break down admissions fees and residential fees if requested.

Does Fire Mountain offer financing?

There are a number of financing options. Please contact the office for details regarding specific lenders.

What about school?

Click here to learn more about Fire Mountain Academy and credits.

Will I be able to communicate with my teen and will I know how he or she is doing?

Yes. Your child will call you weekly for 30 minutes. The first call, in the first week, will include your teen and his or her therapist. As he/she moves through the phases (Four Phase Program ), he/she will earn passes to visit you for lunch, overnights and ultimately, a week home trial.

Do you work with my family as well as my teenager?

Yes. In the first week, your teen and therapist will call you for an update and practice phone call. After the second or third week, you will attend sessions (by phone, secure video or in person) 3-4 times per month with one of our therapists.

I saw your boys on TV on TLC. Do you take girls?

Yes. Our specific curriculum around mixed relationships and handling the opposite sex in a healthy way makes us uniquely suited for a co-ed facility. Our program is focused on the underlying issues driving your teenager to substance abuse or other destructive behaviors. Often a co-ed environment is needed in the healing of certain issues. Some teenagers need a same-sex environment. Please contact us to determine what is best for your teenager.

Will my child be involved with really tough kids?

Your teen will live with teenagers 12-17 years old with moderate mental health, behavioral and addiction issues. We do not work with extreme cases such as sex offenders, violent offenders, severe conduct disorders and extreme psychiatric disorders. We are a healing program for teenagers who can handle living in a group setting.

How do you work with difficult kids?

A strength-based empowerment model that focuses on building strong relationships with self and others. Supporting your teen through the process of change instead of “breaking them down” to build him/or her up again will help keep the focus on what he/she does well and build from there. This approach allows the clinical team to work out specific structures, assignments, and activities to understand, assess and help the student make significant progress during his or her stay.

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers want clear and firm boundaries. Our orientation requires a lengthy process around the treatment center’s expectations, rules, and boundaries. When boundaries are crossed, we come together as a community to reestablish equilibrium and safety. Our staff is trained to be clear, concise and confident in setting boundaries and maintaining safety in the group. Teenagers respond by relaxing. If they cannot, perhaps a lockdown type of treatment program is needed.

Where is Fire Mountain located?

In a beautiful setting near Estes Park, Colorado. Just outside of town, we enjoy a beautiful, natural mountain environment, the convenience of being a few miles from town and close proximity Rocky Mountain National Park.

When can I admit my teen?

Admissions and discharges happen on an ongoing basis. This creates a positive peer culture and allows students to become mentors to “newcomers” in the group. Admissions happen Monday through Thursday beginning before 2 pm and take up to three hours.

What does my teen need to bring?

You are provided a packing list before intake. Please do not send a laptop, phone or iPod.