Iowa Lutheran Hospital Powell Chemical Dependency Center

Call (515) 263-2424 to contact Iowa Lutheran Hospital Powell Chemical Dependency Center

700 East University Avenue
4th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50316


Substance abuse is an all too common problem across the United States. Unfortunately, there are many medications, illicit drugs, and other substances that you can easily become addicted to. This includes alcohol and even household chemicals. Seeing the need for addiction treatment the Iowa Lutheran Hospital established the Powell Chemical Dependency Center to help those who are victims of this debilitating disease in 1973.

At the Powell Chemical Dependency Center, they believe that addiction is not a moral failing or a lack of will power. It is a chronic and often relapsing disease that can be treated but not cured. They take a one day at a time approach to addiction treatment. The one step at a time goal oriented treatment is extremely effective when treating a chronic illness that has mental and physical components.

This method of treatment is specifically designed to help you change the way that you think and act, thus allowing you to make the changes in your life necessary to recover from your addiction. Since its inception, the Powell Chemical Dependency Center’s method has helped over 30,000 people regain their life and families from the clutches of addiction.

They seek to provide hope and a clearly defined plan for addiction treatment. The safe supportive environment can help you find the path to recovery that you need in order to reenter society a sober person. One of the focuses of the Powell Center is to help rebuild family relationships and the sense of community that is often lost with the addiction.

The purpose of Powell Chemical Dependency is to:

  • Contribute to the overall community through providing prevention, community, and education programs regarding drug addiction and mental illness
  • Provide a high quality of substance abuse treatment to Iowa communities
  • Teach life skills to those who need them
  • Teach recovery skills to those who need them
  • Through the use of case management and other methods find the community and social support that you need to recover and prevent relapse
  • Use individualized treatment plans and the Principles of Addiction Treatment to provide you with all of the tools necessary to complete recovery and prevent relapse

Each of these are the goals of the chemical dependence center at Iowa Lutheran. They strive to better the community through education and individual treatment. Just as they have a one step at a time philosophy, they also believe in community betterment through treating one person at a time.

The Powell Center wants you to know that you are not alone and isolated. They have programs that can help you to regain your place in the community. Although it might take time, you can end your addiction before it is too late. They believe that they can help you. They emphasize that substance abuse is a treatable disease like many others. It is up to you to seek help and utilize the programs that are available through the Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

Located on the fourth floor the Iowa Lutheran Hospital, the Powell Chemical Dependency Center is easily accessible from Interstate 235 in Des Moines, Iowa. The street address for the hospital and chemical dependency program is 700 E. University Des Moines, Iowa 50315.


As part of the Iowa Lutheran Hospital, the Powel Chemical Dependency Center has many amenities. You have access to many of the hospital’s facilities. This includes dietary services through the hospital’s cafeteria. You have access to dietary and nutritional counseling and suggestions through the nutrition department.

Since it is located in a medical facility, you will be able to see doctors and practitioners who can help you with any physical ailments you might have problems with. There is also a built in pharmacy for medications and other treatment aids.

The rooms at the Powell Center are well appointed with everything that you need during your stay including storage space and closets. There are both semi-private and private room options depending on your needs.

The facility has a bookstore that has a variety of addiction related literature such as:

  • 12 steps 12 traditions
  • Alateen books and meditation suggestions for teens
  • Books on and about various addictions
  • Calling cards
  • DVDs and other audio materials on addiction
  • Many Alateen and Alanon resources and workbooks
  • Medallions for sobriety anniversaries and other calendars and markers
  • Meditation books for those who are impacted by addiction
  • Sobriety greeting cards
  • The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous Literature

There is also a gift shop that functions both online and at the physical location.

Powell Center also has a number of classes, skill building sessions, and other therapeutic recreational activities for those who are in treatment. After your treatment you can take advantage of the programs offered through the Powell Chemical Dependency Center’s Alumni and Friends Association.


The Powell Center offers a vast variety of treatment and therapy options depending on your individual needs. These options are available to almost all patients who seek to better their lives by ending their addiction. Some of the most common treatment options are:

  • Individual Counseling – individual counseling is a form of one on one counseling. You talk with the counselor and they help you with coping techniques, triggers, and craving avoidance. They can also help you discover how to deal with the circumstances that are causing your addiction.
  • Group Counseling – in group counseling you share your thoughts and feeling with the group under the guidance of a counselor. This method helps you feel less isolated and alone in your addiction and treatment. Group counseling may also consist of classes, lectures, skill building, trust building and other activities.
  • Family Counseling – Family counseling comes in two basic forms. The first is where you meet with one or more family members. This is to help you reestablish healthy family relationships in a controlled environment. The next is counseling for your family members. In this type of counseling, your family meets with the counselor on their own to work through the problems that they have because of your addiction.
  • Stress Management Therapy – This can be conducted in a group or in one on one sessions. Stress is one of the main causes of addiction. Learning to deal with stress without turning to dangerous substances is one way to prevent relapse. Living sober and dealing with cravings is also stressful, this can quickly lead to problems if you are not prepared to deal with it.
  • Pet Therapy – pet therapy is the use of animals for relaxation and stress reduction. Most of the time it is dogs and cats but sometimes they use other animals as well. Most people respond favorably to pet therapy.
  • Medication Therapy – medication therapy is the use of medications either to control withdrawal or to treat a co-occurring disorder. In some cases, the medication is discontinued after detoxification. If the medication is for a co-occurring disorder, you may remain on the medication for months or years.

One of the main goals to each form of therapy at the Powell Chemical Dependency Center is to reduce the risk of relapse. This means that you will learn how to control cravings and reduce the things that could trigger a relapse.


Powell Chemical Dependency Center’s specialty is complete treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. The process starts with an assessment and an evaluation. This helps the staff know what your treatment needs are and the severity of your addiction issues.

After the evaluation, you will go into a detoxification program. This detoxification program is medically monitored. Many people do not realize that withdrawal can be very dangerous and is sometimes deadly. Alcohol withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal are can both turn deadly very quickly. This is why detoxification at a clinic is often extremely important.

From detoxification, you will need to go to treatment. You have a few options when it comes to treatment at the Powell Center. You can go to inpatient residential treatment or you can go to an outpatient program. Which you should choose depends on the severity of your addiction and how well you are responding to therapy.

Aftercare takes place during the period after your treatment takes place. Aftercare can mean many things but at the Powell Chemical Dependency Center, it simply means remaining connected with others in recovery. There are sober housing and sober living centers that can help if you are having issues with cravings and have the ability to get your substance of choice. You can also attend 12 step meetings and other support group in order to avoid returning to your addiction.


Powell Chemical Dependency Center believes combining different medical disciplines in order to make the most effective treatment team possible. This means that they utilize:

  • Addiction counselors
  • Addiction specialists
  • Case managers
  • Doctors
  • Intake coordinators
  • Members of the spiritual and religious communities
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Support staff
  • Therapists
  • Volunteers

Each of these staff members is highly trained in their individual field and participate in continuing education services to stay up to date on the latest treatment methods and practices.

A few of the staff members you might meet are:

  • Amy Oehlert – Case Manager
  • Anthea Mauldin – Counselor
  • Becky Seabrooke – Mental Health Counselor
  • Cassie South – Support Staff
  • Deb Gomez – Counselor
  • Dee Hummel – Evening Outpatient Counselor
  • Dr. Matthew Webster – Medical Director
  • Gary Erion – Evening Outpatient Counselor
  • Jerry Owens – Mental Health Counselor
  • John Peters – Clinical Supervisor
  • Kimberly Brangoccio – Program Manager for Powell Chemical Dependency Center
  • Kristin Hepworth, MFT, CADC – Family Counselor
  • Laura Wright – Counselor
  • Lila Stafford – After Care Coordinator
  • Lori Hackett – Case Manager
  • Michael Edens – Counselor
  • Sara Junck, ARNP, MSN – Nurse Practitioner
  • Stacy Loftus – Case Manager
  • Teresa Furneaux – Family Counselor

Each staff member is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible treatment outcome. There are many more staff member that work to support the nurses, therapists, counselors and doctors who are there to help you in your recovery.

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