Our History

Our History

Cumberland Heights began treating individuals affected by addiction in 1966. At that time there were very few options in the southeast for treatment, as substance abuse was still viewed at as a moral failing rather than a disease.

In 1965, Nashville businessman Robert Crichton, Sr. traveled many miles from his home to receive treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholism carried a taboo then, and good treatment centers were hard to find. Inspired in his recovery, he called a friend, prominent physician Thomas F. Frist, Sr., to see about starting a recovery center in Tennessee – not as a business for profit, but as a service to the many who needed help and had no place to turn. Soon after, the Cumberland Heights Foundation was born.

“We aren’t going to establish a country club or a regimented institution,” said co-founder Robert Crichton, Sr. “We want to have a location and program which will enable a man to go back to the primary meaning of his life so he can start over again.”

Opening the doors in 1966

Cumberland Heights began admitting men in 1966 and became the first recovery center of its kind in the southeast. In 1975, we opened one of the nation’s initial centers for women, followed by one of the first family programs. By 1985, the success of these programs was clearly apparent and paved the way for our pioneer model to treat adolescents, (now ARCH Academy) followed shortly thereafter by intensive outpatient (IOP) services in 1987.

“Unwavering dedication to recovery from addiction made Cumberland Heights a stalwart in this industry for more than 50 years,” said current Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson. “This passion will guide us as industry leaders during the next 50 years.”

Fifty years ago, chemical dependency was widely believed to be a moral weakness. This belief created a social stigma that prevented millions from reaching out for help. Today we understand that addiction is not caused by moral weakness or a lack of personal character – it is a medical disease over which the addict has no control. As with other diseases, without help the outcome is often tragic.

Fortunately, there is help. Since we opened our doors more than 50 years ago, Cumberland Heights has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families. Five decades of experience has taught us that recovery is not only possible, it’s a path that no one has to walk alone.

Our philosophy and staff are committed to providing the highest quality care possible for addiction recovery. Our treatment programs encompass the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of recovery through professional excellence, the principles of the 12-Steps, and a safe, loving environment.

Experience the Cumberland Heights Difference

Treatment changes lives. Break free from addiction and reach out for help. Our staff are available 24/7 at 800-646-9998.

We Are Open. Read updates regarding COVID-19 here and our available Telehealth services here.
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