For Service Members and their Families

Stonington Institute

Stonington Institute began serving recovering alcoholics in 1957 as Starlight Farms, and is the longest continuously operating, free-standing, voluntary treatment facility in New England. Over the years, we have become known as an innovative leader in the field of behavioral health, embracing proven evidenced-based practices within a strong 12-Step tradition. Today, Stonington Institute’s management team, medical and nursing professionals, licensed clinicians, and support staff offer a comprehensive range of treatment programs and support services that span the continuum of behavioral health care.

The Starlight Military Program

The Starlight Program is located at Stonington Institute’s North Stonington campus on 25 wooded acres in the natural beauty of rural southeastern Connecticut. This peaceful setting offers service men and women the best opportunity to heal and return to service fit for duty or transition back to a productive civilian life.

The Starlight Program is dedicated to active duty military members and veterans whose lives have changed and become unmanageable due to significant substance abuse and mental health issues. The treatment team understands that military life can be stressful to service members and their families, resulting in the types of disorders that require specialized treatment and unique recovery programs. Starlight treatment staff utilizes proven recovery methods that are focused on helping you develop solid strategies to promote healthy decision-making related to substance use, and education that supports permanent lifestyle changes aimed at maintaining long-term mental health recovery.

Specialized Trauma Treatment

Military life is especially stressful to active duty service members in time of combat. It is not uncommon for individuals who have been through combat to experience trauma related disorders that require intensive, specialized treatment and recovery programs. The Starlight Program provides a unique, treatment track for active duty military members whose lives have been changed and become unmanageable by events including family separation; combat stress; exposure to trauma and human suffering; threats to self and comrades; and grief and loss.

Fast Facts

How do I contact The Starlight Program?

For Admissions:
Phone: (860) 235-5570
Toll Free: (877) 313-0988

For STARLIGHT Program Staff and Living Quarters:
NORTH HOUSE – client phone: (860) 445-3679
THE LODGE – client phone: (860) 445-3059
RESIDENTIAL UNIT – client phone: (860)245-4534

How long is the average stay?

A typical length of stay is 28 days, but ultimately depends upon your individual needs and your response to treatment.

What should I bring with me?

  • Name, address and phone numbers of current and previous therapists and doctors.
  • All prescribed and over the counter medications you are currently taking.
  • You may bring personal money. Opportunities will be available to go shopping to buy necessities. Otherwise, money will be secured.
  • Medical information regarding any allergies you have to medications.
  • Unopened cigarette packages.
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans, sweat pants, slacks, t-shirts, pajamas, robe without a belt). Laundry facilities are available.
  • Season appropriate outerwear
  • Comfortable close toed shoes
  • Appropriate reading material
  • Military ID card and Insurance cards.
  • Electronic devices such MP3 players and radios.

What should I leave at home?

  • Electronic devices such as cell phones, PDAs, computers, laptops and game boys.
  • Jewelry and valuables
  • Knives, guns or weapons of any kind
  • Candles, illicit drugs, alcohol
  • Outside food and beverages
  • Glass items
  • Aerosol deodorant and hairspray
  • Mouthwash
  • Military uniform

Can I make telephone calls to my family and friends?

There are phones at STARLIGHT that you are permitted to use during scheduled times. You may bring a cell phone for phone number reference, but it will be secured. Family members and others that are authorized to have contact with clients will be allowed to come during visitation times, participate in family therapy and be informed of the client’s treatment progress.

What kind of treatment can I expect?

Treatment planning will start upon admission to the Starlight Program unit. As part of your admission, you will meet with your assigned clinician and develop an initial treatment plan with goals for you to achieve and interventions to help you achieve those goals. You are encouraged to be an active participant in your treatment planning. Your treatment plan may be modified to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality care while you are here, but will be reviewed at least once weekly with your clinician.

Your treatment program includes 28 days of intensive therapeutic treatment focused on learning substance use relapse prevention skills and more adaptive management of problem behaviors. The treatment program can be extended as clinically warranted. You are expected to follow the treatment schedule and actively participant in all program activities.

What activities are included in my stay?

  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Group psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy
  • Family therapy and couples counseling
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • Daily physical fitness
  • Family therapy and couples counseling
  • Recreational activities and art therapy
  • Yoga and martial arts
  • Discharge/aftercare planning

May I have visitors?

After one week of treatment clients may have visits from immediate family members, upper command, and others involved in their aftercare while in treatment with prior approval from clinical staff. Visiting hours are at specific times during the week, although some accommodations can be made on a case by case basis. Family members will also be allowed in the program during any family group times. All visitors must remain with clients on grounds. Visitors are not allowed to leave the campus with clients while they are in program. Visitors must remain with clients in common areas on the unit (this excludes bedrooms and bathrooms).


The Starlight Program Unit Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”) are intended to promote a treatment environment that permits an individual to achieve the greatest degree of recovery while in a community setting. You will receive a client handbook and orientation when you arrive at Starlight. In preparation for your stay, and for your safety and the safety of others, it is important for you to know that the following rules apply:

  • Access to Grounds. You are prohibited from moving beyond the vicinity of the Stonington campus without the permission of unit staff. You may not visit other departments on campus such as the Infirmary, gym, cafeteria, without the permission of unit staff and/or being accompanied by unit staff. Failure to comply with observations can result in restrictions as is deemed appropriate by unit staff.
  • Physical Training.There is a gym on grounds that is open at 5:00 am. You will be able to use the gym during scheduled times for physical training. You must always be accompanied by a staff member. You are allowed to go for a 30 minute run on campus by yourself, but must return to the unit so that staff may observe you after 30 minutes.
  • Off Grounds Passes.You are not allowed to go off grounds without a staff member being present. You will engage in planned off grounds activities (recreational activities, attendance at community AA/NA meetings) with a staff member.
  • Cellular Phones/Telephone Use. The use of cellular phones is strictly prohibited. The units telephone numbers are: North House, (860) 445-3679, The Lodge, (860) 445-3059, Residential Unit, (860) 245-4534, and are located in the television rooms. The unit telephone is to be used only during free time and not at any time during treatment groups.
  • Smoking. Smoking is permitted only where the smoke receptacles are located. Clients may not smoke in any building on grounds, including entranceways and crosswalks.
  • Relationships. Sexual contact of any kind is strictly prohibited during treatment.
  • Violent Behavior. Violent or abusive behavior, harassment, discrimination based on religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation, vandalism, stealing or the possession of weapons (including knives, mace, or guns) is strictly forbidden. Violation of this rule is grounds for immediate discharge.
  • Possession/ Use of Substances. The possession and/or use of alcohol, drugs or other substances are strictly prohibited. Complete abstinence from alcohol and/or drugs is required for the duration of treatment.


Meals are eaten in the Cafeteria. Mealtimes can be found on the Program schedule (Breakfast is from 07:30-08:00, Lunch is from 13:00-13:30, and Dinner is from 17:30-18:00.


Clothing is washed by Housekeeping. Clients will be provided with a laundry bag which will be labeled with their name.

Driving Directions

FROM NEW YORK: Follow I-95 North to Exit 92 in CT. Turn left onto Route 2 West and continue nine miles to Swantown Hill Road on right.
Drive time from NYC: 3.5 hours.

FROM BOSTON AND PROVIDENCE: Follow I-95 South to Exit 92 in CT. Go straight at the first light. At the next light, turn right onto Route 2 West and continue eight miles to Swantown Hill Road on right.
Drive time from Boston: 2 hours.
Drive time from Providence: 1 hour.

FROM HARTFORD: Follow I-84 East to Exit 55 for Route 2 East. Continue on Route 2 East for approximately 40 miles to Swantown Hill Road on left.
Drive time: 1 hour.

FROM WORCESTER: Take I-395 South to Exit 85 in CT. Go straight to the second traffic light and turn left onto Route 164 South. Follow Route 164 to the end, approximately seven miles. Turn left onto Route 2 East. Swantown Hill Road is 2.5 miles down on the right.
Drive time: 1 hour.

FROM ALBANY: Take I-90 East via Exit 5 toward Boston (crossing into MA). Take I-91 South via Exit 4 toward Springfield (crossing into CT). Take I-84 East via Exit 30 in Connecticut. Take I-84 East to Exit 55 to Route 2 East. You will find the Swantown Hill Road ten miles past Norwich on left.
Drive time: 3 hours.


T.F. Green (PVD) in Warwick, RI. (50 minutes)
Bradley Airport (BDL) in Hartford, CT (60 minutes)
Logan Airport (BOS) in Boston, MA (1 hour & 45 minutes)
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in NYC (2 hours & 40 minutes)
Kennedy Airport (JFK) in NYC (2 hours & 40 minutes)


Closest Train station is New London, CT (20 minutes)

Area Hotels

La Quinta Inn & Suites, (860) 599-2400
349 Liberty Street, Stonington, CT 06379

Budget Inn®, (860) 599-0835
593 Providence New London Tpke., North Stonington, CT 06359

Hampton Inn & Suites, (860) 536-2536
6 Hendel Drive, Mystic, Connecticut, USA 06355

Holiday Inn Express, (877) 859-5095
6 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, Connecticut, USA 06355

Hilton Mystic, (860) 572-0731
20 Coogan Boulevard Mystic, Connecticut 06355

More Information

If you have additional questions about The Starlight Program, please call the military liaison toll free at (877) 313-0988 or direct at (860) 235-5570.