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Q: Ranking or Rating the best alcohol recovery or rehab centers ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Ranking or Rating the best alcohol recovery or rehab centers
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: johnster-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 22 Jun 2003 13:34 PDT
Expires: 22 Jul 2003 13:34 PDT
Question ID: 220441
I've done some of my own research into alochol recovery centers and I
still do not have a clear choice in mind. Most of the centers are very
expensive and I would like to know how they stand up to others. I live
in Dallas but am willing to go to other states.

What are the best centers for success rates and the best bang for the

I don't necessarily want the cheapest $125 a day, nor the most
expensive, $1,000 a day. I would like a center that includes
psychiatry or psychology in their treatments. Betty Ford and Hazelden
have the most famous reputations but both are strictly the 12 step
programs and may not have the best success rates.

I would also like a center that ties fitness into the program but
there are some programs that seem to put you through a grueling
wilderness programs.

There is one rating program called JCAHO which tells you if they meet
their standards. None of the associations really tell you the best
programs with the best staff and success rates.

Please help me if you can.

Request for Question Clarification by umiat-ga on 22 Jun 2003 14:13 PDT

 Thanks for mentioning that you would like me to answer another
question for you in your comments to my previous answer.
 One thing before I get too you have any need for a dual
diagnosis facility? In other words, do you suffer from depression or
anxiety, etc. along with your substance abuse? Is the abuse strictly
related to alcohol, or are other drugs or medications involved? This
can make a difference in the type of facility you choose.
 Do you want an inpatient facility, or would you consider outpatient
treatment? If you desire inpatient treatment, do you have a specific
time-frame in mind. In other words, could you take time out of your
life to live in a rehabilitation facility for an extended period?
 And don't worry.....I will avoid ALL programs that take place on
remote wilderness islands!


Clarification of Question by johnster-ga on 22 Jun 2003 14:59 PDT
Yes, thank you for avoiding wilderness islands. Believe me, there are
some out there. Their motto is, "You are too concerned about living,
you don't think about drinking". Just Kidding.


Yes, I have been diagnosed with social anxiety which would not inhibit
my being in groups. I'm pretty active in the outside world. Anxiety,
though, does play a role in my drinking. There are one or two other
factors which I would want brought into play in any private or group

Yes, I'm in a position now where I can be in an inpatient program. At
this point, I believe that's what I'd prefer. I would also prefer a
center with detox capabilities. There are some that require you to be
sober for four or more days prior to admission and I feel what's the

I went to a two week program here in Texas (living in Florida at the
time) and felt I couldn't afford , timewise, more. It was in 1987 and
it was a typical 12 step program in a community hospital. I wasn't
impressed with the staff nor the program.

For emphasis, I'm willing to go to just about any state. My preference
is on the Eastern Seaboard since most of these centers incorporate
family sessions and it would be closer for family members.

Also, I would prefer smaller programs. There are some really programs
out there and although they break you into smaller groups, they're

In addition, I would prefer centers with clients that largely
30s and 40's and with a majority of alcohol abusers. In other words, I
don't want to be around a bunch of 20 year old crack heads.

Finally, I will be ready to go in early to mid July after a family
reunion next week.

Thanks alot for your help. Good luck and send anymore requests for
clarification you need.

Request for Question Clarification by umiat-ga on 22 Jun 2003 18:19 PDT

 If you could pick the ideal states in the east that are closest to
the majority of your family, what would they be? Would you be willing
to attend programs as long as 3 months in duration, or is that too

Clarification of Question by johnster-ga on 22 Jun 2003 19:14 PDT
My preference would be on the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida to
However, I was going to say this in the previous comment, if you found
several good centers meeting my criteria, I would go to Timbuktu.

When I said preferences, I meant just that. Family counseling is only
one part of these programs.

Thanks for your help. Any other clarifications, please ask.

Subject: Re: Ranking or Rating the best alcohol recovery or rehab centers
Answered By: umiat-ga on 23 Jun 2003 01:45 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, johnster!

 This has been a long search, but I have narrowed the choices down to
those facilities which seem reputable, committed to long-term
recovery, and fit best with your needs.

 Most of the alcohol treatment programs are combined with other
substance abuse problems. There is no getting around that fact. The
majority also combine some form of Twelve-Step therapy in their
treatment modality. Actual costs of programs are elusive, and the age
range of adults is not always available. I have tried my best to stay
away from programs involving adolescents. Some programs seem very good
but do not offer detoxification. Others are very good but admit
patients as young as eighteen.

 Also, I have been restricted to those facilities that have websites.
There is a very good book I have referenced under Additional Reading
that you might want to order. There are also several used copies
available from

 It is hard to guarantee the success rate of these facilities. There
are some that mention their long-term success statistics, but it is
hard to know if they are biased. I looked long and hard for a
referenced Forbes magazine article that listed the top twelve alcohol
treatment facilities, but I could not find it online. I will continue
searching and add it in a clarification if I find it.

 I believe the following facilities are well worth investigating. I
hope you find one among them that appeals to your liking and your
pocketbook! I have put *** next to the programs that seem especially


CORNERSTONE of Southern California ****
13682 Yorba Street, 
Tustin, CA 92780
714-730-5399 / 800-385-9889

Specializing in Extended Care and Relapse Prevention for Adults having
problems with Alcohol and Drugs.

 Offered as a separate entity or before another level of care. 
 24 hour medical supervision by Addiction Medicine physicians. 
 Healing, home-like atmosphere. 
 Staff monitoring/observation

*Click on the Treatment Programs Tab for all information regarding
inpatient, outpatient, family, continuing care, extended care,
recovery homes, sober living.
Inpatient Programs: 
 A safe, supportive, home-like environment that enhances the recovery
 Individualized treatment/discharge planning. 
 Assigned primary counselor. 
 Experiential/didactic groups. 
 Individual/family counseling. 
 Relapse prevention strategies. 
 12-step involvement with transportation to local 12 step-meetings 5
times weekly.
 Six (6) residents to a home. 
 Separate female and male swimming pools. 
 Up to four (4) visits to LA Fitness weekly. 
 Supervised outings. 
 JCAHO accredited 


Promises is renowned for our warm, confidential, and safe environment
as well as our uniquely effective program and dedicated, compassionate
staff. No other treatment program is as well respected by the health
care community or as highly recommended.

As a pioneer in addiction treatment, we’ve developed the approaches
that others copy like our exclusive Malibu Model. And we continue to
stay on the leading edge, giving you the benefit of our unparalleled
experience and resources now and as needed in the future.

We’ve gathered the best in the field credentialed, licensed, and
seasoned professionals, including physicians, nurses, therapists,
counselors, and mental health workers. All focused on your well-being
and comfort.

Our individualized treatment, built on proven methodology, delivers
comprehensive services and yields results designed to last a lifetime.
While others try to copy our techniques, such as our exclusive Malibu
Model, none can come close to our record of success.

Malibu, California  
(866) 390-2340 toll free 24 hrs

PROMISES Malibu offers:

Primary Residential / Inpatient 
Outpatient - Intensive Outpatient and Aftercare at Sunset 
Extended Care

Primary Residential

PROMISES provides a confidential and secluded environment for men and
women where hope and healing begin.

Residents at Promises Rockcroft or Cool Oak receive individualized
treatment for drug addiction, alcoholism and other chemical
dependencies based on the social and psychodynamic models of
treatment. These treatments include:

Daily educational lectures 
Relapse prevention skills 
Individualized Treatment Planning 
Group therapy sessions 
Recreation and Leisure Education 
One -on- one counseling 
Scheduled 12-Step meetings in the local community 
Recreational therapy 
Family counseling and education 
Aftercare planning 

Medical care is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. During
the critical stage of early recovery, we provide *level 3 sub acute
detoxification treatment* ensuring that new residents requiring this
service experience the safest and most comfortable drug and alcohol
detoxification possible.

Our staff of licensed, credentialed and highly skilled professionals
uses some of the most effective techniques available today. An
individualized treatment plan is developed for each client by our
multidisciplinary clinical team to assure a successful recovery.

(Read more)

West Los Angeles
Toll free: (866) 390-2340 or directly at (310) 390-2340.


Residential Treatment


La Jolla, CA
Phone (800) 382-4357

Scripps McDonald Center is a nationally recognized organization
dedicated to treating alcohol and drug abuse. The center provides a
healing environment - people needing help and their families receive
the tools and support they need to rebuild their lives.

Located on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps
McDonald Center has set new standards of excellence in patient care.
As a not-for-profit organization supported by generous community
donations, Scripps McDonald Center programs are among the most
accessible and affordable in California. Our programs are covered by
many managed care and other insurance plans.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla has been providing alcohol and drug
treatment since 1979. In 1983, Scripps McDonald Center founder
Marianne McDonald, Ph.D., donated two million dollars to underwrite
the design and construction of the building that today bears her name
Treatment Program offers Detoxification


Newport Beach, CA 49423, USA
949-723-2388 or 1-800-641-2388


CHALLENGES Relapse Treatment and Prevention Program  (not sure about
this one)
5100 Coconut Creek Parkway
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33063
Phone: (954) 917-3334
Toll free: 1-888-755-3334

Treatment Programs:

"Challenges actively maintains co-provider contractual relationships
with many different Detoxification facilities both locally, statewide,
nationally and internationally. By virtue of these relationships,
Challenges is able to offer substantially discounted rates and ease of
admission and case management transition from detox to treatment. If
you have a need for detoxification or have any questions regarding
detox, our staff is available around the clock to assist you in this

Structured Living Component for Full Day Clients:
Apartment based housing can be arranged for clients who desire a safe,
sober, structured living environment while in treatment at 
Challenges.Apartments are located in an attractive, tropical and
serene suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida known as Coconut Creek. Only
minutes away from South Florida's beautiful beaches, 12-step recovery
meetings, public transportation, shopping and outlets, and other
services,  the apartments are fully furnished, 2-bedroom, 2-bath units
complete with on-site amenities such as tennis courts,  a fitness
studio, jacuzzi, swimming pool, and more... Structured Living
residences are managed and monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days per



TALBOT RECOVERY CAMPUS (no mention of detox)
5448 Yorktowne Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30349
800.445.4232 ph.
770.994.0185 ph.

I am not sure exactly how this program works in terms of inpatient
stay. I know there is a 96-hour evaluation process and a susequent
Mirror Image outpatient program with "Recovery Residences" but you
will have to call for specifics.

There is no doubt, however, that this is a program highly regarded by
health care professionals who also need treatment for addiction.


TRC Program

96-Hour Assessment

Mirror Image
"Developed conceptually by Dr. G. Douglas Talbott twenty-five years
ago, the Mirror Image Phase of outpatient treatment offers patients
the opportunity to view their disease through others. TRC patients
volunteer daily at public and private facilities in the Atlanta metro
area while continuing to live in Recovery Residences, participate in
therapy groups on Campus, attend workshops directed at learning skills
in the 12-steps and attend the appropriate professionals groups.

Values of Mirror Image:

Assists in breaking through denial while allowing the patient the
experience of helping others.
Patients see themselves with the same feelings and behavior of the
addicts and alcoholics they are counseling.
Offers an intermediate experience between the safe structured
environment of a treatment center and the less structured experiences
they will encounter when returning home.
Provides additional healing time valuable in learning and practicing
healthy styles of coping at daily mutual help group meetings.
Restoration of personal dignity and self esteem. 

Family involvment:

Recent News:


311 Jones Mill Road, 
Statesboro, GA 30458


"Willingway Hospital’s treatment program has evolved over nearly three
decades of helping those with alcohol or drug addiction. From an
inauspicious beginning where individuals were treated solely on an
outpatient basis, Willingway has grown into a hospital that is
internationally recognized as a leader in the treatment of alcohol and
drug abuse.

Willingway Hospital offers a full continuum of care for the treatment
of alcohol and drug dependency which ensures that patients are placed
in the most appropriate level of care depending on severity of the
illness. While each treatment program is tailored to the specific
needs of the individual, Willingway has a core treatment program which

Detoxification is the most intensive level of care Willingway
provides. Our detoxification unit is equipped to handle most acute
medical situations and for more than 30 years has provided the most
safe and consistent model of medical intervention available.

Inpatient/Residential treatment focuses on emotional stabilization,
education about the illness, development of recovery resources and
skills, and personal adoption of recovery principles. Day
Treatment/Partial Hospitalization is available for patients who no
longer need 24-hour, around the clock care, but do need more structure
than outpatient treatment would provide.

Intensive Outpatient is an evening program which provides at least 10
hours of therapy a week including a combination of didactic or
educational groups and process groups.

Family Program is an essential element in maintaining sobriety, the
spouse and/or other family members are expected to stay with the
patient during the last few days of hospital care. Together, they
participate in education programs, meetings with the attending
physician and counselors, aftercare conferences and family counseling

Aftercare is a plan that is jointly devised with the patient and
his/her counselor. It involves attending AA/NA meetings, having a
sponsor and living in a non-toxic environment conducive to a positive
recovery. Experience has shown that those who follow our aftercare
plan are more likely to maintain sobriety.

For a more in-depth description of the above services, go to "Levels
of Care" 



LAVERNA LODGE *** (Men only, No mention of DETOX)
1950 E. Greyhound Pass
Ste. 18, PMB 349
Carmel, IN 46033
Toll Free - 877-867 4330

"The mission of La Verna Lodge is to provide effective, cost
efficient, residential treatment for men in early recovery or relapse
from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. We believe Chemical
Dependency/Addiction/Alcoholism is a medical disease that is lifelong,
progressive, devastating to personal and family relationships, and
potentially fatal. We further believe that Chemical Dependency
frequently coexists with other addictions and/or psychiatric
disorders. This is why we believe Chemical Dependency, psychiatric
disorders and/or coexisting addictions must be treated simultaneously.

"Our residents are chemically dependent adult males with complex
recovery issues requiring a structured, yet flexible, treatment
environment. Some have had a history of relapse after previous
treatment or are currently at high risk for relapse. Others have
completed a primary treatment program but require the additional time,
support, and resources provided in a longer-term residential setting.

Treatment Program
"Our treatment program is clinically diverse, spiritually orientated,
and challenging. Residents participate in outside 12-step meetings and
build a foundation for lasting sobriety and recovery.The length of
stay at La Verna Lodge is variable (30-90 days) and depends on the
specific needs of each individual. However, we strongly believe that a
longer length of stay is preferable and most of our residents stay 90

"Newly recovering people need time and support to develop the
knowledge, insight, and skills necessary to build a firm foundation
and put their recovery into action. We allow them to "practice" what
they have learned in a safe and therapeutic environment.-Daily
"Community Meetings" address  management, activity and meeting 
schedules, resolve conflicts, and  celebrate milestones.
-Residents frequently participate in 12 Step program-sponsored events
and  activities.
-Learning to "have fun" in recovery is  encouraged not only through 
recreational activities, but by  also  encouraging an atmosphere where
 a  sense of humor is appreciated.


FATHER MARTINS ASHLEY **** (28-days may not be enough)
800 Tydings lane
Havre de Grace, MD

"Father Martin's Ashley offers residential treatment for men and
women. The program is built around a 28-day cycle of education and
therapy. Physicians, nurses, certified counselors, clergy, registered
dietitian, physical fitness trainer, and other staff create
individualized treatment plans for each patient. Progress is reviewed
regularly by our interdisciplinary team, and treatment is modified as

Through our staff psychiatrist and the Multimedia Center, patients may
receive help with special issues such as depression, anxiety, grief,
trauma, gambling, and eating disorders. It should be noted, however,
that Ashley does not offer primary treatment for gambling, nicotine,
or eating disorders.

(Read further for full details of treatment, including Detoxification)


FELLOWSHIP HALL ******* (Costly)
US Highway 29 North	
Greensboro, NC.27405
1-800-659-3381 or 1-333-621-7513

"Fellowship Hall was first surveyed by a national accreditation body,
the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
(JCAHO) in 1974, and has been continuously accredited by the
organization since that time.  It is licensed by the state of North
Carolina as a Substance Abuse Specialty Hospital. Fellowship Hall is
proud to have been included in the books Rehab and The 100 Best
Treatment Centers as one of the best chemical dependency treatment
centers in the United States.

Treatment: Click on each link for description (inpatient, outpatient,
therapy, etc)

The basis for all of Fellowship Hall's programs is derived from the
Twelve Step, Minnesota Model that encompasses 28 days of treatment.
Over the years, our program has grown to incorporate time-tested
techniques from the best of all disciplines that restore the
chemically dependent person in body, mind and spirit. Outcome studies
taken twelve months after each guest's completion of the Hall's
treatment program are well above the industry average, with nearly 70%
of our guests' maintaining their sobriety.
The goal at Fellowship Hall is to provide the best possible
opportunity for each guest to achieve lasting, comfortable abstinence
from all mood-altering chemicals. Through lectures, individual
counseling, group therapy, videotapes and physical exercise, guests
learn that they are suffering from an incurable, though treatable,
disease. The application of AA and NA principles, coupled with
individualized highly structured programming, prepares our guests to
begin productive, successful and emotionally rewarding lives.

All guests receive a thorough medical and clinical evaluation.
Detoxification needs are addressed, and medications are given in
amounts deemed necessary for safe withdrawal without over sedation.
Within 5 days after admission, a psychosocial evaluation is completed,
and after 7 days an integrative summary is completed, providing
comprehensive assessments of the individual requirements of each
guest, and assisting in the development of the individualized
treatment plan. The medical director is available to conduct
subsequent physical examinations and address medical concerns as they

Fellowship Hall has a counselor-to-guest ratio of 1:7 that enables us
to provide close monitoring and the special attention each guest needs
to assure the best possible opportunity for continued recovery. Upon
admission, each guest is assigned a primary counselor. One-on-one
counseling sessions provide each guest with individual assistance to
resolve issues that have helped promote his/ her addiction. The
counselors are experienced substance abuse professionals and are
specially trained to help the guest develop an understanding and
acceptance of the recovery principles in meaningful terms.

Gateway House:
"Fellowship Hall operates its own structured living home for men - the
Gateway House. Residence at the Gateway House of 4-6 weeks is
available to qualified male guests in the Hall's treatment continuum.
The period of time a guest stays at the House complements the
intensive outpatient program by providing an extra layer of structure
to the men who live there. Guests at the Gateway House are able to
strengthen their commitment to their recovery before returning to
their homes."

"Fellowship Hall is an accredited hospital and bills on a
services-rendered basis. The daily room rates include room, meals, and
alcohol/chemical dependency therapy. *The average cost of four weeks
of inpatient treatment is $9,500.* Many health insurance companies
cover the cost of treatment, and can be verified through our
Admissions Office.


Mill Spring, NC


Treatment and Admissions
When a client requests admission, the intake staff assesses the needs
and recommends a specific course of treatment.  A client is most
likely to experience successful recovery by participating in the full
program (up to 60 days), which includes two important stages.

STAGE ONE:  Provides a safe, structured atmosphere and includes
individual and group counseling, educational sessions, equine therapy,
physical wellness, and at least five 12-step meetings a week. Medical
and psychiatric management are supervised by our Medical Director. 
Stage One deals with early recovery issues, the identificaton of the
consequences, and breaking down the denial.  Clients can be admitted
365 days per year prior to entering Stage Two
STAGE TWO:  Focuses on "core" addictions, addiction-interaction
disorder, and the self-defeating behaviors that stand in the way of
healthy living.  In-depth treatment includes family of origin issues,
grief work, belief systems, and sexual, emotional and/or spiritual
abuse. Daily therapy focuses on tools of recovery, solutions, and
regaining emotional and spiritual integrity. These closed group
sessions, where clients begin and end a session together, last four
weeks and are held consecutively throughout the year.

Medical and psychiatric assessment/treatment that Includes counseling,
24-hour nursing, and detoxification if necessary.  The Medical
Director, based on individual client need, will order prescription
medications. (Medical care is provided to address the general health
needs of the client.)

(Accepts males and females 18 and older)  




"Inpatient Treatment - Comprehensive inpatient treatment is provided
for those individuals needing a 24 hour supportive, structured
atmosphere.  This level of treatment also provides medical and nursing
services which include detoxification."

Treatment Centers


219 North Montgomery Ave
Memphis, TN  38104
(901) 272-7751
(Toll Free) 866-MRC-REST (866-672-7378)
Adult Services: (also offers detox)

 Memphis Recovery Centers Outcome Statistics: In an independent study
completed in August 2001, Seventy-One Percent of individuals who had
participated in treatment at Memphis Recovery Centers remained
completely abstinent from any use of alcohol or drugs (based on
six-month follow-up survey)


BURNING TREE RECOVERY RANCH ** (does not offer detox)
P.O. Box 757
Kaufman, TX 75142

Relapse Prevention Program

What is the length of stay?
 Minimum commitment of ninety days, with the average length of stay
being 6 months. LOS is determined by the client’s progress in

What is it that makes Burning Tree Recovery Ranch different from other
 We specialize in treating the relapsing adult, and we expect a very
high degree of accountability in every area of our client’s lives. The
length of time we have with our clients also separates us from other
treatment facilities.

Do you take insurance?
 We do not take insurance we are private pay only.

What kind of success rate do you have?
 Of the people who successfully complete treatment 81% are staying

What is the cost for treatment? 
 $5000.00 per month + a $1000.00 medical deposit. 

Why long term treatment?
 We work with clients with whom 30-day treatment has not worked. The
longer length of stay enables us to work on solutions to the things
that were missed in past treatment episodes. Extensive research and
our own outcome surveys show that the longer the treatment stay the
client is less likely to relapse. With the longer length of stay we
have enough time to create habits and lifestyles that are conducive to
long term recovery.

(Read further)


LA HACIENDA *** (various ages and groups, no info on length of stay
La Hacienda Treatment Center
Hunt, Texas

Programs (offers detox)


Additional References

"The 100 Best Treatment Centers for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse," by
Linda Sunshine and John W. Wright. Avon Books.

"This book is designed to help families find the outstanding inpatient
treatment centers. Only a decade ago, the public perception of these
treatment centers was as the last resort for the hopeless alcoholic.
Today, however, thanks in part to the media’s attention, most people
realize that an addicted person should not have to reach "rock
bottom," or be "in the gutter" before effective treatment can be
offered. In fact, there’s strong evidence that, as with other chronic
diseases, early treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction can have
significantly more positive results, especially over the long term.

Unlike any other rating book in the field, our recommendations are
based exclusively on the informed opinions of professionals actively
working with alcoholics and other chemically dependent people and
their families. In fact, virtually all of those whose advice and
counsel we sought are directly involved with selecting treatment
centers and monitoring the outcomes of the care they provide; they
include psychiatrists, psychologists, family therapists, social
workers, certified addiction counselors, and administrators of
corporate programs for employees with substance-abuse problems.

Please read this enlightening information from the Cleveland Clinic on
how to choose a rehabilitation facility. Go through all pages.

"How To Choose a Doctor and Hospital for Your Treatment." 


 I hope the treatment centers I have highlighted are promising. Please
let me know if I can help you further. I will do my best to provide
the information you need!

 I truly wish you all the best!


Search Strategy

National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
(I searched through the entire site, clicking on links in all states
and narrowing down the facilities that seemed promising. There were
MANY facilities with no websites. You may be interested in calling
some of them in states that interest you.)
I looked through various listings.

Google Search Strategy
best alcohol treatment centers
+top-rated +alcohol treatment centers
alcohol rehabilitation centers
residential treatment +alcohol

Request for Answer Clarification by johnster-ga on 23 Jun 2003 13:45 PDT
Hi Umiat,

Sorry it took so long to answer, but I've been reading the response,
studying it and looking up some centers.

Here are my comments:

I thought it would be a tough assignment since I've done some of my
own research and a friend who is more adept at internet research did
some looking as well. Apparently, there are no clear-cut answers on
which centers are the "best".

You mentioned a Forbes article. When did it appear and from where did
you get this information? It would be very interesting.

Was cost a major factor in your decisions on which ones looked the
best? I noticed at Fellowship Hall is very costly. It is but some are
more costly including one that is $40,000 a year (my research). Did
you exclude any centers because they were higher than Fellowship, say
15,000 or $20,000?
If so I'd like you to relook at some you may have omitted.

I have the book you referred to, the 100 Best Treatment Centers, and
although somewhat helpful, it was published in 1988 and some centers
are gone and some have been opened since then. Just a comment.

Of the programs you sent me, the most appealing, at least on paper,
was St. Martins Ashley. The description of the program was more to my
liking with a complete evaluation of the individual including
psychological, fitness, etc.
I would like a program with a comprehensive program of treatment.

Also, I would like a program that offers some freedoms including time
away from the campus either on field trips or on your own. This is
usually after your first few days (usually 7).

I read about Fellowship Hall and looked at their website and although
part of the program sounds interesting, the schedule and their
philosophy sounds too structured and almost like a boot camp. Lights
on and lights off. I want a program with less structure and more

On Tabot Hall in Georgia, you said many health care people go there
for treatment themselves. Where did you get that reference?

I know you ranked these centers with the stars and apparently,
Fellowship Hall got your vote. However, did you get a feel for a
center that had more professionals and more alcholics than drug

I know this is a hard search and I will definitely tip you but I may
ask you to do some more research.



Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 23 Jun 2003 16:19 PDT
Hi, Johnster,

 I understand this is a difficult undertaking. Choosing the right
facility is hard. I suggest you don't rush into something, but take
your time calling facilities and talking to the admissions staff. They
will often tell you more than what is on the website.

Q. "Was cost a major factor in your decisions on which ones looked the

No, actually. My criteria for choosing the facilites was based on
several major factors:

Inpatient treatment that lasted at least three weeks or longer
Complete psychological evaluations, with credible medical personel
Detoxification (hopefully)
More upscale than facilities catering to the ordinary community or
indigent population
Primarily adults
Follow-up treatment after inpatient (hopefully a recovery house of
some sort in case you felt you needed more support)
Fitness component a plus

I felt, from your question, that you wanted an inpatient treatment
program that was longer than the 2-week program you had previously
tried. I also knew you desired detoxification if possible.

Many of the facilities I encountered had no inpatient services at all,
or at most, a three day stay.

Of the facilities I did list, I believe all have a strong component of
psychological evaluation. Most have recreational facilities as well.

* The Promises Program in California seems to cater to upscale
clientele and offers recreation and fitness as well as excellent

As far as my ****** go, you might have read a bit too much into them
in terms of my rating Fellowship Hall the best. I was not particulary
responsible when placing the exact number of asteriks next to each
facility I felt was most suitable. The asteriks merely meant that
those facilities seemed to stand out as better options than the rest.
I'm sorry if I misled you in that respect.

Q. "On Tabot Hall in Georgia, you said many health care people go
for treatment themselves. Where did you get that reference?

(Look on the right side bar):
 "TRC has the most experience in assessing and treating physicians &
health professionals of any alcohol and drug treatment center in

 Talbot was originally a treatment center for healthcare professionals
- "While earning a recognition as a place where "healers go to be
healed": - but has now opened its doors to others. "After many years
of success in treating health professionals, Talbott Recovery Campus
made a decision to offer our highly effective treatment model to
individuals from all occupations and backgrounds. A significant number
of our patients are non-health professionals, from other walks of
life, who have found the Talbott Recovery Campus treatment program
highly effective."

A description of their "Professionals Program":

Q. "You mentioned a Forbes article. When did it appear and from where
you get this information? It would be very interesting.
 I actually got the reference from Gateway Rehabilitation Center in

"Gateway has earned a national reputation as a pioneer and leader in
the field. Cited
as one of the top 12 rehabilitation programs in the country in a
survey conducted
by Forbes magazine, and named one of the best treatment centers in
Rehab and
The 100 Best Treatment Centers, guides to addiction care, Gateway's
to quality care and excellence in treatment is widely acclaimed.

Adult Treatment:

- Treatment
     Residential Inpatient
     Partial Hospitalization
     Intensive Outpatient
     Outpatient Counseling
     Halfway House
 - Specialty Treatment
     Dual Disorders
     Family Groups
     Public Housing Program

- Specialized Services
     Drug, Alcohol and
       Tobacco Awareness
     Student Tobacco
       Offenders Program
     Youth Intervention and
       Diversion Program

 Recovering Professionals Group
 Adventure-Based Counseling 

The only facility that provides inpatient services is

Gateway Rehabilitation Center 412.766.8700
Tom Rutter House
Moffett House 724/378-6249
Moffett Run Road
Aliquippa, PA 15001
 *Inpatient, outpatient, halfway house

*** The reason I did not include this reference was because there was
no informtion about the length of the inpatient program or the type of
counseling. However, if it seems of interest to you, you should
definitely give them a call. I don't know what their "Adventure-Based
counseling" entails, but it may be a recreational form of therapy.


 I have just uncovered a Forbes article (not the same one) titled
"Drying out in Style," by Alan Farnham.

 If you read the article, you can click on a link for each facility
and there is a brief description plus the website. Beware though! They
can cost up to $1,300 a day!

For your convenience, I am posting the names and websites here:

PASSAGES (California)

"The World's most effective residential treatment program."

"Why Choose Passages?


Typical stay: 28 days. Cost: $750 per day 



Cost: $1,200 per day. Capacity: 140 patients. 

(This is one I had looked at previously and had discounted due to



The standard stay (28 days) costs $18,000. 

Program Offerings
(I had looked at this previously and discounted it due to cost and the
fact that there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on "new-age type
treatment" like vitamin therapy, Indian "sweat lodges, etc.,)


(Saw this and discounted it because it is in Thailand)


Poinciana at Palm Beach

(Previously saw this and discounted it because it is only detox)


 Unfortunately, as much as I know you would like to be in a facility
primarily geared toward alcohol treatment, it just seems that they all
include some other substance abusers as well. Even the Betty Ford
Center includes chemical addiction.

 I had discounted the following treatment center as well, because they
do not seem to offer a long inpatient program. However, they do cater
to professionals as well, so it might be worth looking into.

Alternatives in Treatment
7601 N. Federal Hwy. Suite 100B
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(800) 622-0866
(561) 998-0866

 "In addition to being available to the general public, Alternatives
also addresses the needs of impaired professionals - physicians,
nurses, attorneys, pilots and other licenses subgroups, many of whom
have been helped to reverse the cycle of addiction in their lives in a
setting of caring confidentiality, to return, in quality recovery, to
their respective professions."



Lakeside Milam Recovery Centers

is another well-respected facility that I considered. However, there
is no description of length of inpatient treatment, and I thought
there might be comparable facilities closer to the east coast.


Basically, this is a long, involved search. There are literally
thousands of treatment programs offered, but it is very hard to find
the right one.

If you want to look through some lists by state, please visit the
"Substance Abuse Facility Locator" at At the
bottom, you can click on every individual state. Then, it is a matter
of wading through the descriptions and seeing which one offers
inpatient treatment, detox, etc. However, you at least have the option
of narrowing down facilities by state if you want.

Let me know what you think!


Request for Answer Clarification by johnster-ga on 23 Jun 2003 17:28 PDT
I promise this is last one. 

Did you check chat rooms or are you able to with your system? I forgot
to ask you and I don't know what chat rooms you'd enter but I wonder
if there are room where people have discussed recovery and the centers
where they went.

If you can and you think you can pull up some interesting information,
I'll make this worthwhile for you. As it stands now, you've done
another great job and I'll give you that rating and a nicer tip than

Some feedback:

I haven't checked out all of the sites yet that you provided, but
Promises Malibu is right up my alley. The property looks very nice but
beyond that, they treat "dual disorders"(addiction and psych problems)
and the staff reflects that. On the other hand, Cornerstone seems to
have more administrative and "corrections" staff than professional

I'll have to find out how much Promises charges but it looks very

A little info on one of the centers you said was in the Forbes
article, Desert Canyon in Sonora AZ. It is somewhat expensive and I
visited it not too long ago along with Sierra Tucson. Desert Canyon,
not only is alternative, which I wanted to check out but it is in a
very small house. The patients and staff are literally on top of one
another. It is a small ranch house with about 20 people in it. Sierra
Tucson, by the way, is apparently not the most expensive center, as
you revealed others in Forbes, but it is the $40,000 one I referred to
in my previous emails.

Thank you for your help and please let me know about the chat rooms.


Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 23 Jun 2003 17:54 PDT

 I will get on a further search a bit later tonight, since I have to
go to a meeting. Meanwhile, if there are any other criteria you can
think of, please feel free to pinpoint it in the next few hours. I
will do my best to look into everything for you! By the
rooms and forums are a great idea. I will look into those for you.

Request for Answer Clarification by johnster-ga on 23 Jun 2003 19:23 PDT

My perfect rehab or recovery center would be from Texas to the East. (
I was, however, a little wary of the hospital in Statesboro, Ga. I
know that part of the South really well).

It would be moderately priced at no more than $500/day.

It would offer detox.

It would offer dual disorders treatment

It would offer individualized treatment. Alot of the centers claim
that but then describe their programs and sound like a typical

It would not be a boot camp either in "wilderness" techniques nor a
rigid, structured schedule from 6:00a.m to 9:00 p.m.

I would like some freedom. Some programs offer field trips or some
honor-system programs. I was looking at a program which has offices in
Boca Raton and Clear Lake Texas called The Watershed. They're on the
net. They sound like something I'd be interested in but several calls
in the last few days from different people makes me wonder if they
need clients. I just called last Friday.

As for freedom, I think it's important because you'll be returning to
a home environment which has no restrictions.

As for length of time, I certainly don't want anything more than 30
days unless they prove that time is critical. One center you mentioned
recommened six months and unless they are proven correct, I don't want
it. It's what you do after treatment that counts. As far as the two
week center I went to, I don't think necessarily that time was the
problem, rather I think it was a poor program and posssibly my
motivations weren't the best.

As far as confinement, the $40,000 dollar center had a nice campus but
it was relatively compact for 75 clients and all fo the staff. It was
in the middle of the desert 20 miles North of Tucson and there was no
place to walk except on the small campus. Although there were no
fences, the staff person who showed me around who's going to go
anywhere?, there's no place to go.

Other perfections would be professional(as much as possible) clients,
40 somethings, and mostly alchoholics. One reason I didn't do well at
AA was there were people with a multitude of problems which included
DUIs, crime,
drugs, and were primarily smokers. I've experience none of those.

Since I listed my desirable center in no certain order, I would like
to recap:

Dual Disorder Treatment
Excercise Fitness Program, comprehensive program
Moderately priced, $500 day or less
Complete Individualized program or treatment
A small program with professionals, mostly alchohol
Freedom/ Responsibilities

I hope this helps.

Good luck and Thanks for your help. Remember Promises Malibu and The
Wathershed seemed interesting.

Take Care

Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 24 Jun 2003 00:20 PDT

 Please read the following article for some interesting inside
perspectives on the Betty Ford Center, Promises Malibu and Spencer
Recovery Center:

"Clean & sober: the essential guide to drug rehab centers," by Kari
Mozena. April, 2002

 Promises Malibu treats a lot of that something
you would like or not? It is also VERY expensive.....about $30,000 for
30 days.

 Also, you might consider Promises Westside instead. I had mentioned
it in my initial answer but it is worth another look.It is only about
$19,000 for 30 days,(according to the above article) and offers the
same treatment but in a less plush setting. It also offers
recreational therapy and physical fitness and has a dual-diagnosis

 The Betty Ford Clinic is more affordable than Promises Malibu, and it
certainly has an excellent reputation. Although not listed on the
website, I would bet they have a fitness component and excellent staff
that deals very directly with mental health issues as well as
substance abuse. I would recommend looking into the Betty Ford clinic
again, especially after reading the article I mentioned above.


Spencer Recovery Center (offers detox)
Laguna Beach, California
JCAHO Accredited
(800) 334-0394

(according to the above article, cost is about $14,700 for 30 days, or

Problems, Programs and Treatment: (Read entire page)
 Inpatient Program: The three phases of this program consist of
medical detoxification, primary rehabilitation, and family days. A
specially trained team provides an environment conducive to recovery
for both the individual and the family. Length of stay for this
program varies, based upon individual need.
Primary Care: This 21 or 28 day inpatient program encourages patients
to recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In addition to
individual, group, and family therapy, our approach includes exercise,
meditation, and good nutrition.

Alcoholism Treatment:
"Our psychologist addresses the emotional and destructive thought
patterns that need to be reversed in alcoholism treatment. Frequently,
emotional disorders are either covered up by drinking or made worse by
drinking. Spencer Recovery Centers has a whole team of licensed
counselors that can help reshape thinking patterns and help our
clients identify problems early before they develop into a crisis.
This is achieved through a cognitive-behavioral approach. Once again
addressing the mind as well as the body for effective alcoholism
treatment. Individual counseling along with group therapy and family
sessions if appropriate are a cornerstone to recovery."

Our location in the heart of Laguna Beach allows for daily beach
activities and a personal trainer is provided for those clients
desiring daily workouts. Clients can meet with a wellness coordinator
to address holistic health and environmental detoxification concerns.
We believe in taking a wellness approach to drug addiction treatment
and offer options not generally found in most drug rehabilitation or
alcohol rehabilitation centers.


TRANSITIONS RECOVERY PROGRAM (I think this program has what you want)
1928 NE 154th Street 
North Miami Beach, FL 33162 
LOCAL PHONE (305) 949-9001
TOLL FREE (800) 626-1980

Dual Diagnosis/Anxiety Disorders


Transitions has a multidisciplinary staff working together to bring
each individual the best possible recovery care available. It is
comprised of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists,
therapists, counselors, and specialists in the addiction and
behavioral health fields. Transitions offers the unique opportunity
for the client to participate in a customized treatment program.

Residential Treatment Program (includes customized fitness regimen)

Transitions recognizes that some people in the early stages of
recovery can benefit from care in a residential setting that will
allow for a more gradual transition back to work, their family, and
the community. The residential program is designed to address this
need by providing intensive ongoing clinical care, as well as the
structure and support necessary in a reality-based environment.
Clients reside in a two-bedroom, two-bath, fully furnished apartment
with access to amenities such as a pool, patio area, tennis courts,
and volleyball. At Transitions, we believe that incorporating a health
diet and a customized fitness regimen serve to greatly enhance the
treatment experience and promote a healthy, active, sober lifestyle.

Residential treatment is designed to move a patient through the
treatment process by "phases" offering groups, psycho-educational
presentations and individual therapy as well as a strong emphasis on
12-step meeting attendance and acquiring and developing a relationship
with a sponsor.

In addition to a strong base in early recovery skills, the residential
program at Transitions is complimented by a focus on such issues as
relationships, assertiveness, anger management, co-existing mental
health conditions, spirituality and relapse prevention. This facility
provides a supportive environment for men and women to gain an
in-depth understanding of their personal recovery needs, to develop
healthy coping skills and practice the changes necessary for ongoing


Argyle, Texas

You might take a look at this. At first glance it looks good, offering
inpatient, individualized treatment, an exercise component, a
reasonable price and a more professional population of clients.
However, on closer look, you might not like the fact that there is one
unusual group they also serve...(Sante also offers clinical expertise
in treating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals) Now,
if you don't mind this, the program sounds quite good.

One other concern I had.....The staff does not look very
extraordinary. Other than the Medical Director/Psychiatrist, everyone
else is merely some degree of social worker.

Population Primarily Served:

General Population 
Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, and Pharmacists 
Therapists and Counselors 
Other Health Care Professionals 
Attorneys, Judges, and other Law Enforcement Professionals 
Corporate Executives 
Professional Athletes 

"Participating daily in a physical activity is an essential component
of recovery. Both morning and afternoon classes such as aerobics,
weight training, stretch class and run/walk program are part of our
treatment schedule. Our indoor swimming pool, basketball court and
fitness equipment offer additional options."


Message Boards

Sober Recovery Message Boards

(I didn't find much here about facilities, but it might be a good
reference for you in case you want to look around a bit)

Recovery Forums & Message Boards (links to several forums)


 At this point, I think we have uncovered the best options. However, I
still suggest you look through the "Substance Abuse Facility Locator"
at by state,
just to satisfy yourself.

 By the way, I also agree that the Watershed sounds like a good
facility. It is a bit strange, however, that they have hounded you
with phone calls. Maybe you should trust your gut instinct on that


 I certainly have enjoyed helping you. I only wish I had the majical
ability to know the perfect treatment center for you. I think you will
have to narrow it down to the few you feel will serve you the best,
make some phone calls, and then put all your determination into
getting the very best out of the treatment. I believe that is the
major part of the battle.

 Do me a favor, if you are willing, and let me know in a future
comment which facility you have decided to try. And then, farther down
the road, after you have completed the treatment, send me another
comment and tell me how you are faring. Even if it is several months
from now, this question will pop up to the top of my list with the new

 I wish you the very best, and commend you for undertaking such a
personal, and much needed challenge. And, I truly admire your honesty.

johnster-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $75.00
This researcher did his/her best with this difficult search. I would
use this service again.

Subject: Re: Ranking or Rating the best alcohol recovery or rehab centers
From: umiat-ga on 24 Jun 2003 09:10 PDT
Wow! Thank you for you generosity, johnster.

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