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Alternative to Meds Center

4.4 Great (19 Reviews) |
/
4.4
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
40 Goodrow Lane
Sedona, Arizona 86336

Financial & Insurance Details

  • Insurance
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Financing

Services

  • Residential Neighborhood

Facility Highlights

Medication Withdrawal Tapering

Antidepressant Withdrawal and Medication Tapering

Antipsychotic Withdrawal and Medication Tapering

Philosophy

Our treatments are strategically designed to correct both addiction and mental health issues. We address the physical, emotional and spiritual facets of each individual to create the proper stage for lasting recovery. We understand the medical and biochemical causes of mental health symptoms and addiction, and we treat these underlying problems with scientifically proven methods of integrated treatment. Lack of brain balancing nutrients, toxic drugs and other poisons we may have accumulated over a lifetime can create drug and alcohol cravings as well as interrupt the balance of brain chemicals that are normally associated with a healthy mental state. We not only address this balance with customized top-shelf programs for nutrition and detoxification but also with medication tapering, counseling, exercise and yoga, supplementation, organic diets, acupuncture, colonics, and other environmental medicine therapies.

Facility Center Details

  • Residential Treatment
  • Detox Services
  • Behavioral Disorder Treatment
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Outpatient Services
  • Intensive Outpatient Services
  • Sober Living Home
  • Day School
  • Private Rooms
  • Pet Friendly
  • Exceptionally LGBT Friendly
  • Men Only
  • Women Only

Accreditation/License

  • CARF
  • JCAHO
  • ADP
  • NAATP

Disclaimer

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Meet The Staff

Dr. Samuel Lee
Medical Director

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative methodologies. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself. He serves as the medical director at Alternative To Meds Center. Through an emphasis on breathwork and other natural healing techniques, he helps residents to feel empowered to overcome their programming, conditioning, and traumas so that they can realize the greatness that lies within themselves. He empowers each resident to discover the best version of themselves. He educates clients about the natural healing modalities that can treat the root cause of their issues, rather than focusing on symptomatic management. His goal is to give clients tools to take them to the next step on their healing journey so that they are empowered to treat themselves. He also helps clients to overcome the stigma of their programming of diagnoses and helps them to see beyond labels. By treating the root cause, he helps clients to see the true cause of their illness rather than the labels they may have been given previously. He enjoys working at ATMC because of the passion that all staff members have to help residents to succeed in their goals. He also enjoys the family environment of the team and the positive intention and commitment of each staff member to truly help residents to get better.

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Libby Smith, PhD
Clinical Director

Libby Smith or “Dr. Libby” as many of her friends and clients affectionately call her, is an educator, counselor, author, Chair of the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals, and an Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Practitioner. Libby as two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees, and is currently working on third Master’s in Addiction Counseling at Grand Canyon University. She holds two doctoral degrees: One in Holistic Theology and the other in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis on health and sociology, from Northern Arizona University. She has been teaching at colleges and universities for over twenty-five years including Northern Arizona University and Wichita State University and has written and published several books including her most recent, “What’s the Matter?” She has been an international speaker at the International Conference for Science and Consciousness. Dr. Libby is certified in Regression Therapy, Life Coaching, Hypnosis, Reiki (level 1) and as a Heartmath Practitioner. Her Equine Therapy Business is called Wind Horse Wellness LLC. Over the past eight years, she has worked as a counselor in both Behavioral Health and Substance Use arenas and currently works as a Therapist at Alternatives to Medications Center. She is the owner and CEO of Wind Horse Wellness LLC located in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has a heart for service and is honored to be working with the administration, staff, and patients at Alternatives to Meds Center.

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User Reviews

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2.0
N/A
Horrible experience. The center promises medical support, which in reality is a daytime only nurse and one hard-to-reach doctor. The carers are young students with little to no experience. The rooms are clean but there is no way to signal for help if needed. No phone, intercom, etc. If you fall, go unconscious, whatever, you will only be discovered by chance for there are no regular check-ups by staff. The food was nicely prepared but dry. They got me off of my antidepressant but then forcibly discharged me when my mental illness returned. What did they think was going to happen once I was off of the antidepressant?? It was a total waste of $25,000.
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
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5.0
Excellent
Today I am home and completely off of cymbalta with minimal effects … thanks to one month at Alternative to Meds Center, I’m back to being me … The incredibly caring staff helped me over the month I was there with the withdraw process. I am a mother of 3 and a Family Nurse Practitioner. Approximately 8 years ago, I was prescribed Cymbalta 60 mg daily, an SNRI, for PMDD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Dysthymia. It helped for a short time but, after a few years, I noticed that it was not helping any longer. Unfortunately, I kept taking it because it was told to me that it is best for my brain “chemistry” that I do so. It was suggested to me to up the dosage to 120 mg many times; however, I refused. In 2011, I missed a dose. The withdraw symptoms started within hours of missing the dose. Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms included: Tremor, rage, uncontrollable crying spells, severe nausea, some vomiting, palpitations, lower back pain (that never occurred before or during taking cymbalta), inability to get words out, moments of dissociation. This made me angry that missing one dose can cause such incapacitating symptoms. I requested to the physician to help me wean off the medication as it no longer helps and I did not like to be “stuck” or in my eyes, “addicted” to any medication because of the terrible withdraw it causes. I was told to wean from 60 to 40 to 20 mg over 6 weeks and then stop. I did as directed, but once I hit 0 cymbalta, the same symptoms returned at full force. I was dealing with these constant symptoms all while trying to work and run a household. By 6 weeks in, I could not longer handle the symptoms and was told by the physician to go back on the cymbalta as I would need it “for the rest of my life”. I didn’t like the idea; however, I did so just so I could function in my daily life. Fast forward to June, 2012. The same thing happened, I missed a dose which threw me back into the withdraw symptoms yet again. I decided I could not accept being on this medication just to avoid the terrible withdraw. I went to another doctor that agreed to help and started to wean me up on prozac and down on cymbalta. The withdraw symptoms continued, although not as severe. I was still unable to probably perform my activities of daily living. I was afraid and frustrated. I didn’t know what to do. My husband found online the Alternative to Medications Center and everything started falling into place. I was admitted to the facility in Sept., 2012. I stayed on my current dosage of cymbalta for my first week while titrating multiple supplements for detox. I was also detoxing in the sauna, which unimaginably helped decrease the withdrawal symptoms to almost nil. The other treatments such as the diet change, detox foot baths, glutathione treatments, massage and Reiki also helped tremendously. Today I am home and completely off of cymbalta with minimal effects. It has been a hard 2 years, but thanks to one month at Alternative to Meds Center, I’m back to being me. Becky
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
More
5.0
Excellent
In the 3 years prior to coming to ATMC, I had been in and out of treatment and put on various different medications for anxiety and depression. Upon arriving at ATMC, I was on Zoloft, Risperdone, Cogentin, and Geodon; medications which had left me feeling sedated and hopeless, unable to manage my life. My anxiety was terrible, and I spent my days wavering in and out of depression. I had cried so many tears, my life had fallen apart so many times, and the judgmental eye of doctors had convinced me that there was something wrong with me. Meanwhile, I was spiritually broken. I was lost and I was tired. ATMC truly gave me a new lease on life and was a place where real healing could be done. During my two months at ATMC I tapered off almost all of my meds with no side-effects. The supplements provided to me helped me tremendously with my symptoms, which I could not have foreseen. I had energy again! Actually more than ever! And I discovered a will to live life which is now so strong. The staff were overwhelmingly friendly, conscientious, and open-hearted. Frankly, their kindness and manner were inspirational. From day one they took me in with open arms and provided a safe environment for me to process past trauma, learn how to relieve symptoms, grow spiritually, and gave me real insight and hope into my future. For the first time in so long, life seemed so beautiful and I was no longer in pain, waiting for an answer. Returning home, I take my experience at ATMC with me in so many ways. Not only the healthy lifestyle I practiced there, but the spiritual well-being that comes with it. I am no longer worried about anxiety and depression coming in the way of my life. I am so grateful for my experience here. It has changed my life in so many ways.
Treatment Effectiveness
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5.0
Excellent
I have met some of the most courageous and amazing people here at Alternative to Meds Center. If you are here, or if you are contemplating a stay at Alternative to Meds Center, here’s my parting advice: Give it to yourself because you deserve it. Work the program. It can be difficult but you will emerge as a new and improved person. This was one the best gifts I ever gave to myself. Trust the process and trust the staff. They have your back. My single biggest shout out goes to Lyle Murphy, the founder of Alternative to Meds Center. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He took his personal misfortunate and turned it into an absolute gift for humanity. He created a place where people can be truly healed and not simply medicated into submission by the pharmaceutical industry. His commitment and vision saved my life and I will forever be indebted to him. He is an extraordinary man.
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
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5.0
Excellent
Today I am home and completely off of cymbalta with minimal effects … thanks to one month at Alternative to Meds Center, I’m back to being me … The incredibly caring staff helped me over the month I was there with the withdraw process. I am a mother of 3 and a Family Nurse Practitioner. Approximately 8 years ago, I was prescribed Cymbalta 60 mg daily, an SNRI, for PMDD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Dysthymia. It helped for a short time but, after a few years, I noticed that it was not helping any longer. Unfortunately, I kept taking it because it was told to me that it is best for my brain “chemistry” that I do so. It was suggested to me to up the dosage to 120 mg many times; however, I refused. In 2011, I missed a dose. The withdraw symptoms started within hours of missing the dose. Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms included: Tremor, rage, uncontrollable crying spells, severe nausea, some vomiting, palpitations, lower back pain (that never occurred before or during taking cymbalta), inability to get words out, moments of dissociation. This made me angry that missing one dose can cause such incapacitating symptoms. I requested to the physician to help me wean off the medication as it no longer helps and I did not like to be “stuck” or in my eyes, “addicted” to any medication because of the terrible withdraw it causes. I was told to wean from 60 to 40 to 20 mg over 6 weeks and then stop. I did as directed, but once I hit 0 cymbalta, the same symptoms returned at full force. I was dealing with these constant symptoms all while trying to work and run a household. By 6 weeks in, I could not longer handle the symptoms and was told by the physician to go back on the cymbalta as I would need it “for the rest of my life”. I didn’t like the idea; however, I did so just so I could function in my daily life. Fast forward to June, 2012. The same thing happened, I missed a dose which threw me back into the withdraw symptoms yet again. I decided I could not accept being on this medication just to avoid the terrible withdraw. I went to another doctor that agreed to help and started to wean me up on prozac and down on cymbalta. The withdraw symptoms continued, although not as severe. I was still unable to probably perform my activities of daily living. I was afraid and frustrated. I didn’t know what to do. My husband found online the Alternative to Medications Center and everything started falling into place. I was admitted to the facility in Sept., 2012. I stayed on my current dosage of cymbalta for my first week while titrating multiple supplements for detox. I was also detoxing in the sauna, which unimaginably helped decrease the withdrawal symptoms to almost nil. The other treatments such as the diet change, detox foot baths, glutathione treatments, massage and Reiki also helped tremendously. Today I am home and completely off of cymbalta with minimal effects. It has been a hard 2 years, but thanks to one month at Alternative to Meds Center, I’m back to being me. Becky
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
More
5.0
Excellent
I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I can trace it back to 4th grade, when my family moved and I had to switch schools. It was difficult for me and I became a “nervous child”. I was also called a worrywart. I was the oldest of seven children and I felt like I always had to watch over my little brothers, to keep them safe. I also tried too hard to please my parents, and I often felt negative energy coming from them and I believed if I behaved, that bad energy would go away. I felt things deeply, but had to hide those feelings.I learned this at an early age and things just piled up inside as I got older, manifesting as anxiety. I had been taking Alprazolam (Xanax) in various doses on and off for the last twenty years, and consistently for the past ten years. I was first given this medication when I went to rehab to quit drinking. Because I was given it in rehab, by a psychiatrist, I figured it was okay. Originally it was a much larger dose. The longer I was sober, the lower my dosage became, with me eventually quitting. However I’d pick it up every now and then when things became too much for me. I was completely off of it in 2008, and had been for a few years, when my sister-in-law (brother’s wife) was killed by a hit and run drunk driver. This devastated our family and I went to my doctor to be put back on a small dose (one .25 mg tablet per day) of Alprazolam. For ten years this very small dose was enough. I never felt high, or tired, just “normal”. My husband jokes that my idle runs higher than most, and taking this medication seemed to give me exactly what I needed. Again, because my doctor prescribed it (and continued to keep prescribing it) I felt it was ok. It never occurred to me that I was never really sober. Over the years I titrated down on my own, to ¼ of .25 mg table, taking it only at night to sleep. It was my intention to be free of the drug by the end of the year. I felt confident I could do this. Yet each time I tried I would panic and not be able to get off. A few doctors assured me I could quit cold turkey and not have any side-effects, but every time I skipped a day my anxiety would come roaring back. I decided not to try to quit, and just stay on this very low dose. My doctor seemed okay with my decision. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was a bad idea, but I was not willing or able to deal with it at this point. In June of 2018 I had my hip replaced after a fall I suffered the year before. I had broken my ankle and once I was up and walking again I noticed a pain in my hip that I didn’t have before. I tried all sorts of alternative therapies and while they helped a bit with the pain, they never really took it away. I’ve never been good with pain or illness. It scares me and so I began taking more Xanax to help me deal with the pain in my body. This went on for about a year and a half and I felt it helped me with the anxiety I had about my body. I asked my doctor to increase the amount of pills I received each month. I thought that someday after my surgery I’d go back to a lower dosage and eventually quit. That never happened. What did happen was that it felt like the drugs were no longer working. I needed more and more and they still didn’t calm me down. My anxiety was higher than it had ever been and it affected my breathing. Because of this I couldn’t sleep, no matter how much of the drugs I took. Nothing seemed normal any longer. I felt my body had betrayed me and I had many sleepless nights. On the nights I couldn’t sleep I took more Xanax and the day after a sleepless night my anxiety skyrocketed so I took even more Xanax. I realized I was going to run out and so I asked my doctor for more. She refused. I had a new primary care provider and asked her for a prescription and she also refused. I realized I was going to have to do something, as I was running low, so I asked for a nighttime sleep aid, so I wouldn’t have to take as much of the Xanax, thus allowing me to have more for the daytime. It never occurred to me to quit.I was too far in. This went on for a few months and then it was the holidays. I had family come out and while it was great to see them, it was very stressful. I was working and entertaining them with little to no sleep. I was taking a sleeping pill almost every night and the increased dose of Xanax during the day. I was having trouble breathing, stomach problems, and the anxiety continued despite the drugs. One morning I was meditating and asked God to help me with this addiction. Later in the day I was driving home from the gym and I heard “Alternative to Meds” drop into my head.I remembered it was a place a friend of a friend had looked into years ago. It was one of those “divine guidance” moments that I knew I couldn’t ignore. I went home and began Googling and less then a week later I checked into ATMC. I’m so glad I did! I’ve never been inpatient in any type of facility and I had no idea what to expect. The fact that it was just down the road made it so easy! My husband drove me and sat with me through the intake process. From the first phone call, and throughout the intake everyone was so kind, compassionate and professional. They wanted to help me! I was at the point where I was ready to surrender and accept that help. It was a relief to not have to deal with the mess my life had turned into. The facility is a private home, in a nice neighborhood, with lovely red rock views. There is plenty of outdoor space, with fountains, a swimming pool, hot tub and a few private, sunny nooks with comfy chairs. Inside is just as nice. It has all the things that make for a comfortable stay: cozy beds and bedding, a good shower head and delicious, healthy food served three times a day. A salad bar is open 24/7. You will never go hungry here! ATMC uses a multi-pronged approach to recovery: Detox, Supplements, Therapy, Education and Nutrition. It’s so complete and it makes so much sense and I wonder why there are not more places like it. It is such a humane approach! I was told that it’s like tearing down an old house and rebuilding a new one, and that’s exactly right. The Detox Shop was my absolute favorite! Every day we went there from 9-1 where we were able to partake in many modalities: sauna, footbaths, facials, glutathione intake, castor oil packs, Reiki, massage, acupuncture and a few other things. I did as many of these as possible but my favorite was the sauna. If you told me I would love sitting in a 200 degree sauna for two hours a day, I would have laughed. But I did! I loved it! While at times it could be hard to do, my body felt so good afterwards – refreshed, renewed, light and healthy – like after a good workout. Sitting in the sauna was quite a meditative experience for me. Many days I was alone and sitting in that hot silence brought many new thoughts and ideas to the surface. It was quite Zen. On the days when another resident joined me, we would talk and I would get to know them on a much deeper level. One resident joked that he was going to write a book called “Confessions from the Sauna”, as we are so vulnerable in that space and shared so openly and from the heart. I also loved the facials and footbaths. I did this every day, Monday through Friday, and it felt so good to be so pampered, which is something the ATMC the staff excels at.The love is real here! I will miss this so very much. Supplements are a big deal here and while at first I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of supplements offered, I came to understand how they aid our body, giving us the nutrients we are lacking and helping us to rebuild. While I was being weaned off the Xanax, the sauna and supplements allowed me to feel relatively few physical side-effects. For the mental and emotional side-effects I had education classes and therapy. It helped me to better understand what I was experiencing, with classes on supplements and other subjects pertinent to what I was going through. Group and individual therapy allowed me to vent and explore my feelings. It also gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective when other residents shared their feelings. This was much needed and very helpful. I had many “Aha” moments and discovered many new things about myself. What is interesting is that many of these big new ideas came not from therapy, but when I least expected it. Something someone said, or something I observed, became very profound revelations. I learned that I am motivated by my feelings, not so much by my thoughts, and that my feelings are very strong. Without the buffer effect of the Xanax, I felt raw and exposed. I am learning how to feel these feelings, and I also that I need time to process them, instead of reacting. This is not a new idea for me but something I began to feel at a much deeper level. I had a few occasions where I did react with strong emotions, but I also had a few occasions where I was able to take a step back, wait, and then respond, with kindness and conviction. I discovered a new voice within myself. While I’ve never been shy about expressing my feelings, I never did it with any sort of grace. I grew up in a household where yelling was the norm and I became very comfortable with anger. In my short time here, I’ve learned how to speak my truth, without yelling. I was told at my graduation that I had a soft and soothing voice. I believe this is the real me; this kinder, gentler person that has been locked away inside, muted by drugs. I like that it is possible to ask for what I need in a more thoughtful and gentle way. It makes me feel so much better. I’m sure the person on the other end does as well. Win/win. I learned that my anxiety will never go away. For some reason I thought I’d leave here anxiety free. There is no such thing, not for me at least. But I now understand that I can change my behavior. I can recognize when the anxiety starts and instead of freaking out, rushing to take a pill, or going into a rage, I can take a moment, catch my breath, and know that I will be okay. I can choose to be in the flow of it, rather than let it take over. I can change those neuro-pathways, one breath at a time. I was able to open myself up on a whole new level to relationships. I came here to get better so I allowed myself to be vulnerable with my fellow residents. We were all in the same boat, in this together, so why not? It proved to be something I missed and sorely needed. I bonded with my roommate in ways I didn’t think was possible for me anymore. I hadn’t made a new female friend in so many years I thought that was lost to me. Now I feel I’ve gained a sister. And to think I didn’t even want to have a roommate! If I could have afforded it I would have gotten a private room, as I’ve done with other retreats over the years. Now I see what I’ve been missing by doing it; friendship, another perspective, and a safe and loving space to share our experiences here. It helped tremendously. These are just a few of the many, many things I’ve learned in my time here at ATMC. It has been quite a humbling experience. It is also the hardest and best thing I’ve done in my life. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance and I know I will continue with the supplements, exercise, healthy eating, detox and therapy when I leave here. My body needs it; my mind needs it; my soul needs it. I’m so grateful to have been able to come to ATMC. Thank you, thank you, thank you! None of this would have been possible without the caring, compassionate staff at ATMC. Everyone here has such a big heart and wants to help. From the care providers to the nurses, care managers, program director, the detox center and admin staff, everyone, they are all here to help us with whatever we need. They do their best to meet us where we are at and they are committed to our recovery, just as much as we are. It truly is a team effort. In closing, I’d like to give some advice to those new residents or those folks who are thinking of coming to ATMC. It’s the best program of its kind and it works, if you work it. Please work it. The first two weeks especially, do everything available to you! Jump in 100%. Participate in groups, classes, and as many modalities as you can at the Detox Shoppe., even if you don’t feel like it, especially then! You are here to change and save your life. Don’t skimp! Also, do what they tell you. Don’t think. Listen instead. Humble yourself. When you start to get angry, or judgy, stop! It’s YOU. It’s your resistance and your ego. Please trust this! Just keep doing the next best thing. Around week three you will come out of your fog and understand that they know what they are doing here. Really. Trust this. Good luck and God bless you!
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5.0
Excellent
I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I can trace it back to 4th grade, when my family moved and I had to switch schools. It was difficult for me and I became a “nervous child”. I was also called a worrywart. I was the oldest of seven children and I felt like I always had to watch over my little brothers, to keep them safe. I also tried too hard to please my parents, and I often felt negative energy coming from them and I believed if I behaved, that bad energy would go away. I felt things deeply, but had to hide those feelings.I learned this at an early age and things just piled up inside as I got older, manifesting as anxiety. I had been taking Alprazolam (Xanax) in various doses on and off for the last twenty years, and consistently for the past ten years. I was first given this medication when I went to rehab to quit drinking. Because I was given it in rehab, by a psychiatrist, I figured it was okay. Originally it was a much larger dose. The longer I was sober, the lower my dosage became, with me eventually quitting. However I’d pick it up every now and then when things became too much for me. I was completely off of it in 2008, and had been for a few years, when my sister-in-law (brother’s wife) was killed by a hit and run drunk driver. This devastated our family and I went to my doctor to be put back on a small dose (one .25 mg tablet per day) of Alprazolam. For ten years this very small dose was enough. I never felt high, or tired, just “normal”. My husband jokes that my idle runs higher than most, and taking this medication seemed to give me exactly what I needed. Again, because my doctor prescribed it (and continued to keep prescribing it) I felt it was ok. It never occurred to me that I was never really sober. Over the years I titrated down on my own, to ¼ of .25 mg table, taking it only at night to sleep. It was my intention to be free of the drug by the end of the year. I felt confident I could do this. Yet each time I tried I would panic and not be able to get off. A few doctors assured me I could quit cold turkey and not have any side-effects, but every time I skipped a day my anxiety would come roaring back. I decided not to try to quit, and just stay on this very low dose. My doctor seemed okay with my decision. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was a bad idea, but I was not willing or able to deal with it at this point. In June of 2018 I had my hip replaced after a fall I suffered the year before. I had broken my ankle and once I was up and walking again I noticed a pain in my hip that I didn’t have before. I tried all sorts of alternative therapies and while they helped a bit with the pain, they never really took it away. I’ve never been good with pain or illness. It scares me and so I began taking more Xanax to help me deal with the pain in my body. This went on for about a year and a half and I felt it helped me with the anxiety I had about my body. I asked my doctor to increase the amount of pills I received each month. I thought that someday after my surgery I’d go back to a lower dosage and eventually quit. That never happened. What did happen was that it felt like the drugs were no longer working. I needed more and more and they still didn’t calm me down. My anxiety was higher than it had ever been and it affected my breathing. Because of this I couldn’t sleep, no matter how much of the drugs I took. Nothing seemed normal any longer. I felt my body had betrayed me and I had many sleepless nights. On the nights I couldn’t sleep I took more Xanax and the day after a sleepless night my anxiety skyrocketed so I took even more Xanax. I realized I was going to run out and so I asked my doctor for more. She refused. I had a new primary care provider and asked her for a prescription and she also refused. I realized I was going to have to do something, as I was running low, so I asked for a nighttime sleep aid, so I wouldn’t have to take as much of the Xanax, thus allowing me to have more for the daytime. It never occurred to me to quit.I was too far in. This went on for a few months and then it was the holidays. I had family come out and while it was great to see them, it was very stressful. I was working and entertaining them with little to no sleep. I was taking a sleeping pill almost every night and the increased dose of Xanax during the day. I was having trouble breathing, stomach problems, and the anxiety continued despite the drugs. One morning I was meditating and asked God to help me with this addiction. Later in the day I was driving home from the gym and I heard “Alternative to Meds” drop into my head.I remembered it was a place a friend of a friend had looked into years ago. It was one of those “divine guidance” moments that I knew I couldn’t ignore. I went home and began Googling and less then a week later I checked into ATMC. I’m so glad I did! I’ve never been inpatient in any type of facility and I had no idea what to expect. The fact that it was just down the road made it so easy! My husband drove me and sat with me through the intake process. From the first phone call, and throughout the intake everyone was so kind, compassionate and professional. They wanted to help me! I was at the point where I was ready to surrender and accept that help. It was a relief to not have to deal with the mess my life had turned into. The facility is a private home, in a nice neighborhood, with lovely red rock views. There is plenty of outdoor space, with fountains, a swimming pool, hot tub and a few private, sunny nooks with comfy chairs. Inside is just as nice. It has all the things that make for a comfortable stay: cozy beds and bedding, a good shower head and delicious, healthy food served three times a day. A salad bar is open 24/7. You will never go hungry here! ATMC uses a multi-pronged approach to recovery: Detox, Supplements, Therapy, Education and Nutrition. It’s so complete and it makes so much sense and I wonder why there are not more places like it. It is such a humane approach! I was told that it’s like tearing down an old house and rebuilding a new one, and that’s exactly right. The Detox Shop was my absolute favorite! Every day we went there from 9-1 where we were able to partake in many modalities: sauna, footbaths, facials, glutathione intake, castor oil packs, Reiki, massage, acupuncture and a few other things. I did as many of these as possible but my favorite was the sauna. If you told me I would love sitting in a 200 degree sauna for two hours a day, I would have laughed. But I did! I loved it! While at times it could be hard to do, my body felt so good afterwards – refreshed, renewed, light and healthy – like after a good workout. Sitting in the sauna was quite a meditative experience for me. Many days I was alone and sitting in that hot silence brought many new thoughts and ideas to the surface. It was quite Zen. On the days when another resident joined me, we would talk and I would get to know them on a much deeper level. One resident joked that he was going to write a book called “Confessions from the Sauna”, as we are so vulnerable in that space and shared so openly and from the heart. I also loved the facials and footbaths. I did this every day, Monday through Friday, and it felt so good to be so pampered, which is something the ATMC the staff excels at.The love is real here! I will miss this so very much. Supplements are a big deal here and while at first I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of supplements offered, I came to understand how they aid our body, giving us the nutrients we are lacking and helping us to rebuild. While I was being weaned off the Xanax, the sauna and supplements allowed me to feel relatively few physical side-effects. For the mental and emotional side-effects I had education classes and therapy. It helped me to better understand what I was experiencing, with classes on supplements and other subjects pertinent to what I was going through. Group and individual therapy allowed me to vent and explore my feelings. It also gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective when other residents shared their feelings. This was much needed and very helpful. I had many “Aha” moments and discovered many new things about myself. What is interesting is that many of these big new ideas came not from therapy, but when I least expected it. Something someone said, or something I observed, became very profound revelations. I learned that I am motivated by my feelings, not so much by my thoughts, and that my feelings are very strong. Without the buffer effect of the Xanax, I felt raw and exposed. I am learning how to feel these feelings, and I also that I need time to process them, instead of reacting. This is not a new idea for me but something I began to feel at a much deeper level. I had a few occasions where I did react with strong emotions, but I also had a few occasions where I was able to take a step back, wait, and then respond, with kindness and conviction. I discovered a new voice within myself. While I’ve never been shy about expressing my feelings, I never did it with any sort of grace. I grew up in a household where yelling was the norm and I became very comfortable with anger. In my short time here, I’ve learned how to speak my truth, without yelling. I was told at my graduation that I had a soft and soothing voice. I believe this is the real me; this kinder, gentler person that has been locked away inside, muted by drugs. I like that it is possible to ask for what I need in a more thoughtful and gentle way. It makes me feel so much better. I’m sure the person on the other end does as well. Win/win. I learned that my anxiety will never go away. For some reason I thought I’d leave here anxiety free. There is no such thing, not for me at least. But I now understand that I can change my behavior. I can recognize when the anxiety starts and instead of freaking out, rushing to take a pill, or going into a rage, I can take a moment, catch my breath, and know that I will be okay. I can choose to be in the flow of it, rather than let it take over. I can change those neuro-pathways, one breath at a time. I was able to open myself up on a whole new level to relationships. I came here to get better so I allowed myself to be vulnerable with my fellow residents. We were all in the same boat, in this together, so why not? It proved to be something I missed and sorely needed. I bonded with my roommate in ways I didn’t think was possible for me anymore. I hadn’t made a new female friend in so many years I thought that was lost to me. Now I feel I’ve gained a sister. And to think I didn’t even want to have a roommate! If I could have afforded it I would have gotten a private room, as I’ve done with other retreats over the years. Now I see what I’ve been missing by doing it; friendship, another perspective, and a safe and loving space to share our experiences here. It helped tremendously. These are just a few of the many, many things I’ve learned in my time here at ATMC. It has been quite a humbling experience. It is also the hardest and best thing I’ve done in my life. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance and I know I will continue with the supplements, exercise, healthy eating, detox and therapy when I leave here. My body needs it; my mind needs it; my soul needs it. I’m so grateful to have been able to come to ATMC. Thank you, thank you, thank you! None of this would have been possible without the caring, compassionate staff at ATMC. Everyone here has such a big heart and wants to help. From the care providers to the nurses, care managers, program director, the detox center and admin staff, everyone, they are all here to help us with whatever we need. They do their best to meet us where we are at and they are committed to our recovery, just as much as we are. It truly is a team effort. In closing, I’d like to give some advice to those new residents or those folks who are thinking of coming to ATMC. It’s the best program of its kind and it works, if you work it. Please work it. The first two weeks especially, do everything available to you! Jump in 100%. Participate in groups, classes, and as many modalities as you can at the Detox Shoppe., even if you don’t feel like it, especially then! You are here to change and save your life. Don’t skimp! Also, do what they tell you. Don’t think. Listen instead. Humble yourself. When you start to get angry, or judgy, stop! It’s YOU. It’s your resistance and your ego. Please trust this! Just keep doing the next best thing. Around week three you will come out of your fog and understand that they know what they are doing here. Really. Trust this. Good luck and God bless you!
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5.0
Excellent
I love this organization and the people that I get to spend my days learning and growing along with. Alternative to Meds Center goes above and beyond to support employees in professional development and workplace satisfaction, and our staff shares great camaraderie in the joy of helping transform lives and watching recovery blossom in the lives of our residents. In learning about ATMC's philosophy and approach to health, I have been inspired to make significant changes in my own life (diet, exercise, supplements, self-care, detox, meditation, and more). Our mission is critically important for so many walking through mental health challenges and crises, being over prescribed, and being wrongly informed about the important contributors to our mental health (environmental toxins, diet, body burden, lack of key vitamins and minerals, etc.). If you are looking for a facility that offers an alternative and holistic approach to recovery, with supportive staff members that truly care about the details of your life and well-being, you've found the right place.
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5.0
Excellent
ATMC transformed my life. I showed up a complete mess on 2 different antipsychotics. I had visited 5 psych wards prior to admittance and been labels bipolar, schizophrenic, manic depressed, and a few more. I had also been a drug addict for 3 years prior to my psychotic episodes and done some brain damage. ATMC and their expert staff helped me slowly taper off the medications and rebalance my brain and body chemistry. It has since been a decade since I graduated and I owe most of my success to the staff of ATMC. I now have over a decade clean and sober with zero medication. This would have never been possible without their help. Invest in yourself. Invest in your future. There is no better program on the planet to assist you getting off or minimizing medication to create the best life for yourself. You got this.
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5.0
Excellent
My son suffered from depression and anxiety secondary to (undiagnosed) left side weakness and associated complications. This went on for over 10 years, and he felt hopeless. He tried multiple things to relieve the physical and psychological pain, to no avail. We came from out of state to visit him and knew we couldn’t leave him in the condition we found him. He was deeply depressed. We thank God we found ATMC. I am happy to say that it’s been a year and his life has completely turned around. This is the son I remember...he is intelligent, kind and productive. He has hope and is moving forward with his life. When we call, he actually answers the phone. I am not sick with worry wondering if he is ok. I know that no one thing works for everyone. That is true of any treatment or medication. Our son went to ATMC at a time in his life when he was ready for it, and it was a godsend. Their approach of nutritional supplements, diet, exercise and multiple therapies helped him find his way out of a very dark place. The staff was wonderful in communicating with us, and each time I talked to him on the phone during his stay I could hear the hope and joy in his voice. It’s like he found himself, with the help of the amazing staff at ATMC. He is a joy to talk to and be around; he is the amazing person I knew was still inside him. We are very grateful indeed.
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5.0
Excellent
I attended ATMC in 2011 due to extreme drug induced psychosis. After multiple failed hospitalizations, psych holds, behavioral health centers, and other inpatient rehabs, I finally found recovery at ATMC. They helped me come of over 10 psychiatric meds over a 10 week stay. I have not been on meds, or to a psychiatrist since. For the first time in my life I am able to cope with my life, without needing heavy doses of medication. Thank you ATMC.
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2.0
N/A
This was perhaps one of the worst experiences of my life. I went to ATMC with incredible hopes of getting well. I went there having to take no regular daily meds. As soon as I got there they started pumping me full of vitamins, thousands of times more than the government RDA. I went from sleeping 6 hours a night to 1-2 hours a night. The vitamin regiment is not nearly tailored to the individual and they give everyone basically the same number of vitamins. The detox shop was yet another place to get tons of more vitamins in the hopes you'd sweat it out in the 1-2 hour daily sauna. After about 10 days of this I nearly lost it and then they started me in on the meds, general psychiatric meds. By the time I left ATMC I was on 4 daily prescription meds and it turned out to be an absolute nightmare. However, this was the most ineffective waist of money I ever spent. I am now out $25,000 and am trying to recover now that I am home from all that went on there. Please do your homework before you go and check it out in person. 3 people left right in the middle of their stay while I was there, so I was not the only one whom this program did not work for. I would never have never gone had I known what would have happened there.
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4.3
Great
After numerous trips to the ER and hospital stays I finally landed at ATMC. It was the one hospital that was able to help me get my life back. The staff is very caring, they take the residents on hikes, trips to the gym, the movies, etc. It's not perfect, but of all the hospitals I've stayed at, it's by far the best. It can feel a little disorganized and sometimes the schedule feels a bit intense, especially for someone who might be on heavy medication, but one gets used to it. I made some great friends there and was able to get off two heavy medications safely. They also offer some yoga and mindful movement classes. At first I was really unsure about the place, but I was much happier with it by the time I left and overall I'm glad I stayed there.
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Official Facility Response
Thank you for your kind words, we appreciate your feedback!
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2.7
N/A
Intake coordinator engaged in pressure tactics, with threats of the inability to get space if we did not book space immediately. She responded to all my text and voicemails, but once the money was submitted to ensure space, she would not return respond to my efforts at contacting her. My son was there for less than two weeks before they reduced his medication. He quickly decompensated into psychosis and it appears as though no one there knew what to do. He began to self-harm while there. I expressed my concerns about them sending him home – across country by himself in a decompensated state, but I was told that he had been cleared by doctors ATMC. I met him at the airport, in a state of psychosis with approximately thirty self-inflicted wounds around his left wrist. How the injuries were overlooked is beyond me. He returned in a far worse state than he had arrived in. We were hopeful that their website claims to help were not just words, but they were. The 37,000 for the one month stay would have been money well spent, had the outcome been a little better.
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No Rating
Good idea but poorly executed. They made several medication errors during my stay. Failed to catch supplement - medication interactions. Very high staff turnover,-particularly in the Naturopath position which has led to very big issues in my supplement program, extremely poor staff communication, errors in supplement dosing caused toxic reactions. Important to know that patients receive remuneration, in the form of free supplements - to the tune of hundreds of dollars - for positive reviews - the higher the profile the review, e.g., video vs written, the greater the compensation. For all I know, this may be the industry standard but I find it unethical.
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5.0
Excellent
I owe my LIFE TO The Alternative to Meds Center. 4 years ago, I was extremely sick with my numerous health issues and on several different medications. I sat down to look for help online and after praying over and over to find a place to go, ATMC was the 2nd place that came up. I knew immediately that THIS was where I had to go. I was reluctant to leave Virginia, but my intuition assured me that this was who could save my life. Within a week, I found myself in Sedona. I have struggled with alcoholism, and addiction, and mental illness my entire life. I had never gone away to a treatment facility before and I was TERRIFIED and having severe adverse reactions to my medications. I was immediately surrounded by the most unique, loving, compassionate people I've ever met. I was in a beautiful resort style spacious home at the base of thunder mountain. The facility was clean, neat and easily accessible and they even had a pool, hot tub and steam room all on the property. There are also peaceful landscapes for meditating and resting. The kitchen is open in the middle of the house so we can see our AMAZING organic food being prepared. (This is the BEST food I've EVER had btw) I learned so much about my diet and how using herbs and supplements and living a clean, healthy lifestyle, I can FINALLY manage my mental health problems and live a happy fulfilled life. I have also learned so much about how Important detoxing is in getting off my medications and staying clear. They used saunas, ionic footbaths, and a whole list of holistic modalities to get me OFF my medications and helping to rebuild my weakened immune system. I was so so scared to get off my meds, but ATMC made it go by smoother than I ever could have imagined. I am incredibly grateful and thankful to the entire staff and medical team here. These guys are angels in my book!
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5.0
Excellent
ATMC saved my life. I had been through 4 other inpatient treatment centers with little to no success and thrown on numerous psych meds. I detoxed from 5 psych meds successfully here and I've been discharged for 10 months. It was not easy, but it has been the most rewarding and impactful healing I've ever done for my life. ATMC is the only facility that taught me how to create lasting change and health in my life so that I never need to feel or be the "sick patient/client" again!
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5.0
Excellent
Alternative to meds saved my life. After being prescribed a benzodiazepine for years and only taking it as directed, I almost died when I tried to come off by myself. My doctor would not help me and failed to explain to me that I was in withdrawals when I was suffering out of control. At ATMC, I received care in a nurturing environment where where I felt safe. I now feel like I have a future. Thank you to everyone at ATMC for helping me to get my life back.
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4.7
Excellent
ATMC has a wonderful and caring staff. They treat your addiction with art therapy, daily trips to the detox center, healthy gluten-free meals, yoga, counseling, classes and much more.
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5.0
Excellent
Aternative to Meds Center offered everything that I believed would help me get past my time on pharmaceuticals. The staff knew just what I needed to detox my system and which supplements would help me rebuild what had been depleted. A lot of the staff had dealt with their own addictions, or similar, and so they had a true understanding of what residents were going through. Every one employed truly cared about my recovery and success. The facitlites are beautiful and offer both privacy and shared space for residents to spend their time. The food was AMAZING. Everything was prepared according to dietary specifications to help rid the body of toxins. Services included pharmaceutical tapering, supplementation, acupuncture, massage therapy, BEST, cranial-sacral, sauna, art therapy, colon hydrotherapy, private counseling as well as group therapy, and an amazing weekend crew that would take us hiking and to different sites around Sedona. I highly recommend this place as they not only changed my life but literally saved it.
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4.5
Excellent
I received very good treatment while at the center.
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4.5
Excellent
Residents frequently express their appreciation for the warmth and compassion they receive at ATMC. The treatment is cutting edge and treats all aspects of a human...mind, body and spirit
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3.7
Very Good
Cutting edge treatment
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4.7
Excellent
Good hearted practitioners working miracles in co-occurring disorders.
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4.7
Excellent
The staff was wonderful and supportive. I was able to get off of Zyperxa and Depakote with few side effects while at ATMC.
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5.0
Excellent
I did relapse 6 months after leaving, but I learned valuable tools to stay sober, and I am sober now. I also learned to eat correctly, meditate, and take the right supplements. I also made lifelong friends there with other patients and staff.
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