Hazelden Betty Ford Center City, Minnesota:
If you do not subscribe to the dogma of AA and surrender your life to a completely fabricated “higher power,” then this is not the facility for you to achieve sobriety.
The 12 steps are beaten down your throat relentlessly. If you don’t agree that this method will work, you’re lead to believe that there’s something constitutionally wrong with you. It’s not the fact that the whole treatment process is based on ideas that were made up by two average guys in the 1930’s, before effective psychiatric drugs and other treatment methods were created. No, the problem is you!
For $40k a month, I had no idea that Hazelden put so much stock in the archaic and abysmally unsuccessful 12-step program. I would have never gone there had I known this prior to my stay. Save money and pay a real licensed psychologist or psychiatrist to work on what’s really wrong in your life. I had to practically beg to get to see the psychiatrist and to get on some anti-anxiety meds.
Also, for $40k/month I should have the option of whether I want to have a roommate or not. This was not included in the brochure, as they say.
You’re essentially treated like a child while there as well and forced to complete a daily rehabilitative duty, which is essentially doing the cleaning staff’s job for them. Ridiculous at this cost, and it does nothing as far as contributing to your treatment.
You’re also not supposed to fraternize with any of the other guys who are not in your assigned unit, which is completely ludicrous.
Group therapy sessions are hijacked by one or two of the more vocal participants, while the rest of the folks are making eye contact and rolling their eyes, hoping the moderator will chime in and take control back.
The bright spots were the grounds, the workout facility, and the food.
All in all, however, I would not recommend this place, if you’re really serious about sobriety.
Get a personal therapist and try something like Smart Recovery. You’re not powerless.