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The Hickey House

130 Taylor Road, Helen, Georgia, 30545
For more than 20 years, the Hickey House has been providing substance abuse treatment to men suffering from the disease of addiction. The long-term residential rehab offers a structured program that combines 12-Step principles with real-life challenges and exposure. Clients are required to get jobs while in treatment, and must learn to balance those daily responsibilities with their recovery. Treatment plans are individualized and staff members work closely with each client to ensure that all needs are met.

Facility Highlights

  • Canoe Trips
  • Group Recreation
  • Individual Counseling


  • Holistic Therapy

    Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.
  • 12-Step

    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.

Facility Settings

  • Mountains

Meet the Staff

  • Elaine Hickey M.Ed.
    Elaine Hickey M.Ed.Director
    Elaine Hickey, M.Ed was educated first at the University of Georgia for her Bachelors Degree, and then at the University of Boston, where she received a Masters and taught while working on her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She began her own private practice of counseling in 1965. Mrs. Hickey has continued to work in the addiction treatment field both with the Hickey House and one to one counseling of others in the local Helen community for the past 27 years. She is the co-founder of Hickey House, Inc. and currently holds the position of Director. She loves spending time with her grandchildren and her Bassett Hound named Butters.
  • Star Bridges BA CCS CACII CAMS
    Star Bridges BA CCS CACII CAMSProgram Director
    Star Bridges has been with the Hickey House since 2002. He began as a Resident, finished the one-year program and then was asked to stay on as a Resident Staff of the Green House facility. He was promoted to the position of Program Director in 2005. Tom Hickey mentored Star closely in 2005-06 before his passing from Cancer in late 2006. Star gained his certification as a Certified Addictions Counselor (CACI) through the Georgia Addictions Counselors Association (GACA) in 2009. He received the Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS) credential in 2010. He finished a lifelong goal of graduating from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts. Star advanced his certifications with the Certified Addictions Counselor Level Two (CACII) and the Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) credentials in 2012. Star also holds the title of Clinical Evaluator from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities' DUI Intervention Program. He is currently serving as an Associate Board Member of the GACA Certification Board.

Treatment Center Links

Rehabs 360 Guide


In operation since 1986, Hickey House is a long-term residential treatment and sober living program that assists adult men who are struggling with chemical dependency. The facility, based in the city of Helen in northern Georgia, is an idyllic country retreat, next to the Chattahoocheee National Forest and the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

Founded by a married couple with a background in counseling, psychology, and chemical dependency treatment, the program emphasizes a natural, outdoor lifestyle to help clients develop a sober lifestyle. Within the state, Hickey House is among 17.5 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities that provide long-term (30+ days) of residential, non-hospital care and among 44.5 percent with specially tailored programs for adult men.


Hallmarks of Hickey House are accountability and commitment. As such, all residents must submit to urine tests, drug screenings, and alcohol breath tests administered throughout their treatment, as well as observe an 11 p.m. curfew. Within the state, Hickey House is among 58.2 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities that perform substance screenings.

The residential treatment program is highly structured and focused on long-term recovery. Residents engage in group and individual counseling, and mandatory daily Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. During their stay, clients must also obtain a full-time job or the equivalent in community service. After 90 days of participation in the program, residents may also attend college.

The facility also offers sessions on sober living skills, vocational enhancement, financial responsibility, community living, and relapse prevention. To facilitate a smooth transition process, clients and their counselors collaborate on aftercare planning prior to program completion.

Many graduates remain in the area after treatment to assist current residents through a mentoring program. In addition, alumni are encouraged to return each year for an annual Gratitude Dinner on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.


According to Hickey House, staff counselors are certified by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association or working on CADC credentials. Two featured on the website are graduates of the program. Staff is encouraged to develop personal relationships with residents, with the goal of creating individualized treatment programs that guide each participant in figuring out what it will take to achieve a sober, successful life.


Hickey House maintains five residences in the vicinity of Helen. All of the facilities strive to create a homelike and comfortable environment for clients. Two men are assigned to each bedroom, which comes with cable TV access. The houses feature a kitchen, living room with flat-screen TV, weight room, outdoor deck, other outdoor on-site amenities, and are located near hiking trails and trout fishing.

All residents complete daily assigned chores and work together on planning meals and making a shopping list at weekly meetings. Staff members live in each facility to supervise residents and ensure they adhere to the guidelines of the program.


At the time of this writing, five former clients who reviewed Hickey House for Rehabs.com submitted largely favorable feedback: four positive and one negative. All satisfied alumni reported they achieved sobriety, although D.E. re-entered the facility two years after initially completing the program. They praised the staff, using terms such as “good” and “outstanding” to describe the counselors and main staff.

One alum, who had attended other treatment centers, wrote that, in comparison, “Hickey House has excceded my expectations by far,” that it is “an exceptional program for those who are serious about combating their addiction.” Another noted they had wrestled with addiction for 20+ years and, after going through the program at Hickey House, they “have been Sober ever since.”

However, the other former client rated treatment effectiveness the lowest one out of five stars. “Actual recovery wasn’t that important,” they wrote, adding, “it only mattered if you had enough money to pay rent.”

On secondary sites, Hickey House received positive coverage to date: 3.6 out of five stars based on 14 reviews on Google, and 4.1 stars based on the opinion of nine people on the facility’s unofficial Facebook page. [1] [2] Many reviewers (alumni, referral sources, unspecified others) credited the facility with helping them turn their life.

Five-star reviewer Christopher on Google wrote: “I have been to numerous rehabs and half way houses and the solution was best presented to me through the men at the hickey house." Critical comments concerned unethical environment, rundown conditions, and lack of professionalism.


At the time of this writing, all Hickey House participants pay a weekly program fee of $200. In addition, they also must chip in $25 per week for house money, which is used to buy food and cover additional costs, such as cable TV and phone. According to the facility’s website: “Any resident more than two weeks behind on house money will be dismissed. NO EXCEPTIONS.”

[1] GoogleReviews

[1] https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hickey-House/146215102089598

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