ED Magedson – Founder
A Forever Recovery216 St. Marys Lake Rd. Battle Creek, Michigan United States of America
A Forever Recovery is actually Stone Hawk Drug Rehab. Stone Hawk shut down under suspect circumstances and reopened as A Forever Recovery. I would say that, generally speaking, persons contacting a rehab program are probably under great stress and this outfit knows it and preys upon that condition. Their "Intake Specialists" are salesmen, and I should really say, con-men, that no doubt recieve comission for duping people under sometimes extreme pressure and anxiety. They tell you everything that you want to hear and the facility delivers very little of those things. Their website shows an idyllic setting and the written descriptions describing serenity and peace are a complete and utter lie.
Upon arrival you walk in to an acceptable but outdated lobby. Then, it's off to sign as many ridiculous contracts as possible which are nothing more than copies of drivel that they run off on a cheap printer. We (my wife and I) were offered a "tour" which shows only the large open areas that are, on the surface, acceptable. What they should do is take you on a tour of the "Withdrawal Unit" (I have a hard time keeping a straight face when I say that) which is where you will land whether you need it or not for, in my case only 2 but up to 7 or more days, more on this later. After my wife left I was taken to "security" (more on this later) and was relieved of all of my personal property and, get this, STRIP SEARCHED!, by an individual with the IQ of a common doornail. I had asked to bring 2 cases of Vitamin Water and a case of V8 juice, this was denied on the pretense that I may smuggle in drugs in sealed containers.
I was however, allowed to bring in a tackle box the size of a suitcase, two fishing rods, and opened laundry detergent. I guess if I wanted to smuggle drugs in I could have put at least a couple of pounds of powdered or pill type drugs in those bottles. I include this information to illustrate the great stupidity of this mockery of a rehab facility.
The "Withdrawal Unit"________________________
There you would see 15-19 very freaked out and confused people in a 1200 SF house that is ready to fall down. There are two baths with no locks on the doors, 2'x2' showers coated with rust stains and barely functional plumbing. The water is probably safe to drink but tastes like mudhole water as apparently they have never heard of a water softener, dirty floors in sleeping areas (I had old socks, a baggie or two, some kind of nasty pillow, a snuff tin and accumulated dirt under my bunk), and rickety bunk beds with plastic mattresses that look like they came from a clearance sale at the Salvation Army (no offense to the S.A.). My room was a converted sun porch of sorts that was approx. 8x12 with 4 beds. They had haphazardly attatched those cheap plastic horizontal blinds to the windows for privacy", of which there is none, and had taped plastic over the windows in an attempt to slow down the drafts. They try to force you to drink what they call Cal-Mag (look it up) which was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, yes, THAT L. Ron Hubbard. They also give you an overdose of vitamins which would probably cause liver and kidney damage if you were to take them as directed. I took them once and after urinating neon green/yellow once, I took to breaking one in half and taking that just for the hell of it. The cal-mag I sipped and then tossed out as quickly as I could, and discarded the vitamins, because I could see no reason to take the chance of going in to anaphylactic shock. The only good thing I can say is that they do have a decent hot tub (3 person hot tub for 15-19 clients). Ha. By the way, you are not allowed to make any phone calls while there. Ridiculous.
The Main Facility_______________________________
Upon "release" from the "Withdrawal Unit" you are goose stepped over to main. Next, another security guy that did not turn down a job at NASA to work there, searched me again. I guess he was looking to make sure I wasn't stealing those vitamins. I had to sign more stupid forms and finally got my key. Luckily, I was placed with intelligent, funny, mature roommates and it is for them (and others) that I file this complaint today.
Anyway, the description of that room is as follows. (All personal property of the roomies will be omitted as it was neat clean and orderly) The bathroom was a mess. Mildew in the tile grout, much of which was missing, clogged up showerhead (no conditioned water at the main bldg. either)-probably original fixtures with the exception of shower head and toilet, and speaking of the toilet, I removed the tank cover and observed that the inside of the tank was covered in slime and rust. There is one sink for four men and bareley enough room to hang even 2 full size towels, without hanging them on the shower, bedposts, and such-which could cause you to fail room inspection and get "written up" (more on room maintenance later). There are also no screens in the windows. One warm day there was a hatch on the lake and our bathroom (as were many others), was completely covered in thousands of hatchlings. Another "security" person (female), came down and sprayed bleach on them or some such nonsense. We had to clean this mess up ourselves. The former soffit that enclosed the former lighting was only waiting to be disturbed sufficiently to fall down. The caulk job in critical areas was shoddy. Enough on that.
The Sleeping Area___________________________
There were two twin size (seemed smaller) el cheapo bunk beds that are a safety hazard to say the least. When I climbed up to lay down my bunkmate was afraid it would collapse and injure him and he said every time I rolled over it felt as if the bed would fall like a tower. I'm not huge. 5'10" and 210 lbs. I am a former athlete. One of the chests of drawers had a broken drawer that sat on top of it and all of the would probably have fallen completely to pieces if they hadn't been holding each other up. There are also extension cords running all over the place.
There was only one tiny desk to do your work at and one chair. The first chair was broken and one of the mates swapped it for a "better one" and it was no prize, either. There was a non-functioning lamp on it, and one that did work. It was passable as a writing service only.
I need to point out that we were responsible for keeping the room clean. To do this we had nothing. No broom, no vacuum, no dusting/cleaning cloths, no cleaning solution of any kind, other than soap and water and cheap roll paper towels, which is what I used. If you fail room inspection you get some kind of "write up" where they actually fine you money for your transgression. Totally outrageous. There is no housekeeping staff that does routine daily upkeep on the rooms.
The laundry room is a fire waiting to happen. The ductwork for the dryers has dried out duct tape applied in a haphazard fashion here and there and my observation indicates that it has probably not been cleaned out in years, as the correct type of joint tape has never been disturbed. I'm no HVAC engineer but I seriously doubt that there is enough air flow for the number of dryers hooked to the main trunk. The lint filters in the dryers are broken or disformed which creates problems.
The grounds, which could be very nice, have cigarette butts everywhere. A dirty patio, with those cheap plastic stacking chairs of which many are broken, seems to be the main hangout as it is close to the phones and the food. There are three phones for probably 75-100 or more people and call times are limited. The patio area resembles a 3 ring circus at breaks and free time. I won't even go in to the pontoon boat, even though I could. Sufficeth to say that I wouldn't be too surprised if someone drowns eventually.
So, the grounds have no groundskeepers. The clients are assigned "community service" and directed to do this or that. Everything from picking up litter and raking, to cleaning tables in the cafeteria and mopping the floors. In addition to that if you step out of line (whatever that means) they will give you additional chores and fine your account. Contemptible.
Now for the Staff_____________________________________
Boy, are they friendly. When you first get there they make you feel like you stumbled, fell and crushed your skull on a concrete step and went to heaven.
Here's the truth. The vast majority of the "security" personnel appear to have just been released from Jackson Prison or are moonlighting from their job as bouncers from a strip club. They're big, intimidating, and generally surly. Jailhouse tattos are the norm with these guys. I have no idea how they are in their private lives but the hiring of this particular type of person is no doubt designed to be intimidating and most people are intimidated by them. Not to be condescending towards them or personally insulting but I must say that they seem in large part to be quite uneducated and IN MY OPINION, most are unfit for that type of duty.
Well, I checked in there on 4/8/10. I tried to have an open mind and really try to take in what the program has to offer. I started my program/classes on 4/12/10. I got through the first day with some intrepidation and general disgust. I was called an a*****e in front of maybe 25-30 people by this blowhard loser of a facilitator I will call Bill. Actually, what he said when I asked a legitimate question was "What is your drug of choice?". I replied that I had a tendency to drink too much Budweiser, too often. He then announced to the group he would "rather have 40 heroin addicts than 1 drunk", then "what do you get when you take the alcohol from a drunken a*****e? You still have an a*****e". He hands out a list of class rules and writes at the bottom that there "Will be consequences" if anything said in that room leaves the room. He is vulgar, rules by intimidation, and tells nefarious stories about his connections and life. I can elaborate but won't do that here because it would be unfit for the general public and too explicit. There's more but you get the idea and if it's possible it gets worse.
So, on 4/13/10 I decide that this place is NOT what I was led to believe it was. At 1PM, after morning classes, I had an appointment to see a counselor. Mind you, this is the 5th day and the first time I had seen a counselor. I shook his hand and followed him up to his office. He began by saying that it would be a short visit to "get to know me". I interposed that it would not be necessary because "I am leaving". He asked me some questions as to why and I answered them frankly. He asked "Is your decision final?". I assured him that God himself could not force me to remain there. He seemed fine with that and took me to the office of a person that seems to have upper level management authority, I'll call her Hannah. I sat outside and waited as he went in to tell her my decision. He came out and motioned me in and I sat down opposite her desk and the counselor sat adjacent to me. She immediately took a hostile position and attempted to berate and bully me out of it. I said that there was no way and if they didn't cooperate with my wishes that I would walk out. She stated that "if you leave here I will call the police and they will arrest you because you have no ID". I said, fine, call them and when they ask me I will tell them that you have it and refuse to return it. This resulted in her saying that they would return my things and to calm down. Well, it wasn't me that needed calming down. I was certainly pumped on adrenaline as they were making it sound as if I wasn't going to be allowed to leave and I was somewhat worried for my safety. I think this is natural in that kind of circumstance. Well, she, in a huff, told me to go down and pack my things and they would get the paperwork together. Probably more than two hours later she sent "security" (remember them?) to "escort me" to her office.
Once there they tried to make me sign papers that I was leaving against medical advice and relinquish any claims to money paid them, at this point they had roughly $2580.00 plus a blank check for necessities I might want and my prescription medicines which were taken from me. I had no access to my legally prescribed meds for the entire time I was there. I told them to stick it, I'm not signing anything.
At that point they sent another strong arm in who attempted to coerce me into signing the papers. Not happening, I told him. At this point she called "security" and they took me to a room with locked doors and set a guy with me that had an Aryan Nations tatoo on one forearm and a snarling pit bull on the other. After sitting there for some time, I told him "Look, you're holding me here against my will. That in itself is false imprisonment. I want a cab called, I want my personal belongings back and I want to leave, now". He said he would go find out what was going on and called another one of these thug security guys to come sit with me. He left for a while and another, different, strong arm came in. He tried the buddy routine with me. I spoke with him and without giving too many details assured him that the conversation was closed. Around this time, I was told that if I didn't sign the papers I would not get my meds back. I said fine, keep them, but you're going to hear about it. Well, these thugs and con artists are in a complete uproar over this since to me it was plainly obvious. I'm still sitiing in this room and here comes yet another hard case, this time a woman, who attempts to berate me and intimidate me into signing these papers. I tossed them back on the table after I see it is the same garbage they tried to get me to sign before. Finally, after scratching out some stuff I didn't like and having it initialed by her, I signed the paper in the interest of getting the hell out of that nightmare. Eventually, I was allowed to go, some four hours of psychological torture later. Their transport took me to a hotel some distance from the facility. They dropped me off at at some hotel but I had asked to be dropped off elsewhere. The driver refused. I walked with my belongings to where I wanted to be and got a room.
My wife was nearly sick about what Hannah had told her about me until I was able to call her from the hotel room. She explained to me the blatant lies and innuendo that had been related to her by Hannah about me on behalf of this nutcase outfit. I had to laugh and told her I would explain as much as I could when she got there. Incidentally, I was also told lies about what my wife had said about me by this same person.
This place is extortionate, offensive and an outright scam.
I think it should be shut down as it is not a suitable environment for many of the poor people still there. I suppose it would be great if you were accustomed to being in prison. Otherwise, no. I really am amazed that they are allowed to remain in business.
They charge in the neighborhood of 20K+ for their "service". I'm sick to my stomach as I write this. I am interested in talking to any attorney that can help me get my money back.
I am a fairly intelligent person and I was totally sold a bill of goods by these con artists. That in itself is enough to cause me shame. I want to tell the story so that no one else gets subjected to this place.
There's more but I am feeling tired.
Stay away from this place at all costs.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/15/2010 10:39 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/A-Forever-Recovery/Battle-Creek-Michigan-49107/A-Forever-Recovery-Formerly-Stone-Hawk-This-place-is-to-be-avoided-at-all-costs-VERY-sha-593541. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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