ED Magedson – Founder
Amethyst Foundation120 Hedding Road epping, New Hampshire United States of America
Scheduling was relatively easy. They seemed to be very busy and hence if you are under time limits, get scheduled early. Getting there is pretty easy also, if you can drive. They said to be there before 3pm on Friday, which is a pain because of the Friday pm traffic. However, some participants were told to be there much earlier and some others appeared to get there much later (but before six pm). Don't know why this would be. The location itself is an old farm building. Kinda reminds me of a typical bed and breakfast. You can only get in the main entrance which is on the other side facing the river, which I thought was a bit confusing at first but no big deal. Then there is only one other door, other than fire exists, that you can use the whole time you are there, which leads to the smoking area outside. Make no mistake, once you are in there, you are de facto in prison. You have basically no personal freedoms such as using telephones, internet, your cars etc. You are not allowed to leave the premises, use drugs or alcohol, enter the other sex's accommodations, or smoke in non-smoking areas. All these will get you discharged and you forfeit your money. The facilities appeared clean enough but used and worn down. The sleeping areas appear mostly to house around six or eight people. Simple beds with sheets and one pillow and one towel. People snore and smell, but they have ear plugs. I saw people take sleeping pills. Not sure, if this violated the terms of their incarceration or not. The bathrooms were clean but small and don't plan of using showers. The water is reportedly not warm for long and the three stalls are getting filthy after the third or fourth user. In total there seemed to be around 25 people there of all walks of life. They all had one thing in common: they got arrested for DUI. They were mostly from NH but some were from CT. Most of them were nice enough. The food there was good for prison standards. The cook put a lot of effort into it and there was something for everyone. Lots of coffee, snacks and cold drinks. They tell you to bring some coins for the machines, but I did not need that. The other staff was friendly but determined. I had no beef with them. The instructors appeared knowledgeable enough although some of them were reportedly either a bit Ed Rooney-ish or borderline abusive to some of the participants. They say that their main goal there is to allow you to investigate and understand your 'relationship with alcohol', but make no mistake, their main mission is to keep drunk drivers off the street. It starts with the 'intake interview'. This is really done to assess the extent to which you are an alcoholic. and is really the main evaluation. The interview consists of 100 plus questions on how you live your life and what role alcohol plays. They are quite repetitive. The repetitive questions are the more important ones, so if you must lie, be sure to be consistent. They say they will detect lying but that seems more to have to do with the fact that if you are there, you are a problem drinker (by definition) and if your assessment says something else, you must be lying. So probably, you should admit to some extent that you have a problem (it is the first step after all) and that you need help, but maybe keep the problem from being big. Not sure. So, don't mess up during the intake. After that, it's one session after the other on the harmful effects of alcohol, denial, personal DUI stories, impact movies, legal aspects, changing behavior, stages of change, concept of moderation, visualization exercises, drinking patters, risk factors for recidivism, impact analyses etc etc. The whole time, the instructors will take notes and make observations. Assignments are normally handed in and become part of your file. Again. Watch what you say and how you behave, but not too much. You have to be careful but still volunteer some information. It's not an easy line to walk. Most people there were pretty average so when in doubt, you are probably best off with the truth. After they have collected this compendium of information about you, they will do the exit assessment during which you will notified how much after care you will need.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2011 06:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Amethyst-Foundation/epping-New-Hampshire-/Amethyst-Foundation-Review-of-Amethyst-Program-epping-New-Hampshire-688799. 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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