• Report: #453612

Complaint Review: Clear Haven Center

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 20, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, January 06, 2013

  • Reported By:Newburyport Massachusetts
Clear Haven Center
clearhavencenter.com Chertsey, Quebec Canada

Clear Haven Center Canadian Rehab is a Masochistic Backwoods Scam that Will Have You Drinking In No Time! Chertsey Quebec

*Consumer Comment: Clearhaven saved my life...

*Consumer Comment: Clearhaven Centre

*Consumer Comment: Dear CHC Employee

*Consumer Comment: A concerned recovering addict with some inqueries.

*UPDATE Employee: Very Angry and Emotional Remarks Paint Unfair Picture

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When my family and I were in our darkest need of my former active addiction to alcohol, we searched high and low nationwide to find affordable holistic, non-AA based drug and alcohol rehab center. After many days of research we settled on Clear Haven Center and began making phone calls to the center in Montreal. When calling the 800 number a wonderful intake woman helping us through our questions regarding the treatment ( for example: what are the meals like? ( I have severe dietary restrictions and hypoglycemia) We were told they were prepared by a 5- star chef and constant buffets and snacks and juices were available. Is there individual counseling? Included in my package I was to get one 1/2 hour session daily. What are the grounds/ exercise/ recreational areas like? We were told there was a state of the art workout room with a personal trainer onsite and a large sprawling property to roam about and a library to read in as well as many tvs and a DVD player as well as a swimming pool.)

My father happily plunked down $8,000 for the 28 day stay with hopes that he would not watch his daughter suffer from addiction any longer. I too was looking forward to the experience and we set off to the woods of Quebec Canada from Boston.

Arriving at the facility quickly turned from hope to horror. Immediately they shuttled us quickly into the office to get full payment upfront and to sign endless waivers and disclaimers stating no matter what you can basically never sue/ ask/ request for your money back. I knew something was up instantly. Just as quickly they sent my father right out the door he came in.

There are way to many negative aspects of the facility and the experience to list, but I'll just highlight a few of the most appaling. Let me begin by saying that as soon I spied the institution-like grounds with NO POOL, no LIBRARY and dank, dingy smelly couch I went to the staff and asked to speak to the sweet, nice lady that I had talked to from the 800- number. Turns out SHE WAS A SALES REP and was across the country in Vancouver Canada. She lied BLATANTLY through her teeth to get my unsuspecting family to shell out the cash. After a few day speaking with the 50 other or so clients, I found out that was what had happened to the majority of them also.

There was no recreational time, just endless boring, irrelevant classes and a uninterested staff member just droning on from a projection slide. I had barely any one-on-one 'counseling' sessions and they just basically looked at my 'homework' instead of talking about the pain, trauma and anguish that is the result, or perhaps even the cause of addiction. We had 30 MINUTES to eat lunch, and 30 minutes to eat dinner which was served at 4:30 in the afternoon. After that was finished you either ate from a nasty candy/ snack vending machine. Their 'buffet' 1. white bread 2. jelly and peanut butter 3. corn flakes in an old industrial parsley container and a toaster. EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 28 DAYS STRAIGHT. I am allergic to wheat but was so hungry after 6 pm and with my hypoglycemia I ate it anyways. I got so constipated that I did not go to the bathroom for 8 days-when I told the staff and had them look into my intake file to prove I had food allergies NOT A SINGLE THING WAS DONE ABOUT IT. And guess what? If I left early we lost our money.

Another hugely disturbing aspect of the facility was that the women ( like myself) were treated like loose harlots and constantly badgered for their attire. We were not allowed to wear skirts (even floor length ones!), shorts above the knee or friggin TANK TOPS! And I was there for the month of August! The staff was more interested in what you were wearing than if you were healing. The staff themselves were ambivialent, rude and well, just plain hillbillys! In my opinion not AT ALL qualified to help even themselves, much less an addicted individual with complex acute issues.

The whole experience was a complete waste of time and money. I completed the 28 days because I love and respect my father and his hard earned money sending me there. The whole place os a total SCAM, and a utter rip-off. And unbelievably I heard from other that were there for the longer duration that it actually got WORSE

Do yourself a favor and find a true healing facility that will help lead you to the life you deserve and leave these uncaring masochist where they belong-- by themselves far from civilization in the backwoods.

Pinkpanther7
Newburyport, Massachusetts
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2009 07:55 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Clear-Haven-Center/Chertsey-Quebec/Clear-Haven-Center-Canadian-Rehab-is-a-Masochistic-Backwoods-Scam-that-Will-Have-You-Drink-453612. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Clearhaven saved my life...

AUTHOR: Ellen - (Canada)

I am so sorry to hear that Clearhaven closed down and all of the dissapointments that other clients have suffered. I was a client for 90 days several years ago, and I have never done substances since nor have I missed them. Rehab programs are only as good as the intension of the user. It is not foolproof that all addicts can be rescued. I know that I was one of the lucky ones and I had a lot going for me when I went in and that is also always helpful. There were excellent counsellors when I was there and the food was plentiful, healthy and nourishing.

I too, could find lots to complain about if I chose to, but the bottom line is that I was kept safe from my addict self in a beautiful, safe surrounding for long enough to heal from my addictions. I am not a facebook member and unfortunately have lost touch with a lot of the people I met there as I didn't have a lot of computer skills when I left and never could access the Clearhaven net. I actually learned how to do email while I was there.  I met the most beautiful people there. Some of them are no longer on the earth, and died because of their addictions. This was no fault of Clearhaven.

I remember a counsellor telling us when I was there that the stats said that two years from now only 1 out of 3 of us would still be alive, and the other two would have died from their addictions. I know the person next to me that day, died of an accidental drug overdose that year. I know that I am one of the lucky ones and I dedicate my life to helping other substance abusers. You can't do a lot for those who are not ready to be helped yet, but my enjoyment of life is a good example for the addicts around me who may be contemplating cleaning up.  

Clearhaven and the people that were there at the time remains this idylic place in my heart and it is very sad that I will never be able to go back there and thank some of the people who helped me so much. I too, wished for more indepth counselling, but as my counsellor at the time said, that place was not set up to open up those kinds of cans of worms, and it is always an option for persons to pursue more indepth counselling when they are well and moving on with their lives later. I know that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has it's merrits but I don't know if that was a good fit for a lot of unwell people just cleaning up. I didn't find any of it to have been of any aid to me in my recovery, however I know a lot of folks who did benefit from it.

It didn't matter what they were teaching for me, just being there with everyone for the same reason is what helped me. The only things I didn't appreciate about the place was that when I needed someone there to vouch for me that I had a substance abuse problem for the health tax credit for income tax, no one would and they didn't return my calls, emails etc. That was pretty lame. That didn't encourage me to refer anyone there. However, I went there to save my life, and that I have, and am eternally grateful to my stay at Clearhaven for that. For anyone reading this who might remember me or who was there when I was, I would love to hear from you. Sincerely, Ellen. ps. I did open the yoga studio.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Clearhaven Centre

AUTHOR: chichenitza - (Virgin Islands (US))

This happened to me in 2004 - the Centre decided to change everything and kick out the clients who were there - I lost $7000 US because of their actions, and I found out later they did it again in 2009 - left people on the street, and one person was dead within a week - The owners constantly lied, about what was available and what they had to offer - shame on them and I feel so bad for those who got screwed over the next few years - the place is now completely shut down but the owners are still running free with monies they received from desperate people from both Canada and The US -
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#3 Consumer Comment

Dear CHC Employee

AUTHOR: fboots - (Canada)

The timeline in which you posted your rebuttal to pinkpanther is just a LITTLE bit in bad taste dont you think considering what has transpired since?

Also she posted this using an internet handle (if you move your eyes a bit up in the rebuttal section it indicates for you NOT to sign your name)

So for you to mention her name in the opening of your rebuttal is not only unprofessional and passive aggressive, its a little bit douchey!
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#4 Consumer Comment

A concerned recovering addict with some inqueries.

AUTHOR: Vladim - (United States of America)

I was a client at Clear Haven Center. My "theraputic" stay there began in August of 2008. I signed up for the 12 week program. I simply want to confirm that EVERYTHING which Pink Panther claims IS TRUE. Added, I would like to direct a question to the staff member who responded: Do you still have a job now that Clear haven center has declared bankruptcy and so efficiently taken (i will not say "stolen" until it is lawfully declared as such) the hard earned money from the famalies of those hopeful addicts who were literally and irresponsibly put out in the cold in the middle of Montreal having been given NO TIME worth mentioning to plan and secure a safe trip back home (and that is assuming they had a home to which to go)?

I truly hope none of these clients whose last hope effort that was cut so suddenly short are hospitalized or worse; but that they are still hopeful and safe...and warm.

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#5 UPDATE Employee

Very Angry and Emotional Remarks Paint Unfair Picture

AUTHOR: ClearHaven - (United States of America)

Dear Pink Panther (Jamie)


I regret that you are so angry about your experience. However, valid complaints are always handled directly at the Center by Center staff. Complaints that come from clients to my desk are always investigated from outside the Center to ensure staff takes the complaint seriously.


While it is our responsibility to properly inform clients about our program and policies, clients must research their facilities with due diligence.


I will address each complaint as follows:

For example: what are the meals like? ( I have severe dietary restrictions and hypoglycemia) We were told they were prepared by a 5- star chef and constant buffets and snacks and juices were available.


--> Our menus are available upon request by any potential client. If the menus are not acceptable, we do not force any client to attend the center. Clients must make arrangements prior to arriving for any dietary or other requirements, to ensure we are able to accommodate. In this case, the intake counselor informed over the phone that we would not be able to accommodate her specific severe dietary restrictions, but the client decided that she would be able to manage adequately. Based on the clients decision, we allowed her to enter the program. 3 meals a day are provided, menus are available prior to admission, and healthy snacks are always available.


Is there individual counseling? Included in my package I was to get one 1/2 hour session daily.


--> At no point in time have we ever offered daily counseling. Often clients have called dozens of rehab facilities by the time they make a decision and many have gotten confused about which facility offers what service. The most counseling we have ever offered has been one session every other day.


What are the grounds/ exercise/ recreational areas like? We were told there was a state of the art workout room with a personal trainer onsite and a large sprawling property to roam about and a library to read in as well as many tvs and a DVD player as well as a swimming pool.)


--> We have never had a pool at our facility and have never planned to build. We do have a workout room with very basic cardio, strength machines, and free weights. We do have library books to lend but we have never had a library room. You can take a virtual tour of the facility on our website to get pictures of most areas of the building.


Immediately they shuttled us quickly into the office to get full payment upfront and to sign endless waivers and disclaimers stating no matter what you can basically never sue/ ask/ request for your money back.


--> Clients are informed that payment is due on arrival before ever arriving at the Center. A copy of the contract mentioned above is emailed to every client or their sponsor before they make payment, so that they may review and decide before arriving. Paperwork is part of the intake procedure, so that clients are informed of their responsibilities before entering the program. Clients may leave at this point without program payment  if they feel the terms of entry are not acceptable.


Just as quickly they sent my father right out the door he came in.


--> Family members have never been allowed to attend the program. However, on arrival, families are more than welcome to have staff take them on a complete and exhaustive tour of the facility, including the cafeteria, which would have been very important for this client. At that point staff answer all questions they may have. If they feel that our facility is not right for them, no payment is due and they are free to leave. We have also implemented the Family Participation Option. This allows a family member to stay and partake in the program for the first 3 and / or the last 3 days of the clients program. This allows for the client to be transitioned into the program with less anxiety for themselves and their family member.


Turns out SHE WAS A SALES REP and was across the country in Vancouver Canada


-- > None of our intake counselors have ever worked from the Chertsey location. All of our intake counselors regularly tour the facility to ensure they are kept up to date. Clients are free to ask any questions about the staff and facility. It is not usually an issue for clients, so it is not part of our pre-intake client education procedure to inform clients of the sales person location. However, clients are more than welcome to ask and will receive an honest answer as to the location of the intake counselor.


She lied BLATANTLY through her teeth to get my unsuspecting family to shell out the cash.




--> Intake counselors are supervised and corrected if complaints of this nature arise.


There was no recreational time, just endless boring, irrelevant classes and a uninterested staff member just droning on from a projection slide.




--> Recreational time is scheduled everyday, after 7:30 pm every evening clients are free to do as they wish until 11pm. We also have recently implemented an additional 3 half hour free time blocks throughout the day. This allows clients the ability to call home or complete other daytime tasks. Our daily schedule is available for any client upon request or during a facility tour. The classes are crucial to relapse prevention, as they teach the coping skills necessary to stay safe in high-risk situations. Our program has always been delivered via group education session, and one on one counseling.


I had barely any one-on-one 'counseling' sessions and they just basically looked at my 'homework' instead of talking about the pain, trauma and anguish that is the result, or perhaps even the cause of addiction.


--> Clients only receive the number of counseling sessions that they paid for at the start of their program. We have only offered 2 counseling levels, once a week, and once every other day. Clients are free to pay to upgrade their package at any time to increase the level of counseling they receive. The homework is the clients mandatory personalized relapse prevention plan. Its completion is crucial to their success and to graduation. In acknowledgement of the need to work on personal issues during counseling, we have made major program changes. Clients now complete their homework with help from a supervising staff member during study group. Also, we have redone the whole educational program to make it easier for clients to complete their homework during class time. These changes have entirely freed up counseling time for the client to use on whatever they feel their greatest need is.


We had 30 MINUTES to eat lunch, and 30 minutes to eat dinner which was served at 4:30 in the afternoon.


--> Dining is scheduled everyday, as classes run according to a schedule, clients must eat during meal times. They are free to get snacks in between classes. Our daily schedule is available for any client upon request or during a facility tour. Structure is intentionally part of the program. Eating, sleeping, and accomplishing work according to a regular schedule is part of rehabilitation.


After that was finished you either ate from a nasty candy/ snack vending machine. Their 'buffet' 1. white bread 2. jelly and peanut butter 3. corn flakes in an old industrial parsley container and a toaster. EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 28 DAYS STRAIGHT.


--> Our snack menu, which is separate from our meals menu, is available 24 hours, includes cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat and white bread / toast, peanut butter and jam, apples, bananas, oranges, milk, water, tea, and herbal tea. We also have a snack vending machine and an ice cream vending machine. You can view our complete current breakfast, lunch and dinner menu online at:


http://www.clearhavencenter.com/our-alcohol-drug-rehab-center/addiction-rehabilitation-programs.php


You may also call 1-877-465-8080 to have an intake counselor email or mail the menus to you directly.


I am allergic to wheat but was so hungry after 6 pm and with my hypoglycemia I ate it anyways. I got so constipated that I did not go to the bathroom for 8 days-when I told the staff and had them look into my intake file to prove I had food allergies NOT A SINGLE THING WAS DONE ABOUT IT.


-- > The client was fore warned about our cafeteria style dining, and that we could not cater to such extreme and varied allergies, but she felt she would be able to make due. Again, she was free to review the cafeteria on arrival or view our menus before she arrived to make an informed decision about her physical requirements. Clients are always free to leave at any point. We have made special food trips and meals for many clients with food allergies when they work with staff to make the necessary arrangements. In this case, there was  a variety of food available to work around the allergies.


And guess what? If I left early we lost our money.


--> All clients are informed of the no refund policy first by the intake counselors, then by the staff at the center during the contract review and signing. At any point prior to payment, clients are able to change their mind about attending the facility if they do not agree with the policy. Understanding the fear that many clients and their families have about attending rehab, we have moved to a weekly payment system. Rather than purchase 4,6,8 or 12 week programs, the client may purchase by the week. Clients still receive a discount if they wish to pay in full for the total weeks of their program, but now clients have the option of paying by the week. This change allows families to not suffer financially should the client drop out early. This also allows clients to leave without financial penalty if they feel the program is not for them.


Another hugely disturbing aspect of the facility was that the women ( like myself) were treated like loose harlots and constantly badgered for their attire. We were not allowed to wear skirts (even floor length ones!), shorts above the knee or friggin TANK TOPS! And I was there for the month of August!


--> The clothing policy is reviewed with clients and /or their sponsors over the phone before they arrive at the center. Sadly, many of our clients are HIV, and / or hepatitis positive due to years of injection drug use.  Our dress code discourages sexual relationships from starting, and therefore aims to protect clients from life threatening sexually transmitted diseases. Our facility is co-ed, and the dress code aims to reduce distractions due to sexual tension as a result of provocative clothing. Clients are informed of both dress code and the weather conditions prior to arrival to allow for appropriate clothing to be brought to the Center. Clients may also receive a package of clothing from family if they find that what they have brought is not suitable.


In my opinion not AT ALL qualified to help even themselves, much less an addicted individual with complex acute issues.


-- > Our counseling staff possesses varying university degrees in psychology and social work, including experience working with addictions and difficult mental health issues. Potential clients can view our staff web page at any time to see the credentials of some of our staff.


The whole experience was a complete waste of time and money. I completed the 28 days because I love and respect my father and his hard earned money sending me there. The whole place os a total SCAM, and a utter rip-off.


-->  To date, we have had over 1,500 clients attend the center. Any business will always have a small group of clients who cannot be satisfied no matter the resolution offered. The majority of our clients graduate from the program, and move on to successful lives. Not every program is a perfect fit for every client. Participating in any rehabilitation program involves facing very painful emotions, and doing lots of hard work. At any rehab facility, focusing solely on everything that is wrong robs a person of the ability to learn and grow from the program that is being offered. Unfortunately, this is an example of all or nothing thinking patterns that are typical of those suffering from addiction. Most clients will disagree with some aspects of any rehab they attend, but are able to find value in other aspects and take full advantage of the good aspects of the program.


by themselves far from civilization in the backwoods.


-- > Our remote location prevents clients from making a snap decision to walk out the door and acquire alcohol or drugs. Clients must carefully plan to leave the center. It is a very long walk to the nearest tiny village, and over an hour drive back to the city. This gives staff and family and the client the opportunity to discuss quitting early BEFORE they leave, giving them one more chance to succeed.


It is very unfortunate that this client was angry and not able to gain any benefit from the program. While we have made major changes to the program in response to client suggestions and complaints, clients and their families must take the time to fully research any facility they are considering. Rehab is a significant financial investment, and as such the client must make a likewise investment of time to ensure a rehab facility is right for them.


Clients must also be prepared that no facility will be perfect. They must be willing to work hard to gain the most they can from a program, rather than spending their time searching for everything that is not exactly to their liking.

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