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.