• Report: #1053299

Complaint Review: The Watershed Rehab - Boynton Beach, FL

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  • Submitted: Thu, May 23, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, May 24, 2013

  • Reported By: Anna Gramm — Jersey City New Jersey
The Watershed Rehab - Boynton Beach, FL
Internet USA

The Watershed Rehab - Boynton Beach, FL rehab, the watershed, deceptive, lies, fradulent Boynton Beach Florida

*UPDATE Employee: From The Watershed

*Consumer Suggestion: Record the lies and put it on youtube

*Author of original report: To Susanne, my response

*Consumer Comment: Typical addict making excuses.

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 The Watershed Rehab located in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, Florida, is an unhonest, unprofessional, deceptive facility, with questionable practices. They lie to you from the minute you make contact with them.

From the second you speak to somebody at the Watershed, they make you feel like they are the best and only rehab in the world that can treat your addiction problems. They call and harass you so much that it borders on telemarketing. After I made initial contact with them to ask some questions about costs and insurance, they called me about twice an hour, and when I got frustrated and didn't answer them, they chose to initiate contact with my 'emergency contact' - my father, who had no idea that I was researching rehab facilities.

Though I should have seen red flags when they called my father, I decided to go to the Watershed for their 30 day inpatient rehab program, and to recieve Vivitrol. When I asked about which airport to fly into, and when I should make my flight arrangements for, they insisted on taking care of it for me, and told me that they would pay for my flight. This should've been red flag number two, but I went with it, as I was desperate to get better.

I was told on the phone with the Watershed that I would have a private room with my own bathroom at the facility, and that they offered a variety of different therapies, such as equine therapy, acupuncture, EMDR, massage, art therapy, psychodrama, etc. I was interested in exploring these therapies outside of the traditional, as I've always been an artistic person, and I paid extra for a private room. I was also told that the Watershed offered a specific opiate replacement therapy that I was interested in recieving. However, upon arrival at the Watershed in Boynton Beach, my world was turned upside-down.

I arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport, and was picked up and taken to the Watershed. When I arrived, I was greeted with a gigantic, hotel-looking building. I was taken through admissions, and then placed into a three person 'detox room', which had a camera in it for 24-hour surveillance. When I asked about my private room, I was literally laughed at. The woman said, 'There are no private rooms here, honey. Two people to each and every room. Three or more when you're in detox.' I was shocked, but I kept it to myself.

During my first week at the Watershed, I was not allowed to use the phone privately. When I wanted to call my parents, I was made to use my therapists phone, and it had to be on speakerphone, so she could hear everything that was going on. When my father began asking questions about my opiate-replacement therapy, I began to ask questions as well. The therapist told both my father and I that she had never heard of that before, and that they didn't do that there. I was in shock, as was my father. Receiving opiate-replacement therapy was my primary purpose for going to the Watershed. I asked to leave the very day that I was told they didn't do my treatment there, and they told me that I could leave, but I wouldn't be getting any of my stuff back, such as cell phone, wallet, ID, money and cards. I asked to be formally discharged, and I was ignored.

I decided to suck it up, and spend the rest of my 30 days there and then head home. During three weeks at the Watershed, I experienced many things. Everyday you see a psychiatrist, however, there is only one psychiatrist for 30+ girls. Needless to say, there is not much time to explore your feelings and what is going on with you. She just asks how you're doing, and if you say 'fine' you head right back out the door. Literally, in and out in under a minute. Now, I know I could've spent more time with her, but the Tech's always line the girls up (like 5 or 6 at a time) for the Psych, so all those girls were waiting in line. But anyways, each day before lunch you have a 'primary group' with your therapist and the other girls whom have her as well. This is designed to be a deep group, one where you can open up, because there are only a handful of people in it. However, in three weeks, I only saw my therapist privatly once, save for these groups and making telephone calls with her my first week. However, thought I wasn't seeing her, she was calling my father harassing him, telling him that I needed to be there longer than 30 days, because I was, quote, 'very, very, very, sick.' Apparently I wasn't the only sick one, though, because this happened to all of the girls - therapists calling peoples' families behind their backs pressing them to keep us there longer, and draining their pockets.

As my 30 days bore closer, I began to ask about my discharge date, so I could coordinate travel plans. I was greeted with, 'Oh, you're not leaving. You're going to PHP.' PHP (or partial hospitalization) is the next phase of the program, where you live in an apartment building and attend groups at a different facility during the day. I refused, but they told me that I was definitely going - that my father already agreed to it. Now, I am an adult. What say does my father have in MY treatment? I am responsible for myself. So I humored them, and went to PHP, where the problems only got worse.

The apartments at PHP are set up so there are four people per apartment - two per room, with each room having its own bathroom. The apartments are in a terrible, typical South Florida crack neighborhood, but don't worry! They're surrounded by a chain link fence, which was jumped by multiple people daily to go get drugs. The managers of the apartments, KJ and Tommy were unprofessional and engaged in sexual relationshpis with the clients. They also turned a blind eye to all the drug use going on. Drugs like Dilaudid, spice, mucinex and coriceden "triple C's" were extremely popular and used by a majority of the population daily.

At Quantum, the off-site facility where the groups are held daily, they have a discharge policy posted on the wall. It states 3-day discharge. When I approached someone and asked to be discharged per the 3-day policy, I was balked at and told that the policy only applied to Psychiatric facilities, and there would be 10-14 days before I was even considered for discharge. In the meantime, the Watershed took it upon themselves to contact my family and told them I was 'going to die if I left' and 'do not take me home under any circumstances.' They also contacted my employer, though I had not signed releases for them to do so, so therefore they violated HIPAA laws.

I had to threaten with my lawyer to finally be discharged from the facility. Overall, I spent a total of 31 days in hell at the Watershed. It is virtually impossible to get discharged from there, unless your money or insurance policy runs out. If your insurance covers 90 days, you will do every day at the Watershed. Your family has to be adament about wanting you home, and even then, they will still tell your family that you're going to die if you go home early.

I found out that KJ and Tommy were both fired, so maybe PHP has cleaned up a bit, but I doubt it. Please, seek alternate treatment.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/23/2013 10:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Watershed-Rehab-Boynton-Beach-FL/internet/The-Watershed-Rehab-Boynton-Beach-FL-rehab-the-watershed-deceptive-lies-fradulent-1053299. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

From The Watershed

AUTHOR: Watershed Ashling - ()

We are sorry that your experience was not to your liking and we would like to see if we can come to a solution. Since we do not have the specific details of your situation, we would greatly appreciate it if you could contact us at info@thewatershed.com or call us at 1-800-861-1768. Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns. We hope to hear from you soon.


Kindest Regards,

The Watershed



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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Record the lies and put it on youtube

AUTHOR: Idea - ()

I am reading so many complaints of "they lied on the phone just to get me here" it would be funny as h*** if someone recorded the lies and put it on youtube !! I just searched "record phone call" and 100 easy ways came up in the results. Someone should do this and then put a link to the youtube vid here on this ripoff report !

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#3 Author of original report

To Susanne, my response

AUTHOR: Anna Gramm - ()


I am feeling the need to respond to you, as my review of the Watershed was the absolute honest truth of my experience there, and unfortunatey was the truth for many of the young men and women who were patients there with me as well. I am going to respond to your post one by one, numbered, as you set your post up.


1. I set up plans to go to the Watershed myself. I reached out to them with no urging from my family, no disaster had happened, I hadn't received a 'nudge from the judge'... meaning, I was simply at the end of my rope with using substances. Yes, the staff was courteous, but I don't think professional is a word that adequately discribes them. Upon my initial contact with the Watershed, they asked me basic questions: usage history, insurance info, who to contact in case of emergency**, etc. I had told the man I was simply doing research on treatment options and just wanted information. He verified my insurance and told me that they could take me in right away. I told him again that I was just doing research and thanked him, and hung up. After that, they called me incessently, non stop, and I didn't answer, as I was working. The admissions people took it upon themselves to initiate dialogue with my emergency contact, BEFORE I WAS EVEN A PATIENT THERE, because I, quote, "Was not answering the phone when they called." Mind you, my emergency contact had no clue I was looking for treatment, as I hadn't told my family anything yet. Professional? More like opening a can of worms.

2. Again, my father DID NOT contact the Watershed on my behalf. I contacted them myself, after finding their website. I was not in crisis before arriving there, nor was I in crisis at anytime during my stay there. The Watershed chose to initiate dialogue with my father before I had even agreed to come to their facility, based on the simple fact that I wasn't answering my phone when they called. And they called so much in two days it bordered on harassment and telemarketing. I know you're going to say, "Well, they just care about you." I get it. But it was freaking annoying. And unnecessary.

3. Yes, they say that health insurance covers your flight, but unfortunately to my knowledge, NO health insurance plan pays for plane tickets. You will be slapped with a bill once your loved one leaves treatment. What really happens is the Watershed pays for your (one-way) ticket to Florida, so that you have no set discharge date, and are at their mercy until they have drained you, financially and emotionally, and finally feel like discharging you. (And for the record, I have extremely good substance abuse coverage under my health insurance. 100% of treatments covered, with no deductible, no out of pocket costs, no cap on prices of services.) Flights, unfortunately, aren't a medical procedure.

4. The opiate replacement therapy that I was told of is Vivitrol. It is an opiate blocking shot that contains Naltrexone. It binds to the receptors in your brain, blocks cravings, and will not allow you to experience a 'high' should you decide to return to using. The man whom I initially spoke to on the phone said that they offer this treatment. When I first arrived at the Watershed, nobody even knew what I was talking about. However, after fighting tooth and nail with every nurse, case manager, and the psychiatrist, I had the procedure approved by my insurance, and I was referred to a provider back home who would render the service to me upon my discharge.

5. Again, for the third time, yes, the Watershed had contact with my father AND my boyfriend while I was a patient there, and I was not present most of the time. I had a release signed for my father, and he was also my emergency contact, however, there was no paperwork signed for my boyfriend. Other patients have told me that the Watershed contacted their schools and jobs.

6. I did not have one-on-one sessions with JOAN my therapist, until I had been in the program for over three weeks. And our first one-on-one was initiated so she could talk me into going to PHP, which I promptly refused, and was dropped from orange band to blue band for. Since you know so much about the program, I hope you know that orange band is only recieved when you're doing oustanding work. Joan also rescinded my phone time, and contacted my father saying that I wasn't ready to come home, and I was lying if I said there were drugs at PHP. My father told me this in our next phone call... I told him there were drugs there, and he said, and I quote, "Oh, Joan called me and said you were going to say that. She said you're lying."

7. How does someone get on with recovery in real life? Focus on their discharge date so they can get back to their normal life. Contrary to popular belief, there are functioning addicts out there. I was one of those 'functioning' addicts. I went to school, maintained a high GPA, worked two jobs, and volunteered. I needed to be discharged within thirty days so I could get on with school and work. I truly believe that you're setting people up for failure by keeping them in a 'treatment vacation' for more than 90 days. Most people have responsibilities they need to take care of; it's irresponsible to have these people stagnant, doing nothing to really improve their lives AT HOME (i.e. work, school), but instead doing groups daily for 90 days. Setting them up to search for work in Florida is ridiculous for some people as well. Why should everybody be required to look for work in South Florida, if they already have jobs and opportunities waiting for them back home? The Watershed claims it's not a 'one size fits all' program, but then why is everybody forced through the same program, with no personal imput as to when we feel ready to return home?

8. No, honey, you can't leave at 'anytime'. Go read any review on any website, and every single one will cite the same facts. YOU CAN NOT LEAVE. That is most peoples biggest complaint. They will not book your flight, which is why they fly you down in the first place, so you can't leave. If you even speak the words "I want to go home", you will lose your phone time, they will call your family and tell them not to book a flight and not to take you home, that you're going to die. If you walk out the door, presumably to go to the airport yourself, you will get none of your personal belongings back for 24-hours. I saw not one patient being discharged properly in my 31 days there. I was the first to go through the 'proper' discharge process (after fighting tooth and nail and threatening legal proceedings) and even then, I was discharged AMA.

9. I have 100% substance abuse coverage, no deductible, no co-payments, no cap on services, no monetary cap.

10. Yes, PHP is in a bad area, and yes, people hop the fences, or walk right out the gate. Maybe your loved one hasn't seen it, but it does happen, or at least it was happening daily when I was there.

11. I didn't stay at PHP long enough to look for work, however, there were drugs being brought in by people who were hopping the fence (as I stated above). They were using these drugs on an average of a week before being caught. Specifically, my roommate and her group of friends were constantly smoking spice and shooting up Dilaudid, and weren't caught until one of them passed out outside and had to be rushed to the hospital. The apartment was then drug tested.

12. Yes Quantum is rich with AA and NA, and I credit AA with my sobriety, not the Watershed. Unfortunately, I wish that there were more AA meetings at the Boynton facility, as AA is truly a lifesaving program. When we were supposed to have outside AA committments come in, they rarely, if ever, showed up, and we ended up doing nothing instead of having a meeting.

13. I too have a Bachelor's and I am working on a Master's as we speak. I never broke any 'rules.' I functioned while using, and honestly, not only did I function, but I thrived. I just got sick of hiding my secret, and maintaining a semblance of normalcy while using. I never broke any 'rules' at the Watershed either. I got an Orange band while in Boynton, the highest you can get, and had all my privileges. The only time I started to get in trouble was when I started talking about discharge. Apparently, I was going to incite a riot, as many of the patients wanted to go home as well.

14. Yes, there were HIPAA violations regarding my father, as well as my boyfriend. I rescinded the release I had signed for my father (ripped it up in Joan's face after I found out she called him without my knowledge and called me a liar) and she still continued to contact him. The only way she was supposed to contact him was if it was an emergency - sickness, hospitalization. Also, I never had a release signed for my boyfriend, she got the number from a paper I had written it on, and contacted him without me in the room. I was supposed to be there for the family session, but I wasn't. Violation. She didn't have my permission to contact him without me there. I know how HIPAA works. I work in a hospital. Thanks for trying to school me, though.

15. 31 days in the grand scheme of things is nothing, however, I had a life to get back to. And, no, I wasn't disruptive to others recovery. I was friends with just about everyone, and I was doing everything I was supposed to do. I just wanted to get home and get on with my life.

My nasty, false review is neither nasty or false. It is a true account of what happened to me during my stay at the Watershed. I urge you to look at other websites (helpinghandnetwork.org is just one of the many) and read accounts of other peoples experiences. They are extremely similar to mine. Notice if you will that the glowing reviews have no details, but the bad reviews are extremely in depth and outline everything?

I will do all I can to save people from this hell.



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#4 Consumer Comment

Typical addict making excuses.

AUTHOR: luvswoman - ()

 I find this false report appalling and sad, a true injustice for other’s who need a great treatment program and might pass The Watershed by because someone who is living in denial.

My loved one has been at the Watershed for 63days and is doing better than she has in 20yrs fighting her addiction. She received her 60day chip and shared proudly when she got it!!


  1. The staff is professional and honest! I personally set up the plans to get my loved one into the program and they told no lies!!
  2. They do call back when you are in crises. Clearly you were as they tried to reach you and feared for your welfare. The only way they would have contacted your father, was if he was actually the person who contacted them on your behalf. You father wouldn’t have become your emergency contact unless you wanted him to. For example… My loved one did not have contact with her mother who called the program repeatedly in an attempt to reach her daughter and her daughter didn’t give them permission speak to her! So you are lying when it comes to the contact with your father!


  1. The Watershed makes the flight arrangements because it’s paid for by your health insurance (which it would seem your father must pay for?). The only promise they would have given regarding detoxifying drugs is that you would have had chemical help in the detoxification phase so that you didn’t drop dead trying to detoxify.


  1.  I find it hard to believe you were told of a specific opiate replacement therapy since you can’t even name what that is. And everyone who is an addict who enters detoxification and treatment has their world turned upside down, or should we say turned right side up!! The fact of the matter is you are an addict looking to blame a great program for your short comings. It’s sad you weren’t ready to get well, because if you would have really tried it would have really worked for you too.


  1. No one in the program is allowed to speak to family without their therapist present. This is standard practice. I spoke with my loved one in that forum until she earned the privilege to speak to me for 10 minutes twice a day on a phone that could have someone listening to the conversation. My loved one also met with her therapist privately once a week and in her primary group five days a week. My loved one tells me that it is the primary group that allows for greatest change. If you didn’t have more then a minute in your private sessions, it’s because you chose to leave the session or sit in silence. And one would hope as desperate as you were to get well you would have worked harder.


  1. I had the privilege of speaking to my loved ones therapist prior to family sessions but only to keep my loved one safe and to prepare me to be supportive verses a codependent by enabling her to have negative idea’s about her program. Again, if they had contact with your father it’s because he paid for you to go and was the person who called first, or because you called him the loved one you wanted involved, or they would have never been able to tell him a thing about you. As I said before, 63 days in the program and my adult loved ones mother has never been able to have it confirmed that her daughter is there!


  1. How does someone ruin their recovery?? 1. Focus on discharge date. 2. Analyze, revise and improve the program. 3. Focus on the faults of the staff. 4. Concentrate on physical problems. 5. Focus on it being someone else’s fault. From what I can tell by your angry letter you broke all the rules and ruined your treatment and recovery!! Clearly you really are a very, very sick girl, as you have broken all these rules instead of blaming yourself for your addictions.


  1. You could have left at anytime. They would have booked you a flight and put you on the plane before you were out of their care, but you could have left at anytime. They will not give you your wallet, Id or money and let you walk out onto the streets of a strange county in a strange place, you are in there care once you step in the doors and they will keep you safe until they get you on a plane home. But they would have done that for you as they would for any resident. Clearly you and your father had a deal and you weren’t welcome home until you did 30days, as you made it to PHP and then went home.


  1. I can’t speak to your father’s health insurance, but my loved one made her copayment and her insurance has covered the bill same as it would for any hospitalization. When her insurance stops paying The Watershed have programs to help with funds and continued groups, meetings, drug classes and individual therapy.


  1. My loved one has been at PHP for 17days. The minute you head to PHP they give you back your cell phone and there is also a land line in each apartment that can be used at will with a calling card. There are 4 residents per apartment, 2 per room and each room with its own bathroom. You are given money to shop for groceries every week and can combine with roomies or keep said funds separate. You are supervised in the store and at the PHP step of The Watershed Program. There is no hopping of fences as you say, my loved one stepped off the patio and was surrounded by three techs within 20 seconds. PHP is not in a wealthy area and there are bad people right outside those fences, the hope is that you are strong enough to work the program when you level up and step off those grounds alone.


  1. My loved one leveled up today and was allowed money in her pocket and given a 4 hr pass to look for work. As you level up you are allowed to leave for interviews and job hunting. There are people who go out and look for drugs and bring them back (sadly) but they are found out quickly and removed from PHP and offered a chance to go back to detoxify again in a hospital setting in the hopes that when they get back to PHP they will be ready. But they are not allowed to stay and use and bring back drugs to the people who are fighting for a life!


  1. The quantum facility is rich with AA and NA meetings and groups to help you get through the day and learn a bit more about yourself and your addiction. I refer to item 7 again; you were checked out the whole time you were checked into the program.


  1. She has a Bachelors’ and a Master’s in her field and after 20 yrs of addiction stopped breaking the rules I spoke of above in item 7. She is responsible for her own insurance and her own recovery. Every Insurance is different and when my loved ones runs out she will find a way to continue the after care program. You dear girl never even made it that far.


  1. There were no HIPAA violations regarding your father, you had to sign several pages of release forms for them to speak to him. I feel bad for your dad, as I am sure he hoped you would go and get well, but the only way you will ever get well is the day you pick up the phone and make that call yourself.


  1. 31 days was nothing! My loved one has been there 63days and is well. You didn’t need to threaten anyone with a lawyer, as you would have been so destructive to the recovery of others they would have been happy to show you the door no matter how much money your father offered them to keep you.


I have responded to you nasty false review of this great program for all the lives your false letter will dissuade from this great program. 20 yrs and 6 treatment programs, this is the one that helped my loved one save her life. You should remove your false review and hold yourself accountable to your self and your father and not harm a program that has helped so many heal and help themselves.

Good luck to you and your family!



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