• Report: #593541

Complaint Review: A Forever Recovery

  • Submitted: Thu, April 15, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, May 01, 2010

  • Reported By: BattleCreekCrusader — Rankin Michigan United States of America
A Forever Recovery
216 St. Marys Lake Rd. Battle Creek, Michigan United States of America

A Forever Recovery Formerly Stone Hawk This place is to be avoided at all costs. VERY shady operation. Battle Creek, Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Thanks Battle Creek Crusader

*Consumer Comment: A forevery recovery rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: Similiar experience

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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Upon arrival you walk in to an acceptable but outdated lobby.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.

General Facilities_____________________________

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/reports/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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#1 Consumer Comment

Thanks Battle Creek Crusader

AUTHOR: M.Cate - (USA)

Thanks for your extensive report Battle Creek Crusader, and I am pleased to know the MI AG's office has finally been notified.

My similar experience is recorded on my own Rip Off Report.

I hope the AG reads these reports. The experiences are  both sad and chilling and I hope they are shut down before someone is terribly hurt or killed by the "drop 'em at a hotel" policy.

If the AG is reading these reports, please understand that "A Forever Recovery" controls its clients and their families by intimidating legal contracts that try and assure that people will never try to sue for their 1000's of dollars in  upfront fees , publish the contract,  or even talk about their experiences there.  I hope the AG will take the time to contact the reporters on this board for more information.

I still feel very badly that the friend who paid for my admission was taken in by their lies for over $5000.00  - just for my few days there.  It is not right and must be stopped.

This is a money churning operation with no regard for the well fare of the client, and  worse - it is very DANGEROUS for the clients who are booted and driven to hotel rooms.

MI should be ashamed it allows such a scam to continue to operate in it's state.

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#2 Consumer Comment

A forevery recovery rebuttal

AUTHOR: kellyraeDC - (United States of America)

I am a former client of A Forever Recovery. I graduated the program last Friday and can tell anyone that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Reading this original report disgusts me. I was a client in the facility during this incident and also attended the Indigineous track run by "Bill." I remember a time where I acted out as you did in the track because I was in complete denial about my addiction. The difference in our opinion about this facility is the simpe fact that I gave it a chance to work and you did not. I was not pleased with ALL the facility standards but I had to come to realize that I wasn't there on vacation-I was there to get my life back. Can you remember your lifestyle as an addict or alcoholic? My living conditions in the darkest times of my addiction made this place look like a mansion in Malibu. The withdraw house may not have been HUGE and may not have met your "Paris Hilton" standards but the staff made my withdraw comfortable and met all my needs. Even if the withdraw house was like a 5-star hotel, would you have been able to really enjoy it being in a state of complete withdraw? I don't think so. Most alcoholics such as yourself hallucinate during withdraw so I'm almost positive that even if you were sitting on a beach you wouldn't have really known or cared the difference.

The cal-mag and vitamins are given to you in large amounts because during our addictions we strip ourselves completley of the vitamins our body should naturally produce not for survival but for HEALTHY survival. So, Throwing your cal-mag down the drain and tossing your vitamins only screwed yourself. Plus, you said the vitamins would cause you kidney or liver damage but I'm pretty sure the "budweiser" already got that job done. By the way, all vitamins turn your urine neon green. Its normal. You werent overdosing on vitamins...

As for the water and plumbing, no it was not the best water and no it didn't have softener and smelled funny but again, your not there for a fashion show, ITS REHAB. Well-water is not going to hurt you. The smell is from sulfur which is a natural mineral found in all well water. Im sure through your alcoholism-you smelled alot worse.

There are actually 2 sinks to a room. You may have still been hallucinating. They are also in the process of ordering screens. Its common sense on your part- if you dont want bugs in your room..then shut your window. There is housekeeping staff that DOES do daily room maintainence. Your toilet paper and trash bags don't magically appear by themselves. As for cleaning your room, housekeeping is not there to wait on you. You are there to learn how to maintain a daily routine which means making your bed and cleaning up after yourself. Are you going to have a maid pick up all your crap when you get home? Probably not. NORMAL people do this EVERYDAY. You can also go to the staff upstairs and they will provide you with a broom or any cleaning product you need. If you would have stayed long enough you would have learned that we have room cleaning on saturdays which consists of mopping, dusting, etc. If you do this once a week and you don't live like a pig for the rest of the week then your room should be just fine.

As for the security guards, if you stopped complaining and actually got to know these people, then you may learn a thing or two. One of our security guards did do prison time and is very big and intimidating. But did you know that he's also a minister for his church and has made a complete turn around in his life? Security guards are suppossed to be INTIMIDATING. It keeps us all in line. THATS THE POINT. If they were all 100 pounds and really nice people then us addicts would see it as an opportunity to mainupulate them.

As for the other staff, they arent perfect by any means but they are people I look up to. I wouldnt be where I am not if it weren't for alot of these people.

As for our fearless leader of Indigineous, the one you call "Bill," This man is not afraid to tell you like it is. We spend years sugar-coating the things we've done wrong and he is just someone who strips that coating off and tells you how it really is. WE NEED TO HEAR THIS. I wasn't at track that night you were because I was at an NA meeting, but everyone in that room that night told me what happened and your story on here is not 100% true. It was said that you were pretty much denying the fact that you were an addict and all "Bill" did was pretty much get it through your thick-skull that you were and ARE and addict. And his saying about rather having 40 heroin addicts than 1 alcoholic...well I guess it turns out to be true because just take a look at THIS particular situation. To be in his MRT and in his track, you have to have thick-skin and you have to be willing to change. Him discussing his previous lifestyle is his way of telling you how bad addiction can get. Its not a bragging story and it's not something hes proud of. He does this job because he wants to help people. And he DOES. He helped me in more ways than one. He helped me when he didnt even KNOW me. He stayed after a long day to listen to my story and gave me advice. He didnt have to do that. He was off the clock. He did that on his own time and did it for free. Most people in AFR attend that track. And theres a reason why. So if you think your one complaint against this facility matters..well im here to tell you that is DOESNT.

If you hadnt spent so much time looking in the toilet tanks, measuring the size of your room and deciphering the security guards tatoos then you may have learned a thing or two. I came there with the same attitude and it didnt get me anywhere until I decided to change it. After all the things we have done through our addiction, do we really deserve to have an easy route to sobriety? NO. You have to work for it and realize that you have a place to sleep- food to eat and a roof over your head. AND YOURE STILL ALIVE.  $22,500 is a pretty cheap price to save your life.

I wish you the best of luck. And I hope one day you can make the same transition that I did. I am at peace with myself and my life and I can only hope you get there one day. Look at yourself-not everyone else around you. When you can do this is when you will find peace.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Similiar experience

AUTHOR: standfree - (USA)

I am still amazed at the growing number of people tricked by this place, and yet the state has not done anything to stop it.  I know for a fact that the intake people get paid in excess of $200 per person that is admitted into the facility.  They do not have a detox unit, which is a normal part of an inpatient treatment center, but they do have a withdrawal unit, which is basically a frat house with former patients running the show.  They mislead everyone that walks in the door on this issue.

They have updated their website to state that they do not employ former patients like other treatment centers, but thats a lie.  Treatment centers do like to employ recovering addicts with at least 2 years, because of their experience and hope. 2 years is an adequete time to have worked on issues, and develop a sense of life.  This craphole employs people the day they graduate from treatment, when they barely have any issues dealt with in a healthy manner.

They still use the vitamins as you described, very sceintology based, very much like the sauna and the textbooks.  The textbooks they use now are very mainstream, but the way they use them is not.  They have bastardized them to where they are not effective.  I am praying for you my friend, and hope that you can your peace in a legitimate facility.

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