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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Do Your Research – Avoid These Rehab Nightmares

The following stories are true and show a darker side of the rehab industry. More than that, they underline how important it is to do your research before you or a loved one enter a facility.

Instead of taking a starring role in one of these horror stories, find a reputable rehab facility and get the quality treatment you deserve!

No, You Can’t Use the Bathroom!

Kelli sat in a two-hour long group therapy session, desperate to go to the bathroom. She was going through heroin withdrawal, which causes both diarrhea and excessive urination. But therapy group participants at her inpatient rehab weren’t allowed to leave the room for the full two hours, for any reason.

You’re Not Sharing Enough Pain

As a part of her “treatment,” Janice had to write up her life story, including rape and domestic abuse, and share this with 20 strangers. After she shared her story, her counselor told her, “You didn’t go into enough detail about your rape and abuse. You need to write five more pages.” When Janice refused, the therapist accused her of being “in denial.” Janice was court-ordered to rehab, and the therapist reported her as non-compliant. The only requirement for counselors at the facility was that they be “in recovery,” – so decisions that affected the patient’s freedom were made by a person without a college degree or any training in psychiatry. Janice was sent back to jail.

Scrub Those Floors or Leave

Betsy went to rehab for alcohol at age 60. At the treatment facility, everyone had to do chores, including scrubbing floors. Betsy had multiple back surgeries and found that her back just couldn’t take the hard physical labor. When she did scrub floors, she was denied any sort of pain medication. She just couldn’t do it. Staff members told Betsy that “no exceptions can be made,” and discharged her with less than one hours’ notice. As she waited for her grown son to come and get her, Betsy was fearful of what he would think of her “failure” at rehab.

Nope, You’re Not Going Home

Damian, 45, and his employer were told he would be in rehab for 28 days. On the 27th day, he was called into an impromptu meeting with the owner of the rehab and the HR director from his place of business. That’s when Damian was told he would be staying another 28 days. In the meeting, Damian was given no medical reason for this drastic change of plans. He was later informed by the rehab doctor that the he himself had suggested discharge, but the owner had discovered Damian’s insurance would pay for another 28 days.


Additional Reading:   7 Elements That Make a Good Treatment Facility



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