American Addiction Centers Reviews, Cost, Complaints

American Addiction Centers


American Addiction CentersThe Basics

American Addiction Centers was founded in 2011 when recovery industry players Michael Cartwright and Jerrod Menz merged their companies. A bit of history: Cartwright is the founder and former CEO of Foundations Recovery Network, a corporation that owns The Canyon and Michael’s House, among many other treatment centers. Menz, meanwhile, was the CEO of Forterus, a moderately priced treatment center with two outposts in Southern California. Today, Menz is AAC’s CEO while Cartwright is its chairman.

Since its inception, AAC has acquired an array of treatment facilities across the country to round out Forterus: FitRX in Tennessee (where their business headquarters is located); The Academy and Singer Island in Florida; Desert Hope in Nevada and The Greenhouse in Texas.

Accommodations and Food

Meals and housing options vary greatly depending on the rehab. AAC has some locations (FitRX, The Academy, Singer Island and Forterus) where residents stay in one house and are transported to nearby central treatment sites and others (Desert Hope and The Greenhouse) where treatment and housing is under one roof.

For the most part, clients have roommates and rooms come with en-suite bathrooms, though FitRX offers private rooms for all clients. The level of luxury also spans the spectrum: The Greenhouse is converted from a high-end spa and comes complete with a large indoor pool and a Hokkaido tub and Desert Hope resembles a luxury hotel with hardwood floors, floral arrangements and elegant furnishings. Each will set clients back about $26,000 for 30 days.

AAC’s adolescent program, The Academy, is one tier below The Greenhouse and Desert Hope in terms of cost ($14,800 for 30 days). It does boast a tropical location near the beach and large sun-soaked bedrooms; as with The Greenhouse and Desert Hope, all bedrooms are shared. Each has wood floors, tasteful decor, basic furnishings and twin beds.

FitRX and Singer Island each cost between $11,000 and $12,000 for 30 days. As mentioned, FitRX’s private rooms are a definite draw (complete with queen beds and kitchenettes attached to each room), as are their state-of-the-art fitness amenities (including an Olympic-size pool). Singer Island is likely the most basic, with bungalow-style accommodations that are nevertheless nothing to scoff at. Each room has twin beds, an en-suite bathroom and a kitchenette attached. There’s also a beach nearby, as well as an on-site spa where residents can get acupuncture or massage treatments.

Food services at AAC facilities vary. FitRX offers catered meal plans and has the clearest emphasize on nutrition (since their focus is on binge eating and other eating disorders). The Academy also has an on-site nutritionist and chef who work in concert to make three meals a day with plenty of salad options and accommodations are made for vegetarian, gluten-free and other diets.

At Singer Island and Forterus, clients buy their own groceries (with a house stipend included in the price of treatment) and cook their own meals. The philosophy behind this approach is that it promotes self-sufficiency and builds self-esteem.

Desert Hope and The Greenhouse offer five-star gourmet meal plans; though these are largely customizable, some options include lamb chops, fajitas and ribs (with vegetarian options always available as well).

Treatment and Staff

All of AAC’s rehabs models emphasize 12-step and offer dual diagnosis support, though not all the facilities require 12-step participation. The most 12-step heavy of their facilities is The Academy, which stresses the “one day at a time” philosophy extensively.

More specialized options at Singer Island and FitRX include the 12 steps as part of their care package, but not necessarily the focus. Singer Island has a holistic program that includes equine therapy, chiropractic work, art therapy and other wellness therapies. FitRX, on the other hand, puts most of their energy into food and fitness education (OA meetings are available there as well).

AAC’s luxury programs The Greenhouse and Desert Hope both offer 12-step meetings every week, but stress that these are not mandatory for those staunchly opposed to them. All the above programs are available in 30, 60 and 90 days varieties.

All AAC facilities provide group therapy and one-on-one sessions. It offers CBT, DBT and EMDR at all their locations and also has doctors on site at every facility. On-site detox is standard for AAC, though their Florida locations, Singer Island and The Academy, are still in the process of expanding to include this.

AAC’s intensive two-day family program occurs on the third weekend of treatment at all locations. From 8 am to 5 pm, family members are welcome to go through all treatment sessions alongside their loved one and the loved one’s clinician. Skype sessions are also an option for those who can’t be there in person. In terms of general outside communication, AAC’s policy is to have the first five-to-seven days be a black-out period. Still, if a release form is signed, clients can receive calls from family members during this time.

Using a sample schedule for Desert Hope (which, according to an AAC coordinator, is reflective of other locations’ daily activities), residents wake up at 6:30 am Monday through Friday. Breakfast is served at 7:30 am and is followed by a general morning group meeting. Morning meditation is at 9 am after which there’s a series of educational and therapeutic group sessions. Some AAC locations also offer yoga and massage (for additional fees).

Phone time and lunch fall between 11:30 am and 1 pm and is followed by more group and individual therapy sessions until 5 pm. Dinner is served at 5:45 pm, and between 6:45 and 8 pm, residents participate in an educational class and a series of recovery meetings. After 8 pm there’s time to go to the gym, take medication and get ready for bed, with lights out at 10 or 11 pm. Clients can sleep in later on the weekends, though breakfast is still served at the same time. The rest of the weekend consists of various educational courses.

In Summary

American Addiction Centers is a reputable name within the recovery community. It offers a wide range of standard and holistic treatment along with comfortable accommodations and plenty of amenities. Flexible lengths of stay, the option to participate in 12-step and a strong family program are some of the many benefits to choosing to begin recovery at one of these facilities.

American Addiction Centers Cost: Varies by location. Reach American Addiction Centers by phone at (888) 300-3332. Find American Addiction Centers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn

Do you have a complaint or review of American Addiction Centers to add? Use the comments area below to add your American Addiction Centers review.



  1. Stratton L Douthat on

    I worked for American Addiction Centers for over two years at the Brentwood location. I really have never a group of people who lied with such vigor and treated their clients and their employees like absolute dirt. I really sympathize with the people who have complained here because I used to be one of the people who would tell you all your troubles would be over if you just signed on the bottom line. Let me tell you this right here and now AAC is a complete sham and it is run by low down despicable thieves who will screw you out of your last dollar if you give them a chance. Please take my advice and avoid these facilities at all cost. It is a crying shame what these people do to people in genuine need of help.

  2. Where do I begin. First the organization does nothing but lie about their facilities. I stayed 45 day at their River Oaks facility and was told there was a pool. Complete bullshit. I’m now at the Desert Hope facility. When I called to come to Nevada the lady on the phone told me they horses and a pool. I asked if the pool was similar to the pool at River Oaks which she said yes all our pools are the same. Then I told her I was at River Oaks and there isn’t a pool. Dead silence until I said you can quit lying and just get me booked. Once here all the same, understaffed, constant lies and the worst management I’ve ever been around. Here at Resolutions the place is filthy. The kitchen would never pass a health inspection. The food is terrible and made by the patients. The management here is even worse than in Florida. The staff is rude and disrespectful. This organization is all about the money. They try to force people to stay depending on insurance. Others get 24 hours to leave if their insurance sucks. Drugs and alcohol, well there is all a person wants floating around their facilities. I gave them two shots and would never recommend their services to anyone. I’m sorry but the facilities management is a joke. They hide in their offices never coming out to meet their customers, us the patients. As far as Michael Cartwright’s book believable Hope when he writes about the wonderful facilities he oversees he must have still be using drugs. I’ve read the book three times and I think it is all bullshit. He is without a doubt a money monger. Please don’t send your love ones to any of their establishments. They even have a fake review page where every comment is positive not a single negative, But if you search the web enough the page goes right back to AAC. Thus more lies. All in all this place sucks.

  3. Do not send a loved one or yourself to any detox or rehab from American addiction association. After paying 15,000 I Sent my daughter there and she only lasted few days. Staff made her feel uncomfortable, put her down, she was still feeling unbelievable withdrawals, suffered a seizure without anybody knowing, and was having awful nightmares from whatever given ( have many more things to say that I am not getting into) she brought 400$ with her and when she wanted to leave they kept telling her they couldn’t get her money until after 3 days (Monday I believe) that Monday she was ready to leave and come back to boston for some actual treatment they then told her they could not give her her $400( for reasons still unknown) and that she would receive after 30-60 days. They ended up giving her $25 for her cab fair and sat at airport for two days sick without a cent in her pocket. I ended up getting some of my 15000 back about month or so later but after a month of my daughter and I contacting anyone in these places seeing why they held her cash and when she would receive and not hearing from anybody, we finally got an email July 17th( about a month after she left) stating they were looking into it, then got an email stating they got the info from “recovery first in Florida” about her own personal money and it would take 30-60 days. Us, having hope that by the 60th day August 17th she would have gotten her check, we waited for the day without making a big fuss. We sent occasional email because we never got any info and wanted to see status and kept getting same reply that this woman Taryn didn’t know and was waiting to get info from the mysterious “refund department ” on the check that’d be sent. Well after 60 days we had enough, I made call myself and spoke with two woman there who were clueless and could
    Not give us any answers other than whT we already knew. Then stating to us that the 30-60 day window would have started July 17th ( a month after she left, a month after we had been calling and calling) I had asked to speak with a manager or the refund department that is in charge of every refund ( even thought Taryn stated she was in charge and would be taking care of situation when first finally got contacted from her) and was told that we cannot contact them and that she cannot even contact this mysterious refund department. It’s all a scam and these people are thieves. and still to this day my daughter, a single mother in recovery, who already has enough to worry with struggling every day, has not gotten her own spending cash she had brought in. No answers no nothing. I can’t believe how they treated her there, I can’t believe how they have treated us in mean time and I can’t believe they had sent my daughter out door to airport without her own cash. Does not make any sense that she wasn’t even given her money when leaving, we waited patiently for this ridiculous 30-60 day crap and still get the same clueless answers and lies from them.

  4. Do not send a loved one to this place. My son was there and he was INPATIENT and died there in his sleep. Coroner is running full reports to find cause of death. The staff are not compassionate or caring. The Dr. is a Geriatric Psychologist!! Look up Dr. Horne, his reviews are bad and he has had several law suits. Wish I knew all of this before I sent my Son there. 🙁

    • Hi Kathy,
      I’m so sorry about your son. Please call or email me regarding a story I’m working on. Thanks.
      Dana 702-626-2962

  5. My husband is at the Recovery First center in Ft Lauderdale and that place is a joke! The staff is always looking at their cell phones even when with the patients and they are handing out the wrong medications to the wrong patients. Patients are still using drugs while in the facility. Some are having sex with each other while in treatment. The stuff that they tell you will happen when you sign up to go, doesn’t happen. I went to visit for Family counseling and that was a joke as well! No counseling at all…just socializing. They didn’t check my bag or the bag that I brought my husband so I could have literally brought in anything! If you have a loved one seeking treatment…find another place to send them!

    • Recovery first is awful. Sent my daughter there. Got meds screwed up. Had awful nightmares, seizure without staff knowing. The staff either looked down upon her and treated her awful or were perverts. The staff also does not give a damn about patients well being, and does not care about how other patients are treating new patients. They were no help what so ever. Made things worse

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  7. Everything they promise is a lie! Don’t waste your money. Three dr. Offices have tried to get my sons records and American Addiction Center in California say they will send them but never do. After asking for three months we gave up.

  8. DO NOT TRUST THE AMERICAN ADDICTION CENTERS. Their “addiction specialists” are salespeople who get a fat commission when you send your loved ones to their sham facilities. Our specialist, Chris, told us everything we wanted to hear (the facility is dual diagnosis, my mom could stay on her suboxone, etc), and never told us that my mom was removing herself off of the wait list to avoid treatment (We only found out because I spoke with his supervisor). My mom relapsed days after leaving their West Palm Beach facility. She had a psychotic breakdown because her mental illnesses were not treated, and she was irresponsibly detoxed from meds her doctor ordered her to stay on. Her current staff at the facility she is now at even said don’t bother with AAC facilities because they are basically spas that don’t do anything for anyone suffering from addiction. Now, we are struggling to pay for real treatment for my mom because AAC stole $5,000 from us.

  9. Awful horrible place. People die here folks. Got my son out after 1 week because they drugged the hell out of him. I have proof and pictures of the massive amounts of drugs they put him on. The “nutritionist” was feeding them sloppy joes and burritos and NO counseling and the psychiatrist saw 10 people in one hr. Their field trip was to Ocean Beach where they were left alone. Huge drug beach. Then I get there and the director starts yelling at me and my son because of our concern of the people dying there. Criminals. DON’T GO HERE

  10. I’ve had an addiction to opiates for many years and now. I see all these shows that practically begs addicts to go to treatment PAID FOR. and here I am on my knees praying to find a treatment center…and when I finally thought I found a place for me… I see all these horrible reviews about them. But then again they’re the only center I have called. I all this time I knew I couldn’t afford it and wasn’t sure if my insurance would. I just want help. I have to. Although desperate in a sense, It frightens me that I will end up in a place , completely vulnerable, and end up worse. Since inquiring about American Rehab centers the gentleman I spoke to has been calling me. Now I don’t know if I should go thru with it. PLEASE anyone that can help me.please do. I just want a center that will do what they advertise. Anyone? I livein TX

    • Will you go to NJ? The counselors there are excellent. The place is being renovated but its it’s really not bad. As long as you focus on.yourself and.not the silly drama and patients that dont want to.get clean, youre good. Listen to.lectures, participate, be responsible. They have good nurses and three docs there, and someone who will see you and can give you.meds if you have any psych problems.

  11. Deanna D'Angelo on

    My sister at at the one in Grand Prarie now, it has been a nighmare! She has escaped 3 times and is now out on the street somewhere in texas. We thought we were sending her to a place that she could not leave and that hails family involvment instead it has taken weeks and weeks to get a simple release form signed so my mother and I can know what is going on with my sister. Well, they still cannot manage to get a release form signed for my mother and now my sister is out on the street, we are in new york so we would have never sent her so far away if we thought she would not be safe. Do not send your loved ones there!

  12. Do NOT SEND YOUR LOVED ONE to THE ACADEMY in West Palm Beach

    This entire organization is nothing more than a sham. They are unethical and their treatment is basically non existent. When confronted on the false advertising and lies that were told they came up with excuse after excuse. They do not help their clients. Their own techs provide contraband to the kids. Based on family therapy sessions (personal experience) they have very little if any true ability to help anyone. Please research people !! Do not make the same mistake that I did. Save your time, money and child.

      • I am a counselor who works in both mental health and addiction treatment services but also a parent and fierce advocate for families and communities. What I have experienced in my last 5 years in the Laberinth surrounding this horrible health crisis epidemic would make your hair stand on end . I have reached out to a few journalists and hoped to share with America somebody the horrifying truths that go on in the field of addiction treatment services and the struggles that many clients and families face. I have founded an outreach program in hopes to share awareness and education regarding the prescription pill / opioid/ heroin/ benzo addiction and abuse. Please call me or email me.
        RacheL Bruzee
        [email protected]
        Endure Outreach Network

  13. spent 30 days at Desert Hope .dual diagnosis , didn’t happen . It’s all an illusion , except the bill. Worst experience of my life…other than my addiction

    • All American Addiction facilities are BANK OWNED. They took over successful rehabs and turned them into garbage. Stay far away from ANY American Addiction owned rehab. Poor staffing, Ask wherever you’re sent “Are you affiliated with American Addiction?” If so, move ON! My grandson got more messed up in those “rehabs” than anywhere else.

      Ambrosia and FL House in Florida are two I would recommend.

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