Beacon Center Costs, Complaints, Reviews

Beacon Center


[block]0[/block]Beacon Center Review

Founded in 1990 by Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) Faith Nichols Peterson, Beacon Center is an outpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation program for adults and adolescents that now operates multiple facilities in Western and Central New York. Areas of service include Amherst, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Herkimer and Utica.

Beacon also runs a men’s sober living facility called the Albert O. Nichols Supportive Living House in Herkimer. The Utica facility is the only location in the Beacon Center family where clients can get IOP treatment. Outpatient treatment for adults includes special attention to clients with co-occurring disorders.

Treatment and Staff

Certified counseling staff evaluate clients over the course of three different appointments before they are admitted to one of the five Beacon Center outpatient locations. Once a client is admitted, he or she continues on the appropriate individualized treatment track. Treatment in this program follows evidence-based counseling involving individual and group therapy.  Clients receive treatment for six months to a year.

IOP treatment, available only at the Utica facility, requires clients to meet for one individual and five group therapy sessions per week. There is a strong focus on identifying triggers and improving the outlook of clients.

Clients undergo random toxicology screens throughout outpatient treatment as well. Those with chemical dependency issues can qualify for the opiate addiction treatment program, which is a gradual detox. Counselors guide clients through Suboxone therapy with the help of naloxone to ease withdrawal symptoms, with a staff physician available to monitor and assess clients on detox medication. Counseling staff work with the physician to implement medication management within the structure of individualized counseling.

The Compass Program is a relatively new addition to the Beacon Center, and is designed to educate clients with co-occurring disorders on their specific issues. Dual diagnosis therapy is offered in two phases of this evidence-based program. Group sessions are offered three days a week.

Finally, the Beacon Center Adolescent Treatment program provides counseling and therapy to teens, who participate in one individual and one group counseling session each week. There is also a family day once a month.


Beacon Center provides gender-specific groups. Programs for men and women focus on how substance abuse affects personal relationships with the self and others. Men in early sobriety who are prepared to begin assimilating back into the community may apply to live in Beacon House’s own Albert O. Nichols Supportive Living House, their Victorian-style home in Herkimer. Beacon Center incorporates relapse prevention into all aspects of treatment.

In Summary

Beacon Center places a heavy emphasis on educating clients about their alcohol and drug abuse. The treatment programs focus on teaching clients new skills for relapse prevention in every phase of their development. Clients are supervised diligently with regular counseling and toxicology screens by staff to encourage full participation for the extended year of outpatient treatment. For those with co-occurring disorders who need some flexibility with their treatment, Beacon Center could be a good fit.

Beacon Center Locations

3131 Sheridan Dr, Ste 106
Amherst, NY 14226

295 Main St, Ste 105
Buffalo, NY 14203

36 E Ave, Ste A
Lockport, NY 14094

473 Third St, Ste 102
Niagara Falls, NY 14301

210 S Main St
Herkimer, NY 13350

1508 Genesee St
Utica, NY 13501

The Albert O. Nichols Supportive Living House:
201 King St
Herkimer, NY 13350

Beacon Center Cost

$195 (initial visit); $40 (subsequent visits). Reach Beacon Center by phone at (716) 831-1937 (Western NY) or (315) 717-1937 (Central NY).

Do you have a complaint or review of Beacon Center to add? Use the comments area below to add your Beacon Center review.



  1. I just had the same experience! I was ordered there for a custody case! Went to Main St. location. Was told I was being ruled out on a Friday, by Monday I was being recommended for 8-10 months of “treatment” for marijuana use 20 years ago!!!! I’m going for a 2nd opinion! Absolutely furious!

  2. I went to beacon for an evaluation to prove to family court I did not have an addiction. No positive tox’s but it didn’t matter, they recommended a heavy amount of counseling. This was only for the money. I tried to get some answers as to why treatment was recommended but no one would call me or my lawyer back. It was an unbelievable experience. Absolutely shocked by the whole experience.

  3. In August 2018, I moved to Buffalo from Fredonia, NY. I was in search of treatment from a doctor closer to my new home, and I found contact information for the Beacon Center on the website of my insurance company (Independent Health). I came to the Beacon Center’s office at 295 Main Street in Buffalo seeking help for an alcohol problem. As a patient receiving opiate replacement therapy, I also sought to transfer this care to a doctor in Buffalo. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. A counselor at the Beacon Center told me that I could close my case with my doctor in Chautauqua County, and that I would receive care from the Beacon Center’s Doctor Jones for opiate replacement treatment. I proceeded as advised, and notified the Beacon Center that I had 28 days of medication remaining. Again, the Beacon Center counselor assured me that I would see the Doctor Jones promptly.
    I continued to see this counselor for two weeks and at both sessions, I requested an appointment date with Doctor Jones. Each time, the counselor told me that she would schedule an appointment with the doctor “tomorrow.” At the end of session two, I was told that I must attend four group therapy sessions as well as one individual therapy session per week. Due to my work schedule and family commitments, this treatment plan was not feasible. However, I did what I could to attend group sessions as I was able, and continued to keep my individual therapy appointments.
    At my third counseling appointment, the counselor with whom I had been working did not see me. I met with a different counselor who told me that because I had not attended all group sessions, I would not be able to schedule an appointment with the doctor. I was told that perfect attendance at all group sessions was required for two more weeks before the treatment team would even consider granting me an appointment with the doctor. I explained that due to my employment situation, I was unable to adhere to the weekly treatment schedule they had prescribed. I also notified the counselor that I would run out of medication if the Beacon Center continued to postpone my appointment with the doctor.
    When I signed the treatment plan agreement, I was not told that I was required to attend group sessions. It was only after I signed the agreement that the counselor gave me my group session schedule. I did agree to adhere to the treatment plan, but was not given full disclosure regarding the details and requirements of the program. I was never told that perfect attendance at groups was a requirement for receiving treatment from the doctor. I was shocked and dismayed by this new information. I felt trapped; I was at the mercy of an organization that refused to acknowledge my situation. If I did not follow the unrealistic plan they had set before me, I faced the prospect of going without medication, and thereby, facing immense physical pain which would render me unable to perform my daily responsibilities.
    With one week of sobriety from alcohol, and approximately two weeks of medication left in my possession, I faced the prospect of going without treatment. This negligence and deception on behalf of the Beacon Center put me in a vulnerable situation, and my fragile sobriety was threatened.
    In desperation, I sought help from the Beacon Center on my own accord, and trusted the professionals there to aid and support my recovery. I was certainly willing to attend both group and individual counseling sessions. However, spending five evenings a week at the center was simply not possible due to my aforementioned responsibilities. Unfortunately, I realized that I would be granted no ownership or agency in the development of my treatment plan. I was prescribed a one-size-fits-all approach that did not address my needs, and in fact, yielded stress, frustration, and shame. It became clear that the Beacon Center did not have my best interests in mind. This organization is clearly a for-profit business; I was treated as if I was court mandated to participate in treatment. It became abundantly evident that the Beacon Center was more interested in my money than my recovery.
    Furthermore, I was regarded with suspicion by a counselor who told me that I needed to have perfect attendance at all groups before seeing the doctor to prove that I wouldn’t “sell my script on the street.” This was her anemic reasoning for my adherence to the imposed treatment plan. However, the proof of my faithfulness was evident in each urine sample I gave, which (except for containing traces of alcohol at my first session) were void of all drugs except my opiate replacement medication. Because I did not attend every group session, the counselors seemed to assume that I was not serious about my recovery, and that I was trying to take advantage of the system. Again, I wanted very badly to get sober and to do everything possible to achieve this goal. I came to the Beacon Center with an emphatic determination to achieve recovery.
    I believe that involvement in a 12- step community is essential to maintaining quality sobriety. I am involved in my AA home group on Tuesdays and am committed to attending a 12-step workshop on Wednesdays. These groups are weekly obligations that are very important to me. In addition to my work schedule, these 12-step commitments interfered with my ability to attend all group sessions at the Beacon Center. I was discouraged from attending my 12-step groups, and was told that the Beacon Center group therapy sessions should take precedence. The counselor at the Beacon Center made it very clear that attending groups was more important that involvement in AA. Though helpful to some, the Beacon Center groups are no replacement for a 12-step program. When I asked a counselor about the purpose of the group sessions, she told me that they were purported to educate clients. As an educator myself, I have spent countless hours reading, researching, and seeking information about my disease, trying to “figure it out” in an attempt to break the chains that bound me. However, I painfully realized that knowledge would not save me from my addiction. I have a spiritual malady that cannot be reasoned away. I know through experience that the spiritual fellowship of 12-step groups are foundational to building lifelong relationships and a sober support community, which are essential for me in maintaining daily sobriety.
    I certainly do not claim to be a recovery expert. The Beacon Center’s program may be effective for some. The group sessions I attended were centered on convincing clients that they have an addiction problem, and should get sober. However, I came to the Beacon Center with a desperate desire to get sober, and was painfully aware of my addiction problem. Therefore, the content of the group sessions was not applicable to my recovery, and when I expressed this sentiment, it was disregarded. Not only was the content irrelevant to my situation, my time was wasted. I was told to arrive at 6:00 PM for group, but the groups did not start until 6:30. Realizing this, I began arriving at 6:20 instead. When I arrived at this time, I was directed to sit in a separate room with one or two other clients who had arrived “late;” isolated from the rest of the group members.
    My experience at the Beacon Center was frustrating and stressful. Though staff are very friendly, the implementation and development of my treatment plan was clearly centered on monopolizing my time and my money. I am indeed willing to go to any length to get sober. I earnestly seek the guidance of trained professionals to guide me in my recovery. However, the Beacon Center’s approach was simply not effective for me. In fact, it was detrimental to my sobriety.

    I am very grateful that my doctor in Chautauqua County did not close my case, because I was able to easily see her for treatment again. However, had this not been the circumstance, I may have been left to search for another doctor, ending up on a long waiting list, thereby going without medication. It is clear that the Beacon Center is a moneymaking operation that does not regard or respect the needs of people in vulnerable situations. I was treated as if I was a court mandated client; guilty until proven innocent. It is my hope that this organization reconsiders its approach to treatment. If clients have no say in the development of their treatment plans, how can they be invested in the recovery process? If clients are not invested, how can they attain success in beating the terrible disease of addiction? I write this letter to inform those who have the power to change the Beacon Center’s approach to recovery, and to notify insurance companies that this institution is milking funds. I sincerely hope that change takes place in the operating procedures of this organization so that this experience does not recur and hinder any other person earnestly seeking recovery.

  4. Do not go to beacon for an evaluation if you are not an addict and looking for your innocence to be proven. They will diagnose you even if you truly are not an addict. It has been a six month nightmare. Beacon violated several of the ny Oasas standards and I was left stunned by the number of times my rights were violated and covered up by all the hierarchies of managment at the location I went to, from the supervisor to the director. My experience was with the downtown facility .

  5. The poster above is 100% correct. Even if you have done everything correctly and don’t submit any dirty urines, they manage to keep people there for 8-12 months. I don’t agree the tox men more because they tox you just about every day so labcorp and quest give them kickbacks for the hundreds of thousands they make off Medicaid patients. They just seem to want your ins money, my counselor doesn’t say 10 words during our “sessions”. They follow you into the bathroom and stare at your penis/vagina. (Extremely uncomfortable) to make sure you’re peeing in the cup. They also give false information when it comes to marijuana. They tell us the gateway theory, one counselor even said weed could kill you, there is a packet that says weed will reverse your sex, turn me into a female basically. Complete nonsense. They just milk your ins until it can’t be milked no more. I do not recommend this place.

  6. Please do not go to this facility. They only drug test the women. Nothing for the men. Even if you are a perfect patient they will find a way to keep you there for months longer to continue billing your insurance. I promise this is the truth. The staff is obese and basically sleep during sessions

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