Cumberland Heights Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Cumberland Heights


Cumberland HeightsCumberland Heights Review

In the South, it seems, tradition still rules. At Cumberland Heights, Nashville’s premier rehab center with a 40-year history behind it, AA is in and TV is out—and forget about gender mixing. Still, for those who don’t mind a rigorous focus on the 12 steps, there is solid treatment to be found here with few unnecessary frills.

Accommodations and Food

One need only glimpse at the packing instructions to know that Cumberland Heights is serious about treatment.  A plus is that there are no chores, and the facility itself is modest but well kept, with grounds resembling a small college campus of big lawns and rolling hills. All residents have at least one roommate, and men and women not only live separately but are also barred from interacting, even in the dining hall. Fortunately, unlike at many comparable facilities, the food here gets top marks.

Treatment and Staff

Rather than bells and whistles, Cumberland Heights focuses on treatment essentials. On arrival, clients can detox under round-the-clock nursing care and are assessed for co-occurring disorders. Although the staff-to-client to ratio may be higher than at the top-rated rehabs, each resident does receive a personalized treatment plan that is adjusted as needed on a weekly basis. Depending on circumstances, clients may choose to participate in specialized grief or parenting groups in addition to standard addiction counseling, CBT and process groups. Family members can visit every Sunday as well as participate in a four-day intensive family program.

After the initial 30 days of primary care, residents work a customized step-down program. In extended care, opportunities for adventure-based therapy and art therapy become available, as does community service work. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is offered at the main River Road center or at seven other locations throughout Tennessee and Kentucky.

Cell phones, laptops and iPods are 100% verboten, and only on special occasions (the Super Bowl, for example) does the TV get turned on. Residents are also encouraged to leave their Crichton, comic books and Cosmos at home—the only reading material allowed is the Bible or other spiritual, recovery-friendly lit.


Cumberland Heights also offers a special program for young men between the ages of 14 and 18. In addition to the services available to adult residents, teens in the youth program get opportunities for equine therapy, sand play therapy and a ropes course. To keep from falling behind in their studies while in treatment, they can also take classes at River Road Academy, a state-licensed private high school.

In Summary

While its no-nonsense, AA-based approach may intimidate some, Cumberland Heights is committed to providing quality psychiatric and psychological care for those who are ready to recover. Though it’ll never be mistaken for a vacation, many have found it gets the job done.

Cumberland Heights Location

8283 River Road
Nashville, TN 37209

Cumberland Heights Cost

$23,000 (30 days). Reach Cumberland Heights by phone at (615) 352-1757. Find Cumberland Heights on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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



  1. Do not send you child there. My child was 14 when he was places there in Nashville. He was a drug addict. He had access to drug while there. One of the staff also put there hands on him. He had to leave after 12 days. When got him back he was in worse shape than when we placed him there. We had to place him in another facility. We could not even take him home. Cost us more time and money. Cumberland heights has broken us financial, and has continue to hound us for every penny they can get.

  2. My adult son came to Cumberland completely broken and beaten by his addiction to heroin, cocaine and a number of other substances. From the beginning of his 30 days to the time he was ready to find his next steps to find a path to health from this terrible disease, the staff was their to provide him support. We received weekly updates and we were provided detail discharge options one of which included a 180 day program in Maine, Still Waters as well as intensive out patient with Cumberland. Our son’s path will be long and hard but we know he has a chance with the kindness of Cumberland’s staff standing ready to support him.

    • Mary Sue Duetz on

      I agree. I was in Cumberland Heights less than 60 days ago. Today is Jan 28. 2018. I was very ill when I admitted myself. I was suffering fairly serious physical ailments. I spoke with them pre-admission to discuss these health issues. They said the would have to speak “with their team of doctor’s” and call me back. I received a call the next day. I explained I wanted to detox off prescription pain killers & Zanex, a drug I had taken for many years and my use got really out of control after my husband was the victim of vehicular homicide. And then the loss of a grandchild…my world was completley shattered. I had lost all hope for this life. My depression and Zanex consumption skyrocketed. I felt I was dying from a broken heart. I had shriveled down to around 93 lbs. My normal weight is around 130. I have been to many doctors but have not been able to diagnose the catastrophic weight loss. The ONLY thing I hadn’t tried was getting off my Zanex. Cumberland Heights called assuring me all would be well and even though they were not a medical hospital there would be doctors and nurses continually making sure I was okay. If I needed to go to a hospital they would make certain I was okay. HA! I go through the doors and within hours I began to have violent shakes, auditory hallucinations, terrible things going on in my brain. I was terrified. I went to ask the nurses for help. I knew something was wrong, they abruptly sent me back to my room. BTW, when I was there Cumberland Heights was under construction. Hammers banging for hours on end are not really suitable for detoxing. The worst was the smell of the wood the construction workers were using. It was filled with some horrible chemical smell. I will never forget that smell. I vaguely remember complaining that the smell of formaldehyde was making me feel deathly sick so they stuck me in some room down a hallway alone. It made me feel extremely ill. My detox symptoms were getting worse and worse I again went to ask for help. I was again told “go back to your room”…I was in dire need of detox medication. They, after PROMISING on the phone that they would keep me “comfortable” that I would not have to “suffer” that they would bring me down very slowly and make it as easy as possible for me to get off the meds in a safe and effective way, THEY COMPLETELY IGNORED ME. Never bothered to take my blood pressure, never even inquired about what I felt was happening to me. I was terrified as the hallucinations I was experiencing were intensifying. I felt completely out of control. I was afraid for my life. I still had enough sense, if you will, to know I was in trouble. I again went to the desk and this time DEMANDED that I see a doctor. They said there were no doctors available but I could speak to the nurse practitioner. I said I WANT TO SEE A DOCTOR…A PHYSICIAN. They refused repeatedly to give me medication to help my detox symptoms and so I was not only out of my mind but very sick physically…I could barely walk or even hold myself up without falling down…so I see the nurse lady. I tell her that I’m having a really hard time. I need some help. She says NO…you can’t have medication…you aren’t showing but 1 sign of …hmm…gosh I don’t know…some chart or something I am not familiar with. I guess I was supposed to be vomiting and having diarreah, I guess the profound hallucinations and weakness and olfactory sensitivity and shaking like a leaf was not a qualifier for needing medications. Well I did in fact get combative and I called her a “real bitch” but only after she began to try to get my life history. My God, I didn’t even know where I was, what was going on, my NAME… I’M HALLUCINATING and she wants my history?? Wow. Pretty poor timing. I had no control over my thoughts. I was seeing things that were not there and I KNEW it. The most terrifying event of my life, I knew in my mind that I was in serious trouble both mentally and physically and she wants to get my history from childhood? This is not only unbelievable but astonishing that they have zero clue what a person going through a catastrophic detox looks like.
      OUTRAGE. It gets worse. As I went back to my room who at this point had some girl in it that looked like a cartoon character. A long white wig to the floor and was chattering to me about her love of Methamphetamine and being a club kid. I couldn’t deal with any of these things. I floated off into some deep space that was borderline insane, thoughts, visions, sounds, feelings of terror. I was NOT okay. I was in need of help. I was hanging on by a thread. The NEXT thing that I remember I was carted into an office where my family was and was informed that they were throwing me out. That I wouldn’t answer the doctors questions etc…yeah I couldn’t be helped…WHILE I WAS HALLUCINATING. Clearly they had spoken with my family and told them that I was a hopeless case and nothing could be done for me and it was probably best that they LET ME GO. NO GUILT. huh??? okay first of all I had no phone, no money, no credit cards no NOTHING. Also I moved to the state of Tennessee two months prior. I have no friends here. Absolutely ZERO support. ONLY my family. They get them extremely angry and tell them what a bad patient I have been…obviously because my family pulled the “toughlove” rather NOLOVE and said F U you are on your own. The brunette counselor
      was grinning like a cat…she looked like she was enjoying seeing my family get blown to bits. THERE ARE VERY SICK PEOPLE AT THE WHEEL OF THIS MACHINE. Mind you, I went to rehab because I wanted to get the drugs out of me. I wanted to be a really great Grandma for my Grandson. My family has been through unimaginable pain together in the last years. We lost both parents, my husband and a granddaughter…the very worst thing anyone can go through. Those things have been brutal and here is a stranger guiding my family to let go of me?! This is the most unimaginable situation of my life. AND I couldn’t speak. I tried but words wouldn’t come out. I COULD NOT EVEN TALK. These people at Cumberland Heights are not human. They ARE bitches that get off on having power in a person’s life. There is no compassion, no listening and the BIGGEST NECESSITY DURING DETOX IS NO OBSERVATION SKILLS which I would think would be critical to have so you could assess when a patient may be in trouble. I WAS IN TROUBLE. It is very important that the medical staff minimally know what to look for in a patient…they do have the skills to do that! I think it is an extremely DANGEROUS place to go if you have a NEED for serious MEDICAL DETOX issues. Back to the sad story…my family left. I felt like I had been dumped like human waste. Cumberland Heights sent me by ambulance to some free hospital downtown Nashville. After many hours of laying in some hallway a doctor came. I still couldn’t speak…he asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I remember shaking my head no. They dumped me into the waiting room. I slept on a tiny seat right by the front door where the automatic doors kept opening and closing. I remember it was freezing outside and all I had on was a teeshirt. I also remember a nurse coming and asking what happened. I said “I called the nurse a bitch so they threw me out.” She had kind, beautiful eyes I remember and she laughed and said that she gets called that at least 10 times a day. She repeatedly tried to get my address. I didn’t know it. I just shook my head. I COULD NOT REMEMBER it. My brain did not function at all. I was still having profound hallucinations and hearing things and I felt as if I was going to seizure or die. TERRIFYING. A couple of hours later she came back and said the name of my street. I remember nodding my head. That hospital called me an uber and got me home. I laid in my bed for a week and did the hard kick detox by myself. I’m actually shocked that I have survived it without too many long term problems. They destroyed my relations with what was, pre admission, a really strong and beautiful family. I still suffer from extremely bright white lights in both eyes constantly. My life will never be the same. I would say this is probably the worst choice a person could make for a rehab facility if you need a medical detox. Maybe their intro to AA is strong. I don’t know. AA is free. They claim to do medical detox but clearly have no clue as to what that may look like. I, myself, worked in a mental institution in my 30’s…I’m almost 60 now. I remember almost every single one of our patients got combative at some point. If we threw all of them out we wouldn’t have had ANY patients. We treated all of our patients with dignity and respect. Something Cumberland Heights cannot say. At least most certainly not in my case. I will never forget the dark haired counselor’s look of satisfaction when one of my family members said goodbye. Like she was happy. I call that evil. To get off on another persons pain is sickening. I wouldn’t allow someone I actually cared about to go to this place. I would continue to look. ANYWHERE is probably better that this place. I NEVER saw a doctor, I never got the things they promised such as a MEDICAL detox. I never even got a blood pressure reading. I was treated like a low life drug addict that had ZERO worth. Pretty awful stuff. The only thing good that came out of my experience with them is that I detoxed myself. I honestly believe that it is only by the grace of God that I am able to even write this review. I am very glad to be off my medicine and going to NA meetings but I think had their been professional staff there, many horrors I experienced and a great deal of pain could have been avoided. FYI Cumberland…DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE. THEY ARE SICK PEOPLE.

      • Mary – I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience. I’m just learning about this terrible disease but I think it is a case by case basis. My adult son is addicted to heroin and we brought him to CH on January 4, 2018. Jeff did the pre-admission work and he was so kind. My son stayed the full 28 (for the adult men’s program) and he is better. Brittany (the family therapist) was so kind, knowledgeable and just amazing. We had many talks. Brian was Eric’s personal counselor. I never met him in person but we had many talks on the phone. Eric is now in IOP and he insists on driving 30 minutes each way 4 times a week to CH because he likes it there. This is Eric’s second go round with rehab. Our first was at a place the interventionist insisted we were going to. We had no say in the matter. Journey Pure they told us was the best. And it may be for some people but my son relapsed the first day he was out. I was not happy with JP at all. I never minded the drive to CH because it brought me such peace and comfort. I knew that Eric was being taken care of, that he was safe and clean and getting better every day. When you leave CH (which you probably didn’t notice because you were in such a state) there is a metal archway at the end of the drive that says Let Go and Let God. You have no idea how comforting that was for me each time I left my precious son in their hands.

        Again, I’m very sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I highly recommend Cumberland Heights but maybe for the young Adult Program because I don’t know enough to give a logical review on any other programs. I just know I felt such a peaceful, comforting and kind feeling while Eric was in treatment there.

  3. I was a patient here but couldn’t stay because my insurance wouldn’t cover. I agree that the staff are horrible.

    • My husband was in treatment January of 2017. I wouldn’t recommend Cumberland heights. They were unprofessional and lacked staff at that time. They even eluded they were having issues. I never heard from a therapist, counselor,etc until I went on a rampage at family weekend. Their family weekend is a joke. I had my two young adults sons with me and they wanted a refund as my son had been to treatment in Montana. He was disgusted by the experience , counselors and lack of communication. I don’t think much was gained asking two young men at family weekend to dress up in clothes describing how they felt when there dad was intoxicated. There was no individualized care and they asked my husband group to look after the younger guys in the evenings. The lack of professionalism of the staff was unimaginable when charging $24,000 for a 30 day stay. I wouldn’t recommend Cumberland heights to anyone.

  4. I was a patient at Cumberland Heights in January of 2003. I have stayed involved in the alumni activities and recovery community of CH for the past 12 years. Every time I drive onto the main campus I have a feeling of peace and hope. The staff are not only qualified but also caring and helpful. All of the staff that were involved in my treatment planning were in recovery and helped me to understand the importance of 12 step meetings, sponsorship and service work. I will be forever grateful to Cumberland Heights for giving me the tools to live a life of hope and happiness. My gratitude also goes out to the Alumni for supporting me and giving me a community of recovering people to share that life with, one day at a time.

  5. I was a visitor yesterday. I came with my friend who’s daughter is in treatment there. I could not believe the unprofessionalism of a staff member there. She was sitting in the women’s cabin office with her legs up on the desk smoking something (vapor?) and blowing circles out!! She was also wearing sweat pants!! I got the feeling I was visiting a juvenile detention center! It was crazy. I thought Cumberland Heights was supposed to be professional but it does NOT appear to be that way at all.

  6. I was not, not, not impressed with CH. I was there about 2 years ago. Although the food is good (big deal) the womens program leaves a lot to be desired. I got the feeling it was allll about the money. Some of the counselors are great but the supporting staff – case managers and social worker are unprofessional and talked to me in a very condescending, superior manner. I would not recommend them to anyone I knew unless there has been a staff change of huge proportion.

  7. The upper management staff in the women’s program are witches. Rude, lying, mean. The new of RAs at Stillwater are rude, gruff and mean. Most are not in recovery and are very unprofessional. It’s a real shame. The counselor at Stillwater is the only good thing.

    • Aracelis Andrews on

      In began to drink in my fifties. It did get out of control and caused problems with my family fortunately my fiancé now my husband stood by my side. I went to get help at Cumberland Heights in 2013. I chose to admit myself in to this facility. Needless to say it took me a year to get over the shock. How can this be allowed in this country? I was not told to leave my insurance was too good. There is truly not enough staff for the amount of patients. There are some patients that are forced to be there are others whose family has mortgaged their homes in hopes of saving their loved ones. What would any desperate family do? I came to know CH because a friend also with exceptional insurance placed his daughter there three times. I tried to forget this experience and blocked it out. But, what is there to do? If a loved one is in a crises rest assured that will be kept safe and fed. What can you do after that? There is no trained staff. There was only one doctor twice a week for consultation more like a friend to the younger patients. How long can anyone finance this? I am now sober no thanks to Cumberland Hieghts. There is a thought that nags at me, how can I sit back and just quietly allow this farce to go on? If someone like me does not stop this there will be so many families that will continue to keep hoping. Perhaps if the whistle is blown CH can be replaced by a real rehabilitation facility! Until then to those that struggle with drug and alcohol abuse and the families that watch in desperation God Speed.

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