Fairview Riverside Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Fairview Riverside


Fairview RiversideFairview Riverside Review

Fairview Riverside is part of the larger Fairview network of health clinics, each with their own specific programming. Riverside itself is involved with the University of Minnesota Medical Center, a full-service hospital that comes with its own specialized programs for mental health, gambling and psychosis; Riverside is its answer to substance abuse. Through an academic partnerships with University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and University of Minnesota Physicians, Riverside has stayed up to date with addiction research and become one of the leading recovery programs in Minnesota.

Accommodations and Food

Fairview is a basic hospital-style facility with 38 beds for men and 23 for women, each on separate floors. Its amenities meet the basic expectations for a residential hospital room—each has two double beds, a dresser and an attached bathroom. Private rooms can be requested when available, but the facility’s constant wait list makes it somewhat unlikely that residents will actually get one. While Fairview does have a common area where clients can use their computers or watch television, residents are not allowed to use cell phones or Internet in their rooms; there’s also no fitness center in their facility. Still, while Fairview may not be particularly luxurious, it does provide an atmosphere of medical reassurance for those who seek treatment there.

Both the men and women’s floors at Fairview have full-service kitchens, and residents are provided three meals daily as well as snacks from the cafeteria. While there are no gourmet meals or any regionally-specific cuisine, Fairview does provide a salad bar, sandwiches, stir-fry and rotating entrées with enough variety to accommodate most tastes. Residents are also welcome to use the kitchens for preparing meals on their own, should they so choose.

Treatment and Staff

Fairview offers on-site detox and an inpatient track called Lodging Plus; it has a separate track for dual diagnosis, though only as an outpatient program. The clinic mostly serves a younger population which is sometimes coupled with the homeless folk of Minneapolis, due to the urban location. For the most part, Fairview provides standardized hospital care and amenities to its residents, though there is an average three-to-four week waiting period for prospective clients.

Treatment begins with a medical detox in its own separate unit, the length and process of which varies from client to client based on their history of use. On average, detox takes three to five days. The detox unit is well-staffed with nurses and psychiatrists, and can house 20 in either private or double rooms, all depending on availability. Medication is also available when necessary, and clients can participate in group therapy or meetings with psychiatrists during this period if they feel up to it.

Once clients are mentally and physically stable, the psychiatric staff will make a recommendation as to whether they should move forward with Lodging Plus or their dual diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Lodging Plus is 21 days long and has no mental health component, meaning no psychotherapy will be made available; instead, counseling will focus specifically on clients’ addictions.

Throughout the program, residents will participate in six hours of intensive counseling and group therapy a day. Daily schedules vary, but generally days include lectures with guest speakers, classes on dealing with stress and lots of homework including journaling, writing, reflecting and processing. Depending on the weather, clients can go outside for exercise and therapy sessions. There is also some recreational time throughout the day for residents to read, watch television or interact with their roommates and neighbors.

Fairview’s outpatient dual diagnosis program focuses primarily on clients with a history of mental illness, or those who have had prior treatment and relapsed. Because the focus is mainly psychological, the staff consists largely of therapists that are either psychologists or licensed specialist clinical social workers (LSCSW). The program generally lasts six to eight weeks and meets three hours a day, five days a week. Primary counseling is done in groups, but each client is assigned a specific therapist. The two available time slots for the dual diagnosis program are between 9–12 pm or 11–2 pm, with each group generally made up of 10 clients. The program can also accommodate seniors with chemical dependency and those who have relapsed. Upon completion, each client can also attend an aftercare support group run by Fairview’s alumni association.

The facility is sufficiently staffed with drug and alcohol counselors, psychiatrists, nurses and psychiatric associates. Each resident is assigned two counselors, one as a primary and a second as a back-up should the first be unavailable. A cultural resource representative is also on-site to facilitate translations or any other culturally-specific needs. To that end, there are also interpreters and employees who specialize in aiding the elderly and hearing-impaired.


Fairview also believes in working with clients’ family members in its programs as well. Since the primary treatment method at Fairview tends toward group therapy, their family program‘s approach takes a similar tack and includes medical support, educational sessions, therapy and an introduction to the 12 steps.

One important note about payment for residents without insurance is that they can sometimes get their treatment paid for through Rule 25, a chemical-health assessment that determines the level of services needed. In some cases, residents can phone their local county’s Rule 25 office and follow their procedures to obtaining an assessment; based on a client’s economical needs, the county may pay for their entire treatment. Minneapolis’s Rule 25 site has more information on how to apply and eligibility.

In Summary

Overall, Fairview offers a basic 21 day treatment plan through the 12 steps with plenty of clinical support. Clients can expect a comprehensive medical staff and solid treatment.

Fairview Riverside Location

606 24th Ave. S., Ste 700
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Fairview Riverside Cost

$28,000 (21 days; LodgingPlus); $19,000 (30 days, dual diagnosis outpatient). Reach Fairview Riverside by phone at (612) 672-2736. Find Fairview Riverside on Facebook

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



  1. Do not send your child here. I was just discharged today only because I lied my way out. I was so ready for help and to start to get my life on the right track, so I was voluntarily admitted to a hospital and put on a 72 hour hold. I never received an explanation of the program. I wasn’t even told I was at a dual diagnosis center. I was totally ignored and received no support my first 2 days here. I only began working on discharge material after I learned on my own how the program worked and demanded all of my work. The “psychiatrist (Dr. Davis)” didn’t feel a suicidal patient needed any psych testing, but the girl who punched a paper towel dispenser did. I demanded to know when my 72 hour hold was up, and found out it was cancelled altogether. I decided along with my dad that the best thing for me was to leave because it was an incredible waste of time and wasn’t receiving help, support, or even an assessment even though I heard the phrase “we are not a treatment center, we are an assessment center” countless times. The only assessment I received after being frustrated with the “psychiatrist”‘s neglect for 2 days was “you’re a very angry person.” I decided to sign myself out because I am 18. The “psychiatrist”, based on a premature assumption, decided to throw me back on a 72 hour hold due to one statement in a 2 minute conversation I had with him. The more honest you are with the staff, the less they do for you, and the longer you stay at “not a treatment center”. None of my needs were met. The “psychiatrist” claims he is good at his job simply due to his 35 years of experience. His main goal is to save his job rather than the lives of the patients. There are rules, but they are not enforced the same by every staff. If the inconsistencies are called out, they make every attempt to create an excuse for their mistakes. The staff are also inconsistent and have bad attitudes. Some were great and were very supportive and helpful and agree this “program” is a dead end.
    Although, this place is a perfect fit for people incapable of searching “treatment center for ….” in google or if you’re a pathetic excuse of a parent and just want a place to lock up your kid. They do not encourage honesty. In fact, you aren’t allowed to talk about pretty much anything there. Everything is considered inappropriate and triggering. You go in in a vulnerable state needing treatment, and are basically trapped in that state of mind until you’re able to manipulate yourself out. They lied about the circumstances and the events that occurred to my father, they eavesdropped on all conversations, and generalize every situation that walks in to that place. The only way I was able to talk to the “psychiatrist” was with a mediator so he could not manipulate my words to fit what would be best for his job. The only take-away I got from there is to be grateful I am not forever stuck there.

    • sounds as if not much has changed since 1995 when I got trapped by Fairview, at the age of 15, for over a year, based on false diagnosis. You didn’t mention the “quiet rooms” tho…little concrete cells with nothing but metal door and tiny window that they could lock you in up to 24 hours straight if they deem you uncooperative or difficult or dangerous to yourself or others…in their opinion only. That place ruined my life and mind. I will never escape from it’s trauma for as long as I live. Anyone who sends their child there is completely cruel and mindless. You are lucky you got out so quick in regards to your age. I was sent there from Canada and had no rights due to my illegal status in the US. They were allowed to do whatever they pleased while draining OHIP in the process. ( Ontario health insurance) I hope you find whatever help you need to get through whatever you are going through. Unfortunately, Fairview will only create more problems on top of the ones you already have. Peace lucky person. Glad you walked away from that potential mess. Cheers!

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