Fourteen years after AA was founded, a small farmhouse in Minnesota became a refuge for men who needed to get sober. Since then, the little farmhouse in Center City has gone co-ed and become one of the largest, most influential alcohol and drug rehab institutions in the world: Hazelden.
Since its merger earlier this year, Hazelden is now part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, with affiliates in 11 additional locations around the US—including Oregon, Florida, Chicago and New York.
Accommodations and Food
Arriving at Hazelden is more akin to checking back into college than checking into rehab. The sprawling, utilitarian campus at City Center is a far cry from the resort-like treatment facilities of Southern California and the like, but it accurately represents Hazelden’s mentality of serious sobriety. The rooms are kept clean and modern but basic, comparable to those of a three-star corporate hotel. Most rooms are shared but private ones are available (under certain circumstances).
The food at Hazelden is of the meat and potatoes persuasion; prepare to be exposed to the heartland through hearty Midwestern cuisine.
Treatment and Staff
This mother of all rehabs is centrally focused on a 12-step based model of recovery. If anyone has described their experience getting sober to be “academic,” they were probably a client of Hazelden. Stints at Hazelden are full of highly structured days, so it may not be the “drying out” vacation some addicts hope for.
Clients spend their days in meditation, doing yoga, listening to lectures, attending speaker meetings and going to individual therapy and group counseling. The staff is strict but supportive, there to enforce the rules but always willing to listen when a client needs to talk. And since there aren’t a lot of activities (especially in the dead of winter) or opposite sex socializing to distract clients, many of those in the process of sobering up to reality will appreciate a willing ear.
Not without some of the traditionally great amenities—a pool, fitness center, café, store, lounge areas, meditation room and lecture hall—the most notable asset of Hazelden is probably the different hats it wears in the world of addiction treatment. Since 1954, it’s had its own publishing division and, in 1999, began offering a Graduate Degree program in Addiction Studies; it also has its own addiction research department and sponsors ongoing events for the recovery community.
For those not concerned about being prescribed drugs to deal with their drug problems, and for those who might respond well to being “schooled” in an old-school model of recovery, Hazelden could definitely hit the spot. With over six decades of helping people recover from the deadly disease of alcoholism and addiction, Hazelden has become a recovery brand—much like the 12 steps—that people trust.
15251 Pleasant Valley Rd
Center City, MN 55012
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