Life Center of Galax Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Acadia: Life Center of Galax


Life Center of GalaxLife Center of Galax Review

The Life Center of Galax is a longstanding cocoon in the small Virginia town of Galax, a more than 40-year-old residential treatment facility. It is part of the Acadia Healthcare network.

The Life Center’s programming was originally modeled completely on the substance of 12-step philosophy; today, 12-step is still a central part of a client’s education and experience, but the program has been expanded in recent years in order to grow its population, providing comprehensive alcohol and drug abuse and dual diagnosis treatment.

Accommodations and Food

Two hours north of Greensboro, North Carolina, Galax is mountainous and secluded. The Life Center grounds have a natural beauty; there is even a stream to enjoy when the season is right. The facility itself resembles a long schoolhouse: picture a nice suburban high school. Men and women are kept in separate wings of the building; 110 clients live in dorms, with two to three beds per room. All clients eat three nutritious meals a day at designated mealtimes in the dining hall: breakfast at 7 am, lunch at noon, dinner at 5 pm. Smoking is allowed on campus in designated outside areas.

Treatment and Staff

Duration of detox and corresponding treatment depends completely on the client: on drug of choice, using intensity, and the presence of any co-occurring disorders. In order to determine detox needs, a Medical Director certified in addiction medicine completes a physical exam and a thorough evaluation of medical history. Medications are provided if necessary to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Residential clients are segregated by sex into a variety of specialized treatment tracks: chemical dependency, cocaine, opiates, dual diagnosis and a young adult male program. Treatment is delivered through a variety of groups geared to address the complex physical, behavioral, psychological, social, and spiritual components that impair normal functioning. These include: orientation and group building, medical aspects of addiction, reality therapy, CBT, experiential therapy, gender specific therapy, family therapy and leisure activities.

All programming is provided by a multi-disciplinary treatment team of experienced professionals that includes a psychologist, a Medical Director certified in addiction medicine, a Licensed Family Therapist, 24 hour nursing staff, and certified addiction counselors.

Clients at the Life Center wake up at 7 am for breakfast. After breakfast, medication is distributed and clients have half an hour to tidy their rooms. A short meeting, “Community,” follows cleanup, during which clients have opportunity to share any grievances or general experiences they may be having as part of the Life Center community; if a client is graduating that day, he or she will have the chance to say goodbye here, and the group sings a goodbye rendition of “Hit the Road Jack.” All clients meet with their small home (or core group) before lunch. After lunch, residents go right to lecture and then have time for assignments or meet with their counselors. Three times a week, they have gender-specific group sessions before dinner. Lectures are on universal subjects: irrational fears, addictive thinking, self-sabotage, grief, stress management. Gender-specific groups tend to have more charged topics. A women’s group might discuss sexual abuse. A men’s group might discuss anger management and how to express emotion. Dinner is early-bird special at 5 pm, followed by time for recreational exercise. The end of the day feels suspiciously like a high school student’s. Clients can choose to play volleyball or basketball—then comes homework, either 12-step or therapy-related. Clients attend AA or NA meetings nightly. After 9 pm, clients have two hours to get their evening medication and wind down before lights out.

Saturdays and Sundays are still structured, but not unbearably so. Family groups are offered on both days. Life Center at Galax emphasizes the importance of family involvement in an addict’s recovery based on the belief that chemical dependency is a family illness. Family group is six hours—a mix of educational lectures, group and individual therapy.


Clients go on recreational trips on the weekends: bowling, hiking in Blue Ridge Parkway, to a recreation center where they can work out. Lucky clients with some time at Life Center can request to go off campus with their families on the weekends to eat, go shopping, or catch a movie.

A subtle bonus of attending Life Center is the daily chance to bond with Galax’s intimate recovery community. In a small town, people remember the faces in a meeting. Life Center clients are encouraged to get a sponsor, even a temporary sponsor, while still in treatment. The recovery community of Life Center itself is also close; alumni come back to speak on Saturdays to share their experience, strength, and hope with residents.

In Summary

Overall, the Life Center of Galax is bigger and more diverse (in their accommodation of dual diagnoses, and all variety of addictions) than the average rural residential facility, though the fractioning of the general population into “home” groups allows for a slightly more intimate experience. Life Center also has a long shelf life as residential treatment facilities go, having been around for over four decades. The prodigal first graduate, still sober, comes back to speak from time to time. Clients who make the choice to attend the Life Center of Galax should shake his hand for good luck!

Life Center of Galax Location

112 Painter St
Galax, VA 24333

Life Center of Galax Cost

$7,500-$8,900 (30 days). Reach Life Center of Galax by phone at (877) 762-3747. Find Life Center of Galax on Facebook and Twitter 

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

Photo courtesy of Cyoung9 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)



  1. IF YOU LOVE YOURSELF OR YOUR LOVED ONE AT ALL DO NOT SEND THEM OR CONVINCE THEM TO GO TO THIS FACILITY!! There are facilities out there that want to help and I believe there are employees at this facility that want to help.,but have their hands tied. This facility is a FOR PROFIT facility and that’s exactly what they want… PROFITS! Their first priority is NOT you or your well being or recovery. It is to make money. They charged us thousands of dollars up front that should have never have been charged as our insurance covered it and they knew that prior to making us pay. Methadone will be pushed and if your not strong enough to turn It down, welcome to your newest addiction. If you are truly seeking recovery, please do your homework on the facility PRIOR to entering.

  2. My daughter had half of her new clothes removed from her suitcase when she was admitted by the staff and never returned. We have left over 10 voice mail messages and have not received a call back. Five messages were left for the Director of Nursing, Tammy Eichner, with no response.

    The aftercare was nonexistent.

    • Michael Walters on

      Just left that place today. I went straight there from a facility in NC where I was released directly to the transportation driver arranged by them. My property was separated during admission. A pair of red back work boots purchased 4 days before/hadn’t even worn them, a Nike bag that cost almost 150.00, and 3 sets of my work uniforms that I will be docked 98.00 a piece for were “unable to be found” I was told No Nike bag on your inventory paper, nothing can be done about it. Was never asked to sign a paper and I watched them tag all my stuff. It was almost if they staff person desiides what they like and hold it back and when you leave they just shrug shoulders. I was about to let it go until I remembered my property sheet from the facility I came from. When I checked it what do you know? Black Nike Bag, New work boots (9) and 3 work pants and 3 work shirts. It’s bad enough the patients steal shit left and right but when property disappears that’s in staff control the second you walk in the door it’s hard to put that on patients as well. I was told sometimes staff will go down in the basement with someone so they can get items out of their bags and maybe that is why it’s missing? I was completely dumbfounded when I heard that. I’m completely disappointed in the lack of professionalism and regard for patient property. I expected much more from a facility generating almost 100,000.00 a month in revenue.

  3. I went to Galax july of 2016….i have been sober ever since. you get out what you put in. you are accountable for yourself. Its YOUR recovery not the staffs.

  4. You get out what you put in. Great place. Staff are wonderful. If you fail at recovery it’s not the programs fault. Ask yourself what you put into your recovery

  5. This place is a joke. An expensive joke. After sending an individual here for 15 days to safely detox, he was sent home on 40 mg of methadone. The closest clinic being at least an hour away, not to mention he would have to go daily is too much for even the healthiest person to manage. SERIOUSLY?! Who the hell can afford to travel and the medication after spending thousands of dollars on this substance abuse rehab!? Swapping an illegal drug for one pharmaceutical companies and the government can make money off of is ridiculous! Please research detox and treatment centers before sending your loved ones here. He is home and still has a $100/day habit. THANKS LIFE CENTER OF GALAX! I pray that someone has enough money to close the doors on this place in the near future! How it has not been done yet is beyond me after reading some of these reviews!

    • Maybe if the person wasn’t such a crack head they wouldn’t be put under tho circumstances, hard to say this but you choose your own path now there’s only so much you can do for someone.

  6. Do not go there! I have been to Pavilion before, which was a luxury. I certainly didn’t expect the same from Galax, but the facility and administration are deplorable. They messed up my insurance, as with many. Residents were hooking up and still getting high. I personally witnessed a guy go into a grand mal seizure while there due to lack of proper mediation. There is no 24 hour doctor on staff and the one that is farms out methadone. I went for alcohol. People are allowed to roam the halls and grounds at all hours of the night and sneak off campus. There was feces on the floor. One of the lectures detailed why you should not have sex in the bathroom because that is where the heavy detox people throw up and relieve themselves. My husband and mother were appalled at the facility. It was dirty and there were cigarette butts littering the campus. Do not go there. It is a rip-off and was in no way beneficial. They are not equipped to handle their patients. Understaffed, I have called seven time in the past month to get insurance and treatment with no return call. It may have been nice at one point, but it is a dump, drug-infested dump now. I was just there in January.

  7. I was at Galax two or three years ago. I had a good experience. I was sober and drug free for almost two years until someone offered me a drink one day. I think i could have turned it down if i hadnt smelled it. I started just like i left off. Havent stopped but i do gonto AA. I would like to go back but my wife is against it.

  8. If your serious about your recovery and want to learn about your addiction than I recommend galax, they offer extensive information on addiction. I found there management and ccounselors are very caring people, alot of there counselors have been through addiction also so they understand. All I can tell you is these people are awesome and they changed my life, they care about each patient. As I read some of these reviews I just shook my head and thought that is typical addict, blame it on someone or something else. IF YOU WANT HELP GO TO GALAX AND PARTICIPATE IN ALL THEY OFFER .

    • I totally agree. I was a Galax for almost 60 days in 2016. I participated in all the programs and classes they have to offer, was honest with my counselors and the staff there and got what I needed. I am now a hundred and sixty eight days clean and sober and I’ve never been happier. The CEO Lisa Salter and her staff are pioneering new ways of treatment not only showing us how to stop using drugs but how to find a new way of life how to live again. Several different classes, programs, and counseling session, if you participate and give it your all can change your life. The Life Center is equipped with knowledgeable doctors, therapists, nurses and clinical technician all ways with smiling faces and ready to help you. after completing my time at Galax I decided to stay in the area I volunteer there helping out with AA and Na groups and wherever needed this program saves lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance alcohol abuse depression bulimia and anorexia please reach out and get help call someone call The Life Center of Galax.

  9. Do not go here. After being of Percocet for 6 days and already going through the worst of the withdrawals, I went here for the education and meetings to help me stay off the pills at this vulnerable time. I still had some withdrawals, but nothing like what the did to me.
    As soon as I arrived, I filed out some minor paperwork, then within 3 hours of arriving they had me take a large dose methadone without even weighing me or anything. They don’t even measure the methadone correctly, they use a little cup and they pump in 1-3 squires tell you to fill it with water drink then refill the cop with water again, “to ensure you get every last bit of medication” even when I said I’m good I don’t want the rest they dais I have to. They lied and aid I’d get no withdrawals from methadone, my withdrawals are worst than from the Percocet I was on. Their answer was to extend Detox and put me back on methadone, they even said they could send me home with it, this thought process is pure insanity. They were trying to switch me from prescription pills that I was on legally to methadone that is have to go and get daily. This clinic should be investigated, Arcadia Healthcare also own methadone clinics and since this is a for-profit clinic, they ate looking for only 1 thing repeat business and more money. They don’t want you to be drugfree, rather just on the drug they are selling. FBI please investigate, Noone should go hear ever.
    They have a male and female ward, but due to timing and pure bed space as a female a had 2 men in the room right next to mine. I asked about this they said that is the business section and a business decision. Nurses push questions to counsels, counselors push questions to business mgmt and back to nurses…his luck getting any truthful answers.
    Many states are outlawing for-profit drug rehabs, VA hadn’t caught up with those states. Our president mentions Opiods, but he needs to expand this and luck at drug rehabs like this one and how they are simply legalized drug dealers.

    • That’s such a lie….. And the bottles they pump it from have milligram specific settings, so they,know exactly how much comes out with each pump…. And immediately upon intake you are weighed and vitals taken and your given the option of what detox program you want to do… Of you wasn’t successful that’s on you do not blame the,which typical addict behavior is too blame everyone else…. I’m very aware of how they run things due to fact o was the for 32 days and trust me highly scruttinize everything and this place was awesome and has a high success rate… Wls highly recommend it…

    • Lynn,
      Are you completely retarded or just a little bit?
      lol…you need to think next time you want to post something about nurses and doctors considering you cant even spell ” and, said, good, are, and no one etc etc….geez woman get a life…I would think twice about talking about nurses and doctors that went to college then come on here and voice ur idiotic opinion because you cant even spell first grade words lol….You seriously came into a rehab for being on percs for 6 days….6 WHOLE FUCKING DAYS?!?!? Your the insane and stupid one…what addiction could you possibly have except for an addiction to being the center of fucking attention…that is the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard….Dear you weren’t addicted at 6 days sweetheart…Your a straight PUSSSY if you cant stop taking a little ol’perc get over yourself and get a real addiction then get on here and look mis-spell ever first grade word you fucking idiot!!!
      go to college like I did then get on here and talk about how horrible you had it being on a perc for 6 days….
      I Mean really do you know how STUPID that sounds…
      I bet you got picked on like hardcore there that’s probably why you didn’t like it… lol most people that are there actually had a problem not little bitches like you saying they are addicted for attention…next time go to an damn narcotic meeting instead of checking in to rehab what kind of pussy are you….
      Grow some and GET A LIFE!!
      Un-educated fool

    • It is the patients choice wether or not to take the methadone. They also offer suboxone. The methadone is measured by computer then they pump out by hand what the computer has premeasured and I know from going there that the most anyone can start on is 25 to 30 miligrams.

  10. Rehab didn’t get me clean. It got me away from the dope dealer long enough to realize that I needed to do something about my recovery. Because of The Life Center and the choices I have made since, I have not found it necessary to use anything since July 21, 2014. It blows my mind to hear people complain about a facility with 200 drug addicts in it…what did they expect? The odds are that only 2 people in there will stay clean and the counselors have to deal with BS allllllll daaaaay. I WOULD recommend someone to go there because that’s WHERE I got clean, but NOT what has KEPT me clean. It all comes down to the individual and bad I wanted it. And I wanted it.

    I plan to return, again, for the next alumni day in hopes that I can share my story with one person who can say, “I think I can do this.”

    • Thank you for your response. My son is there. My hope is that he realizes how much he needs to change who his friends and even family are. Not to go back to where and what he was doing. He’s a good man lost in a addiction that has control of him. Again, thank you for your response. Sincerely, Mhucks

  11. I would not send a bag of trash there. It was the worst place ever. It just a crack house. I was touched in appropriately on the elevator by a male patient. And forget about the separate wings for male and female, not true. Nobody listens to your concerns about anything. Its a money racket.

  12. This is by far the worse place I have ever been. If you don’t believe me I will you names of nurses, councelors, patients, and techs that have worked or still work there that agree with what I’m about to say. There is no rules or consistency with any of the councelors God help you if you get Thrisha. She worked at CPS and broke families apart and is proud of that. If you think you are going there to clean up you better believe. You will go through torture now. I went there in 2010 and it was excellent. Now it’s all about money. I have not slept in 2 weeks not only I’m I an x Marine that came back with major ptsd they will not give you anything to sleep and if they do believe me if you have been diagnosed with insomnia you are in trouble. I had no insurance and was told 7500. I get there and it went to 8900 because somehow I was dual diagnosis they said I needed to see Maria the doctor and quaku not sure how to spell his name. I made an appt to see quaku after Maria and he said there was no reason to see him. So it was a quick 1400 bump. When you’re sick and looking for help I guess one would do anything and 7500 was quarter to me twice before I drove 6 hours to get there. Well I could not sleep and told Thrisha my Councelor everyday. But it did not matter. She knew I could not sleep and here was her strategy. She ignored anything I said and all the nurses and techs knew I had an issue and felt bad. Thrisha waited 2 weeks to tell me I need to make her meetings at 1039 in the morning I made every other meeting after 12 but with all the PTSD and nightmares I was too scared to sleep which would mean I slept at 730 am and she expected me to be there At 1030. After 2 weeks she told the nurse to not give me my dosage of methadone because I was on Maintenace and because was late because of my insomnia. I cried to the burses cause I was really sick. One of them pulled me in the office and said I hope you know I’m not trying to be mean it’s because of my Councelor. Thrisha does not know anything about recovery, addiction or anything else. All the other councelors would give patients packets and homework to do that really helped the last time I was there. Thrisha came in late almost everyday and if you talk to her believe me you might as well just go walk around in circles for an hour. Atleast you will be burning calories which is better than wasting your time. She told the doctor I never made meeting which is a complete lie and because I was a revk and in major pain because she stopped my dosage of methadone even though I was on maintenance. It’s almost like she wanted me to act up. I tried talking to her and the only way you can do that is if you are willing to let her talk down on you. Make you feel like nothing. Speak down at you well I was not having that. So she called the police and a cried as to why. Well then sent a tech with me to pack my stuff. Now mind you I have paid for 28 days and more to see doctors that said I did not need them. And then had the odasity to tell me that I’m not getting my refund or squat if your were up to her. Because of the meds I was on and trying to clean up. I had no money on hand and they threw me on the streets. Mind you I am an x service employee. I have fought for my country. This lady had the tech walk me off the property In 20 degrees and I had to wait for my wife 6 hours to get me. I was crying because i was withdrawing and sick and could barely walk. Now I have 6 bags and sitting on the curbside in 20 below. Guys I am not poor just did not want money on my hand since I’m in a facility. I just brought food. I did not eat for 5 days when I got in. Meanwhile my Roomate came in as sick as I was and had a test brought to his room 3 times a day. I have telephone numbers to techs, nurses patients that would tell you I was treated very bad. I had a nurse tell me yesterday I should not have paid in full whe they get their money they will throw you out if the need new beds. I have seen in 2 weeks more people get thrown out but none like me. Atleast they were curt opus to let some of them wait for their rides since it’s winter. Some they even put in hotels. But the way I was treated. I am definitely filing a complaint after I get an attorney and a law suit. I have 47 people including x employees and current with text messages and that will go on my list. If you have experience what I’m talking about. It’s not humane or reasonable. You would think in a faculty like this you are safe but it’s far fro that. I have seen people shoot heroin. Meth and get drunk. I went there and paid all this money and kept none to myself just to be thrown out and stay in the cold for 61/2 hours till my wife could come pick me. My mother called and that have a system down. They told her I cursed at all the nurses and that’s a lie. I asked her to get all the telephone numbers to all the nurses and ask them herself. I have nurses that have text me and said they’re so sorry for what happened. This is not the end cause I can’t leave and know this is going to happen to so do s else. See they know any family member will believe them rather than an addict. But fortunately I have been blessed to not rely o. My family and Jane already contacted my attorney. I will not rest till this is fixed. I fell into addiction serving and I k is there are a lot of my brother and sisters in harms way going to this place and I will do everything in my power to fix this. You can reach me at 5715721259 or [email protected] if you have been through this or want to hear it from 47 people. Thanks for reading friend.

  13. DO NOT SEND YOUR LOVE ONES TO THIS FACILITY!! The counselors do not care about your loved one. When you have consent to speak with the counselor and director they do not return calls.

    • Haresh Jaisingh on

      You are absolutely right about everything you are saying, I have a whole bunch of patients and contacts I am putting together a lawsuit and would be happy if you can join in with your experience. I just got thrown out of there and left in the cold for 6 hours until my family could come get me basically because I was in pain and tried to talk to my councilor Thrisha, this place can not continue to treat people this way, Look at my review and call me. God Bless 5715721259

      • I 100 % agree with you. As I was treated there I started dating a counselor. A few months later I took her dinner and it ended with her assaulting me in the parking lot. Her su peridot supposedly came out as I was trying to leave and said I tried to run jet over with my car. I saw my counselor once a week when I was there never received any of the real help that I needed. I watched over half of the people I went through with relapse and go right back to where they started. I do have to say I enjoyed the food and the cooks are very sweet ladies. I watch them kick a patient out halfway through his rehab because his insurance won’t cover it. Then later on I want to see if you pay for somebody’s rehab bill is she taking a liking to them. If you’re looking to hook up with a counselor that’s going to be working your drug rehab that’s the place to go they all go after dating patients

  14. This facility is an absolute joke. There are drug dealers walking across the street from patients no more than 100 feet away. They have free reign over the entire facility outside to where anything can happen. My family member came out of this facility and relapsed 36 hours later. Men and women are housed in the same facility so anything can go on. I can’t express enough what a piece of garbage this facility is.

    • Read my experience, I was thrown out of there and left on the streets for 6 hours in 20 degree weather all because I was complaining of being very sick, I thought this would be a safe place, People are just hooking up here, husbands and wifes coming here to hook up with others and talk about drugs I seen people in there shoot up heroin, smoke meth and get drunk in their rooms, It is a complete joke, If you want to stop this call me. I have 37 patients that went through something similar and I can not rest knowing my brothers and sisters are being treated this way. This is not humane. God bless 5715721259

  15. patricia thomas on

    I have to say that while trying to seek help for my daughter kayla thomas i felt we were getti g the run around. We were told on several occasions that she needed to go to your other center in wilmington . Howver they are not a,licensed dual duagnostic center so they referred me to the one in galax. After playing numerous phone tag with 5 diiferent phone numbers and being told to call back in 15 min. When we did that we got voice mail and that phone call was never returned. Then after ins approval we were told no and that we needed to go to the wilmington center. We told them that they sent us to the galax. We are fustrated and if they are a dual dx program than whats the problem. Ive asked to speak with emma, tammy and neither one wanted to talk with ys. My daughter is always with me bc she us 22. We felt we were beaten around the bush . Kayla has not been a cutter since 3 years ago and that is what they based their opinion on. All this time with tje vack abd forth and names i was given to talk with did not happen over the weekend
    I would give your staff a score of fair.politeness was good. But i will not recommend your place. Giving people the run around is awful when u have someone needing. Help. They could of done ger admisdion assessment first before submitting to ins. Sounds like money comes first. She has 100$ coverage so your loss.

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