Sundown Ranch Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Sundown Ranch

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Sundown RanchThe Basics

Since 1987, Sundown Ranch has offered young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction relief and hope “one sundown at a time.” Located on 450 acres of wooded land in the northeast Texan city of Canton, Sundown Ranch specializes in treating clients between the ages of 12 and 24 who are suffering from chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders. It offers an impressive amount of resources in a safe, peaceful atmosphere in the hopes that young people who’ve lost their footing can permanently get back on track.

Accommodations and Food

Sundown Ranch is like a sober summer camp with its restorative natural location surrounded by trees, rolling hills and lakes. The actual treatment facilities and residences are located in a working ranch which really does resemble at least an old Western movie set. The facility can treat up to 70 residents at a time, all grouped by age and gender, where they shard rooms with bunk beds.

Sundown Ranch offers its clients exceptional home cooked, healthy food in the mess hall. Seasonal menu options rotate every four weeks and salad bars are available at every lunch and dinner. Allergies, nutritional needs and dietary preferences are all accommodated in the “country kitchen” and overseen by a dietician, food service manager and their staff.

Treatment and Staff

If it is deemed necessary at admission, detox services are provided on-site before clients move into the residential program. A medical director and a psychiatrist oversee all treatment at Sundown Ranch, with the aid of a 24/7 nursing staff. This team conducts a physical exam for each resident so that each person’s physical progress can be monitored alongside his or her emotional and spiritual progress throughout the length of stay. The rest of the clinical team at Sundown Ranch runs the gamut of alcohol and drug expertise, with MFTs social worker, addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists, nursing and chemical dependency counselors all on staff. A lot of the staff are also in recovery themselves which could add a level of relatability (especially for adolescents) not all rehabs can provide. In any case, each client has a team dedicated to their specific sobriety goals and needs.

Sundown Ranch creates what it refers to as a Master Treatment Plan for every resident. This working document is revised and reviewed the entire time someone is in treatment; goals, progress, strengths and weaknesses are all recorded. The clinician, client and the client’s family all work together to find a system for establishing secure sobriety and a long term maintenance program for that sobriety. Twelve-step recovery is the core of Sundown Ranch’s approach but it is also combined with CBT in the form of daily group therapy and extensive individual counseling.

Supervised physical activity is also considered part of the treatment protocol at Sundown Ranch. There are an abundance of fun recreational opportunities worked into the schedule, including fishing, camping, volleyball, basketball and arts & crafts. Clients have the opportunity to go horseback riding (where equine therapy is implemented) and to participate in the ropes course, known as The Therapeutic Outdoor Experimental Challenge Program, in the hopes of increasing self-confidence and problem solving skills. There is also a 12-step themed wilderness trail around one of the lakes where counselors lead group therapy or clients can experience solo meditation if they prefer.

Family programming is an essential part of life at Sundown Ranch. In addition to group education and therapy where the families of those in treatment may speak freely and express concerns or ask questions, there is also the routinely held Intensive Family Program weekend. Here families work with loved ones in treatment to elevate communication, repair past wounds and understand how to move forward together.

Another unique aspect of this program is the fully accredited academic program. The Texas Education Agency facilitated charter school operates onsite so residents can continue junior high and high school education while receiving treatment.

Sundown Ranch also goes the extra mile when it comes to planning a client’s aftercare. The client’s family and sponsor are all involved in setting up a specific plan of action post-treatment. The staff is then on call for any relapse prevention or aid after the client is released.

Extras

As mentioned above, fishing, camping, hiking, volleyball, basketball, a ropes course, expressive art therapy, horseback riding and equine therapy are some of the extras offered at Sundown Ranch.

In Summary

The combination of 12-step community support, therapy, exercise, family involvement and academics at a low cost make this facility seem like a no brainer when exploring a young person’s options for treatment. Sundown Ranch combines the crucial elements of safety and security with comprehensive treatment and adventure; the goal being to present the possibility of a fun sober life (which might, of course, seem at first like an oxymoron to prospective young clients).

Sundown Ranch
3120 VZCR 2318
Canton, TX 75103

Sundown Ranch Cost: $10,500 (30 days). Reach Sundown Ranch by phone at (903) 479-3933 or by email at [email protected].

Do you have a complaint or review of Sundown Ranch to add? Use the comments section below to write your Sundown Ranch review.

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36 Comments

  1. My son was there in 2014. They really tried to work with him but he was not ready. When he was ready my insurance lapsed because the employer didn’t change it over fast enough and he was kicked out. The clinical staff was good, the administrators are all about the money. Even with insurance, I owed 1000s of dollars, and they are the ONLY medical provider in my entire life that tried to charge me interest, making it completely impossible to make headway with my financial situation. They didn’t finish the job because of the bean counters, and my son is still struggling with his addiction.

  2. Ive read about everyone complaining and defending, but not once has anyone recommended any other treatment facility. If this place was so bad, and your sober now, what did you do, where did you go, how were you successful.
    Frustrated momma

    • That’s just it. One size does not fit all. I researched for years about rehab centers wanting to be ready when my child was ready. When he was ready I frantically searched out centers that would take our insurance. It really narrowed it down. I saw this one on the list, called, and they were receptive and worked with us to take him quickly – like the next day. He did not need detox, and had no need for medications. In our situation, he needed counseling, therapy, relationships that were qualified, structure and most of all education. He connected with the counselors. Its a scary thing to search rehabs and read all the negative views and I believe there are probably many horrible places. But when they are ready, they will make it work for themselves! My son was 24, he admits the structure was pretty juvenile but when your ready for a change in your life you can make it work – he knew he had one shot. Hope this is encouraging to anyone. Best of Luck!

  3. Ok, I cannot believe the crazy comments here. I am a very, unfortunately, experienced mother of a serious addict. My son was here when he was young and NOT ready to change a thing. He didn’t. This place has to deal with a bunch of prima donna brats and helicopter parents! These whiny people complaining that they “didn’t trust them” or “followed them around” or “tackled them” when they tried to run!!! O my gosh … You are addicts … lying, spoiled, brats! How do you expect to be treated? Once you show some willingness to humble yourself and admit your issues and start cooperating, then, they can make some progress with you. But, what do you expect when you get a bunch of drug addicts and mentally afflicted young people together? You can’t trust them. You can’t turn your backs on them. You can’t ask them politely to stop. Sheesh people! Have you ever had to deal with yourselves? Or a bunch of “yourselves.” Wow. I have one to deal with and he’s all I can handle. The first time he was in there, I fell for the “my poor son is not a druggy, lying thief … my child is just “sick” mentality. And, I expected them to fix him. Well, after years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, many jails, attorneys, wrecked autos, ICU stays, police encounters, whatever … I realize, nothing is going to change until my son wants to change and nothing is going to make him want to change until he realizes he IS his own problem and needs to accept and be grateful for help from people who know what the heck they’re dealing with. Thank goodness they’re harsh. They keep your kid as safe as they can under the circumstances. This isn’t summer camp for goodness sakes. This is a change to change. they won’t change if they’re coddled … I don’t know who Cara, “escapereality88” is .. but she actually is a spoiled brat who hasn’t accepted and humbled herself yet …

    Please realize this place is different! It’s harsh, yes. It’s not all play and horseback and fishing … no. But, it’s a good place to get clean and get help if the kid has enough sense to realize they need it and they need to give in and get it. Maybe when you all are truly on your last chance, you’ll realize how stupid you sound complaining. It’s not a prison. You can leave anytime you want, if you are an adult. And, when your parents say you can if you aren’t. Maybe your parents were just sick of having you around at 13 and told you they gave up their parental obligations to keep you there for a while…

    Rant over…. but yeah… one time in my life, I thought that way, too. But, then, when my son’s life is truly on the line, and we’ve tried every thing else, I’m ready … tie him up and tranq him if you have to! Tell him he’s a spoiled brat… if he acts like one. He has hit bottom … he knows now … he’s sick and has acted like a brat … he’s ready and he’s coming back with a new respect and a new attitude. He’s been to the wimpy “kumbaya” places that stoked his ego and told him everyone else was to blame… he sees the truth now.

  4. BEWARE!!!!!!

    Sundown Ranch is a nightmare. That place really, really damaged me emotionally. It’s been 7 years since I was last there and I am still dealing with the anger, resentment, and flat-out trauma that resulted from the 3 months I was forced to stay as an adult.

    I’ve been to Sundown twice. Once when I was 17 in 2006, and again at 22 in 2010. Based on both those experiences 10 years apart, and looking at the differences, it is very clear that for some reason, possibly the Echols, it changed drastically in a really bad way. In 2006 it was not an enjoyable place to be, but at least I was getting regular therapy sessions and actually focusing on my recovery and mental health. Back then there were regular opportunities for horseback riding, and we did ropes courses, and sometimes some of the other seemingly fun and therapeutic activities their website advertises. Their site tries to show Sundown as being as some sort of serene, idyllic country setting, when really its just an old fake dude ranch with bizarre building facades that say, like, “Bank” or “Trade Goods Store” and shit. Their advertisements are just flat out lies. Clients are never allowed to wear any shoes other than flip flops because wearing real shoes is considered a flight risk. During my times there, a few people did successfully run away. But the ones that got caught would be body slammed to the ground by 1-3 big, muscular men and pinned down until a nurse could come with a thorazine shot and throw you in the “Pink Palace” otherwise known as the quiet room.

    I watched a 17 year old get upset when she was talking to her parents at the med station as they told her that her brother wasn’t allowed to visit her. She told them she needed to walk away and be alone for a bit so she could calm down. As she walked away, a big male tech body-slammed her 98 pound frame into the concrete, and I distinctly remember the loud cracking noise of her head hitting the pavement. She wasn’t injured, but I call that assault.

    Here’s what everyday looked like, as an adult. Woken up at 6:30 deliberately harshly by a tech flipping the lights on yelling at everyone to wake up. 20 minutes to get meds, clean room, and get cleaned up/dressed. Eat a terribly fatty and unhealthy breakfast, sit around for about two hours, and maybe some group therapy depending on if the counselors were doing their jobs, otherwise just basically sitting around playing cards, or watching one of a handful of horrible outdated “educational” videos about drugs and personal hygiene that they would cycle through over and over and over. Adults got 6 smoke breaks a day, once after each meal, mid-morning, late afternoon, then before bed. After dinner was AA except for Sundays when you had the option of going to a christian church service instead of AA. Snack, meds, smoke, bedtime. Repeat, repeat, repeat. SOMETIMES you’d get to see your counselor for one hour session a week, that was the only anomaly…other than a “community” which I won’t even try to explain here.

    Our counselors would refuse to see us regularly. We would see them walking across the ranch, and we’d try to shout and get their attention to find out when we’d be getting sessions, but they would pretend they couldn’t see or hear us. I wasn’t the only person who felt this way, but I really really needed to just talk to someone one-on-one so badly, I would beg and beg for a session, but I probably only saw each counselor a handful of times over my 3 months there. I was there because I WANTED to get better but it seemed like every opportunity they had they made it worse. In fact I did not see a counselor until my 3rd week there. 90% of our time was spent with “techs” who usually had zero experience or qualifications. Many of them were just flat out a-holes on power trips. One tech actually showed up to work drunk. He first got the job there because he was the son of one of the admins. Some of these techs are just kids too, 18-21 or so, and have no business working with any addiction and mental health patients. There aren’t a lot of jobs available in Canton, I guess.

    Kim Echols terrorized me regularly. She was a ticking time bomb and would go off at anytime. Do not be fooled by her initial sweet demeanor. She was a marine and runs the place as much like a military camp as possible, and was mentally abusive and manipulative.

    Dr. Callaghan (my psychiatrist) also was verbally abusive, telling me (verbatim) that I was “a spoiled little princess brat.” She forced me to take several medications that made me feel absolutely crazy and bizarre in a way I can’t even explain, and after my multiple desperate attempts to get her to take me off those meds, it wasn’t until my Dad came to visit and brought up how much he could see I was suffering and basically a shell of myself that she agreed to take me off those meds. She and the rest of the treatment team lied to my parents constantly to make sure they didn’t believe anything I told them.

    I got a kidney infection my second week because they took a urine sample for a suspected a bladder infection. After a week I asked them about it but they assured me the results would come soon. It wasn’t until I woke up in the middle of the night with agonizing kidney pain did they realize OOPS! they never sent it off for a culture and my p*ss had just been sitting in the fridge. The nurses were more like school nurses (although there was one nurse that was so kind to me and really helped me get through those three months,) one of them had to poke me 5 times in each arm before she could get a vein for a blood draw (I had never been an IV user so my veins were fine) but part of it may have been because unless you were given special permission from a doctor, you were not permitted to have water with you during the day. The only time we were allowed water was when we passed by one of the igloo coolers set up on porches around the ranch and had to rush to gulp down as many tiny cone-shaped paper cups of water as we could. It was super hot when I got there (aug. 2010) and I felt dehydrated a lot. At least they let me have water while my kidney infection was being treated. Ffs.

    All communication with people outside of the ranch is monitored/censored. I was not given or even notified about several letters that my SPONSOR had written me. When talking to family on the phone (if you’re at a high enough “level” you’re allowed phone time for about 30 minutes once a week) they will hang up the phone if they think you’re starting to complain or tell your family member the truth about whats happening there, or even if you just started crying and said you missed home or something.

    Kim Echols led a sort of personal crusade against me because I tried to leave several times and she didn’t like the way I challenged her authority. I submitted three written requests to leave, as per my legal rights (I was told) but they didn’t like that so they threatened with me with an emergency court order to keep me there for 6 months the next time I requested to leave. I had a family to go back to so it’s not like they were going to be letting me out on the streets, but they flat out lied to my parents about how much of a danger I was to myself (when really most of my problems at that time came from being there) and used all kinds of fear tactics to convince them the only place I was safe was at sundown. When I got out and was able to tell them what really happened, they were horrified and felt so guilty. But I don’t blame them. These people know what to say to families to keep a patient in as long as possible- I was paying privately so I believe they were also squeezing me for more money. Its not a cheap place either. My autonomy was completely taken away, and eventually I shut down emotionally and capitulated, which meant I had to stuff all of my feelings down and put on an act. I was only allowed to leave once I agreed to go to a halfway house in Austin. Even as a 22 year old who had lived on her own since 18, no one was allowed to be more than 8 feet away from a staff member except when in the shower/bathroom. I am talking about being a fairly mature and self-sufficient 22 year old and being babysat by a rude and sassy 19 year old girl.

    One time a woman came to the ranch supposedly to check and make sure the place was running the way it should. We were instructed by staff not to say anything bad or there would be consequences. I remember wanting to scream and tell her everything that was happening, but by that point they had beaten me down and I was too afraid of retaliation.

    I think this is about all I can say right now because it’s very upsetting and there were so many things that happened I can’t put it all here. If you want to talk further about the reality of Sundown Ranch, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I want to share my story to prevent as many people from going there as possible, and I think it should be shut down or at least turned into a program that isn’t archaic and forceful, but based on science and the plethora of new information we have about addiction and the brain. There is no reason to continue to use archaic and ineffective treatment methods.

    Please do not send your children to sundown ranch. Please, please, please.

    • Sounds like you are a spoiled little princess brat to me. They are harsh because they deal with kids in the throws of addiction daily who lie, cheat, and steal. Sorry they don’t trust you, but I’m sure they have good reason. By now, you should really have shown signs of growing up. I suggest you get a real counselor, not one who caters to your spoiled little princess brat attitude and be grateful you were given the opportunity not once but twice to better yourself. Who paid for that experience? I’m guessing it wasn’t you. Maybe you should stop “escaping reality” there, “88” and try some self reflection.

      • Ton ton macoute on

        Jodi , you seem so angry- do yo take any acoountability in that your lack of parenting skills, enmeshed and fused boundaries and your sick need for your child to be acting out to divert from your own probable trauma and abuse. PLEASE JODI get some help so your child can get well

  5. Amber Mear-Wilkinson on

    I was sent here in 2008 after my dad died and they diagnosed me with depression and put me on medications that were not meant for anyone under the age of 18. My dad died i was sad of course but not depressed. They had problems with clients hoarding their meds and sharing them as well as a possible client having a relationship with a worker who was suppose to be watching us. As far as the pink palace i was sent there for talking to a boy. A week in their mini jail. They stick you in a pink room that resembles a jail cell with cameras always watching you. You get a mat to sleep on but it is taken away in the morning. This place is a joke and does more harm than it does good. Please find a better place to send your children if they need help.

  6. My child was there 2 years ago for 2 months. Very expensive and non-effective. If you’re looking for a place to ship your kid off and not have to deal with it… this is your place! mind you, it wasn’t my idea to send my kid here. as a matter of fact, my Ex-wife made the decision without me and I didn’t find out until my child was already there for days…
    My Child was in the early stages of experimentation when entering this place. she left with a new set of rehab Friends that she has relapsed with recently. its kinda like the kid who goes to Prison only to become a Pro Theft or Drug dealer.
    I would not recommend this place at all.

    • I’m so glad to see a parent who sees the truth. It sounds like your child was similar to me when i first went. I was having trouble stopping smoking weed and had experimented with a lot of drugs but I learned more about crime and drugs there than I knew before. Most reviews from parents I see act like the place cured their kid, when in fact it compounds a lot of people’s problems. I always tell people if they give you the choice between rehab at sundown and jail, go to jail.

    • Honestly, from a parent who has been through this with my kid … and many other rehabs, hospitals, jails and possible prisons, … this place is the safest place for your kid. They are very strict, but any time you get a bunch of drug addicts together, what do you expect? If your kid isn’t ready to change, they’re not going to change, and if they’re weak, like most of them are, they’re susceptible. Our first time around, I was concerned about my “precious baby” being treated like a common criminal or a junkie … until the sixth or seventh time around the block and many jails/bails/attorneys/and automobiles later.. I realized my kid was being a jerk and needed someone to explain that to him in no uncertain terms. Which, is why, after many years, he’s going back there with a new attitude because he knows they’re right…. shape up … it’s up to YOU only … not the rehab facility. The only problem I see with this place is that they have to deal with a bunch of spoiled brats whose parents think sending them to rehab is the cure for everything without them having to actually do anything or without their kids having to actually take responsibility and admit they’ve got problems and need to make changes!

      • I find it interesting how the rudest counselor at this facility is leaving these types of comments everytime someone is honest about how shitty is was to be there. Jodi go back to your job and actually schedule some family sessions for once, or go stuff down 8 portions of the lunch like you did everyday that i was there

  7. John Thompson on

    Our kid entered Sundown with great emotional wounds and was a mj, benz, heroine, and coke user. this place really turned his life around, gave him the tools necessary to cope and fight the lifelong battle ahead. had too fight insurance who hate to pay, sundown know and support us, and love our kid. it was little rough adjustment but he wanted to fight and win against additction. rally helped our family, not all in our family wanted or believed sundown could help, some think sundown make zombies, this is not so. they are very open and answer and help at any time of day, counselors give their life effort to help our kids and family. some could have bad result if they only do work halfway. the enemy is disease, the addictition. do not let your kid leave too soon, she must be prepared for what life will be outside. do not just move kid back home or pretend all is fixed like a broken car. it does not work that way and kid will fail or relapse, be firm and learn yourself so well or you can lose your kid forever. no latchkey parents or relatives, those can kill the kid and not know it.

    PROS: state certificed, real doctors, huge helpful staff, loving but strong consulers, super environment, outstanding transparancy, amazing communication, family owned business (its 4 siblings that own it who want to help save kids one by one), family counseling for all family, help with after-leaving, no zombie kids, great safety and concern for kids, such good perparation for our kid.

    CONS: not really great first impression, buildings are country and rural not city and slick, some kids (really parents in most case) not complete program (it is individual) cuz some think they are ‘ready’ when they start to feel good in 3 or 4 weeks, a little scary at first,(in days 1-6 really during adjust to new surrounding and team life), quite a few rules (but yes i admit they are for safety and privacy for kids, there are under 18s here also, plus really many not used to rules in life before day 1 here)

  8. My daughter is currently there and is doing great. I also know two other families who sent their children there and they are both success stories.

    • I went into this place at 15 years old with a massive drug problem. I also had bipolar and was unmedicated. I stayed for roughly 3 months. This place changed my outlook on life. I honestly don’t think I would be clean today had I not gone. I went back for my one year clean date to speak. I would highly reccomend it to anyone looking to change the trajectory of their life. All of the staff was amazing and they all treated me like a human, not a problem to be solved. I would not be who I am today without Sundown Ranch.

      • I’m so thankful for you, Parker! I hope you are still doing well! Remember that perfection isn’t required or expected. You just now know you have lifelines to reach out to if you slip up. Get back on track. You, obviously, had it in you to get better and made the decision and put forth the effort. Sundown gave you the support you needed, but you achieved the victory! 🙂

  9. I was in this place in 93 and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was diagnosed with ptsd as a result of being there. I went in with minor problems. I was smoking a little Marijuana and being a typical rebellious 13 yr old. I left with a pill addiction and mental illness. Once my parents realized the abuse they tried to remove me but we’re unable. Part of the enrollment process is they have parents sign away their rights. After several suicide attempts I was released a little over a year later. Please do not send your kids to this horrible place.

    • John Thompson on

      What you describe is not the reality, we have our kid there. you can leave any time and are not signing away any rights, its not possible in any event to do that, tho your parents might have confused of course. your description of suicide attempts then release are not possible unless your parents or a court force the release, and then it would be to another agency.
      NOTE: that said, there are some people who leave too soon, relapse, etc. if a person does not at some point come around to the point that they want help, it is unlikely they are able to cope on the outside world without the right tools. also, none (zero) of the medications which might possible be prescribed (by an MD and reviewd, btw) are addictive. you might want to tell your whole story without omissions, it might actually help others, even if yours wound up being one of short term failure. since you are here today, 23 years later, you must have done something to survive until 36 (or maybe prison or state commit?). all the best !

      • I disagree John, I was there first hand. Its abusive. Staff would emotionally abuse and make fun of kids. I was accused of knowing about a negative activity involving beating up a bully after only a week of being there, i was locked in a room and threatened, screamed at, and was called a liar. They are also extremely manipulative to parents to keep kids in there for even longer. All together I came to my release date and was so scared that i continued to use, got arrested for the first time ever, then attempted suicide because I found no other option. This also led me to self harm because if you try to voice your opinion AT ALL you are severely punished.
        The hole thing is a joke, open your eyes and try to see the manipulation.

        • Also they do prescribe addictive meds, I personally got Ritalin LR and was told that if I told anyone they would take it away.

        • I’ll never forget watching the pregnant 16 year old screaming and crying and being dragged away to “The Pink Palace”. Through that creepy old country downtown… She wanted more bacon and had been caught hiding cereal for snacking. At one point we got to stay in the big barn with the fan blades for days, without being allowed anywhere but the dining hall, because they wanted to make an example of another kid who tried to run.

          • Thats awful. I watched a 17 year old girl have her head slammed against the concrete because she needed to walk away and be alone for a bit because she was upset. They claimed she was trying to run. This place is evil. And yes, “Community” is probably one of the worst things about that place. We had community for almost a full month last time I was there, meanwhile we weren’t getting any kind of treatment. Just forced to sit upright all day everyday and listen to someone read the big book. Its actual torture. If parents actually knew about community, they would most likely be horrified and wouldn’t spend their money on a place that doesn’t prioritize actual treatment, just punishment. Oh also if they knew about the time they kept the entire ranch up until past midnight because they had to strip search every single client including adults because an adolescent stole some Xanax from a teacher at the “ranch academy” who left the bottle SITTING ON TOP OF HER PURSE in full view in the classroom. They are all a bunch of freaking morons up there, except a select few that seem to care but know they can’t do much to change things.

      • You are flat out wrong, and you don’t get to decide what someone else’s reality is. Adults are rarely “allowed” to sign themselves out because they will threaten you with a court order.

    • Please send me a confidential email so that I may share some questions I have right now. My granddaughter is there now – I see “red flags” ? Thank you

      • SuSu did you get your questions answered? How is your granddaughter doing? I’m looking into rehabs for my son, and I was leaning towards this one. The only negative on her was from someone who was there in 1993. I would love to have your opinion of the place.
        Thanks

        • My child was there 2 years ago for 2 months. Very expensive and non-effective. If you’re looking for a place to ship your kid off and not have to deal with it… this is your place! mind you, it wasn’t my idea to send my kid here. as a matter of fact, my Ex-wife made the decision without me and I didn’t find out until my child was already there for days…

          My Child was in the early stages of experimentation when entering this place. she left with a new set of rehab Friends that she has relapsed with recently. its kinda like the kid who goes to Prison only to become a Pro Theft or Drug dealer.

          I would not recommend this place at all.

        • Brenda, my son was there when he was a younger, rebellious teenager who was just at the beginning of his “drug career” and told me going in that he didn’t want to change … he stayed for almost 90 days, came out, went right back to the drugs and progressed … well, hundreds of thousands of dollars later, and many jail (county and state) encounters, attorneys, wrecks, ICU stays, you name it … and when he is finally at the bottom and asks for rehab … he asked to go back to Sundown. That should tell you something. Think about this, they have almost a hundred young, privileged, spoiled brat, stealing, lying, conniving, angry kids, mostly – some are adults but not many, there against their wills … They’re strict, very strict and don’t put up with crap … which keeps our kids safe. These are hard to handle kids with both addictions and attitude and mental problems. Having experienced numerous other places … where drugs flow freely through the rehabs … I was extremely happy and surprised when my son chose to go back to Sundown. After he matured and realized he was his problem… not everybody else that was trying to help him realize he had a problem … he “got it” … I don’t know what happened in the 90s and possibly there could have been some bad stuff, but we’ve been intouch with this place and the people who run it on and off for many years. They are stable, same people there running it. They are responsive. They aren’t as warm and assuring as some of the wimpy places that try to give your kid brownie points for showing up … these people are real. They realize if a kid isn’t ready or willing to change, they probably aren’t. The best they can do is keep them safe and expose them to as many resources and tools and testimonies as they can while they have them and hope they make an impact. Nobody can fix your kid if your kid doesn’t want to be fixed. I heard this so many times … and didn’t really get it or believe it until recently … I’ve been stripped of everything mentally, physically, financially … trying to keep my kid alive… not comfortable and coddled to … but seriously alive and out of prison … mine is not a “dabbler in drugs” … if there’s a bad road, he’s been down it… I’ve prayed by his bed in ICU while he was on breathing and heart support after he was picked up from the middle of the street not breathing as a John Doe … I’ve gotten him out of the worst gang drug houses … I’ve seen him with staph infections and his liver so swollen I could see the bulge …

          At this point, you don’t want someone who will cater to your precious baby’s tender feelings… you want someone who will tranq them in the ass if they act up and throw them in the “pink palace” for some self reflection time … Fortunately, now, my son is back at Sundown with a new attitude and mission – AT HIS REQUEST. He gets it now. If they had been horrible people when he was there are a rebellious, self centered jerk before … I doubt he would have asked to go back there …

          And if he wasn’t serious .. he would asked to go to one of the “recovery retreats” he’d been to. He’s serious this time and knows who can help.

    • I’m sorry someone told you that what happened to you was not reality. I have had a lot of people try to mess with my head like that. I too was imprisoned here as a kid, based on lies my dad told to cover up the incest. What your parents told you or what you perceived at that age, as far as the parental rights and things like that, I don’t know anything about, but I know what really went on in that place because I was there twice. Every time my parents wanted to throw me away. I’d like to told to you more about this, if you’d be interested. I also have PTSD and it makes it hard to relate to anyone. It would be amazing to talk to someone who’s been through one of these places. [email protected]

    • You are correct and unfortunately that hasn’t changed over the decades this place has been allowed to operate. You are not crazy and what you experienced was real. You are not the only one!!!! Thank you for sharing this, people need to know the truth. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

    • This is not an accurate review. No parental rights are signed over. They can’t do that. And, they deal immediately with any suicide attempts. They do not retain or lock up a suicidal teenager or keep them there.

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