How to Respond to Online Complaints and Poor Reviews

How to Respond to Online Complaints and Poor Reviews

It's very common to see complaints and poor reviews for drug rehabs, residential treatment centers & sober living homes, so what do you do if you receive one?


Anyone familiar with the world of addiction treatment services or basically anything related to substance abuse recovery, is pobably familiar with the unusually high prevelance of online complaints and poor reviews throughout this industry.  Even some of the world's finest inpatient drug & alcohol rehab centers have been plagued such craziness, and the worst part is that there is almost no way to really combat frivolous or fake web based complaints and bad reviews.

It all started with major websites like Yelp and and other prominent consumer portals, all of which having good intentions of course.  What better way to bypass the trials and tribulations of seeking out the best Chinese food in the area or produce mart or bookstore or who knows what!  A professionally moderated forum designed for people to share their views and experiences with local businesses and/or service providers.  It sounds great, right?

The issue with places like inpatient drug rehab centers, sober living homes and other addiction treatment services is that they cater to an audience that is often times sufferring from skewed thinking and low success rates.  For instance, any typical substance abuse treatment facility will find that over the course of time, a large percentage of their previous patients will suffer a relapse, if not even multiple relapses!  The fact of the matter is that a very high percentage of drug rehab and sober living clients will not remain sober of the long haul, and in many cases they will blame outside forces as being the cause, such as the treatment center, a therapist, a counselor, etc.

Nearly every type of mental health and addiction recovery services provider has some unhappy clientele.  It's impossible to avoid it.  In fact if you go online and search for reviews or complaints on any one particular recovery home or treatment center and so forth, you will almost surely find at least a couple, and in some cases many!  As a result, many residential treatment centers actually have certain protocols in place in order to minimize the likelihood for poor reviews and formal online complaints.

If your treatment facility or sober living home does in fact receive an online complaint, the best thing to do is to address it head on and see if maybe an agreement can be worked out so that the client might consider removing it.  Keep in mind however, if the person is still active in their drug or alcohol addiction it can dramatically complicate this process.  Nonetheless it's always worth a try.

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Importance for Using Reviews on Adolescent-Teen Drug Rehabs

The importance of accurate consumer reviews and testimonials when trying to find the right drug rehab or mental health treatment center for teens or adolescents…


Many parents unforunately find themselves in need of searching for clinical recovery services for their teen son or daughter. Whether it has to do with mental health issues, substance abuse or a combination thereof, this is a process that is typically overwhelming yet necessary. In most cases this event will follow a series of prior events that have spiraled this to a high-priority matter. Examples of this might be behavioral issues, poor grades, fights at school, drastic change in personality, theft, etc.

When it comes to finding a reputable addiction or mental health treatment center for your adolescent child, it is absolutely critical to perform substantial research on any facility in question. This goes even beyond verification of state licensing and other business credentials. For instance, it is important to keep an eye out for any complaints or reviews having to do with individual staff members at a facility.  ATRI recommends even going so far as clicking over to the staff page of the center's website and performing web searches on each individual listed. An example search phrase might be, "Complaints for (person's name) at XYZ treatment center."

It is very important to understand that a child of 13 to 17 years old in this scenario typically has worse judgement than the typical adolescent, which doesn't have great judgement to begin with! Factor in a potentially volatile situation resulting from any number of common issues and  all of a sudden there can be a variety of unwelcomed outcomes; or even worse, a predatory or even abusive staffmember. This isn't to say that such occurrances are common. As a matter of fact, adolescent/teen treatment facilities always run extensive background checks on all staff in order to best minimize the potentiality of such scenarios.

If you are in a situation of needing to find rehabilitiation for you son or daughter between the ages of 13 and 18, here are a few quick suggestions prior to making a final decision:

  1. First speak with the mental health hotline at your health insurance provider (the phone number is typically on the back of your insurance card). Find at least 2 or 3 facilities in-network and get as much information as you can regarding services, payment, options, etc.
  2. Upon speaking with the admission staff at each facility be sure to ask the same exact list of questions so that you're best able to match apples to apples. Create a prior list that addresses each of the particulars around your situation, i.e., particular behaviors you're noticing, medication, aftercare & support, family guidance, length of treatment, added options and of course, any additional out-of-pocket costs..
  3. Search relentlessly online for reviews, testimonials and complaints on the facility as well as individual staff members. Most treatment center websites have a staff page with listings and photographs of clinical staff.
  4. Check all credentialing and oversight bodies to ensure the facility is in good standing. One word of caution however, just because a rehab facility may have a complaint or pending action online or elsewhere, don't let that be the deciding factor in and of itself. There are many wonderful facilities and recovery services out there that have unforunately fallen victim to unscrupulous complaints or an incident that was entirely situational and outside of their control. Running an adolescent-teen rehab that remains entirely free of any such bumps in the road is simply impossible, but definitely keep an eye out for patterns.
  5. Consider focusing on regions throughout the nation that tend to have a higher than average presence of reputable drug & mental health rehab centers such as, California, Malibu, Los Angeles, Orange County and other like regions.

Feel free to contact ATRI 7 days a week at (888) 510-3190 with any questions or if you require unbiased assistance and information in finding the right treatment facility for your son or daughter.



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Published on 05/27/2014

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Open Secrets: Tips for Teens with an Eating Disorder

ATRI presents the following article as a wonderful resource for those potentially affected by, or struggling with, any variation of eating disorder issues


If you suspect that you have an eating disorder, you’re not alone. Girls your age are the most vulnerable for developing one. It’s partly due to the strong emphasis for women to look good, stay thin, and maintain certain body measurements that fit within society’s definition of beautiful.

Sadly, the shape of your body and the amount of body fat you carry can heavily influence your sense of self worth and self-acceptance. With enough social and peer pressure, looking good can have a higher priority than your physical and psychological health. It sounds odd that you would hurt yourself for the social acceptance of others, but it happens frequently. And, the truth is, it’s practically expected of women in Western culture.

So, if you’re seeing the signs of an eating disorder emerging, it’s okay. And if you’re looking for help, read more here and follow the tips below to help you get the support you need.

  1. Think through who you know to find someone you trust.  This is going to be a very important conversation. You’ll want to find an adult who you can feel safe with. Likely you will feel vulnerable and possibly insecure. There might be other feelings that will come up that might make you feel uncomfortable while you’re talking about what’s going on. Think through the family members, teachers, counselors, and other adults you know who would receive your disclosure well and, most importantly, who will support you in getting the help you need.
  2. Pick a time to talk when you’re feeling calm. An Eating Disorder almost always has underlying issues such as anxiety, depression, or an unresolved trauma. If you’re feeling upset, anxious, or depressed, wait to have your discussion. Perhaps finding the right environment to have your conversation can help with feeling safe and at ease.
  3. Pick a time when you know you won’t be interrupted. Having the freedom to talk as long as you need is important. It will help you in feeling safe, calm, and relaxed when talking about such an uncomfortable issue. Most teens feel shame when talking about how they have been binge eating, hoarding food, and controlling what they eat. Having uninterrupted time will support a conversation that is focused on your well being.
  4. Write down what you want to say ahead of time. There are parts of your concern that you might want to emphasize. You might have questions or wonder what kind of treatment an eating disorder requires. Writing down your most important points will facilitate a successful conversation where all your concerns are heard.

Once you’ve spoken to someone you trust, finding your way to a mental health professional could be the next step. A therapist, counselor, or psychologist will be able to clinically assess your symptoms and make a diagnosis. From there, treatment can begin. A recent survey of 496 adolescent girls indicated that more than 12 percent experienced some form of eating disorder by the time they were 20. You’re not alone! Talking to an adult can get you the support you need and deserve! Learn more about treatments for eating disorders at the site here.

By Robert Hunt – Robert Hunt is a recovering addict of 20 years.  He has devoted his life to helping others suffering from chemical addictions as well as mental health challenges.  Robert maintains many blogs on drug addiction, eating disorders and depression.  He is a sober coach and wellness advocate and a prominent figure in the recovery community.
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The Growing Heroin Epidemic Throughout the United States

The rising tide of widespread heroin abuse and addiction is now affecting more age groups as well as more affluent suburban regions throughout the country

It seems not all that long ago we were all talking about the growing epidemic surrounding opiate pain pill use among numerous segments of society.  Drugs such as Oxycontin, Norco, Vicodin and Percocet might as well have been household terms.  As a result, addiction treatment centers nationwide were seeing a tremendous rise in client populations with dependencies related to this class of drugs.  Consequently, new government regulations and procedures kicked in as a means of curtailing the growing epidemic, while simultaneously creating enormous increase in price and availability.

Many treatment professionals agree that much of why the growing heroin epidemic is occurring is due to a ripple effect caused by increased pricing and diminished availability of opiate painkillers, the most common of which being Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.  Add to that the already low cost associated with heroin as compared to a variety of other street drugs, and it’s no wonder we’re seeing this type of trend. The change taking place today however, is the fact that such devastating substances are no longer confined to stereotypical classes such as, inner cities, Hollywood elite and so on. Today the wrath of heroin is seen in some of the nation’s most affluent regions, regions once thought to be immune from such unheard of scenarios.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Americans who have used heroin had risen from 373,000 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012  The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) claims that 4.2 million Americans have tried heroin, and 23% of those having tried it have or will become physically dependent.

A common bridge into the world of heroin use is often created among teens and young adults having initially entered by way of pharmaceuticals.  What may have started as an innocent Friday night party tool via of mom’s vicodin bottle in the medicine cabinet, quickly turns toward a street-drug addiction once the bottle or prescribing physician are no longer on-call.  Given the unrelenting nature of opiate and opioid’s physical dependence, not to mention its agonizing withdrawal symptoms, turning to heroin is a quick and comparatively inexpensive remedy.  Consequently we’re now seeing affluent suburban and even rural regions being engulfed by its grasp.  Towns like Calabasas and Simi Valley, California; states like Vermont and New Jersey; the list of once thought unlikely hot spots continues to rise.

In an article dated Dec, 7, 2012, Maryland’s Baltimore Sun newspaper published statistics showing a direct correlation between declining prescription pill abuse and its inverse result result with heroin.  These addicts need their fix and when the bottle runs dry there needs to be a suitable replacement.

It remains our sincere hope that as addiction educations thrives, and as awareness of substance abuse consequences becomes more and more mainstream, that we as a society will begin to see steadily declining numbers.  For those needing help or who may know someone needing help, we encourage you to embrace a “take-charge” attitude and act immediately.  Heroin kills, it kills thousands of people each year!  One hot dose is all it takes…

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Helping the Family Help the Addict

The Family

The Family’s Role in Helping their Addicted Loved One


As a drug addict or alcoholic progressively transitions through the ranks of chemical dependency, the family is usually there to feel the direct effects of their behaviors and actions.  One of the worst things about such mental health maladies is that it is often those who love the person the most that are most deeply affected.  Over time the lies get bigger and more prevalent.  He or she begins experiencing problems in their work, school, relationships and so on.  Then there is the money problems; all of a sudden the individual is spending large sums of money that far exceed their normal spending patterns.  We could expound on this list immensely.

Many professionals in the field refer to addiction as a family problem, and in most cases there are various family related elements that contribute to to the sufferer’s addictive patters.  Things like childhood trauma, abuse (sexual, physical, verbal), lack of esteem building as a child and so on, can all play key rolls as to how the individual ended up here.

When it comes time for action and rehab is needed, it’s typically a family member that initially starts doing the research on available options.  Often times this entails searching for inpatient treatment center reviews and testimonials as well as general searches for other related information.  For some, maybe outpatient drug rehab or finding a local addiction therapist will suffice.  It’s important that the addict’s family do all they can in order to get their loved one into recovery and if the means means black mail or coercion or some other type rigid influence, then so be it.  This is life or death we’re talking about!  At the same rate, once he or she is checked in and under the care of qualified professionals, it’s also important for the family to take a step back and allow their loved one to fully engage in the early treatment process.


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The Importance of Reviews When Seeking Addiction Treatment

Why is it so important to seek unbiased reviews/testimonials for substance abuse treatment services, residential rehab, therapists, interventionists and so on?

These days it seems that nearly everyone is in one way or another touched by drug addiction, alcoholism, chemical dependency and/or some type of mental health disorder in one way or another.  Whether it is you, a family member, a friend, acquaintance or work colleague, these types of illnesses have a tendency to affect the sufferer as well as the immediate, and even distant, individuals surrounding them and their day-to-day lives.

Reviews and Information on Teen Treatment Centers, Residential Drug Rehabs, Sober Living and so onWhether you’re searching for a teen or adolescent drug rehab center for your son or daughter, adult inpatient treatment facility, outpatient or day treatment for addiction/alcoholism, sober living housing or any number of independent recovery professionals like therapists, sober coaches, interventionists and so on, keep in mind that there are a number of methods available for locating accurate and unbiased reviews, complaints & testimonials from current and/or past clients.  And while many recovery-related websites may boast numerous testimonials and reviews on their own company websites, remember that these services and.or treatment centers are attempting to sell you something so take everything you see with a grain of salt.  This isn’t to say that we suggest not believing what you read on there, but we are saying that reviews from unbiased 3rd party websites typically have greater merit.

If you or someone close to you are struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction you know full well of the life-altering implications it carries.  There is no room for compromise or short changing when it comes to obtaining formidable, effective treatment services.  It doesn’t matter which type of rehab center or treatment service you may be seeking, reading reviews from past clients is the single greatest tool in determining if this is a potentially good direction of recovery to consider.  There are obviously many additional elements to consider with regard to your specific situation, but if you see a number of reviews or complaints mentioning how the facility, for instance, over charges and under delivers then you at least know to keep looking onward before any further inquiry into the treatment services.  Does this mean every 3rd party review, testimonial or complaint is absolutely accurate?  Of course not, but use your God-given intelligence to make logic-based determinations…

ATRI is here for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  From residential & inpatient treatment to sober living to IOP to every aspect of recovery from nearly every possible service type, please take advantage of the critical information we make available for you and your family!  We can be reached toll free at (877) 494-ATRI or (877) 494-2874

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The Difference Between Insurance and Private Pay Drug Rehabs

Information on what differentiates drug rehab centers that accept PPO or HMO insurance plans versus those that only accept out-of-pocket private payments

Most licensed residential & outpatient drug rehabs and treatment centers work with at least a few of the major health insurance providers nationwide.  Examples of such companies would be; Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Pacificare, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, United Healthcare and several others.  In most cases clients with PPO plans will have many more options than those with HMO plans.

Most health insurance providers have very stringent standards and are extremely tight with their payouts when a client requires treatment services.  As a result, it is quite rare that one’s health insurance coverage will cover the cost of rehabilitation in its entirety.  In most cases there is a standard deductible or copayment required upon intake that can range anywhere from several undred to as much as several thousand dollars.  Beyond that, it may also be the case that your health insurance provider caps out at a certain monthly or annual payout and thus, any residential or outpatient treatment center charges above that mark are the client’s responsibility.

The real question remains, in a scenario of a treatment center only accepting private payments versus one that contracts with health insurance providers, which tends to offer a higher and/or more effective level of care?  The truth is, that when it comes to things like drug addiction, alcoholism, substance abuse and dual-diagnosis issues, so many variables exist that it’s difficult to truly assess which treatment center is in fact more or less effective.  What we can say, however, is that facilities charging higher rates or solely funded through private pay clients have more flexibility and thus, typically offer a broader array of both, clinical as well as non clinical services.  Private pay rehabs often have expanded holistic and ancillary components like yoga, pilates, personal training, private coaching, naturous activities and so on.  All this is of course in addition to primary elements like group & private therapy, counseling, relapse prevention, etc.

Health insurance companies always have what are termed “contracted rates” which means that they pay far less for the same program that the client would otherwise spend on an out-of-pocket basis.  A drug rehab charging 22 thousand dollars per month for non insurance clients might only receive half that amount from the provider of an insurance pay client.  Whether or not the client has the ability or is required to make up the difference is entirely on a case by case basis.

In the final analysis, there is no set equation as to determining the effectiveness and success rates of drug rehabs accepting health insurance versus those that don’t.  One word of caution though, if a facility does not accept any type of health insurance provider it is extremely important that you verify their state licensing during your initial inquiry.  While some addiction & alcoholism treatment centers are fully licensed yet opt to not accept insurance in lieu of their elite, high-end environment, others will commonly avert licensing restrictions and operate as a “recovery environment” as opposed to a bona fide “treatment center” which means they essentially have no governing body being held accountable to.

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The Opiate Pain Pill Epidemic in America

The growing concern over doctors over-prescribing their patients opiate pain killers that often leads to chemical dependency and sometimes death!

In recent years we’ve begun to see a vastly growing curve with respect to the opiate pain pill epidemic here in the United States.  More and more, we’re hearing reports in the news about physicians facing charges relating to over prescribing and/or improperly prescribing pain medication such as; Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, etc.

Sadly, many of the people out there addicted to such medications are actually well educated, contributing members of society that happened to fall into this vicious cycle due to unfortunate medical circumstances.  Many people are stricken with chronic back pain, for instance, and what was once a mild daily pain management regimen turns into full-fledged drug chemical dependency!

The epidemic has grown much that it is now gaining the attention of Capitol Hill.  For example, Senator Mitch McConnell recently called on the FDA to address the situation in greater depth as described in this article dated April 4, 2013 –  According to the website, during 2012 the drug hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin by brand name, was the most prescribed medication throughout the U.S.

When people hear the term “drug addict” the first image typically coming to mind is the skid row junkie with a crack pipe in their mouth or a needle in their arm, but more often than not, it is anything but that.  The rising numbers chemically dependent pain pill sufferers is staggering, and anyone actively attending AA or NA 12-Step meetings can attest to that fact.

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Drug Rehab Treatment and Sober Living Homes in Orange County, CA

Orange County, California has become recognized worldwide as among the single most populated regions providing the full spread of addiction and alcoholism recovery resources.  From drug rehabs and treatment centers to transitional sober living home options and everything else recovery related under the sun, Orange County, California is absolutely a hotbed of options.  People come out to Southern California from all over the world whom are trying to make positive changes and leave their addiction and/or alcoholism troubles in the past…

sober Living Homes and Inpatient-Residential Drug Rehab Treatment Centers in Orange County, CASober living homes and transitional housing residences have become increasingly common throughout Orange County, CA as the population and number treatment centers have blossomed in numbers.  This region within Southern California is actually believed to have more drug rehabs than any other region in the world!  Some of the most populated cities in this region in terms of residential treatment and sober living options include; San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Dana Point, San Clemente, Anaheim, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.  Feel free to click on California Residential Drug Rehabs & Treatment Centers or Orange County Sober Living Homes to read more information and to locate more authentic client reviews & testimonials.

The recovery process from drug addiction, alcoholism, chemical dependency, eating disorders and so on is very unique to the individual.  While one may have any slew of underlying mental health issues perpetuating the addiction, another might simply use it as an escape from the harsh realities of life until it becomes completely unmanageable.  For this reason it is very important to find the right treatment center or sober living geared to address yours or your loved one’s specific clinical needs.  This of course is a major advantage by seeking this type of recovery service within Orange County…pretty much anyone with any set of unique circumstances will be able to locate the right solution for their needs!

From luxury and high end treatment centers & sober living homes to low cost affordable alternatives, Orange County, California is definitely a great place to begin your search!.

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Does Luxury Improve Addiction Treatment and Sober Living Homes

How does the presence of luxury and amenities factor into the scope of drug rehabs, treatment services and sober living homes-transitional housing?


For those familiar with the world of addiction, alcoholism and its many varying treatment & recovery avenues, it is so common to hear strong varying opinions with respect to the overall value of the presence of luxury services.  Whether the topic evolves around the scope of drug & alcohol rehab or sober living homes or anything of the sort, there are certainly no shortage of opinions.  We hear stories of folks spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on recovery services and are left wondering whether or not the value is truly there…

At the heart of the question we must ask if there is an actual statistic showing that the more one spends on treatment services or sober living housing, the higher the likelihood for long-term sobriety?  As to whether or not such a verifiable statistic exists, we of A.T.R.I. are not aware of any.  Likewise, do we discourage the possibility that spending more on treatment might not mean a greater likelihood for long-term success?  Absolutely not.  As a matter of fact, logic would dictate that given the enhanced array of clinical services provided to the client, coupled with the added social benefits, amenities & comforts, that the likelihood for acquiring a stronger appeal to the presence of sobriety in one’s own life would exist.  Right?

In today’s world of addiction and alcoholism treatment we’ve begun to see what is described as an affordable alternative to high priced luxury rehab by way of what is termed “The Florida Model” sober living design.  These are basically high-end, luxurious and quite highly structured transitional sober living homes located in prestigious regions, most commonly in areas like Malibu, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, Orange County, CA, Southern Florida, Manhattan, NY and so on.  Since sober living homes are not overseen or licensed by public health agencies they are limited in the scope of clinical treatment services offered onsite, and will therefore network out these services on a case by case basis.  In a sense, they are able to provide luxury accommodations equal to that of a high end rehab or treatment center while basically adding in a la carte clinical recovery on a case by case basis, but at a lower cost than would otherwise be charged at a conventional inpatient or residential facility.

At the end of the day it boils down to this: if the client is ready to get sober and put in the work, they are likely to achieve their goal no matter where they go.  However, in certain cases a client needs more than just their steadfast decision to follow a new direction. Our best advice for the client & the family is to ask lots of questions before deciding on a direction of treatment.  And more than that, map out what would be good vs. bad answers to each of your questions so that you may effectively navigate through any potential fluff that is not applicable to yours or your loved one’s situation.  The fact of the matter is that most all treatment services can be beneficial to one degree or another, but it is so critical to find the right match for your specific set of needs!

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