In Drugs & Addictions, Health

What is the Hazelden Foundation?

alcohol addiction

If you or a loved one has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, it is important the you know what treatment options are available. The Hazelden Foundation is just one example, but it’s a pretty major one. The Hazelden Foundation (also known as the “Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation”) is a non-profit organization focused on the rehabilitation of individuals struggling with drugs and alcohol abuse.

What Qualifies as “Struggling with Drugs and Alcohol”?

It’s commonly thought that the first step towards recovering from an abuse problem is admitting that you have a problem in the first place. But what if you aren’t exactly sure about what a “problem” is? To put it simply, if you or a loved one identifies with any of the following points, you may be struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse:

  • Your use of drugs and alcohol goes beyond recreational purposes
  • You feel that you “need” drugs or alcohol just to get through the day or to just feel “okay”
  • You break out into sweats, become nauseous or just generally feel unwell when you deny yourself drugs and/or alcohol
  • You find you have increased the amount of drugs you take or alcohol you drink in order to get the same effects as when you first started (you have built up a tolerance)
  • You have spent a lot of money on drugs and alcohol, and you may have found that you’ve been struggling financially
  • Driving or engaging in other risky activities while under the influence of the drug or alcohol / Doing things you normally would not do
  • Thinking frequently about your drug or alcohol of choice
  • Struggling with family, work and social responsibilities (not making deadlines, missing family events, blowing off friends, etc.)

The good news is that if you identify with any of this, you’re not alone. There are many people who have been in your shoes and have successfully recovered to go on and lead normal, healthy lives. Learning about your options for rehabilitation is a great first step towards recovery, so here is what you should know about the Hazelden Foundation:

History of the Foundation

According to the organization’s website, the Hazelden Foundation has rather humble origins, having been officially founded in a lakeside farmhouse in Minnesota back in 1949. However, the idea for the center was actually sparked two years earlier (in 1947), when recovering alcoholic Austin Ripley met a priest whose alcohol abuse was so bad that he was being threatened with losing his ordination (priesthood). So, Ripley set out to create a place where priests struggling with alcoholism could recover and overcome their battles.

That same year, Ripley met with Lynn Carroll, another recovering alcoholic who also happened to be a lawyer, and Robert McGarvey, a coffee-shop owner who liked the idea of the alcoholism center but suggested it be for all people rather than just priests. Ripley, however, insisted that it only be for priests, and he eventually removed himself from the venture.

The next year (1948), Carroll and McGarvey organized a meeting between themselves, the priest who initially inspired the project, and some Minnesota bankers and businessmen. Through that meeting they facilitated the purchase of a small family farm in Center City, Minnesota by a charitable hospital organization that would run the center. The name of that farm was “Hazelden Farms”.

In 1949, the Hazelden Foundation officially opens and admits its first patient, Lawrence Butler. After undergoing successful rehabilitation and observing the center’s struggling finances over the next few years, Butler and some of his family members took over the deed to the property and begin running it. After stabilizing the center’s financial situation, the Butlers expanded programs and even launched Hazelden’s publishing efforts (producing material on alcoholism and drug problems). It was the beginning of a new era, one of success that continues on today. After numerous expansions and thousands of rehabilitated patients, the Hazelden Foundation is among one of the most respected and notable organizations of its kind in the United States.

Hazelden Rehab Facilities

So, just where is Hazelden located? It’s headquarters are still in Center City, Minnesota, but over the years it has expanded several times via new facilities in different locations. The good news is that they have rehabilitation facilities all across the country, meaning you or your loved one might not have to travel too far away from home to get the help you need.

Here is a list of the Hazelden Foundation’s facility locations in the United States:

Center City, Minnesota (the foundation’s headquarters)
15251 Pleasant Valley Rd.
Center City, MN 55012

Chaska, Minnesota
1107 Hazeltine Blvd.
Suite 300
Chaska, MN 55318

Maple Grove, Minnesota
7001 E. Fish Lake Rd.
Maple Grove, MN 55311

Plymouth, Minnesota
11505 36th Ave. N.
Plymouth, MN 55441

St. Paul, Minnesota
680 Stewart Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Beaverton, Oregon
1500 NW Bethany Blvd.
Ste. 240
Beaverton, OR 97006

Springbook, Oregon
1901 Esther St.
Newberg, OR 97132

Rancho Mirage, California (Betty Ford Center)
39000 Bob Hope Dr.
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Chicago, Illinois
867 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610-3371

New York, New York — Tribeca Twelve
283 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013

New York, New York — Chelsea
322 8th Ave.
12th Fl.
New York, NY 10001

Naples, Florida
950 6th Ave. No.
Naples, FL 34102

What to Expect from Treatment at a Hazelden Facility

Each of the Hazelden locations offers a different set of treatments, though many treatment plans are similar, and programs are outpatient while others are residential (and some are a combination of the two). Nevertheless, the focus at each facility is the same– help patients struggling with drugs and alcohol get over their addictions and learn to lead healthy, normal lives in functioning society.

When you contact a Hazelden facility or go there in person, they will first want to know what exactly you are struggling with (the type of drug, for example). This will help them determine which programs you should be enrolled in, as well as what your detox experience is going to be like. If they have residential rehabilitation programs and think you should check in so they can help you more closely, they will let you know.

Your actual treatment will be a personalized plan suited to your particular situation, and you will have a counselor or sponsor to keep track of your progress and help you see it through to the end. The initial stages of drug and alcohol rehab can be rough, though your experience will depend on your level of use and your own body’s responses. Fortunately, the Hazelden staff will be there to assist you (and keep in mind that they have successfully treated many cases just like yours or worse). Still, as difficult as any stage of your rehab can be, it is all worth it to living a clean, healthy life free of addiction.

Seeking Help NOW, Not Later

It is important to take action against addiction as soon as it is realized to be a problem. Thinking things like, “Okay, it may be a problem, but it’s not that bad yet,” is dangerous and can cause otherwise preventable harm. You don’t want to postpone treatment, only to get caught stealing or driving under the influence just days later (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg– much more serious things can, and do, happen. And when they do, there’s no way to go back and fix them).

Even if you or your loved one’s struggle with drugs and/or alcohol has progressed to a point where you feel it is hopeless, realize that that’s just not the case. The Hazelden Foundation has experience dealing with all levels of addiction, so never be afraid to seek treatment simply because your case may be “too tough for them to handle”. So, don’t wait to get the help you or a loved one needs.

The Hazelden Graduate School

In addition to its rehab and counseling services, the Hazelden Foundation also offers a Masters degree program in addiction counseling. The Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies is located right at the heart of the program in Center City, Minnesota, and it is one of the leading programs of its kind in the nation.

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