You might recall the name Betty Ford from our nation’s history. This Former First Lady underwent her own recovery process from substance abuse in Long Beach, California. With a desire to create a place where women could go to receive similar help, she later cofounded the Betty Ford Center with Ambassador Leonard Firestone in 1982. Today this company serves both men and women equally, specializing in rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addictions. Based in Rancho Mirage, California, the Betty Ford Center also has locations in Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, and New York. So far, more than 100,000 people have graduated from this program. With more than 30 years of experience and many people served, this rehabilitation center continues to bring individuals through a difficult time and onto a healthier, happier future.


Rank Chart
Our Score
30-90 Days
3-4 Months
28 Days

The Good

The Betty Ford Center has over three decades of experience in the drug rehabilitation industry. In that time, they’ve established a positive reputation and expanded their services to cater to a variety of clients. In addition, they’ve expanded in terms of location, providing services from coast to coast.

As a patient with the Betty Ford Center, you would likely enjoy many of their program features:

  • Programs for a variety of clients. To begin with, the Betty Ford Center has more than just inpatient and outpatient programs (though they have those too). They cater to a wide range of demographics, including programs for kids and families affected by a loved one’s addiction, young adult addicts, professionals who are addicts, and more. This makes the company a more viable option for patients in different walks of life—not even just the addict.
  • 12-step model. The 12-step model has been widely used and proven very effective for many clients, so for the most part, it works as a pro for this company that they implement the 12 steps into their rehabilitation programs. In a word, this program is thorough. It helps addicts explore several different facets of their addiction and rebuild their lives in positive ways. Using the 12-step model also means adding accountability and continued support to your recovery, which gives you a higher chance of success.
  • Inpatient program schedule. The inpatient program at the Betty Ford Center is also very thorough. Through it, residents have a pretty regimented schedule every day, which includes medication, training about preventing relapses, fitness, and support group time. In many ways, this is an advantage to the client because a regimented schedule can lead to healthier habits and a healthier lifestyle. With structure and positive activities, addicts can rebuild themselves confidently.

The advantages to working with the Betty Ford Center pertain to the overall quality of their programs. For instance, they help both addicts and loved ones, they offer onsite medical detoxification, and they provide many resources for learning about the recovery process. These aspects speak well of the company’s goal to truly help clients understand themselves and build a stronger lifestyle.

The Bad

While the advantages of this center are broad, the weaknesses of it are somewhat narrow. With that, some of the programs’ features can be either negative or positive depending on the client. For instance, there are indeed several locations coast to coast for the Betty Ford Center, but that doesn’t mean the program is available in all states. And for clients who live far from the closest location and would rather be treated close to home, this center won’t be of much help.

In a similar vein, the housing in residential programs at the Betty Ford Center are gender-specific, which on the whole is probably more effective but could be a deterrent for some patients. Another potential drawback is the fact that their programs are based on the 12-step model. While this is a definite pro for many clients, others don’t work well with it or might prefer a less-spiritual approach.

All that being said, the following features are more consistently negative features for any client:

  • High costs. Most drug rehabilitation costs are high, no matter the facility you choose. But in comparison with some of its competitors, the overall expenses for the Betty Ford programs are pretty pricey. This is of course a deterrent for clients who need a lower-priced, even subsidized program.
  • Limited insurance coverage. Finally, insurance is bound to be a bit of a frustration with drug rehabilitation. But the website for the Betty Ford Center does acknowledge that most insurance companies won’t cover all of the costs for that initial 30-day period. They will probably cover some of the costs—such as committing to a certain number of days—but you will then have to pay for the remainder of the program. Before you consider this factor a con, it is definitely worth asking your insurance company about. But should your policy not cover most or all of the program expenses, you will pay quite a bit for recovery.

It’s easy to see, then, that the negative qualities about this company are more particular to the individual client and simply depend on your needs.

The Bottom Line

The Betty Ford Center has a positive reputation, an extensive company history, and programs that are bound to help such a big group of people. Not only can they help you as the addict; they can reach out to your loved ones who have been affected by the addiction. With such a precarious situation, support groups and professional help are so appreciated. And the Betty Ford Center knows that. They provide so many resources that can help.

As a warning, this facility wouldn’t be very satisfactory to customers whose insurance policies don’t cover many of the costs or who would prefer a much lower program rate. And, of course, the programs are specifically for clients who like the 12-step program and a strict residential treatment schedule.

For those who are interested in the Better Ford Center, the company has great experience and accreditation by the Joint Commission. So if your finances and insurance policy agree with the company’s terms, they have so much hope and resources to offer you.

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