Evolutions Treatment Center

By The Fix staff 02/18/17

Evolutions offers psychotherapy, medication-assisted therapy, CBT, and other novel approaches to treatment. And while they are not a 12-step facility, they do take clients to meetings and encourage involvement in 12-step programs.

Evolutions Treatment Center
Location : Fort Lauderdale, FL
Phone : 866-772-8136
Price : $17,500 for 30 days; $4,400/month for Luxury Transition (IOP with Sober Living)
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

Located in the tropical climate of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Evolutions treatment center aims to provide top notch addiction treatment in a luxury setting at an affordable price. This would be welcome news as the trend is toward more supportive, comfortable treatment programs, but they can be very pricey. Evolutions is actually affordable. And they also take insurance.

The accommodations are comfortable and stylish. The living areas have brand new furniture, hardwood floors, flat screen tv's and stainless steel appliances. They also have a swimming pool, outdoor grilling stations, large "zen" lounges, and 24 hour security. There is a fitness center, basketball courts, and a luxurious gaming center and theater. The setting is comfortable, clean and soothing.

But obviously one does not choose a treatment center based on size or availability of a swimming pool alone. As a matter of fact, alumni we surveyed listed "quality of treatment" as the most important factor to them, followed closely by "accommodations quality.” Location and whether or not their insurance was accepted were also high on the wish list. "I was addicted to opiates, although I was in denial. I was there for 4 months although my insurance didn't cover it all. Evolutions was gracious enough to scholarship me," one former resident told us.

Evolutions offers a primary program of residential treatment with a minimum 30 day stay, though the average stay is about 45 days. Programs are individualized per patient. Following inpatient care, Evolutions offers what they call a Luxury Transitional Program, which is somewhere between an inpatient treatment and a halfway house. It offers a sober living environment along with Intensive Outpatient treatment, or IOP. 

Inpatient treatment is not necessarily 12-step based, but 12-step is a large part of the program here. According to their website, "At Evolutions, we believe that while 12-step-based recovery models can be effective for some, many newer forms of cognitive behavioral therapies, medicines, and other novel approaches to treatment can prove highly effective when carefully and thoughtfully administered....And while Evolutions is not a 12-Step program per se, we are supportive of the 12 Steps and encourage Clients to leverage the benefits that a 12-Step approach can offer them." As one alumnus confirmed, "They offered me multiple alternatives daily. More than you could ask for."

Religion isn't emphasized, 12-step participation notwithstanding. "No, religion wasn't emphasized, although the meetings that we went to focused a little bit on God since that is part of the 12-step program," a recent client told us. "But it's evident that the program is trying to stray away from God and focus a little bit more on a power higher than yourself. I personally wouldn't have been receptive if they were trying to force religion down my throat and I don't believe that most addicts would either."

Therapies at Evolutions include individual and group psychotherapy, family therapy and medication assisted therapy. They treat co-occurring disorders such as Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, PTSD, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

You can expect to find a diverse group of patients at Evolutions. Alumni described them as, "early 20s to early 50s, male and female, all types of incomes and jobs." Another said, "We had people there from as young as 18 to as old as 60. It was coed, but mostly Caucasian. The staff, however, was extremely diverse and everyone was treated equally."

Most former residents we surveyed rated the accommodations as very good. "Chores were clean your apartment and keep the social areas clean. So, pick up after yourself," was how one described it. "I had roommates and we did have chores but once or twice a week there was hired help to clean for us," said another. Generally, there are 15-20 patients at a time at Evolutions. The food situation, though, is somewhat unique. "This was the only downfall, having to cook your own food," an alumnus shared. "We received a $75 Publix gift card." But not everyone thought this was a bad idea: "Coffee was made every morning. We bought our own food, which I thought was better than cooking someone else's food," a former resident chimed in. Another resident agreed: "We cook for ourselves, I am a fabulous cook."

There are many activities available to residents at Evolutions. "There was a gym at the residence, but they would take us to an outside gym twice or 3 times a week. There was also a pool at the residence and every weekend they would take us to the beach on Saturdays and somewhere fancy on Sunday. At the center you could choose from yoga, massage, equine or pet therapy, which was cats and dogs. And acupuncture," a former resident reported. When asked about activities and amenities, another former client said, "gym, movie theater, pool, equestrian therapy. Different types of fun outings. One free massage if your insurance did not cover it."

Evolutions is non-restrictive with TV and phone use. You can use these "daily, except during treatment, meetings or after bedtime," an alumnus told us. He went on to say, "Plenty of personal time in my opinion and still 8-9 hours of treatment daily with meetings. Another reported, "Phone is in our rooms every night. We could watch TV every night. Using cell phones was only allowed within a special time frame. I was able to face-time my kids."

The medical treatment was rated highly by most alumni we surveyed. "No doctors at the residence, but it was nice to know that just in case the nurse and the doctor were available by phone," one commented. "The doctors are at the treatment center and always helped me when I needed them," said another.

Days consist of "Treatment everyday, meetings after, time to relax daily. Swim, excercise, games, socialize. Chores were clean your apartment and keep the social areas clean." Clients felt like the treatment team was effective, "awesome," and "amazing," with one client crediting her therapist with helping her commit to the program when she really wanted to leave: "I didn't even want to leave to use, I just simply didn't want to surrender and my therapist wasn't even forceful but she got me to say that I was looking for a reason to leave. I still don't know how she pulled it out of me because she didn't really say much, but her method really made me realize that I was fighting the process."

Former clients describe the program as a gentle version of tough love. "It was more of a family love. The team really met you where you were at. They didn't smother you, but they do not yell and scream at you. By the time I left it was almost like my family that I craved when I was younger," one told us. Another said, "It was only tough love when tough love was necessary. There's not a lot of talking down to clients like they are children like they did when I went to detox. It is a very well-balanced machine that they all run together cohesively, and very well I might add. I think that anyone who chooses Evolutions can stay clean if they apply the tools given."

Evolutions employs a fusion of tried and true evidence-based approaches with the latest technologies that have proven to be effective in the treatment of addiction. They make available a range of holistic therapies and recreation activities for clients. It seems to work as most of the former clients we surveyed rated their overall experience highly, saying things like: "I am so grateful I found this treatment center," and "I'm so grateful for the gift of recovery that Evolutions gave to me." As one put it, "It was a great experience. Quality of staff, excellent. I would recommend it to anyone."

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