The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment provider, with 16 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas. Hazelden Betty Ford offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and covers the entire continuum of care for youth and adults.
Services offered by Hazelden Betty Ford include inpatient and outpatient substance use treatment, programs for family members and children affected by substance use, programs for adolescents and young adults, older adults, professionals, and LGBTQ clients. Additionally, Hazelden Betty Ford offers programs for those who have mental health challenges, who are affected by trauma, or who need help managing chronic pain alongside substance use treatment. Some sites offer long-term recovery housing. Hazelden also operates a publishing department that provides products and services to help people recognize, understand, and overcome addiction. The Butler Center for Research, housed at Hazelden Betty Ford, is dedicated to improving recovery from addiction by conducting clinical and institutional research, collaborating with other research centers, and communicating scientific findings.
To tell the history of this organization is to share the story of two important legacies. Before the Hazelden Foundation and Betty Ford Center merged in February 2014, they were each significant institutions in the recovery field.
In 1949, Hazelden was established as a farmhouse retreat in Center City, Minnesota, serving professional men recovering from alcoholism. The program at Hazelden was rooted in the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and was among the first treatment programs to promote the revolutionary idea of creating a humane, therapeutic community for alcoholics and addicts. This method of treatment is now known as the Minnesota Model, and its inception was a bellwether of change in the way addiction was treated and regarded in society at large. Hazelden grew quickly and soon became one of the most respected names in the treatment field.
In 1982, the former U.S. First Lady Betty Ford co-founded the center bearing her name with Leonard Firestone and Dr. James West in Rancho Mirage, California. As one of the country’s first prominent advocates for recovery, Mrs. Ford was an alcohol and opioid addict who played a major role in affecting legislation and public opinion about addiction. The non-profit Betty Ford Center, inspired by her commitment to “help others live their best possible life,” was focused on residential chemical dependency recovery. It has since gained international recognition for its commitment to patient care.
The 2014 merging of the Betty Ford Center and the Hazelden Foundation combined two of the most renowned organizations in the field under a shared vision to overcome addiction, together. Hazelden Betty Ford has expanded its original 12-step methodology to include medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder and other evidence-based strategies to create the best outcomes for their patients.
In 2014, The Peter G. Dodge Foundation awarded the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation a $25,000 Mission Grant to benefit the Patient Aid Fund, which reduces costs for individuals seeking inpatient treatment. This gift was designated to help patients with a dual diagnosis of alcohol-use disorder with major depressive or bipolar disorder. Each year, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation provides over $7 million in patient aid to help those who need treatment but lack the financial resources to access it.