Denise is a dedicated licensed mental health provider with nearly 30 years of mental health, co-occurring and substance use disorders experience. Prior to joining American Addiction Centers, Denise served most recently and for the past nine years as the Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services for Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. Denise is a proud graduate of Nova Southeastern University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and holds a license in the state of Florida.
Recovery First Treatment Center, Hollywood
Paying for Treatment
- Insurance is Accepted
- Financing is Available
- Medicare is not Accepted
- Medicaid is not Accepted
Recovery First Hollywood, owned and operated by American Addiction Centers (AAC), is one of two Recovery First locations. Programs are reality-based, promoting personal responsibility, with a focus on educating clients in three key areas: Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, denial management and relapse prevention. Services include detox, inpatient care, outpatient care, interventions and relapse treatment.
Recovery First Treatment Center, Hollywood Reviews and Ratings Details
The following is based on a combination of Surveys of Alumni, Staff, Loved Ones, and Reviews and Ratings from around the web.
Reviews at a Glance
Best decision I�ve made was to go to recovery first for treatment. Highly professional, Caring and understanding stafff at residential! is a life saver therapist! He truly cares about you and tells ...
It was a wonderful experience despot the circumstances. Everyone was so nice and supportive. A reall home feel. They are very supportive and kind.
don�t even let you go outside except to smoke. There is no therapy and the groups are a joke. Staff is nice but it did not help me at all and i feel that i was scammed out of $5,000. Have received b...
Group facilitators are great very helpful therapists also very good especially some staff is helpful too front desk real helpful. Good place but certain people do make you feel like the place is just ...
Staff was great. All the groups I had to attend were pretty good. I highly recommend this place to anybody struggling with addiction. Great staff, therapists & group activities.
clean and sober. Location was a strengths.
I showed up sober, was told this is a resort style recovery center and I have never done a drug in my life. I was recently diagnosed as type 1 diabetic and was told to quit drinking. I quit for 3 mont...
Overall, tx was a positive experience. The expectations could be set more effectively so that I could have packed appropriately and been more comfortable-this is due to the call center. The special ne...
Staff was great good structured routine just enough down time good overall experience nice job
Therapy was comprehensive. Strengths: Therapy and motivation. Weaknesses: Some staff were cranky and reluctant to help
Very pleasent staff. They really cared and helped every one feel loved.
I thought it was great for me. I wanted help and I worked the program respecting all rules and personnel, attending all classes and activities. I lived the structure suggested and went to classes. I w...
I am grateful to have found Recovery First, I am 48 days sober. My experience in detox was somewhat confusing and it felt like there was a great deal of miscommunication through admissions and adminis...
This facility saved my life, the techs, nurses, doctors, staff was overall the best. Everyone showed genuine care and effort to better me, they saw a light in me when I didn�t see it in myself. I�...
The techs were great. Administrative there was a serious lack of communication however the care that I received there was second to none. Strengths:The techs. Weakness:Administration communication
The Techs, therapists, nurse all were great and I am so grateful I chose recovery first as the treatment to get clean. Very highly.
I found the majority of the sessions very helpful.Very comprehensive treatment program. Accommodations are a little on the sparse side.
Would recommend and learned a lot about myself during my time
Detox was good. I got all the meds, sleep, food and therapy I could of asked for or needed for that week. After detox I went to PHP for 22 days in Ft Lauderdale which taught me the coping skills/tools...
Recovery First is an excellent facility and treatment center. They cater to both Veterans and Non-Veterans so it brings in a wide age range of people and experiences. The facility itself is a very nic...
Good place but there are some things need to be worked on. Great staff. Under staffed.
Great staff, great community!
I thought they had an optimistic outlook on our treatment but at the same time treated me like one of them
Staff treated me in a personal and compassionate manner, helped me feeling as if I was reborn through not only helping me with my alcoholism but taught me how to handle grief and resentments , many of...
Therapists and therapy sessions were terrific. My only issue was the timeliness and follow through with discharge planning and help with insurance.
Awesome treatment because I put my 100%
Saved my life
Changed my life around!
Techs were great
Recovery First saved my live. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone looking to recover from this deadly disease of addiction. The therapists go above and beyond to help, and the staff is ...
They truly cared bout my recovery my stay there was very nice learned a lot of copy skills and how to control my life and the decisions I make and made some great friends there and the staff there tru...
I absolutely loved the tech's, therepest and the mediators! The living facilities need work" a lot of black mold in the rooms in pho. Overall it was a GREAT experience! The people there saved my life ...
Gave me the skills and knowledge to continue my journey in recovery
There IOP is excellent.
This is by far at the bottom of the barrel for treatment centers. Their main focus is profit and not the well being of the clients. They lie about the accommodations and amenities they offer. They do ...
The staff at recovery first are absolutely incredible!
i recommend united recovery project for anyone who is looking to get help. this place works. everyone here is awesome and they give you all the tools you need to be productive in life. this program sa...
Therapist The Doctor... is ridiculous, shes absolutely horrible and the biggest downfall of this facility. A new doctor would be a tremendous step up in the right direction, switching up the groups ...
the staff here is available almost always and they are going through the things we are also the website is a lie and not at all what the realistics are. there is a horrible workout area and the 75 do...
Strengths: cleanliness and supportive. Weaknesses: repetiveness. The staff is very attentive and the property where we sleep is nice.
The staff was awesome and they went above and beyond to make sure i felt comfortable. Weaknesses: I could not find a single one! buy fishing poles for clients!
I am pleased to say I am a Recovery First alumni. I am an addict and former drug user. I had become a shell of my former self and had lost hope.Going into Recovery First I didn\'t know what to expect ...
Strengths: Groups, Beach, meeting. Weaknesses: Not to much alone time. very transitional and independent
Strengths: understanding. my therapist was very helpful in my treatment here
This facility was pretty good.
Accommodations could have been better.
Strengths: daily groups Weaknesses: no activities, lots of downtime need to keep clients more busy at property
Facility was great.
they are all very blunt and honest and call you out when youre not being truthful or trying to fake it not enough time for females in the workout room i learned a lot about myself .
The facilitators are awesome! Alumni was very enlightening, helpful towards my own personal recovery! Not too much in my own opinion. Others may think differently. I think if you are open-minded and w...
Strengths: staff community therapist, the experience was good and i think the way the run it is good
meetings were a strength.groups was a weakness. doing more hands on groups
Excellent staff very caring and concerned too much leisure time was a weakness. I am glad I made the phone call, It was what I needed
Strengths: detox was painless leaving the facility with a positive attitude. Weaknesses:some time techs dont want to deal with a legitimate question i need an answer to sluff it off to the next tech...
Big thankyou going out to the staff at Recovery First! I am doing well now, inmost part because of you guys. Keep up the good work! I highly recommend this facility foranyone who is struggling.
My son was in the facility for about 30 days. He didn\'t have many complaints and didn\'t really have anything bad to say. He was always upbeat and positive when we spoke on the phone. He said there w...
Recovery First Review Behavioral Health Technicians • Lazy • Relate personal information regarding their love life and drug habits. • Disrespectful speech when addressing clients. • Use o...
Outings were nice. Staffs were ok. It was great here
The counselors I had were helpful and resourceful. A little understaffed when it comes to therapists and the PHP house could use some work regarding the backyard. I took charge of my recovery so that'...
Rectory the tech's the community. Not duel diagnosis no mental health groups not enough time with therapist. I felt welcomed and at home and I finally want to be clean.
Organization, well trained staff. Communication, consistency. I have learned adequately and this facility has done its job in preparing me to move forward.
Positives: staff. Negatives: Controll. Better speaker.
The STAFF! They were the best! From Eric to the transportation team were fantastic! The facilities were old and worn out, but clean. I would have like to have access to acupuncture and massage therap...
Staff is amazing and they speak to you on a personal level, not as if your just another client. And the day is well planned out. No weaknesses that I can think of, the facility is very well ran. I had...
Getting to the core of client's issues and really trying to help each person individually. A little unorganized as far as communication goes between staff members. I really enjoyed this facility. Th...
Some of the tech's were good. The counselors were not that good, The tech's helped out a lot. They were better help to the clients than the counselors were.
Staff was very friendly. Absolutely no help with discharge planning. I would recommend this place for anyone who does not need help finding aftercare living.
Support and Communication Organization could be little better Gained tools to move forward in my sobriety
The staff are extremely supportive. The php house is such an awesome place, it's my second family. The organization of some days are skewed. This is an awesome place full of people who genuinely car...
The php program is a close group of peers and a smaller community. A lot of down time is spent at the facility in the afternoon. More time should be spent at the house where we learn life skills such ...
Staff and tech were great. It's a great program I'm thankful thank you recovery first and its staff
Certain techs know how to handle issues with respect and dignity. Friendly environment. Being able to participate in outside meetings is a plus. Over all this place is good, the staff make it a great ...
Property was old It was fair
Great meetings..great support..staff was excellent and respectable..great food .. And cleaninless Wasn't too many I can think of right now ..maybe a little unorganized when transferring from detox to ...
I liked the groups.
Family environment was great. Full of inspiring people to motivate people about sobriety. Start advertising on television.
they let you go shopping and let you cook your own food. the in house meetings are really good most of the staff here is excelent the recreational outings are amazing such as the park and bowling a...
Community was good. Communication of results of requests seemed to be slow. If wrap up group is fun, don't come down on the slight words that allow release, camraderie and release of tension.
Schedules are organized and effective. Staffs are professional and the facility is kept well mainacied. Groups are repetitive. I can with a mindset that I would be unwanted and that the treatment wa...
Recovery First has a very well trained and diverse therapists on top of the amazing techs who offer great words of wisdom since a majority are in recovery themselves. They also offer a since of freedo...
Very understanding staff and therapist. Rensponded to my needs when necessary. Food was very good which helped me begin to eat properly. I strong believe that if a client is ready to recover, this fac...
Friendliness, care but too much monitoring. Safe, and educational.
Effectiveness and the therapist are very good. Organization should've better. My rehab treatment at this facility was very effective for me. I am so happy I came to this treatment center to receive ca...
Groups Caseloads Techs Speakers were all strength. Stay at the center all day. Would be nice to break it up during lunch. They did a great job helping more learn more about addiction and the ways t...
Relatively clean. Caring staff. Offer clients a good deal of freedom. Therapists are skilled. Intake procedures could be improved. There needs to be more explanation of the process and more empathy...
Excellent Staff members, caring and loving. Transportation was a problem. I made the best decision to come to Recovery First, the staff, program and community were very important in my recovery.
awesome techs, cleanliness, roach problems were issues. individual and group therapy
Dedication to groups, as well as daily outing schedules. Medication is a mess 75% of the time. No nurse overnight and on weekends. Limited accessibility to Drs. Limited care for clients, constant p...
staff is always available and have a positive attitude. most of the staff have 1st hand experience with addiction and knew what i was going through and i felt so were more than understanding seemed li...
Staff dedication was good but should have more knowledge and medication issues. More nurses
Keeping us busy throughout the program. A lot of 12 step readings, some very strong speakers that talked about where they were and how they recovered This place really needs an update. The place is v...
had many activities to occupy time, cleaness needs to be improved. cost of treatment
Staff can relate, structure was good. Meds were an issue for me. I learned a lot about aa and NA and how to cope with my feelings and got a ton of support from various staff members when I thought I c...
Generally everything was great
Honesty, and they draw a fine line between rules but still keeping it enjoyable and the techs are awesome as well as the therepist and counselors. Too much junk food and they need one more fridge. It ...
Good staff but nasty houses and bugs. Good job
Strengths: group room sizes, cleanliness, accessibility. Weaknesses: Female PHP house has insect issues. Detox center has terrible meals. I am uncomfortable with the payment process for the facility....
The facility strengths are some of the techs. Overall the program is pretty good, days can be long here but it benefits me. There are a lot of weaknesses in this program. I have never seen such unpro...
i believe this facility believes in the steps and everyone is very nice, the only weakness i can identify are the techs are not on the same page, schedule, or routine. i've enjoyed the quietness
able to connect with the patient on a one on one level, great facility techs and staff would reccomened for anyone
caring staff but the med line needs to be improved. when to other treatment centers and this one is the best one so far. I got alot out of it,
therapist, and the group meetings, speaker meeting, and the outings; were all strengths. not having a nurse on property 24/7, and sometimes the staff are not on the same page was a weakness. if i woul...
Therapy has been very helpful. The techs have been great. The PHP staff at the house are great. Provide plenty of refreshments/snacks but need a little bit more variety. The PHP house is lacking and c...
Well structured day of groups and leisure activity. I enjoyed my experience here.
Case load groups were good. Not enough one on one therapy. I have turned around completely. I feel way better
Therapy was a strength. Activities was a weakness. The recognition of characteristics in myself. Is really beneficial for my recovery.
Strong community, nice staff but free time was a problem. Very good treatment center, wonderful techs, therapists, and staff and very accomadationing to ones needs. Only complaint is that we do not go...
The staff is awesome. I had such a wonderful experience they mad me feel so at ease and comfortable I am glad I got to come here and get clean. I am looking forward to staying clean and keeping in tou...
They are helpful and kind.
Strong and safe program/environment. Serious gaps between communication of facility policies with technicians. Clear, very clear, bias towards women as far as equality with men. Overall good and safe ...
Staff are very friendly and most have been through this and know how your feeling. HUGE break in communication, nobody is on the same page here. The php house should be condemned and is a section 8 h...
This is the best place ever I have no complaints about anything it was a great experience
Good people and helpful staff. Medication should be in timely manner. Great place but I hope I don't have to come back
Strengths: Staff, Therapists, Community Discharge and admissions. Freedom Telephone use was a weakness. My experience at recovery first was life changing. I got the tools and skills I needed before...
After care, needs to be age specific I.e. 35 +, etc. A more liberal phone policy and availability to rooms during the day is poor. Technical staff is great!
Great staff, great groups, very good at breaking down the process of recovery. Could use more staff at times. The best thing is that they realize you don't treat people with addiction, you care for pe...
Clean, staff are nice, good food, overall awesome rehab. Needs more councilers that know what addiction is like and have been through it, way too many groups. I wouldn't want to go to another rehab if...
Teaches coping skills amazingly well but some of the techs could be better trained. Residential setting lacked a cohesiveness. Between therapy and meetings, I am able to truthfully say I have been hel...
Everyone including the techs meet everyone's needs. Sometimes not everyone is on the same page. This experience was a blessing, it saved my life.
Techs made the experience extremely enjoyable
Cleanliness, good staff, great clinical care. I found out who I am
Exercise, sanitary environment but also disorganization. Lack of or poor training of technicians. Misleading advertising. I felt like I was sometimes treated like a child, I am 56 years old This faci...
Well run groups, good community, aftercare is well enforced. Communication was a downfall. This facility has helped me explore core issues and helped me realize my full potential.
Staff members are very kind, caring and understanding, but it is unorganized at times. Great place.
The techs that work there were great. They talk to you about things more than the therapist does. Too much down time. It worked for me. Just have to fight through it. Some people are here for the wro...
Treatment plans are good, staff care about your recovery, most are well trained. The men's living house discusting, has black mold, roaches and Is unsafe. The tecks are not trained in mediation to res...
The techs and all employees are very understanding and helpful and understand what we are dealing with and are very supportive. I had a great experience. This facility was very helpful to me I would r...
Great staff. This is a great facility. If you are ready to change and be drug free there is not a better place to come to.
Excellent staff, Accomadating within reason. Size and Grounds should be improved.Wonderful Staff
Alumni Coordination, residential operations director, clinical program director Physicians. Dr. Hicks is not open to treatment for an individual--she only provides "cookie cutter" generic solutions.--...
Lots of meetings. Encourage people to get better.try hard to accommodate. Meds not delivered on time. Losses personal belongings. The food situation can be frustrating in detox. No t.v in bedrooms at ...
Great staff. Really experienced and committed to recovery. Admissions was difficult with call calls routed out of State. It is a great place. I enjoyed my time and learned a lot about addiction.
Strengths: Supervision and the treatment plan and effectiveness.Weaknesses: Getting Meds in a timely manner.
Knowledgeable. It was nice.
Strengths: Caring, mindful, and structured. Weaknesses: Lack understanding clients needs. Great staff and faculty.
The groups were extremely helpful. Organization was a downfall. The facility helped my identify and learn coping skills with my emotional issues.
Strengths: Caring and professional , they really care about our recovery. Weaknesses: Some techs. This place and the people I met here saved my life. This was the best decision. I'm very thankful for ...
Strengths: 12 steps, assimilate real life, techs, therapy. Recovery first has changed my life forever.
This place changed my attitude and life - period !🎸🎹🎼🎧 This is a great facility and the staff have ALL been extremely helpful in my recovery 🙂
Recovery First was my fourth residential treatment program and it\'s the only one I completed successfully. It\'s been two and a half years and I\'m sober, something I can\'t say I ever thought was po...
If I save one person their money by writing this review it\'ll be worth it. This place is absolutely trash. The most unprofessional experience of my life. All they care about is money. This place is t...
This place is a joke. The staff are a joke. Its all about the money. Staff do not know how to handle anyone with addition. Please do more research before using them. Dont make the mistake we did. They...
Kind staff. No judgement. The initial screening, from the insurance part was complicated. Good Outpatient. Good for teenagers.
Stay far away from Recovery First of Florida. It\'s a scam. Nothing wrong with being an ex-addict, but someone with no training or skills does not belong running a rehabilitation center.
Strengths: Structure, outings, and the techs at the facility were great and enjoyed the one on one meetings with therapist were truly helpful. The facility was greatly effective on keeping more sober ...
An overall great facility.
Good counseling options and 12-step program, but needs improvement in some areas.
They have a good 12-step and faith based treatment. However, they would benefit from better holistic options and family participation.
In 2010 our son who was 24 years old, was a client at Recovery First. (he was placed in an apartment complex without any supervision) and then dismissed. Recovery First took our entire upfront paymen...
The place is a joke. I called my insurance company and told them that I felt this treatment center was a scam.
It's all about the money, prestige and power over peoples' lives for this rehab site. Staff walks on eggshells, worked to death, often demeaned and/or intimidated, and over worked. ... Don't go here...
Management is dedicated to serving the clients needs.
Though not all rehab facilities offer “medical detoxification,” all people with an addiction to drugs or alcohol will experience intense physical and emotional changes and discomfort as their bodies react to withdrawal of the addictive substance. Many people use the term “detox” to refer to the period of time (ranging from a few days to a week) when the body is reacting to an addict’s decision to stop using.
- Aftercare Support
Addiction recovery does not end with discharge after completing a rehab program. Facilities that offer aftercare planning and/or support work with patients to ensure sustainable recovery by helping to plan and make arrangements for transitional or sober living, help with housing, vocational counseling, etc.
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
Patients who undergo intensive outpatient treatment continue to live at home and sometimes go to school or work while participating in a highly structured treatment protocol that is focused on ending substance abuse. Programs vary in terms of how much treatment patients receive, how often and for how long. Some facilities design individualized intensive outpatient treatment programs.
- Residential Treatment
Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.
I just want to thank you and your staff for giving me a chance at a better life. I am picking up my 9 month chip today, and I can't believe the difference in my life. Without Recovery First this would not have been possible.Wendy
Recovery First helped me become the person I am today. Strong, healthy, and happy.Rodney
I am so grateful we found Recovery First. Our son is finally on the right track. Words cannot express our gratitude!Marcy
Denise O'Connell - CEO
Mayra Matos - Clinical Director
Mayra Matos, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience in the field of mental health. She worked with federal and state government agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Florida about 23 years prior to joining Recovery First. Matos also served as clinical director for a national substance abuse treatment organization involved in the development of clinical programming working with high profile clients and families, and in 2002, she founded the South Florida Center for Family Counseling, a private practice providing individual, family, marital, sexual, and substance abuse related counseling. Matos developed and managed two state-awarded contacts for special services for all youth aging out the foster care as well as family conferencing services for all dependency judicial cases for two entire South Florida Counties. She has served as the field advisor and instructor for Barry University for over 20 years and has presented nationally on topics such as family engagement and empowerment, crisis intervention strategies, and locally on mental and public health issues such as depression, domestic violence, and child abuse, especially within minority groups and the Spanish Speaking community.
This Center is Known For...
- Boat Rides
- Social Activities
- Relapse Prevention
- Gym Access
- Alumni Program
- High Staff-to-Client Ratio
- Serenity Chair
- Yes Detox Services
- No Behavioral Disorder Treatment
- Yes Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
- Yes Outpatient Services
- No Sober Living Home
- No Day School
- No Private Rooms
- No Pet Friendly
- No Exceptionally LGBT Friendly
- No Men Only
- No Women Only
- Average Location/Amenities
Licensing & Memberships
- Joint Commission
More ResourcesContact Information4110 David Road ExtensionHollywood, FL 33024Recent Pro Corner Posts
MSW Social Work, Ohio State University; Licensed Clinical Social Worker; DOT Substance Abuse Professional; Training in Guided Imagery and Ericksonian Hypnosis
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