Ellen O'Brien Gaiser Center in Butler, PA

Overall Rating

(4.5 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
165 Old Plank Road, P.O. Box 2127
Butler PA 16001

Ellen O'Brien Gaiser Center Philosophy

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Areas of Specialization

Family Program , Dual Diagnosis/ Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Facility Highlights

Individual Counseling
Therapeutic Model
Group Counseling

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors


Ellen O’Brien Gaiser — who ran this facility from 1979 until her death in 1994 — was a strong advocate for the rights of those struggling with addiction. Today, the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center in Butler, Pa., continues to provide intensive and highly individualized treatment to individuals struggling with chemical dependency. It serves 1,000 clients annually, including people in the correctional system. Medical detoxification services are not available on-site.


Length of residential treatment depends on the client, but is divided into short-term and long-term options. Level “3B,” or short-term care, consists of individual and group therapy, as well as psychoeducational lectures, wellness groups, relapse prevention planning, and counseling for infectious diseases. This level of care typically lasts between 14 and 21 days, after which clients are expected to visit an accredited outpatient program or halfway house.

Level “3C,” or long-term treatment, is geared toward individuals with “severe social, financial, occupational, and educational shortcomings which require intensive individual and group therapy,” according to the facility’s website. These clients focus on improving social skills and reintegrating into society. The Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center also offers in-house psychiatric monitoring for co-occurring disorders, medication management, and medical services.

In addition to residential services, the center has outpatient care at a nearby facility. Its regular outpatient treatment focuses on relapse prevention and meets once per week for one and a half hours. Its eight-week intensive outpatient program (IOP) requires clients to attend three, three-hour group therapy sessions per week.

Lastly, the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center provides criminal justice services. Individuals in the Butler County Jail or those on probation learn about drug and alcohol addiction in order to begin a program of recovery.


The facility employs certified advanced alcohol and drug addiction counselors, social workers, and clinical alcohol and drug counselors. The medical director is an MD and MPH.


Based on photographs featured on the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center’s website, the residential facility appears to be comfortable and simply decorated. Clients enjoy a shared living room with a television or the outside patio and garden. In reviews submitted to Rehabs.com, accommodations, meals, and cleanliness received four- and five-star ratings.


At the time of this writing there has been one alumni survey response received Rehabs.com. Alum Judy gave the facility a five out of five rating for accommodations & amenities, meals & nutrition, and a four- out of five-star rating for treatment effectiveness. Judy, who’s between 40 and 59, made a personal choice to enter rehab and chose this facility in particular because “structure, and the staff want the best for you.”. The client entered rehab for a dual diagnosis and stayed for 61 to 90 days. Judy has been out of the facility for one to three months, completed the program successfully, and did not enter sober living after treatment. The client’s treatment was funded by multiple sources and Judy agreed when asked if the facility was worth the cost.

Judy relapsed one week after leaving the program and did not re-enter the facility. She gave the facility an overall score of four out of five stars.

Judy was grateful for entering the program, writing “It's never easy, it's been the hardest battle of my life. I'm grateful to have had 3 months sober/clean.”

On HealthGrove, alum Carl posted a highly critical review. “Awful program with little to no recovery… Just another institutional lilly pad for Allegheny and Butler County drug court.”1


At the time of this writing there has been one friend or family member polled by Rehabs.com. The anonymous loved one of a client gave the facility a five- out of five-star rating for treatment effectiveness and a four- out of five-star rating for accommodations & amenities and meals & nutrition. She agreed when asked if the treatment was affordable and/or payment plans, scholarships, or financial assistance were made available; if there were many counseling options to choose from depending on the client’s preference; and if the facility was adequately equipped and staffed to treat co-occurring mental health problems in addition to substance use disorders.

She strongly agreed when asked if the facility was clean and well maintained; if family and loved ones were able to participate in treatment through facility programming; and if the admissions and discharge procedures were swift, organized, and clearly explained.

When asked about the facility’s strengths, she wrote “great one on one counsling and spiritual guidence..” When asked about weaknesses she wrote, “none” When asked for commentary, she added “treatment gets to the root cause of addiction and offers aftercare.”


There is currently no information provided on the facility's website regarding its costs, but according to HealthGrove, the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center accepts state insurance, Access to Recovery Vouchers, and military insurance.

Updated February 2017

Published on February 2017

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
great one on one counsling and spiritual guidence. treatment gets to the root cause of addiction and offers aftercare.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It's never easy, it's been the hardest battle of my life. I'm grateful to have had 3 months sober/clean

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