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 16003

Ellen O'Brien Gaiser Center Philosophy

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Areas of Specialization

Dual Diagnosis/ Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment, Family Program

Facility Highlights

Gender Specific Groups
Wellness Groups
Living Skills Development

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 one of the 114 (22.7 percent) state's intensive, long-term residential treatment programs as well as an outpatient (OP) treatment option to individuals struggling with chemical dependency. The center recently opened a women's center offering gender-specific treatment for women, making it one of the state's 260 (51.8 percent) facilities with this specifically-tailored programming track. Medical detoxification services are not available on-site.


The Gaiser Center bases treatment on a disease model of addiction and utilizes recovery fellowships based on the 12 Steps. Length of residential treatment depends on the client but is typically 14 to 90 days and divided into short- and long-term options.

Level “3B,” or short-term care, consists of individual and group therapy, as well as psycho-educational 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-hour group therapy sessions three times per week. Testing for STIs is also provided.


The Gaiser Center employs certified advanced alcohol and drug addiction counselors, social workers, a licensed professional nurse, a certified registered nurse practitioner, 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 Gaiser Center's residential facility appears to be comfortable and simply decorated. Clients enjoy a shared kitchen and living room with a television or the outside patio and garden. Laundry and recreational facilities are also available.


The one alum polled by Rehabs.com to date gave the Gaiser Center mostly positive ratings. Alum Judy awarded the Gaiser Center a perfect five stars for its leisure provisions, its holistic treatment offerings, its cleanliness, and its level of staff support. She gave the center a lower rating of three stars in exercise options, connectivity, and visitor policy. In comments, she wrote, "I'm grateful to have had 3 months sober/clean."

On Google, five alumni to date rated the center an average of four out of five stars, with three perfect five-star ratings, one four-star review, and a single one-star rating, suggesting overall positive feelings.[1] The three who left comments all praised the staff as compassionate. Alum J.L. wrote in a representative review: "All of the staff at IOP are caring and easy to get along with. I've learned a lot here. They've helped me to know myself better and understand my addiction better, which has helped me with handling it in a much better way."


The sole loved one polled by Rehabs.com to date gave the Gaiser Center mostly positive ratings, similar to alumni reviews. The anonymous loved one rated the center a perfect five stars in connectivity, family participation, staff's level of experience, and cleanliness, rating it lowest in holistic treatment offerings at three stars. They praised the center for its "great one on one counsling and spiritual guidence." and implied the center offered aftercare.


There is currently no information provided on the Gaiser Center's website regarding its costs, but according to CiteHealth the center accepts Medicaid (accepted at 81.7 percent of Pennsylvania treatment centers) and private insurance.


The Gaiser center holds frequent support groups for family members, as well as regular community events in honor, support, and encouragement of those who have battled and are currently battling addiction.

[1] GoogleReviews

Published on December 2018

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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