MCCA - McDonough House in Danbury, CT

Overall Rating

(2.9 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
38 Old Ridgebury Road
Danbury CT 06810

MCCA - McDonough House Philosophy

Starting from the perspective that substance abuse is a treatable condition, the McDonough House works to provide help and hope to those struggling with addiction by individualizing treatment to meet the needs of each client. The program offers 12-step meetings for clients and families, in addition to individual and group counseling.

Areas of Specialization

  • Individualized Treatment
    Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.

  • Family Program
    Research shows that the odds of successful, sustained recovery from addiction are far higher when family members and loved ones are involved in treatment. Drug and alcohol addiction often have genetic roots, whether related to substance abuse, mental illness or both. Family dynamics also play a role and, often, family members are the first to realize a loved one has developed an addiction. Also, it’s important for family members to understand and embrace the lifestyle changes that are required to sustain recovery.

Facility Highlights

AA and NA Meetings

Group Therapy

Chemical Dependency Education

Meet the Staff

Joe Sullivan, LCSW, CAC

President and CEO

Photo of Joe Sullivan, LCSW, CAC

Joe Sullivan has been a leader in the substance abuse and behavioral health field in Connecticut for almost 40 years. In 1980, he took the helm of Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism as their CEO. During the past 33 years Joe has led the growth of MCCA from a small outpatient clinic and 15-bed residential treatment center in Danbury with 12 employees serving 300 clients a year – to its current level of 175 employees serving more than 5,000 people a year. Today, MCCA is one of the most respected, top-rated recovery organizations in the state, operating seven outpatient clinics and three residential treatment centers in Western Connecticut.

Glenn Connan, MBA

Vice President and CFO

Photo of Glenn Connan, MBA

Glenn has extensive experience managing both the operations and financial affairs of organizations. Glenn joined MCCA in 2008 and is responsible for the financial health and well-being of the agency. As a member of the company’s senior management team he directs all financial and accounting activities, is involved in strategic planning, as well as assisting in the management of day-to-day operations of the company. Glenn is committed to the success of MCCA and its clients recovery. Under Glenn’s leadership and with a philosophy of “doing well by doing good” MCCA has substantially increased the number of clients served. In the four years Glenn has been with MCCA, the organization has experienced significant growth. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


The Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism, Inc. (MCCA) is a nonprofit substance misuse treatment provider established in 1972, which serves adults and families throughout western Connecticut. The network's facilities are among the 86.2 percent of Connecticut-based rehabs that operate as private nonprofits.

Located in western Danbury, MCCA's McDonough House offers medical detox and short-term residential treatment for individuals struggling with substance use disorder. The center is among the 4.3 percent of Connecticut rehabs that offer medical detox in a residential setting.


The McDonough provides a fixed-length, 28-day program, positioning the facility among the 13.8 percent of Connecticut rehabs that offer residential treatment lasting fewer than 30 days. McDonough House follows 12-step methodology.

Residents at McDonough House begin their stay with an initial assessment, the findings of which help determine the most appropriate course of treatment. If detox is needed, clients may be prescribed medication, including Librium and methadone. Throughout the detoxification period, clients participate in individual counseling, educational workshops, and 12-step groups.

Once stabilized, clients transition to the center’s residential program, which is highly structured and includes individual and group therapy, relapse prevention education, recreational activities, medical and psychiatric consultations (if needed), and continuing care planning.

The center also offers specialized groups for men, women, and seniors. Clients participate in daily 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, and also have the option to attend Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.

McDonough House also offers a weekly family program for loved ones, which addresses how addiction affects family members, how relationships may change after treatment, and how loved ones can find their own support systems. Clients who have completed treatment at McDonough House are welcome to continue their care at one of MCCA’s seven outpatient facilities.


According to its website, McDonough House’s detox and residential treatment team includes physicians, registered nurses, counselors, and other support staff. The five individuals polled by to date on the staff gave mostly positive feedback.

Staff Experience and Training: 3.8/5


McDonough House is a modest facility set in a low-rise, red-brick building on a tree-lined street. With 20 beds, the facility is smaller than the state average of 29 beds per residential facility. To date, the five individuals polled by on the matter gave generally positive ratings for the facility's cleanliness, though reported a lack of amenities.

Cleanliness: 3.8/5
Exercise and Leisure: 2.6/5


Of the eight alumni reviews submitted to to date, two were positive, one was mixed, and five were negative. Satisfied alumni tended to note that the program had given them the tools they needed to get and stay sober. "It was a no nonsense facility-- if you want sobriety the tools are there," Cheryl wrote in a typical comment.

However, numerous alumni complained of a lack of adequate programming and a dingy environment. "Detox is literally just sitting in a tiny room for 4 days and not dying. Then you move over to the rehab wing. Not a whole lot changes. You attend one AA meeting a week. You have one day a week where you can actually go outside and move. There is no psychiatrist on staff," A.J. wrote in a typical comment.

The reviews also feature recurring complaints of unprofessional or disrespectful staff: "The staff is unprofessional and lack basic training skills to be working in a recovery facility," K.A. wrote in a representative review. Both of the alumni polled on the facility's performance in a variety of treatment metrics gave it two stars for its holistic offerings, family participation, and counseling options.

McDonough House also has mixed feedback on secondary sites, with a 2.4 out of five-star average rating based on 13 reviews on Google, and ratings for one, three, and five stars on CiteHealth.[1] [2] The reviewers echoed those polled by by repeatedly complaining about the center's rude or disrespectful staff. "Staff at the Sobering House trained in the now discredited "break 'em down" style. They are bossy and patronizing," Jennifer wrote in a typical comment on Google.


Of the three reviews submitted to to date, two were mostly positive and one was negative. Mother Kristen reported that staff was "extremely supportive," and that the facility had helped save her son's life. Another reviewer praised the center's "knowledgeable" staff, though they felt that treatment was too short.

"Old, a bit grungy, programs limited. State paid program, so don't expect much," was the appraisal of the negative reviewer. When asked whether they would recommend treatment at McDonough House, two of the three reviewers remained neutral, while the other reported that they would not. They gave the center a two-star rating and two four-star ratings for its family participation, and two three-star ratings and a four-star rating for its ability to treat co-occurring disorders.


According to the facility’s website, MCCA accepts insurance and participates in many managed care plans. A Medicaid application is available for download on the facility's website, and clients may also benefit from MCCA’s involvement with the Connecticut General Assistance Behavioral Health Program. The five individuals polled by to date on the center's affordability gave mostly positive feedback.

Affordability: 3.8/5

[1] GoogleReviews

Published on October 2019

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
My son is currently at McD house, he went to the detox there first. The staff has been extremely supportive to me and my son. I went and saw him for the first time since being “clean” & he is excited about the future and support he’s received for fellow residents and staff. I called and one of the counselors there helped to guid me with finding a sober home for when he is discharged. I see all of these poor reviews and am stunned because so far the experience we’ve had is helping to save my sons life. I think what people need to realize is there is work on their own behalf involved to get the most of of what MCCA offers. I would definitely suggest this facility to anyone who is in current need of detox and services.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
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STAY AWAY I read all reviews online before I made my own review because you have to give places the benefit of the doubt but they’re all truth this place is the worst, the facilitators are good but the upper staff like teachers and administration sucks if you challenged them on something they get defensive and throw you out of the program like they did to me.


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I have been to the McDonough House 28 day Rehab as well as their IOP and Relapse Prevention groups. I must say it is a great program and has seriously given me a lot of tools and information to help me stay sober. The Rehab has a full schedule of groups during the week and some rec time on the weekends. I was very welcomed by both the mostly excellent staff, Techs and the group members. Many will be friends for a very long time. There are no pools or tennis courts because these people are very serious in helping you to get and stay sober and clean. I highly recommend MCCA if you want to get sober and clean.


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STAY AWAY FROM MCDONOUGH HOUSE. They promise meetings once a day and don’t even have one every other day. Half the time all you do is sit around and watch tv. They have no safety precautions for if you do need to report something and there is no safety for patients who actually are trying to overcome their addiction. The staff is unprofessional and lack basic training skills to be working in a recovery facility. This place is a hell hole that no one should put money into or have their insurance company put money into. Absolutely disgraceful.


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7/18/2017 - Update Well I finally got into this place and I'll I can say is STAY AWAY. It's a seriously negative community. This place is horrible. Especially the head counselor. This guy is something else. His ego is huge and he insults the clients, talks down to them and is totally disrespectful. Last night they had an AA speaker come speak with 4 months of sobriety talking about how he has no problem hanging out in bars and said he didn't think it was a big deal. The counselors there frequently disseminate incorrect information. The counselor told everyone that in NA a sponsor is required to have 5 years of sobriety which is absolute nonsense. I woke up one night at 1am with a splitting headache. I went to get some Advil and the tech (CNA) was asleep in the office with all the lights off. I came back 2 hours later and he was still asleep. Finally I went out at 3:40am and he was awake but told me he couldn't give me Advil after 2:30am. What!? Advil? He said he didn't know how it would affect my other medication...makes no sense whatsoever. This place is a joke. 6/14/2017 They never return my phone calls. I completed an assessment over the phone. Ive called them EVERY DAY for the past month. They are not 24 hours. Do they not understand how hard it is for an alcoholic to ask gor help to begin with? The fact that they dont even recognize this is a testament to their treatment method. How can you call yourself a treatment center if you don't even respond to people that call in for help? What does that say about them?


  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • Meals & Nutrition
Went here for the 28 day inpatient (even though they kept me for 29 days without a choice). First off, the facility is tiny and claustrophobic. They put a bunch of chairs on the walls of a hallway in a basement, and that\'s it. Again, in case you misunderstood me, you LITERALLY spend 28 days in a hallway in a basement. You get to go outside a few times a day to smoke, and walk to the cafeteria three times a day to eat. If you\'re lucky, once a week they\'ll walk across the street with everyone to go to the park (but one of the weeks I was there the counselor didn\'t feel like walking so we didn\'t go). The staff is absolutely HORRIBLE. The head counselor is patronizing... He always talks down to the patients... I really can\'t express how bad of a human being he is. There is another counselor there that is awful... he lies nonstop and really doesn\'t put any effort above the bare minimum into patient care. One woman is the only good counselor. If by some horrible act you are forced to go to MCCA, try to get her. I have been to two other rehabs in CT that were paid by medicaid, and MCCA was by FAR the worst one. Do yourself a favor and try as hard as you possibly can to go anywhere else.


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Ability to get a person through an initial detoxification. Aren't enough beds in the facility. The certain drug they use for the actual DETOX I was there for isn't any good. This is a "on the fly" detoxification facility so it really isn't their fault but its really all its good for. Getting a person thru the first 72 hours of a DETOX. Somebody needs to help people find a way to get thru the next steps of staying clean. I would have to say that 99.9 percent of people that go thru this DETOX are using again within 48 hours. Something needs to change there. And at least as far as opiates are concerned, this problem has reached being an epidemic.


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Knowledgable staff. To short. My son was in treatment just for detox.


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A place to stay whiley keep you off drugs. old, a bit grungy, programs limited. State paid program, so don't expect much


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Overall I would say my stay here was a waste of money. First of all, this facility is located entirely in a basement and there is not much room to move around. In detox, there is no real treatment. Occasionally we get a group or a nightly speaker. The groups are sometimes run by the facilitator, who has no qualification or experience in counseling. Detox is literally just sitting in a tiny room for 4 days and not dying. Then you move over to the rehab wing. Not a whole lot changes. You attend one AA meeting a week. You have one day a week where you can actually go outside and move. There is no psychiatrist on staff. The food is on the low end and un-nutritious. If you get sober here, you probably did it on your own. It seems more like a cash grab than a rehab facility.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
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it was a no nonsense facility-- if you want sobriety the tools are there. There was a lot of down time. This was not okay for some there, and they walked out. i would have liked more AA meetings or AA member interaction during the day. I was very glad there was a no visitor policy!

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