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Recovery First Treatment Center, Hollywood

4110 David Road Extension, Hollywood, Florida, 33024
At Recovery First near Fort Lauderdale, we know that no two people are the same when it comes to recovery. Our goal is to offer you freedom from your addiction through a personalized continuum of care tailored to fit your treatment wants and needs. We’re proud to offer our clients at our Hollywood, Florida location an array of therapies aimed at improving maladaptive thinking, processing grief or trauma, and reinforcing your motivation for positive change. Changing the way you think about yourself and the world around you significantly increases your chances of lifelong recovery. Examples of therapies that could be integrated into your treatment plan may include individual therapies which help to alter and improve your emotional responses, or process group therapy, where you work with others in recovery to discuss past experiences and confront issues that may have been suppressed. The decision to seek recovery is a turning point in your life, and often an overwhelming one. The professionals at Recovery First can reduce this burden, allowing you to relax and focus solely on your recovery journey. Our center nurtures a strong sense of community and a close-knit feel that allows patients to openly communicate and support one another. Also offering a fitness gym, recreation rooms, and apartment-style living, our Hollywood, Florida location has just what you need to feel comfortable while completing treatment. Your recovery doesn’t end when treatment ends, and neither does our support. We offer various alumni and aftercare groups in the Fort Lauderdale area to help you stay on track and reach your goals. Our aftercare programs offer ongoing therapy sessions and provides access to invaluable recovery resources while our alumni program hosts monthly events where you can build friendships and have access to a supportive network of peers. At Recovery First, we are with you every step of the way.

Facility Highlights

  • Movies
  • Social Activities
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Gym Access
  • Biofeedback Chair
  • High Staff-to-Client Ratio
  • Alumni Program
  • Chef-Prepared Meals


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Aftercare Support

    Addiction recovery does not end with discharge after completing a rehab program. Our facility offers aftercare planning and/or support work with patients to ensure sustainable recovery by planning and making arrangements for transitional or sober living, help with housing, vocational counseling, etc.
  • Detoxification

    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. Though not all rehab facilities offer medical detoxification, people with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can experience intense physical and emotional changes and discomfort as their bodies react to the withdrawal of an addictive substance.

Facility Settings

  • Average Location/Amenities

Meet the Staff

  • Denise O'Connell
    Denise O'ConnellCEO
    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.
  • Richard Seely
    Richard SeelyMedical Director
    Dr. Seely received his medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson University in 1979 and went on to complete his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Seely brings nearly 40 of experience as a practicing psychiatrist to his position as medical director at Recovery First. Prior to coming to Recovery First, Dr. Seely practiced at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, working alongside Recovery First CEO, Denise O’Connell.

Financial Details

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Rehabs 360 Guide


Recovery First remains open and committed to providing critical addiction treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic. As per the updated CDC guidelines, patients who are vaccinated may not need to quarantine upon admissions. Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should bring their vaccination cards to the facility when they enter treatment. COVID-19 testing at Recovery First remains available, and the facility is accepting both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.

One of 30 treatment centers operated by American Addiction Centers (AAC), Recovery First’s Hollywood, Fla. location is one of Florida’s 352 (52.7 percent) of private, for-profit treatment organizations. It offers intensive outpatient programming (IOP), and aftercare services for adult men and women seeking treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The facility is located less than 10 miles from the beach in suburban southeast Florida. Detox is not available.


Treatment at Recovery First (Hollywood) focuses on providing outpatient services to help clients transition back into the community and their normal lives with sober living skills. The treatment process begins with an evaluation to determine each client’s needs. Clients are assessed by admissions specialists and counselors that look for key markers like a client’s level of chemical dependence and willingness to seek treatment.

Recovery First is one of the 173 (25.9 percent) of treatment facilities in Florida to offer services for veterans.

The facility offers intensive outpatient programming, which allows clients to maintain their own residence and lives outside of treatment while seeking treatment. Only 43 percent of the state’s facilities offer IOP services. The IOP program maximizes the intensity of treatment while minimizing the interruption on their daily lives.

During treatment, clients participate in individual counseling to address problem behaviors. Clients are assigned to a counselor that also serves as a case manager when developing treatment plans. Clients also participate in group counseling sessions focused on addressing common issues and developing a sense of community. The IOP program generally meets three sessions per week for six weeks, although American Addiction Center programs generally last up to 90 days.

Clients participate in sober living training to promote sober living and relapse prevention. Training courses focus on common skills such as anger management, coping skills, and basic life management skills.

At the end of the program, clients work with counselors to develop aftercare plans. Participation in community-based programming is encouraged to promote continued recovery. Recovery First recommends alumni members join the Ft. Lauderdale alumni chapter, as well as local 12-Step groups.

Alumni who relapse after completing the recovery program can go back to the facility for a free 30-day recovery program.


The staff at Recovery First Treatment Center (Hollywood) includes physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, and behavioral health technicians. It is one of the 203 (30.4 percent) of Joint Commission-accredited facilities in Florida. Up to 40 percent of the staff members are in recovery themselves.


Recovery First has large communal areas including kitchens with community tables. The counseling areas are often large classrooms. Counselor’s offices are slightly smaller and show multiple close sitting areas for counselor and client interactions. There is also a lounge and game room on site. The facility also has shared rooms for clients to stay in.


The 107 reviews submitted to at the time of this writing about Recovery First in Hollywood were mostly positive, with some strong and recurring notes of criticism.

Alumni repeatedly praised the center’s staff. “Understanding. my therapist was very helpful in my treatment here,” alum R.P. wrote, while others were pleased that some staff were in recovery themselves. Others gave positive feedback about the way the center applied the 12-Steps and the program in general.

Several alumni complained that the facilities were dated or otherwise in need of attention: “This place really needs an update. The place is very run-down and has bugs in the apartment,” C.M. wrote.

Some alumni reported an excess of downtime and difficulties with individual staff members. In a stronger note of criticism, a handful of reviewers claimed that the center was more interested in money than in helping people. “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,” Nancy wrote.

Family participation: 4.1/5 stars
Holistic offerings: 3.9/5 stars
Affordability: 4/5 stars
Staff experience and training: 4.2/5 stars
Facility cleanliness: 4.2/5 stars

On Google, Recovery First earned an average of 4.1 out of five stars from 143 reviews at the time of this writing.[1] While some more recent reviews described the facility as “unprofessional and disorganized,” the vast majority of reviews about the facility are positive about the “wonderful” staff who “make an uncomfortable situation as pleasant as possible.”

On Facebook, where the facility can manage its page, Recovery First Treatment Center, Hollywood has a five out of five star rating from 17 reviews to date.[2] Alumni indicated that treatment was life saving and life changing. Alumni provided positive feedback about many staff members, including how the “entire staff there truly cares for you.”

On Yelp, there are two five-star reviews and a single one-star review, plus one five-star review and two one-star reviews that are not currently recommended.[3] Positive reviews provide positive feedback about the staff, while the negative reviews describe problems including “poorly handled” medication management and “fire hazards.” Several reviewers indicated that the pictures on the brochure and the website are misleading. Michelle wrote how “is portrayed completely differently online then how it really is for example clients don't even have access to the huge rec room unless there is an NA or AA meeting.”


Of the two staff reviews submitted to to date about Recovery First, one was positive and one negative.

“Management is dedicated to serving the clients needs,” J.G.P. wrote, awarding the center five out of five stars for its holistic offerings, family participation, affordability, staff experience, and counseling options.

However, the other staffer wrote: “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.” This staff member gave one out of five stars for having a fair salary, protocols training, and the loyalty of the staff.

On Glassdoor, Recovery First has a 1.9 out of five stars from six reviews to date.[4] Former staff members describe “long days,” poor “communication between depts. and supervisors,” and fear-based leadership. Despite this, a few former employees indicated that they liked their co-workers.


Recovery First accepts most private insurance plans and offers self-pay and payment plan options. Find out if your insurance covers some or all treatment costs.

[1] GoogleReviews

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