Some Of Your Questions Can Be Answered Here

click to open and close

What are the treatment hours?

Program hours vary. In general programming is provided 3-4days per week from 11-4pm and three evenings per week from 5-8pm. These hours may vary depending upon client demand, so it is best to call the program to get the current schedule of hours.

However, each person can create a treatment schedule that works for them and can include any combination of available hours.

How long does the treatment program last?

It varies based on each individual needs. Some people are done in a few weeks, while others may continue for a year. It depends upon what needs to get done, how much gets done, and the clients overall sense of readiness.

Clients have an active voice in determining how long they need to remain in treatment.

How much does it cost?

Cost varies depending upon what is purchased and the resources for payment. Payment plans and sliding fee scales can be developed based on need.

Please see payment information page for more information.

Where are you located and are you on a bus line?

The building is a free standing brick building on the NW corner of Osborne and Hwy. 65 in Spring Lake Park. It is on a main bus line (the #10) and there is a bus stop on the corner very near the building.

For a map and directions, as well as for a view of our building, you can view our Map and Directions Page.

How is Minnesota Alternatives different from other programs?

The program does not use a 12-step approach and instead focuses on engagement, skill development, holistic and personalized interventions.

While the many clients have a goal of abstinence, the program uses a harm/risk reduction approach.

This means that reducing the amount of use, the frequency of use, using substances that are less harmful, and reducing the harm that ensues from the use are all signs of progress.

The program is also tailored to the individual needs of each individual so completion is not based on number of hours or days completed.

How do you know when someone is ready to complete the program?

Clients graduate when they have accomplished their treatment goals and when they feel ready to manage their issues without the program support.

Completion is not linked to the number of hours or days completed.

What about program outcomes? How do you measure success?

The program measures the following outcomes:


  • Movement along the change process (maintaining action is a positive outcome)
  • Increased quality of life
  • Client satisfaction
  • Reduced use and/or less harmful substances being used
  • Less harm related to use

Please go to the Home Page Program Information and Video for more details about outcomes.

Research shows behavioral self-control training programs, in which moderate drinking is the goal are at least as effective as the 12-step method.

– Printed in Scientific American 2/2010

What percentage of people successfully complete the program and how does the success rate compare to other Minnesota programs?

Approximately 60% of clients have successfully completed treatment at Minnesota Alternatives compared to the state average of 58% (Minnesota DAANES 2009 reporting).

What happens during a typical treatment day?

The session starts with a 15-20 minute guided meditation that focuses on relaxation, breathing, mindfulness, imagery and gratitude.

The group then has “open talk” time where members can check in about how they are doing, topics or readings are discussed, food and beverages are provided for breaks, and the session concludes with various groups that include educational, skill development and weekend planning.

Staff also meets 1:1 with clients each week to discuss goal progress and other issues best addressed in private.

Are people accepted if they have a mental illness or take medications?

The majority of clients also experience some co-occurring mental health issues that may include Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Bi-Polar illness.

Medications are often critical to recovery and clients are encouraged to take them if needed. Please see the web page titled Mental Health Services for more information.

How big are the treatment groups?

Size can vary, but they average between 6-8. The goal is to keep the group size small so people are more comfortable talking.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please call the program and ask. Someone will be able to help you.