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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Minnesota Alternatives Llc

7766 NE Hwy. 65, Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, 55432
Minnesota Alternatives is a treatment facility that offers a unique approach to substance abuse disorder treatment and provides an alternative to the 12-Step, abstinence-based “Minnesota Model”. Minnesota Alternatives offers adult outpatient mental health and addiction treatment, and focuses on skill development, engagement, neuroscience and personalized interventions. Treatment options utilize meditation, imagery and cognitive behavioral therapies.

Facility Highlights

  • Person-Centered
  • Flexible Programming
  • Trauma Treatment


  • 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.
  • Client & Family Support Groups

    Group therapy is a vital component of addiction recovery treatment, considered as important and effective (sometimes even more so) than individual therapy. Benefits include reducing isolation and loneliness and providing the opportunity to learn from others in recovery. In the addiction setting, group therapy is run by trained professionals who guide participants toward a shared goal of recovery.

Facility Settings

  • Residential Neighborhood

Meet the Staff

  • Paula L DeSanto, Owner and Director
    Paula L DeSanto, Owner and DirectorMS, LSW, CPRP, CCDP-D
    Paula is the founder and president of Minnesota Alternatives, a unique outpatient program providing substance use and mental health treatment through person-centered principles and interventions. Paula also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches graduate students about her model. Paula’s Master of Science degree is in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Boston University. She is a Licensed Social Worker as well as a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner and a Certified Co-Occurring Disorder Professional-Diplomat. In her role as outside consultant and trainer, Paula is often invited to speak to both professional and consumer audiences about alternative approaches to substance use disorder treatment and harm/risk reduction. She also serves on the Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Division Advisory Council, the Anoka County Directors Network, and the Medica Community Advisory Council. Paula has developed programs that serve adults with mental health and/or substance use issues for more than 25 years. She has worked in a variety of settings that include intensive residential and outpatient treatment, case management, and community support. Previously, she worked at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center bringing progressive, person-centered care into a medical setting. She was a program director for Diane Ollendick-Wright – working with her for 11 years and she also directed programs for 9 years for People Incorporated.

Financial Details

  • Up to 100%

Treatment Center Links

Patient Reviews

Overall Ratings
  • 3.4
    Avg. score from 11 reviews
  • 3.2
    Accommodations & Amenities
  • 4
    Treatment Effectiveness
  • 3
    Meals & Nutrition
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  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Treatment Effectiveness
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My husband has been going there for over 3 years. They have not done anything for him. As I write this he is drunk sleeping. His counseling has not done anything. MY INSURANCE COMPANY AND MYSELF HAVE PIAD THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR NOTHING. DO NOT RECOMMEND
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This program is very concerning. Anyone who has been around addiction knows that it is ineffective to treat someone who is still using. Our child attended and “graduated” and then weeks later attempted to take their life. TheIr using never decreased thru the program. The psychiatrist just handed out drugs like candy. Our child was so over medicated we couldn’t even have a clear conversation. The counselor supported ideas of false childhood abuse/neglect which lead to estrangement from our family. Our counselor wasn’t a recovering addict so she didn’t see that she was being manipulated by our child. The program works hard to fight against the 12 step Minnesota model yet when asked, the staff doesn’t even know what the 12 steps are. We attended the “family support” and honestly it broke our hearts to see the codependent behavior of the other families. They were crying for help while the owner sat silently in the group. Overall, we believe MN Alternatives offers a very dangerous path to failed recovery.
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This treatment, even though I went in with a Stay of Commitment as a court order, I changed my doc (drug of choice)...the skills taught are the best thing possible with the care and support of a very loving staff. The harm reduction / damage control model was exactly what I needed after being around Recovery for 30 years. I adore and trust the staff at this facility. I could never ask for a better referral from a run in with many police and behavioral health facilities. I will be doing trauma work soon. I now attend a peer support group as an alumni.
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An overall good facility with great holistic offerings and supportive staff.
  • Accommodations & Amenities
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  • Meals & Nutrition
this was my 14th treatment and the only 1 that helped. my program was taylored to my needs as they came up. when my mental health issues flaired up my program was changed to meet my needs. i was never treated like i was crazy or defective. they truly care for me. They taught me that I am capable and I can care for myself. I can be a functioning member of society not dependent on psych wards.