Betty Ford Center
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About Betty Ford Center

Our History

The history of the Betty Ford Center is part of the life story of our founder, former First Lady Betty Ford. After completing her own treatment for chemical dependency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, Mrs. Ford talked to her friends about the need for a treatment center that emphasized the special needs of women. Her good friend, Ambassador Leonard Firestone, encouraged Mrs. Ford to pursue her dream and in 1982, they co-founded the non-profit Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

From its earliest days, the Betty Ford Center has treated women and men suffering from chemical dependency. The Center has always saved 50% of its space for women and 50% for men. Treatment is gender-specific; women and men reside in separate halls. Today the Betty Ford Center offers programs for the entire family system affected by addiction.

All family members are deeply affected when one family member is chemically dependent. Family members are offered support and education through our five-day Family Program. The Children's Program is for children ages 7 to 12 who are not themselves addicted, but are living with chemically dependent family members. Visit our Kids' Corner to find out more.

For more about Betty Ford and her life history, visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum on-line at:

Help is available. So is hope.

Call our Admissions Counselors and allow our team to discuss options and walk you through the process.

(800) 434-7365