Although James doesn't name the clinic in the book—he refers
to it only as the "oldest Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility
in the World" (1.2.42)—it is now known that it is based on the real-life Hazelden clinic.
Even though Hazelden's success rate is 17 percent—"the
best success rate of any Treatment Center in the World" (2.2.150)—James
tries to make it seem more like the asylum from American Horror Story than the
place of healing that it's reputed to be. The staff breaks confidentiality
rules, the patients are violent and abusive, and at night "there were
screams coming from within" (2.1.3) the medical unit.
Did Frey fabricate these things to make Hazelden out to be a
villain in his story? Could reality actually have been that bad? All we know is
that Hazelden disputes Frey's depiction of
the facility in the book, though they cannot reveal whether or not Frey was a
patient there due to confidentiality agreements.