Alcohol rehab centers are big business. Fortune magazine recently reported that Bain Capital purchased CRC Health Group in February 2006 for $723 million and proceeded to snatch up 20 new facilities over the following two years, then resumed its buying in 2011 with the purchases of some smaller treatment centers. CRC’s flagship facility in Tucson, Arizona charges upwards of $30,000 for a 30-day stay with a mile-long list of clients from Hollywood and pro sports, among them Julie Andrews, Ringo Starr, Tiger Woods, and Michael Douglas.
Where does one go to dry out after a holiday (or maybe a St. Patrick’s Day binge)? Among the top rehab facilities, five stand out — not just because the rich or famous have stayed there but because of the way they do business. These top facilities have moved beyond the once-popular “12-step program” by combining the worlds of holistic medicine and individual treatment programs. While some may still integrate 12-step mantras into their approach, our selections emphasize a more holistic and integrated approach:
1. Passages Malibu – We like this one because they don’t follow the “12-step/it’s-all-about-God/you-have-a-disease” pandering mantra. Passages thinks outside of the box, taking a 100 percent holistic approach that addiction is not a disease and each patient deserves a customized treatment plan to meet his or her needs.
2. The Sanctuary Byron Bay, Australia – This is one of the most private treatment centers in the world, providing the ultimate peace and privacy to clients who come in from all over the world to get help. They boast a 15-to-1 staff-to-patient ratio comprised of doctors, nurses, yoga and meditation teachers, personal trainers, body workers, and other recovery experts. Their approach is mindful of how diet affects mental health, so the support staff includes a personal chef.
3. Caron Treatment Centers, PA – Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, Caron offers gender-specific programs to meet the different needs of men and women. Their teen programs are highly successful and have been home to many teens from celebrity families, many of whose parents also enrolled at Caron.
4. Silver Hill Hospital, CT – The patient’s point of view is an overriding theme at Silver Hill. Emotional safety is a core component to their care, which develops the physical trust necessary for treatment. Because Silver Hill is a complete psychiatric hospital, there’s a continuum of care to outpatient and transitional living.
5. The Meadows, AZ – Offering a holistic approach to treatment, The Meadows has a wide range of therapies included Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing (SE), Equine Therapy, Expressive Arts, Yoga, Tai Chi, Acupuncture and Mindfulness Meditation.
But not all drug and alcohol rehab centers are great, and many find it daunting to even find a good one. Most consumer complaints of rehabilitation centers stem from lack of quality treatment, which is evidenced by the many consumer complaints accessible on the Internet. One complaint posted on the website PissedConsumer.com, owned by market research firm Opinion Corp. sites physical abuse at a treatment facility. The author writes, “If you want to put your life at risk and be treated like an animal, you will be fine there, but keep in mind you better be physically strong, BEACAUSE YOU WILL BE BEATEN AND LEFT TO DIE IF YOU DON’T DO WHAT THEY TELL YOU…” Another consumer writes “sent my child there for what I hoped would help her turn herself around with the right help…so much for the right place my child left and 2 days later she passed away.”