Are luxury rehabs the best solution to addiction?

The Holistic Sanctuary founder Johnny Tabaie believes luxury rehab centers are one of the best ways to combat drug addiction.

When it comes to beating addiction, there is no simple method. The road is a long and arduous one, and can involve such physical and mental agony that many addicts find themselves back in the grip of addiction after several attempts to change their behaviors. For those who hit absolute rock bottom and make the life-changing decision to seek help, it is only the beginning of a long and painful journey to recovery. A journey that involves intense support from both professionals and loved ones, and one that begins with the decision to check into a rehab program.

But – here begins the first minor hurdle to recovery. Which program is best? Which rehabilitation centers offer the most effective treatment plans? And is it worth the extra cash to check into a five-star clinic? What can they offer that the far less expensive rehab clinics can’t?

From opium addict rehab ‘shrines’ in Afghanistan, to monasteries offering innovative treatment plans in Thailand, to a rehab center in Kyrgyzstan that use coma treatments to treat addiction, there are a substantial number of unique rehabilitation centers and retreats around the world today, offering addicts a multitude of varying treatment options and accommodation packages.

There are the affordable but grim, depressingly sterile clinics – the ones with miserable lighting, prison-cell style accommodation and a generally demoralizing atmosphere.

Then there are the luxury options preferred by high-level executives, millionaires and celebrities. The facilities so disguised as five-star resorts and offering such ranges of complimentary indulgences that patients can almost justify the expense in the knowledge that they are investing in a once-in-a-lifetime holiday – as well as potentially curing a life-threating habit. These are the clinics that come complete with extravagant spa facilities, high-end furnishings, Michelin star-worthy cuisine and some of the world’s best concierge services. Southern California, and in particular beautiful Malibu, is home to one of the world’s highest concentrations of luxury drug rehabs.

There is Passages Malibu, a 10-acre luxury property overlooking the ocean that is so well regarded it has played host to Mel Gibson and David Hasselhoff, among other celebrities seeking treatment.

Then there is the AToN Center in San Diego, a private 12-person facility offering clients’ luxury experiences including daily organic meals, a sauna with a 360-degree view over the nearby mountains, sand volley courts and an array of expensive treatments – for a whopping price tag of USD$45,000 a month. And the Betty Ford Center in California’s desert, which has garnered a reputation in the ‘rehab world’ for taking care of celebrities including Stevie Nicks, Ozzy Osbourne and Elizabeth Taylor among others. The stunning facility is set on 20-acres of manicured grounds, there is a private gym with personal trainers on hand for all patients, spiritual care counsellors, dieticians, chemical dependency experts and counsellors available 24/7.

One particularly luxurious option is The Holistic Sanctuary; a stunning Baja beachfront facility committed to healing people battling addiction, depression, PTSD and alcoholism using an exclusive treatment protocol known as the Pouyan Method.

With private, luxury-appointed rooms and offering daily massage, enemas, oxygen chambers and vitamin IV’s – the center is renowned for more than just its highly effective treatment program. Reiki, yoga, basketball, volleyball, horseback riding, fishing or zip-lining are among just some of the activities on offer, all food served at The Holistic Sanctuary is 100% non-GMO and organic, and, depending on the client’s needs, some are assigned raw diets and daily flushing cleanses as part of treatment. The facility guarantees a two-to-one staff-client ratio, and all clients are assigned a personal chef and masseuse upon check-in. Tempting even to those not needing rehab, right?

The treatment programs on offer are highly individualized, with clients guaranteed at least 100-200 hours of individual therapy during a 30 to 90 day stay, and with a unique array of complimentary therapies on offer including transpersonal psychology, pranic healing, hypnotherapy, ozone therapy, ionic cleansing, hyperbaric oxygen treatment and hydrotherapy.

But are luxury rehab centers such as this worth the investment? Yes, says The Holistic Sanctuary founder Johnny Tabaie, who developed the center’s innovative Pouyan Method to help others after experiencing the transformational power of the method himself.

An addict struggling with 20+ years of heroin addiction, depression, eating disorders and other negative behaviors, Johnny found the cure to his problems in the form of an organic substance found naturally in iboga root bark – ibogaine. Found to be incredibly effective in reducing addiction to heroin as well as alleviating symptoms of withdrawal from the drug, ibogaine treatment now forms the basis of The Holistic Sanctuary’s innovative treatment plan for opiate addicts.

But it’s not just about the medicinal approach to kicking addiction. It’s also about supporting the holistic transition to a new way of life. Johnny maintains there is an abundance of benefits of ‘going luxury’ when it comes to rehabilitation clinics, with treatment for the ‘soul and spirit’ just as important as treatment for the ‘body and biochemistry’. And the fact is, cheap medical facilities aren’t able to offer the same holistic therapies as luxury ones.

Beyond the countless alternatives therapies exclusively available at luxury rehab centers, including guided meditations, Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques and neurofeedback, for example, the benefits of paying more for rehab are substantial: a higher patient to staff ratio, the availability of very expensive, highly-effective and not commonly found treatment options, a top notch cuisine produced by personal chefs that leaves patients feeling fantastic – both mentally and physically, inspiring surrounds, greater comfortability and incredibly well-tested programs designed by some of the world’s top addiction recovery experts. Client privacy is another perk of such places. With comprehensive security systems in place and inspired remote locations, high-level executives, celebrities and those simply wishing to avoid judgement from the public can rest easy at destinations such as The Holistic Sanctuary.

But the key benefits to investing in such luxury facilities is obvious – the more inspiring and comfortable the surrounds; the more inspired clients will feel to make the essential transition to recovery. The more comfortable the amenities; the more comfortable the client throughout the journey. The higher the caliber of addiction treatments; the more likely the client is to successfully overcome addiction, which is, after all the sole purpose of rehabilitation.

This article was contributed by fellow NYU students. If you would like to make a contribution to the NYU Dispatch, please email us.

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