Is Luxury Rehab Right for Me?
Treatment facilities for substance use disorders abound, offering competent and caring help for those who want to recover. In researching your options, you may have come across listings for luxury rehab and wondered what that meant and if it is right for you. There are several factors that set apart luxury rehab, which we will soon explain, but first it’s important to assess if you or someone you love is ready for rehab.
Addiction is now widely accepted as a disease that can be treated and, as such, has specific diagnostic criteria, that, depending on the number of criteria met within a 12-month period, may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.1 These criteria include:
- Taking a substance in larger amounts or for longer than intended.
- Failed attempts to cut down or stop use.
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of the substance.
- Having cravings or strong desires to use.
- Substance use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
- Continuing to use despite recurring social or interpersonal issues due to substance use.
- Giving up important activities because of substance use.
- Continued use despite being in situations where it is physically hazardous.
- Continuing to use despite awareness of a physical or psychological problem that was caused or made worse by substance use.
- Tolerance: one needs more of a substance to reach the desired effect, or less effect when continuing to use the same amount.
- Withdrawal (the symptoms depend on the specific substance).1
You don’t need to meet all of these criteria to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder; meeting two or more of the symptoms listed is sufficient for a diagnosis of substance use disorder.1
Now that you have determined if rehab is the next step for you or a loved one in your road toward healing, it’s important to understand your treatment options. Traditional and luxury both offer the necessary treatment to begin recovering, but a luxury treatment center offers a more individualized, luxurious, and often more private experience. Specific factors that contribute to the luxury rehab experience include a smaller staff-to-patient ratio, specialized treatment, high-end amenities, and exclusive locations.
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) supervises treatment centers and provides firm guidelines involving all aspects of drug and alcohol treatment. Current guidelines state that staff-to-patient ratios should be no less than one counselor for every eight patients, with at least half of the counselors licensed or certified to provide substance abuse treatment.2 Luxury treatment centers differ from standard rehabs by providing much smaller staff-to-patient ratios, such as having one counselor for every four patients.3 This often translates into a higher-quality and more individualized treatment approach when compared to traditional rehab facilities.3
The large price tag that accompanies luxury treatment centers helps to cover the hiring of more highly trained clinical staff, with specialized experience in working with individuals suffering from substance use disorders,3 including the use of innovative and effective types of treatment.4
Luxury rehab centers also offer top-notch amenities to their patients, including:
- Gourmet or organic foods.
- Gym facilities.
- Animal-assisted therapy.
A focus on whole, all-natural foods may help ease the withdrawal process for patients, reverse any vitamin deficiencies, and increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.5, 6 Exercise can play an important role in the recovery process by improving mood, self-esteem, assisting with stress management, and easing cravings.7 Animal-assisted treatment, such as equine therapy (working therapeutically with horses), allows patients to build or improve upon interpersonal skills that are weak or lacking.8 OASAS recognizes acupuncture as an effective supplement to treatment by reducing cravings, making the withdrawal process less painful, and easing feelings of anxiety.9 Finally, spa treatments can help patients learn how to effectively manage and reduce stress and tension, which can trigger relapse if unmanaged, while promoting relaxation.10
Deciding if luxury rehab is right for you or a loved one may be a difficult choice, but thinking about what is important to you in a treatment facility is a good place to start.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if you need help to begin recovering from a substance use disorder: Luxury rehabs offer the opportunity to receive a top-notch treatment experience with individualized treatment and specialized amenities.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if you want a more individualized treatment experience: Luxury rehabs are able to provide a more individualized treatment experience by reducing staff-to-patient ratios, allowing staff to work more intensely with their patients.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if having highly qualified and specialized staff is important to you: Luxury rehabs can provide highly qualified and specialized clinical staff that has extensive experience with alcohol or substance users.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if having cutting-edge and alternative treatments are important to you: Luxury rehabs are able to provide cutting-edge and alternative treatments because of the increased resources available, as well as the specialized staff who can be trained in new and innovative treatments that are shown to be highly effective.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if privacy of a treatment facility is important to you: Luxury rehabs frequently cater to high-profile individuals or those for whom privacy is paramount.
- Luxury rehab might be right for you if the location in which you recover is important: Luxury rehabs are often situated in scenic, vacation-style locations, such as the mountains, beaches, or desert.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. (2012). Chemical dependence inpatient rehabilitation services.
- Mayo Clinic. (2009). Addiction services.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). A major step forward for addiction medicine.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2014). Diet and substance use recovery.
- Grotzykyj-Giorgi, M. (2009). Nutrition and addiction – can dietary changes assist with recovery? Drugs and Alcohol Today, 9(2), 24-28.
- Brown, R. A., Abrantes, A. M., Read, J. P., Marcus, B. H., Jakicic, J., Strong, D. R., … Gordon, A. A. (2009). Aerobic exercise for alcohol recovery: Rationale, program description, and preliminary findings. Behavior Modification, 33(2), 220–249.
- Brandt, C. (2013). Equine-facilitated psychotherapy as a complementary treatment intervention. The Practitioner Scholar: Journal of Counseling and Professional Psychology, 2, 23-42.
- Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. (1993). Acupuncture therapy in alcoholism and substance abuse treatment facilities.
- Madden, S., Fogarty, S., & Smith, C. (2014). Alternative and complementary therapies in the treatment of eating disorders, addictions, and substance use disorders.