Do luxury drug rehabilitation centers work? Learn about amenities, care, luxury drug and alcohol rehab programs and how to know if it is right for you.

Luxury drug treatment didn’t really exist until the 1980s. Sure, wealthy populations and members of elite status like celebrities had more options, but the general public was left with fairly limited choices until one treatment center mogul noticed a demand for more privacy and comfort among patients at his facilities. So what will the added expense get you when it comes to addressing your substance abuse habits, and is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.

Rehab Accommodations and Amenities

Addiction is no longer viewed with such disapproval and dismay as it was in the past. There are bare-bones treatment facilities that offer basic detox services at a limited cost, middle-of-the-road full-service facilities that include weeks of therapy and healing post-detox, and at the other end of the spectrum, luxury resort-style centers that promise a relaxing treatment process that accommodates even the most persnickety patient. Point being, don’t let concerns over which facility to choose or a lack of choices inhibit you from moving forward altogether. If you find you, or a loved one who uses drugs or alcohol, fit any of the following criteria, it’s time to take action:

  • You’ve developed a tolerance to a substance that warrants the need of higher or more frequent doses to still deliver the same effect.
  • Drugs are used to combat and delay symptoms of withdrawal and manage pain
  • You don’t have much time for anything outside of drug use or securing your supply.
  • You find it hard to stick to using intended amounts.
  • You don’t enjoy the things you used to anymore because using is your number one priority.
  • Even though you have had a lot of problems because of your substance use, you keep drinking or using.

Luxury Rehab Facilities

While some facilities still promote the boot camp approach to drug and alcohol rehab, luxury facilities advertise at the other end of the substance abuse treatment spectrum. NIDA reports that there are over 14,500 facilities in the United States now providing addiction treatment combined with therapy, medication assistance, counseling, and more. While not all of these facilities fit into the luxury genre, popularity for the trend is ever-growing.

At a luxury rehab cener, special consideration is given to patients’ needs, especially during drug or alcohol detox. Many who admit themselves to these facilities take advantage of gourmet meals and spa-like services, such as massages and aromatherapy techniques used to aid in relaxation during the withdrawal process. In addition, you might find turndown service when you return from a long day of counseling and group therapy activities. While all of this sounds very nice, none of it really protects you from becoming one of the 40 to 60 percent of drug treatment patients who relapse post-treatment, per NIDA.

Often, security is heightened, and you’ll notice the presence of more staff members around luxury facilities. Generally, the patients who can afford to stay at luxe centers are in a position to warrant the need for more privacy surrounding their specialized treatment plan. While celebrities do account for part of the patronage to high-end facilities, they are by no means the majority.

Patients are screened more carefully before being admitted to many of these facilities, too. This is because it isn’t unheard of for members of the press and prying eyes to pose as a rehab patient just to gain access to the behind-the-scenes activities of stars undergoing treatment.

Comparable Care

Of course, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the luxury lifestyle adds anything more than comfort to the substance abuse treatment experience. This genre of rehab facilities has certainly had its fair share of critics who have noted allegedly overpriced admission fees for services that are far too similar to more traditional and lower-priced treatment centers.

Forbes Magazine reported in 2006 that some rehabilitation detox facilities fitting the luxury genre came with a price tag as high as $40,000. For most patients, money is an issue, so don’t assume if you’re priced out of high-end facilities that you’re exempt from receiving quality care. While luxury facilities do offer a designer lifestyle equipped with oodles of amenities, they generally don’t offer much more in the way of treatment programs or therapy than mainstream, average-priced rehab centers do.

Nevertheless, there is a market for luxury facilities, and there are people with certain tastes who wouldn’t feel comfortable in less-than-luxury digs. Just because a facility offers luxury amenities doesn’t mean the staff isn’t focused on why you’re there to begin with. The best luxury facilities still recognize your need for treatment, not a vacation, and your time will primarily be spent working on your issues, from mental health to addiction, not lounging by the pool.

Things to Consider

When you’re comparing substance abuse treatment centers, the importance of mental health care services cannot be emphasized enough. The fact is that 53 percent of people battling drug abuse and 37 percent struggling with alcoholism are also fighting mental illness and many of them are doing so completely unaware of their disorder. Ignoring the symptoms of illnesses like depression and anxiety will only hinder your chances of a successful recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Of course, that poses another vital question to consider — is mental health care better at the higher-priced luxury facility? There’s no data on this to date, but it isn’t a stretch to assume you’re getting high-end care when staying at a luxury facility. Just as the meal you eat at a diner isn’t going to compete with one at a five-star resort, the leaders in luxury rehab facilities are often going to outpace more mediocre options. When it comes to health care, those who can afford better generally receive better, however unfair that seems.

When it comes to addiction, however, a higher price tag does not seem to consistently reflect superior care or an increased chance at a successful recovery. When you’re considering your drug treatment options, keep in mind that the entire substance abuse treatment industry is expected to gross about $34 million in 2014 alone, a 55 percent hike from their 2005 earnings.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.