When it comes to the rich and famous, few topics get more press than their transgressions with addictions. From drugs of all kinds to alcohol, and even the vague “personal reasons”, it seems there’s always a new story about a celeb succumbing to life’s pleasures and ending up on a little “vacation”. From seasoned veteran actor Robert Downey, Jr. to fresh-faced Disney star Zac Efron, the list of well-known substance abuse sufferers is virtually endless.
So, where, exactly, do these stars go to recover? When money is no object, the celebrity rehab facilities, doctors, and centers available are plentiful. Here are five facts you need to know about celebrity rehabs.
1. As posh California recovery centers barrel down a path of trying to one up each other, the area surrounding Los Angeles has become known as “Addiction Alps”. The bevy of facilities in this area play host to “clients” (they are never referred to as “patients”) from billionaire businessmen to Hollywood’s elite stars.
2. Luxury rehab company Promises now has about a dozen indulgent locations, many housed inside impressive Malibu mansions. The real eye-opener? Some rooms in Promises’ celebrity rehab facilities run a paltry $90,000 per month. Promises has served clients such as Ben Affleck, Britney Spears, and RDJ himself. One center, belonging to One80Center, is actually a former home of starlet Liz Taylor.
3. The industry is largely unregulated. Little is known about what actually goes on inside, and what treatments are administered. In fact, in 2004 Promises was issued a citation by the state of California because doctors were performing physicals even though the organization is not licensed to provide medical services. Even success rates are self-reported, so true statistics on the effectiveness of these over-the-top centers are hard to come by.
4. It’s not just the rich and famous – in fact, high profile clients like actors and executives make up just 10 to 30 percent of the clientele at top-of-the-line celebrity rehab facilities. Who else is taking advantage of these comfort-filled programs? Middle- to upper-class people who take out loans, second mortgages, and sometimes get insurance to pay for a portion of the cost make up a significant segment of high-end rehabilitation center business.
5. Compared to the lower-rate rehabilitation options, celebrity rehab facilities seem like a vacation – activities often include holistic and nontraditional treatments like meditation, painting, Reiki, acupuncture, yoga, equine therapy (otherwise known as horseback riding) and even paddle boarding.
Part of the logic behind these resplendent setups is that it’s hard enough to get a person to go into rehab, but when the addict is also someone who’s used to being pampered and living in a luxurious environment, it can be even more difficult. It’s crucial for these celebrity rehab centers to create a posh, welcoming environment in which the rich and famous feel right at home. Whether celebrity rehab facilities, doctors, and centers are an effective long-term cure for what ails the elite, one thing is certain – they’re the most comfortable place to be for those with an addiction.