What You Need to Know When Looking for a Luxury Addiction Rehab

Luxury alcohol and drug addiction rehab centers aren’t just about luxuries such as better furnishings and food. More staff per client means more individualized care and treatment options. High-speed Internet and private office space also allow business people to keep up with work when necessary.

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Dr. Ahmad Alsayes

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Rehab centers for addiction—to alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs—can look more like a luxury resort than a hospital ward. When comfort is combined with top-of-the-line treatment models, it can be a winning combination for those in need of rehab for substance or alcohol abuse disorders.

The number one reason most people don’t look for drug and alcohol rehab is that they don’t think they can afford it. Even when they realize their addictions hurt their life—health, career, finances, and personal relationships—they resist seeking help.

Then some people have the financial resources and health insurance to get help for their substance use disorders (SUD) but don’t want to or think they can’t leave their responsibilities—especially if they are still functional—for the 30 or 90 days of the typical rehab.

Maybe they are an executive or a business owner. Maybe they are retired and well-to-do. Maybe they fear being judged.

A luxury rehab may be the solution.

What Is Alcohol and Drug Rehab?

A drug or alcohol rehab is a medical center dedicated to addiction treatment.

Addiction can completely take over someone’s life, especially if they have a genetic predisposition, a co-occurring mental health issue, or some form of physical or psychological trauma.

There are two basic types of treatments (though many rehabs combine both):

  • Faith-based. Incorporating 12-step programs—such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA)—or possibly Bible study, with lay staff, often including individuals who are already in recovery.
  • Evidence-based. Encompassing “conventional medical and psychosocial treatments”—such as behavioral therapies and medication-assisted treatments—with professional, licensed staff.

Within those basics, there are a variety of methods because addressing addiction requires different treatment options to be successful. Not everyone benefits from or responds to the same treatment. Sometimes a mix of treatments is necessary. Other times, trying certain methods to find what works might be needed.

Luxury Rehab

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Substance Abuse Treatment Process

These rehabs usually follow similar treatment regimens:

  • Detoxification. If the client is not sober when treatment begins, that’s the first step. Medically monitored withdrawal weans the client off the drug or alcohol gradually or with the substitution of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to control the severity of drug withdrawal symptoms.
  • Evaluation and assessment. Proper treatment depends on a proper diagnosis. Roughly half of all people with substance use disorders (SUD) also have a co-occurring mental health disorder: a dual diagnosis. To get well, both must be identified and treated.
  • Behavioral therapies. Addiction is partly physical but also partly mental. Behavioral therapies—cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, contingency management, 12-step facilitation—teach or reinforce new ways to cope without self-medication.
  • Group counseling. In addition to one-on-one behavioral therapy, therapy in a group also has benefits. Twelve-step groups are a similar concept: the individuals learn, teach, and offer support by comparing notes and experiences, triumphs and failures.
  • Aftercare. The best science now says that addiction cannot be cured, only treated and managed. Like other chronic medical conditions—diabetes, hypertension, asthma—it requires lifelong care. Regular physician visits, continuing psychotherapy, and attending peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help.

Treatment may also emphasize:

  • Exercise. Vigorous physical activity produces feel-good chemicals that may reduce or eliminate the desire for addictive drugs.
  • Nutrition. Eating healthy food plus vitamin and mineral supplements can help heal the effects of substance abuse on the body.
  • Holistic. Alternative treatments such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, art, music, and massage therapy can also help.

More high-end holistic activities may include art therapy, equine therapy, massage therapy.

Types of Alcohol and Drug Rehabs

All rehab facilities should strive to offer the best medical and professional care for their recovering clients.

While all types of treatment centers offer medical and professional care for struggling addicts, the main difference lies in the facilities and amenities they offer. Because of these differences, it is a good idea for people to do some research before determining what type of rehab center is the best for them.


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Traditional Rehab Centers

Most traditional alcohol rehab facilities and programs for people with limited financial means work well without luxurious or even private accommodations. Most of these require clients to share a room with at least one other person. Some are like dormitories.

Many are single-sex. Some don’t let clients keep a laptop or smartphone. Meals may be more nutritious than tasty. The facilities might seem more like a motor lodge than a spa or resort, though there may be a gym or sport courts.

They will offer the essential medical and psychiatric or therapeutic services though they may have a relatively high client-to-staff ratio. There may not be a physician or therapist on the premises 24/7, though they are probably on call anytime. There may be more group therapy than one-on-one therapy.

When choosing a facility, it is important to look for certain factors. The facility should have:

  • Extensive experience in treating their specific addictions
  • Extensive experience in treating any co-occurring mental disorders
  • Certified staff with thorough training and experience in treating addiction and mental health issues

Executive Rehabs

Executive rehabs—sometimes called VIP or CEO rehabs—are specific luxury rehabs that allow business owners and senior executives to continue their work while in rehab.

They are comfortable, with gourmet meals, yoga and meditation, spa and sauna treatments, high-end fitness equipment and recreation opportunities, massage therapies, swimming pools, and hot tubs, and even home theaters.

The important difference is that they provide speedy Internet connections, private work spaces, phones, and other equipment to stay connected with their office.

Such treatment centers are also ideal for executives who are afraid that seeking treatment for their addictions may affect their reputations and their businesses.

Executive and luxury drug rehab centers offer more comfort and individualized care. They also provide more privacy and amenities, which traditional rehabs simply do not offer.

Executive rehab centers offer individualized care for clients and many of the same amenities as luxury drug or alcohol rehab centers. They may not offer group counseling sessions if confidentiality is an issue. Discretion is important to executive rehabilitation programs.

Executive rehabs are often as costly as luxury rehabs but provide more work opportunities, especially for high-ranking executives and professionals while they are receiving medical care.

Luxury Rehab Centers

There has long been debate over whether recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is more likely in conditions of luxury or poverty. While there is little evidence, either way, most people would probably prefer luxury if they can afford it.

The best luxury treatment facilities offer more than just exclusive amenities for their clients. They also offer professional medical and addiction expertise.

While the ideal staff-to-client ratio at a treatment center is thought to be one-to-eight, at luxury treatment facilities it may be one-to-four. The ratio means the centers offer more opportunities for individualized treatment compared to more traditional rehab facilities.

Some people with means will prefer a more pleasant rehab experience. While these can include the type of rehab where celebrities drop-in to rehabilitate their reputation or avoid jail, others offer real rehab treatment, just in a nicer atmosphere.

Luxury rehabs will offer amenities that traditional treatment facilities do not have, including:

  • Private rooms with high-end furnishings
  • Five-star chefs. Healthy, gourmet meals and snacks provide the vitamins and nutrients people need to recover and gain strength
  • Well-equipped facilities for exercise
  • Animal-assisted therapy (such as equine or horseback-riding therapy)

Improve their interpersonal skills. People may also relax by visiting spas and saunas at luxury treatment facilities. Such visits may help release tension and stress that may trigger relapses.

Luxury Rehab Daily Schedule

Daily schedules may vary in different upscale rehab centers, but many people follow routines with similar components, such as:

  • Healthy and nutritious breakfast
  • Morning meditation
  • Individualized therapy session
  • Yoga or other treatment sessions
  • Healthy lunch, alone or with a group
  • Counseling sessions with a therapist, one-on-one or in a group
  • Physical or holistic practices such as swimming, acupuncture, yoga, or hiking
  • Medication-assisted treatment, if needed
  • Healthy and freshly-cooked dinner
  • Free-time activities, such as reading inspirational books, writing in a journal, attending group meetings, or other things
  • A good night’s sleep

How Much Does Luxury Rehab Cost?

No two drug or alcohol rehabs are exactly alike, so determining the likely cost, traditional or luxury, is nearly impossible. It depends on where (location), for how long (inpatient treatment typically lasts 30–90 days), and what kind of services are needed or wanted.

Add luxury amenities, and the costs can be many times higher. Compared to the costs of continued addiction and the consequent damage to one’s health, life, and finances, they are a bargain. Compared to their normal expenses, however, rehab is not cheap.

To stay at a traditional rehab for 30 days will probably cost thousands of dollars; to stay at a luxury rehab will probably cost at least $1,000 a day.

Insurance may cover at least some of the costs—mental health and substance abuse services have been considered essential services since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or ObamaCare went into effect—but there may still be a sizable outlay.

Why Is Luxury Rehab Expensive?

Quality care comes with a price. Expect a high-end alcohol rehab center to be more expensive.

The medical and psychiatric staff may be somewhat better, that’s not the main reason for the greater cost. There may be a better staff-to-client ratio. They may be on-site 24/7 rather than on-call. Their uniforms might be nicer.

Also, the building—the furnishings, the decor, the facilities—the grounds—walking trails, stables, swimming pools, gym equipment—the nonmedical staff—five-star chefs or similar, physical trainers, massage therapists—and the food are better.

Are High-End Treatment Centers Worth the Cost?

If people can afford or borrow the funds to attend luxury rehab, that doesn’t mean they necessarily should. An informed decision requires further evaluation. Not all luxury rehabs are equal.

First, they should evaluate the addiction services. If those are professional, then consider the accommodations and amenities. Next, compare the price with other traditional and luxury rehabs. Finally, decide if the added expense is worth it.

Beyond that, whether they choose standard or luxury rehab is a personal choice determined by factors such as financial wherewithal.

Many centers offer individualized treatment. Individualization depends on people’s medical, personal, and drug or alcohol abuse histories. Top-notch treatment is provided to those who need it, all within comfortable and luxurious environments.

Care in High-End Rehabs

The most important factor in any rehab is addiction treatment. Are the staff certified and licensed? Do they have experience with addiction and mental health? Do they tailor treatment to the individual addictions?

One advantage of luxury centers over traditional centers is their higher staff-to-client ratios, which means that clients receive more individualized care. Such attention can help clients recover more quickly and effectively. Likewise, the comfortable environments in such settings can also help speed clients’ recoveries.

Luxury Rehab Setting and Accommodations

Top-of-the-line treatment centers like these are usually located near beaches, mountains, or secluded country areas. Clients can enjoy high-end amenities that traditional programs may not offer.

Luxurious facilities may be ideal for those who are better off financially to afford such treatment. While most of the medical and professional services offered are similar to traditional rehab centers, higher-end centers offer more comfort and amenities for clients undergoing treatment. They operate like rehab resorts.

Some treatment centers offer additional amenities, which means more opportunities for clients to enjoy their stay while receiving professional assistance..

How to Find the Right Luxury Rehab

Drug and alcohol addiction cannot be treated simply by willpower. More often than not, medical and psychological treatments are necessary to recover successfully. An environment that makes the client more likely to complete treatment can also aid in their road to recovery.

Consider the types of therapies that are available in different facilities. Do they offer holistic treatments such as yoga and meditation? Do they provide nutritional and spiritual counseling? These are some questions that clients can ask when choosing a rehab facility.

They may also want to consider where the facilities are located. Many top-rated treatment facilities are located in pleasant natural locations such as near mountains, beaches, or countryside. If they are nature lovers, such  locations may help.

If specific amenities—hot tubs, swimming pools, fitness centers, and private rooms—are important to them, the clients should make sure the luxury rehab has such facilities beforehand.

Is Entering a Luxury Rehab the Right Choice?

Not everyone recovers from addiction with the same treatment. The same applies to surroundings. Some people might find a 5-star rehab distracts from doing the work necessary for recovery. Others might find the lack of luxuries just as distracting. Only the clients can decide if luxury rehab is right for them.

Benefiting from any rehab requires that the clients want to recover. If they are only going through the motions, they are unlikely to recover. A luxury rehab that is a rehab in name only is even less likely to help.

If they do want to recover, luxuries are less important than basics: sound addiction science, qualified staff, behavioral therapists. That doesn’t mean luxuries are unimportant; they just must be kept in perspective.

Find an Addiction Treatment Resource in Your Home State


  1. drugabuse.gov –  Types of Treatment Programs
  2. sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – How 12 Step Programs Treat Addiction
  3. researchgate.net – Contrasting faith-based and traditional substance abuse treatment
  4. drugabuse.gov –  Principles of Effective Treatment
  5. medlineplus.gov. – Dual Diagnosis
  6. drugabuse.gov Treatment and Recovery
  7. webmd.com –  Counseling and Addiction
  8. health.harvard.edu – Can exercise help conquer addiction?
  9. medlineplus.gov – Substance Use Recovery and Diet
  10. sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Holistic Addiction Treatment Center
  11. oasas.ny.gov/ – Office of Addiction Services and Support
  12. cbc.ca – Everything You Need To Know About Horse Therapy
  13. webmd.com – How Much Does Alcohol Rehab Usually Cost?

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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