When most people think about drug recovery and sober living, thoughts of luxury are very unlikely to enter their minds. We think of drug addiction treatment of something gritty and unpleasant, as individuals spend hours locked in dingy rooms desperately battling their own demons while taking a series of pills to combat the nausea and the headaches caused by severe withdrawal symptoms. Some might think of a circle of addicts seated together in a rented basement, Naloxone posters and anti-smoking ads lining the walls as a therapist talks to the round encouraging others to share their story and discuss their experiences.
But the truth is that addiction recovery is extremely varied and exists in many forms. Some stories of recovery unfortunately begin in an overnight jail cell, before moving to the courtroom, followed by a mandated stay at a local rehab facility. Other stories don’t involve a residential stay of any kind, instead involving the struggles of a single parent as they try to make their weekly outpatient meetings after successful rehab. And some have the option of choosing their own path toward long-term sobriety, only to be met with an overwhelming amount of choices.
In the state of California in particular, rehab has grown into a sizeable industry over the decades, giving residents a wide variety of potential settings for sober living homes. The challenge lies in finding the right sober living home.
What is Sober Living?
Sober living wouldn’t be described as luxurious in most cases, but luxury sober living homes have been a successful model for relapse prevention and addiction rehabilitation for years. Like any person, an addict doesn’t respond well to horrible conditions – besting an addiction means working with an addict to develop strategies that are most effective for them, whether that means using sports to overcome cravings, helping an addict focus on their career to stop their addiction, or supporting their talents as an artist to motivate them to stay sober in the long-term and pursue their own potential. By working with addicts to bring out the best in themselves, sober living homes help them develop their own unique skillset to avoiding relapse and maintaining sobriety.
Sober living homes differentiate themselves from usual rehab centers by avoiding programs, instead giving residents a space of their own, a weekly schedule, common chores, and a set of rules – which often include a strict curfew and mandatory job searching/employment. This barebones concept serves to help recovering addicts better themselves, communicating with their tenants and developing tools for sobriety in an environment that is devoid of drug-related temptation and violence, yet otherwise quite normal.
This lends itself well to the “luxury setting”, although many misunderstand what this means. Luxury drug recovery isn’t about gold plating and alcohol-free champagne – it’s better staff-to-patient ratios, more amenities, greater freedoms, better access to nature, a wide range of experts to counsel with, and an approach specifically built according to the latest in addiction treatment, offering flexibility, multimodal treatment, and long-term care through relapse prevention and resources aimed at helping former residents stay in touch and support each other for continued recovery outside of the sober living home.
Does a Luxury Setting Make a Difference?
It most certainly does. For one, luxury settings set themselves apart by investing solely in what benefits the resident. Luxury sober living homes and high-end rehab facilities work to offer every viable approach to addiction recovery by working with some or all of personal trainers, meditation experts, dietitians, reputable and experienced psychiatrists, therapy pets, and/or other professionals to help recovering addicts discover an approach that elicits the most progress.
A “luxury setting” can often also mean offering what many might consider a basic right, such as increased privacy, the right to proper gender-specific treatment, the right to addressing an addiction not in a vacuum but in the context of an addict’s other circumstances and issues, ranging from other mental illnesses to experiences with stigma, family problems, and more.
Aftercare is another hallmark of luxury sober living and rehab, as luxury sober living homes have the ability to continue to care for their patients after they’ve left by helping them work on sustaining their long-term mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as regularly following up through online and physical correspondence to see how former residents are doing on their own.
A luxury setting isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as addiction treatment never is. But for many addicts, it’s exactly what they need. The name can be a bit of a misnomer – while a “luxury setting” implies privilege and unnecessity, many of the services almost exclusively offered through luxury rehab are in fact necessary in the treatment of addiction. A basic right to privacy, a reasonable staff and patient ratio, high-quality aftercare, as well as addiction treatment in accordance with the latest in research – while luxury sober living homes and rehab facilities are often very well-decorated and picturesque, it’s these vital services that set them apart from the bulk of other facilities.
Luxury Rehab Still Isn’t Easy
Luxurious or not, rehab is always hard. While addiction can be accurately described as a brain disease, it’s very important to discuss what this means. Some might misunderstand that addicts are in any way predestined to become addicted – it’s much more accurate to describe addiction as something that has the potential to occur in anybody, but that certain circumstances and factors make it more likely, and every case of addiction occurs due to a unique series of triggering factors linked to a person’s upbringing, experiences, mental state, suggestibility, and more.
This is important because it illustrates that addiction is something that can affect us all, and when someone does become addicted, they struggle with a disorder that at times feels more powerful than they are. While luxurious amenities provide addicts with a greater variety of options in treatment, rehab is still rehab. An addict must effectively go against their own will, avoiding temptation and deliberately ignoring powerful cravings. Many addicts have forgotten how to deal with stress without turning to drugs, requiring a whole host of new tools and abilities. That too requires time and practice.
It’s hard work to overturn an addiction, and while luxury rehab and sober living can make the initial stages much easier through better treatment, the bulk of the work still relies on the will and initiative of the recovering addict maintaining the lifestyle changes made during recovery, as well as the love and support of family and friends who are there to help out when willpower alone isn’t enough.