Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Luxury Rehab

After re-reading the article on Wonderland in the New Yorker I was inspired to write about the rise of luxury rehab. Having put in my time working for the super-high-end facilities, and seeing the rise of $100,000/month treatment and $20,000/month sober livings, I've been wondering about the effectiveness of these programs. Are we really helping people when we buy in to their entitlement? Or is this simply a free market scenario, where a program can charge whatever they feel the consumer will pay?

I worry that treatment is getting watered down, that we as professionals are starting to cater too much to the addicted client just so then they'll stay longer or pay more money. These sorts of things are not THERAPEUTICALLY good for a client who is used to simply buying his or her way out of their problems; it just serves as another thing they can tick off the list of things they've paid for and has or hasn't worked.

And of course, with the Dr. Drew reality shows, Perez Hiltons and TMZ's of the world, and now New Yorker features, we can start to expect to see more people starting programs NOT out of an idea of service, but out of an idea to make lots of money. Once again, it is a free market, and best of luck to them.

However, we're dealing with a disease that kills millions of people a year, effects tens of millions, and creates billions of dollars in lost revenue for the country. So maybe we need to take a look at keeping programs in perspective; I understand the need to make a living, but if you're working in treatment and driving a $200,000 car, there's probably something ethically wrong happening.

Making sure our hearts are in the right place is the only way we can do this well!

Here's something great that a couple of guys in Canada did:

For something funny, click here.

As always, find me on LinkedIn and Twitter, and search for me on Facebook. Gearing up for US Journal conference in Vegas at the end of this week, so there may not be as many posts. Let me know if you'll be there.

1 comment:

  1. Great Mike! I couldn't agree more. As one of the founders of Wonderland Center, I am really disappointed. I hate to see people get swooped up by money, power and prestige. Especially when they have to compromise their integrity to get it. The people who work in treatment have a special obligation to our clients; we need to maintain our own program of recovery or as they say in the Program – you’re "talking the talking" without "walking the walk." Thanks for your blog and your important message of recovery!
    Kindest regards,
    Alex Shohet
    Founder Wonderland Center