Rehab's Role in Treating Addiction
Experts explain the treatment process at rehab clinics -- for celebrities and for regular folks.
Who Benefits From Inpatient Care? continued...
Experts say inpatient treatment is most needed by addicts coming from a
chaotic environment or who suffer from a severe psychiatric illness. For
example, if family members are substance abusers, "an inpatient program
will get them out of that environment so some intensive work can be done,"
Berger says. By contrast, outpatient treatment may be fine for a patient who is
married and has a steady job.
A homeless single mom in a drug-infested neighborhood might well qualify for
inpatient treatment, experts say; so would a hard-partying celebrity who is
constantly traveling between movie sets or concert stages. The difference, of
course, is that celebrities can spend a thousand dollars a day or more on
treatment, while the homeless mom is at the mercy of the public health
High Cost of Treatment
Treatment at Sierra Tucson -- which has treated Ringo Starr, Michael
Douglas, and Mark Foley -- costs about $1,200 a day. There's a pool, spa, gym,
climbing wall, and even equestrian stables. But Sierra Tucson isn't just a
retreat, says Scott; patients spend most of their waking hours in
"emotionally draining" recovery activities. "We treat them
intensively, and they do well."
Other, simpler inpatient facilities charge lower rates. The RightStep chain,
based in Houston, charges $8,500 for a one-month inpatient stay, and says it
has "preferred agreements" with many major insurers. (Intensive
outpatient treatment costs $3,000).
How to find a good clinic? Ask your doctor or friends, suggests Berger. Look
for a clinic that is staffed with addiction-certified counselors and medical
staff, says Galusha. And look for a clinic with medical staff that can treat
the psychiatric problems that so often accompany substance abuse, says Gordon.
That usually means access to psychiatrists as well as counselors, he says.
Treating the High-Profile Ego
Maybe celebrities and others in the public spotlight can afford fancy
clinics. But they also face special challenges when it comes to getting clean
and sober, say the experts who treat them regularly.
Celebrities and other high-profile people are surrounded by "groups of
people who have a vested interest in their success," says Scott. A lot is
at stake, whether it's a political campaign, a concert tour, or a movie
production. So not everyone in the entourage may be so accepting when an addict
needs to take time out for group therapy or to stay away from events where
liquor is served.