Luxury Rehab for Business Executives: Why Specialized Residential Addiction Treatment Works

Because they have a very particular set of needs, high-powered business executives often struggle to find addiction treatment options that work for them. But treatment centers are evolving to meet those needs by finding ways to accommodate work responsibilities and ensure client confidentiality, and that makes it possible for C-suite businesspeople to seek comprehensive, state-of-the-art care.

For John, recognizing that he was struggling with addiction was a slow-moving process. At work, he was the CEO of a successful Fortune 500 company, and at home, he had a supportive, stable family life. But he was also quietly addicted to a number of prescription medications, and it was starting to show. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone in to lead a staff meeting without taking an Ativan or a Xanax first, and lately, he’d been using them even for social gatherings with friends. He kept running out. When that happened, his hands shook heavily, and he barely slept. Looking back, he wasn’t sure how he’d gotten there, but he knew that he needed to call it what it was—an addiction—and address it before it spiraled out of his control.

Though we don’t hear them often, stories like John’s aren’t unusual. Since the recession, the number of business executives in need of addiction treatment has risen steadily, and in response, so has the number of treatment programs available to them. What’s difficult is that executives seeking treatment have a very particular set of needs: obviously, they need programs that can offer them top-notch care, but they need those programs to do so with the utmost respect to privacy and confidentiality, and in a way that allows them to integrate the work responsibilities they simply can’t get out of.

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Accommodating Work Responsibilities for Executives in Treatment


In order to meet the needs of the growing number of CEOs and senior executives seeking treatment for addiction, many treatment centers have evolved to include more flexibility in their programs. One of the ways in which they’ve done this is by making sure that individual treatment plans leave enough room for clients to connect with their work responsibilities. Many of them stand at the helm of their company or in critical positions, and they can’t just leave it all behind to go into treatment.

Treatment programs that serve executives meet them where they are, and sometimes that means accommodating the occasional conference call or board meeting. Obviously, the big draw of residential treatment is that it enables people to remove themselves from the stressors or triggers in their lives that fuel their addictions, but that doesn’t mean they have to be totally cut off from the outside world. In most modern treatment programs, cell phones, computers, and sporadic business calls are fine so long as core treatment elements go undisrupted.

In fact, treatment professionals often see this as a kind of exposure therapy: a way for people in treatment to confront the triggers they’re likely to face out of treatment but to do so in a therapeutically supported environment. Rather than deal with these triggers the way they usually do (often, that’s by drinking or using), executives can “prep” for a big meeting by speaking with their therapist beforehand and debrief by speaking with them afterward. Or, if there’s no way to get out of an in-person meeting, execs may be accompanied by a sober companion, one who can help them avoid things like the temptation of free first-class drinks on their flight.

Protecting Client Privacy: Confidentiality Is Paramount


Another barrier that keeps executives from seeking treatment is the need to protect their professional reputation and the reputation of their business. It’s an understandable anxiety: they spend a lot of time in the public eye (or at least in the eye of the public they lead) and often have very high profiles. Even though it has become more commonplace for people to speak out about addiction, drug and alcohol abuse is still generally surrounded by shame and stigma, and fears about losing business or opportunities because of addiction are both real and viable. Because of this, the most successful addiction treatment programs take confidentiality very seriously, and some even go so far as to allow clients to come in under an assumed name—one that’s used even on internal documents.

What helps in this effort is that residential treatment fosters a natural community of peers, most of whom come into treatment with the same fears and concerns around confidentiality. Receiving treatment in a smaller, higher-end facility reduces the number of people they come into contact with, and because of their shared experience with addiction, they’re very likely to understand and respect the privacy of the people around them.

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Increased Flexibility Creates Access to Quality Care


What’s important about these accommodations is that they make addiction treatment a viable option for high-powered executives who might not otherwise seek care. The mythology that surrounds addiction tells us that addicts fit into a single category, but that simply isn’t true, and rejecting that myth is the first step towards acknowledging the diversity (and the unique challenges) of the people who struggle with addiction.

Trained admissions specialists at Alta Mira work with clients in advance to structure the program in a way that accommodates their work responsibilities and ensures their privacy and confidentiality. Once those obstacles have been removed from the paths of people seeking treatment, they have access to all that Alta Mira offers: medically-supervised detox, diagnostic testing and assessment, and our distinguished and diverse clinical program. The second step in acknowledging the diversity of those who struggle with addiction is expanding treatment to include options that meet the needs of them all. The needs of executives can easily go overlooked, but at Alta Mira we aim to break those barriers down so that busy professionals have access to supportive, high-quality care.

Alta Mira offers a comprehensive set of treatment options for people living with substance abuse issues as well as co-occurring mental health challenges. Connect with us today to learn more about our state-of-the-art clinical model and how we help busy executives make addiction treatment work for them.