Addiction is an issue in every population. It does not occur for a specific race, ethnic or religious group, and does not discriminate on social status. Rich or poor; black, white, brown or yellow; Christian, Buddhist, or atheist; famous or not; and every walk of life is represented. Some addicts have vast resources, some have none. Some addicts are highly educated, some are not.
In the treatment of addiction, it has been recognized that some addicts have lives of affluence, and some have lives based on specific cultural norms. In order to address the unique issues of these populations, there are treatment centers that “specialize” in working with these types of population.
When looking for a good addiction treatment program, it can be helpful to look at the different types of specialty treatment centers available, and how some might deal with the specific issues surrounding the population sector you come from.
Why Specialty Rehab?
Addiction treatment can be a general practice or standard set of protocols. Protocols are methods used to treat people. Specializations in some programs was created to help specific populations in treatment who may not fit in with the general public and the general rehab centers where the majority of addicts go for treatment.
Why specialty rehab? There may be issues of lifestyle, financial resources, privacy, and sometimes physical limitation to be dealt with. Other issues may be based on religion, sexual or gender preference, or lifestyle. Some treatment programs may specialize in working with pilots, or doctors and nurses. Others are private and exclusive for those who need to remain out of the public eye while going through treatment, such as celebrities or political figures.
What Are Some of the Specialties?
Exclusive: Some of these are found in areas where the rich and famous live or would like to go for treatment. These specialty treatment centers can be located in places like Malibu, the Caribbean, in European resort communities, New York, and around the world in sites where the privacy of clients can be managed.
Climate is usually a factor for the clients who choose these facilities, unless the program is operated in luxurious facilities that keep participants comfortable in bad weather. Other factors that are important to the addict looking for treatment in these settings will be treatment for specific addictions such as gambling, sex or drugs. Other specialties will include the level of fame the treatment provider(s) have attained. In today’s world of reality television, some addicts with the money to pay for specialty treatment will look for programs that have celebrity treatment providers they have seen on T.V.
Physical Disabilities: Other specialties are directed toward the individual, such as those with physical disabilities; including people confined to a wheelchair or undergoing treatment for a medical condition that does not allow them free range of movement.
Physical Challenges: An important feature of treatment today is specialized for addicts who have physical conditions that cause them to live with chronic pain. Because of the addictive nature of pain medication, addicts who deal with chronic pain need treatment to help them manage pain without the addictive pain medication. Some have become heavily addicted, and the pain medication is something they use daily. This is a widespread problem that is being addressed in many addiction programs.
Mental Disabilities: Many of these clients have been diagnosed with mental disorders that complicate their treatment for addiction. These are called co-occurring disorders, because they are often difficult to weed out from the addiction behavior patterns. These often are disorders such as schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder or others that interfere with treatment. This happens because the disorder needs to be treated with medication and the addict may be using street drugs or alcohol to try and manage or diminish the symptoms of their mental disorder. Specialized treatment and training is required for those who work with this population.
Professional Groups: Some groups of professional people seek specialized treatment that works with their career lifestyle. Medical personnel represent one group that would seek specialty treatment. Because they have ready access to prescription medications, they are at high risk for this type of addiction. Their exposure to high levels of pain in their patients is stressful, and an ongoing risk factor for addiction, as is their ongoing exposure to death and other trauma. Stress in this group is very high.
Another high stress career is aviation, and a lot of substance abuse is seen with pilots. They have high incidence of alcohol and drug abuse and addiction. This population often seeks specialized treatment.
Other groups that may have careers or lifestyles that are conducive to high rates of addiction are musicians, artists and writers, police and fire personnel, military personnel, and others consistently exposed to high levels of stress or minimal regulation of alcohol and drugs in the associated lifestyle. Celebrities or those with great wealth fall into this category, as well.
Addiction Specialties: Many programs have become specialized in working with particular addictions. These can be specific drugs, or programs designed to work with addicts who have eating disorders, gambling addiction, smoking addiction, sex addiction, or “process” addictions. Process addictions are those that deal with habits or behavior. These can be those already mentioned and also include work, shopping, and other addictions that include repeated behaviors.
Other Specialized Populations in Treatment: Some programs may offer their own specially developed treatment methods that they have copyrighted and present as unique. Examples are non-12 Step treatment, Buddhist treatment, Christian treatment programs, etc. There are programs that specialize in working with lesbian, gay or transgender populations as well.
Specialties in Treatment
Other programs cater to their clients by providing services and amenities that are not possible in lower-cost treatment programs. These can include private chefs and personal menu preparation, helicopter service or limousines to transport clients to and from airports or appointments, massage therapists and personal trainers, gyms providing individual or group classes and training, stables for horseback riding or equine therapy, sailing or surfing lessons, and many other personalized services for clients who can afford this type of luxury treatment.
Some of these programs are in remote or private locations to prevent intrusion by the media and others. Most offer luxurious accommodations and serve a privileged class. They can treat most addictions in these settings, because the cost of treatment allows for specialists of any kind to be available. Many celebrities and wealthy addicts are the clients seen in these types of specialty programs.