For recovering addicts like myself, the thought of maintaining access to work colleagues and fulfilling necessary business requirements while sequestered in a rehab facility is perplexing, and a bit concerning as well. A residential drug rehab treatment program should be intensive to the point of the exclusion of anything extraneous but the focus on recovery and sobriety…and contact to the outside world should be as minimal as possible to heighten the focus on an internal recovery.
An executive rehab runs a little bit differently.
Firstly, an executive rehab offers complete confidentiality, and strives through elaborate means to respect the need for secrecy of its sometime powerful and well known alumni. While all rehabs are medical facilities, and are by nature confidential to outside inquiries, an executive rehab will go so far as to never telephone or even mail information to the recovering addict’s residence or workplace without prior consent, to minimize the risk of unwanted discovery of treatment.
The costs of an executive rehab will generally exceed that of a conventional private rehab, and for those additional fees the programming and therapeutic attention as offered are intensive and of the highest quality; all done to speed the process of recovery allowing busy and powerful executives to resume their stations as soon as possible. With high fees also come luxurious accommodations and facilities, and executive rehabs are generally located within peaceful and secluded grounds, both to encourage quiet and meditative contemplation, and also to further minimize the risk of unwanted attention.
But where an executive rehab truly differs from a conventional rehab is in the amount of contact to the workplace and outside world allowed. The patients at an executive rehab facility will be allowed to maintain necessary work communications with their colleagues, and although professional staff encourage a minimization of work during the treatment period, executives are permitted to work as much as they need to to ensure that their responsibilities are adequately covered.
When you think about this last allowance, it at first seems contrary to the ideals of a residential rehab, and if work continues unabated during treatment, how can there be room left for the needed focus on recovery? But when I consider an executive rehab further, I realize that these programs are designed to remove barriers to entry and obstacles to treatment. No one will initiate needed therapy if the personal and professional costs are too high; and for many executives, the admission of a need for rehab is perceived to be too damaging to a hard earned career. By allowing executives to recover in very private surroundings, with continued communications access to the work place, you allow them to maintain the secrecy of their treatment, and act as if they were only on an extended holiday.
Ideally addicts enter a rehab facility and forget about their outside responsibilities for the time needed to get better, but if by refusing to grant access to work responsibilities you inhibit the ability of certain people to participate in drug or alcohol abuse treatment, then the needed concessions do I think make sense. It’s too bad that these executives feel that an admission of normal human weakness would cost them so much that they are fearful to get the treatment they need; but we can’t ignore reality, and although I can’t see how engaging in anything other than the work of recovery while in a rehab can be helpful, if that’s what’s needed to get these people the help they deserve, then it is a positive step to better health.