If you’re confused by AToN‘s strange name and spelling, let us translate: it is an acronym for “aid to navigation,” which sums up the overall focus of AToN Center. Nestled in the rural hills of North County, between blue-collar Oceanside and thriving downtown San Diego, AToN Center is a short and long term residential “getaway to recovery” that isn’t a Malibu rehab but could probably pass for one.
Accommodations and Food
Their lush, hilltop four-acre estate is peppered with vegetation and gardens, offering views of both the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. The facility comes equipped with all the necessities to recover from addiction in style: a glassed-in gym, beach volleyball court, saltwater and fresh water pools and spa, cabanas, fountains, a barbecue, a fire pit, a multi-jet outdoor shower and a sauna with a 360-degree view.
With the capacity for only 12 clients, AToN does its best to cater to the exclusive needs of the one-percenters. Bedrooms are shared but clients have the option to pay for private suites. All rooms come equipped with bathrooms and showers, personal robes and slippers, queen size beds with 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and “spa quality” towels. Clients have in-room access to WiFi and use of cell phones and laptops but they have to make their beds every day and complete assignments given by therapists and doctors. The facility also has an on-site chef who serves healthy meals that are tweaked accordingly to vegetarians, diabetics, and clients with food allergies. They also offer daily juicing.
Treatment and Staff
AToN serves up a solid substance abuse recovery program that’s served many of their alumni well. Each client is given a comprehensive psychological assessment to determine the best treatment plan. On-site detox is available—if necessary—along with recovery study work, intensive cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapies, daily groups, individual therapy, family therapy and offsite community support meetings. AToN also treats co-occurring disorders.
Although AToN was founded on the 12-step model and still uses those principles as a foundation, they offer non-12 step rehab programs as well. Former clients report that counselors and administrators focus far more on spirituality and mindfulness than straight up religion and while this is a plus for many recovering Judeo-Christians, some feel staff should do more to get interested residents to church or their preferred places of worship.
AToN offers a slew of therapeutic and holistic treatment accoutrements like energy healing, breathing and stress reduction, yoga and meditation, EMDR, massage therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, personal training and Watsu—a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water which combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, shiatsu and muscle stretching. Hiking, shopping and field trips to local attractions—think the zoo, beach and museums—are also part of the AToN program. Off-site dinners at local restaurants, with transportation provided by the facility’s 14-passenger Sprinter van, happen every Sunday and are known as “Exposure Sessions.”
AToN is a distinctly luxurious rehab in an area that doesn’t have other high end treatment centers so if the 760 area code beckons, it’s a solid alternative to the Malibu route. Though the price is steep, AToN takes insurance, which could cut costs considerably.
3250 Country Rose Circle
Encinitas, CA 92024
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