Randy and Debbie Ross opened up Blu By the Sea, also known as Narconon Gulf Coast, after addiction began to have its way with their own family. Following their son’s attempt to get sober at four different rehabs with little improvement, Randy and Debbie made the decision to discover the keys to a great recovery program. Their mission has not been without its hurdles and critics.
Accommodations and Food
Because Randy and Debbie wanted their clients to feel as close to home as possible while in treatment, they converted their $3 million dollar waterfront house in Destin, Florida into a proper six bed rehab. While staying at Blu By The Sea, clients will have the advantage of waking up every morning on the coast of Mexico in a home that looks like a beach vacation housing from Air BnB. The house is decorated throughout in light blues and whites, with a crystal blue pool and Jacuzzi just outside the sliding glass doors.
Maintaining a high level of comfort and ease is of upmost importance to Blu By The Sea. The bedrooms are a mix of semi-private and private based on availability (a private room will cost residents an extra $15,000 a month). Each room has a unique decorative style and comes with its own personal television and DVD player for residents to use at their leisure. Personal cell phones and laptops are also permitted at clients’ discretion.
Meal times are taken seriously at Blu By the Sea. The resident chef takes daily trips to the grocery store in order keep all ingredients as fresh as possible. For breakfast, clients have the option to order their meal of choice on the spot, whether it’s something light like fruit and granola or heartier fare such as homemade pancakes. Clients are also provided with a standard gourmet lunch, snack and dinner in addition to having unlimited access to the house fridge and pantry; caffeine is permitted as well.
Treatment and Staff
Blu By the Sea breaks down addiction treatment into four different stages. The process begins with detox, where clients receive 24-hour medical supervision as their body begins the withdrawal process.
Once the body has regulated itself to a healthy state, psychologists and therapists work with clients on breaking the physical cravings for drugs and alcohol through physical activity and CBT. A special trauma track can be arranged for clients on an as-needed basis. Once any cravings are under control, one-on-one therapy in addition to group therapy becomes the focus. From here, clients are guided towards a new life plan that sets up new goals and structure for a life built on sobriety.
All groups run between two and three people, so each client is sure to receive plenty of personalized attention and specialized treatment by the pool. Blu By the Sea does not directly take clients to 12-step meetings, but does allow them access to all available recovery programs including 12-step and SMART recovery.
Daily physical activity is seen as an integral part of the recovery process at Blu By the Sea. Each client receives a membership to a nearby Gold’s Gym, which they are able to use first thing every morning. In addition, outings to the beach and state parks are put into the schedule during the weekends as a way to connect with nature while getting some exercise.
Holistic treatments here include art therapy and hydrotherapy. Clients also have get manicures or hair treatments at the Aveda spa, just a short drive from the facility. All of these services are only available at an extra charge.
Although the house is full of amenities, Blu still recognizes the importance of allowing clients time in the real world. Every Saturday, residents go on a different outing, which can range from deep-sea fishing expeditions and kayaking adventures to trips to outdoor sports games and local beaches. On outing evenings, clients are taken out to eat at one of many local restaurants. (All outings costs are included in the admissions price.)
For those looking for a non 12-step rehab with beachfront views and very few rules, Blu By the Sea may be a good fit, though potential customers should be informed of the program’s rumored affiliation with Narconon and Scientology.
Blu by the Sea
3399 Scenic Hwy 98
East Destin, FL 32541
Blu by the Sea Cost: $20,000 (30 days). Reach Blu By the Sea by phone at (850) 547-6428. Find Blu by the Sea on Facebook
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