Of the multitude of recovery centers in Malibu, Creative Care has the distinction of being one of the first to treat both addiction and co-occurring disorders. Founded in 1989 by married doctors Morteza and Karen Khaleghi, Creative Care was originally based in Northridge, California but moved to Malibu shortly thereafter. Morteza took an interest in recovery after losing his older brother to an overdose in 1981. He believed that unresolved psychic trauma had led to the drug abuse, and that loss has largely shaped Creative Care’s focus on addiction and anxiety disorders equally.
Accommodations and Food
The facility is nestled into the Malibu hillside, and accommodations consist of 30 beds (most residents have roommates). The average age tends to skew a little older than the younger groups making up the clientele at many other rehabs—generally 30s and 40s—though the official range is between 18 to 70. Like many treatment centers, Creative Care requires a minimum stay of 30 days but recommends 60 or 90. The interiors at Creative Care aren’t nearly as opulent as their Malibu competitors, though they do have a swimming pool as well as a giant commercial kitchen. Clients work with the staff dietician to design meal plans and a chef provides meals (they work with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets).
Treatment and Staff
After detox and psych screenings, clients focus mainly on co-occurring disorders with the handful of on-site staff psychologists (as well as therapists, nurses and counselors). Creative Care claims to be equipped for anxiety disorders of all colors, food addictions and personality and psychotic disorders; treatment tends to lean heavily on the medical expertise of its founders. Programs have a 12-step backbone but there is some flexibility in forming programs for clients.
Creative Care is also able to treat mood disorders like depression, though they under emphasize their holistic treatment options (equine therapy, yoga and expressive art), claiming their treatment is “customized, yet clinically sound.” Creative Care also offers outpatient as well as assistance with sober living and aftercare.
Overall, Creative Care is a solid option for those who have mental health issues first and problems with addiction second. Industry insiders note that it’s a far better deal than the other mental illness-treating facilities that are promoted primarily as rehabs (such as The Canyon). They’ve been around a long time and the owners have 20 years of experience in dealing with mental disorders.
5941 Trancas Canyon Rd
Malibu, CA 90265
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