Crossroads is like no other drug and alcohol rehab. Literally an island unto itself, it is situated on the warm, tropical beaches of Antigua and was established in 1998 by world-renowned musician and recovering alcoholic and addict Eric Clapton. After years of being a frequent visitor of the West Indian Island, Clapton found that Antigua inspired serenity and healing within him. His gift back is Crossroads: an opportunity for others who struggle with addiction to experience the magic of the Caribbean within the structure of a 12-step based treatment program.
More importantly, Antigua locals and other residents of the Caribbean region are granted liberal payment arrangements and treatment scholarships so they are able to receive the care they need. To cover these costs, Crossroads used to put on an annual benefit to raise money (see above video of Clapton and his good friend Robbie Robertson playing Madison Square Garden during their penultimate charity event). In other words, it’s hard to know what to love more about Eric Clapton, his music or his values.
Accommodations and Food
The residential rooms—which have double occupancy and are each equipped with their own bathrooms—are nice and kept meticulously clean. The kitchen serves up a four-star menu of healthy island fare. Since the program at Crossroads maxes out at 32 clients, each person receives individualized attention (unlike contradictory reports from alumni of other luxury rehabs that promise individual care but deliver otherwise).
Treatment and Staff
Clients of Crossroads begin the day with morning meditation in the centre’s open-air gazebo on plush 25-acre grounds that look more like a place for people to hit golf balls than to hit bottom. With the average temperature pushing 80 degrees even in the winter months, it’s hard to take in a breath and not take in some inner peace. There is a beautiful hillside hike around the grounds and a trainer twice a week that instructs clients through a round of calisthenics.
Every Friday is yoga day but don’t make the mistake of showing up to class in a tank top or short-shorts—those are not allowed at Crossroads; neither are Speedos, bikinis, junk food, caffeine, sugar or hooking up with other clients or staff. Other banned items include personal computers, cell phones, newspapers, magazines, non-self-help books, radios, iPods or TV—with the exception of movies night on Saturdays where “recovery-friendly” films are screened. Any client caught with contraband faces real consequences—possibly dismissal. If there is one thing that Crossroads grads agree on, it’s the staff and administration’s strict adherence to the rules. The weather might be tropical but Crossroads is a far cry from spring break (though who knows, clients may still see a starlet or two).
Despite the rigid structure—and dedication to 12-step rather than more evidence-based practices—former Crossroads clients praise the treatment center, reporting that the staff is made up of upbeat and kind Antiguan locals who take their jobs seriously and do them well. There seems to be an overall feeling that the staff at Crossroads really wants their people to succeed in sobriety.
For those not getting infused with serenity on-property, they’ll surely keep calm and enjoy the beach during one of Crossroads’ bi-weekly field trips. Crossroads clients also have access to a full gym, a beach volleyball court and a heated pool.
Similar to the Malibu rehabs in luxury and amenities, the going rate for a 29-day run at Crossroads Centre is $24,000, nearly half of what many of the Pacific Coastal treatment centers cost despite the exotic location. The rub is that they don’t accept any insurance or offer detox, so clients would need to take care of that before heading down to soak up the island vibes. The upside is that once they’re in treatment, the environment and treatment is rumored to be worth every penny.
Since addiction is not a perfect science and success in recovery is personal, no drug and alcohol rehab is perfect; still, Crossroads comes pretty close. The plush, manicured grounds engulfed by the warm, tropical breezes of the Caribbean make Crossroads a spiritual Shangri-la for addicts seeking a strict, 12-step based place to take refuge from their disease.
Crossroads Centre, Antigua
Willoughby Bay, St. Phillip Parish
Antigua, West Indies
Crossroads Cost: $24,000 (30 days), though scholarships may be available. Reach Crossroads by phone at (888) 452-0091 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find Crossroads Centre on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
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