Finding Your Rehab Shouldn’t Be Work
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Finding Your Rehab Shouldn’t Be Work


I’ll never forget the day in the year 2000 that I woke up somehow willing to face the fact that I had a problem with drugs (the alcohol realization came later; at this point, in my mind, I was “only” a drug addict). I called up my mom, explained rather plainly that I was addicted to cocaine and listened to her tell me to put my cats in the car and drive from LA to San Francisco. I drove up there, utterly hopeless, knowing I had to give up a drug that had come to matter to me more than anything else. “Can’t live with it, can’t live without it,” I said to myself, probably aloud, as I drove.

Once I arrived up north, my parents and I sat down with a therapist and discussed options. This was, as I said, the year 2000; rehabs didn’t have publicists or, if they did, they weren’t too effective. But I was a pop culture junkie who’d worked at People magazine, which means that I’d heard of one rehab, Promises, because that’s where Charlie Sheen had gone.

Since I figured Promises would cost more than my annual salary at the start-up website where I toiled, I began searching online for treatment centers that seemed like they might be in a more reasonable price range. I didn’t know about detox, medically assisted or not. I hadn’t heard words like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical treatment therapy (DBT) and certainly hadn’t conceived of equine therapy. Sure, I knew about acupuncture and even more esoteric treatments like biofeedback because I’d explored them to deal with migraines, insomnia and other anxiety issues I’d had but it might have blown my mind at the time if I’d known these things were being used to help wean people off their chemicals and embrace sobriety.

I ended up going to outpatient at the original Promises (affectionately called “Ghetto Promises” by its residents and alumni, due to the fact that it lacks the pool, beach location, massages and many of the other fancy elements of Promises Malibu). I was so out of it at that point in my life that it took me about two weeks of being enrolled in their program to realize that there were two Promises and I was at the not-fancy one—I’d just thought that they were somehow really playing down the elegant elements I’d heard about and that the movie stars were maybe hidden in another area. But that’s another story altogether.

I got lucky: I ended up at one of the best rehabs that exists; the Promises outpost I went to may have lacked high-thread count sheets but it didn’t scrimp at all on the treatment and I truly believe that I might never have gotten sober, let alone embraced sobriety the way that I have, had I not had the excellent luck to have the counselor I did. Though I’d gone into the rehab experience wholly convinced I wanted nothing to do with any 12-step program because I was certain “those” people were creepy and sad, Promises eased me into the meetings so gently that I was already thriving under the benefits of the program before I remembered that I’d told myself I’d hate it.

Not everyone who searches for a rehab gets lucky—especially now that the treatment industry has exploded. The first rehab an addict (or an addict’s loved one) stumbles upon online may be the one that paid the most to come up first in search engines. Plenty of the so-called search engines for rehabs that are out there are actually sites owned and operated by rehabs which look like search engines but are in fact designed to lead the searcher back to the rehab footing the bill. The system that’s currently in place, in other words, isn’t actually designed to help the addict.

The response we’ve gotten to AfterPartyChat gave us the confidence to expand what we do to try to help active addicts find the rehab that’s right for them. And so, in the past couple weeks, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on AfterPartyTreatment, a site which contains information on over 200 rehabs in California, from the ones that cost less than $5,000 a month to those that are in the $50,000-a-month range. We designate which of the rehabs take insurance, which offer detox, include links to the social media profiles for many of the treatment centers and even have AfterPartyTreatment-created videos. Our goal throughout the site’s development has been to make it as user-friendly as possible, for one simple reason: recovery is hard enough work; finding your rehab shouldn’t be. 

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About Author

Anna David is the founder and former CEO/Editor-in-Chief of After Party. She hosts the Light Hustler podcast, formerly known as the AfterPartyPod. She's also the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Party Girl and Bought and the non-fiction books Reality Matters, Falling For Me, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There and True Tales of Lust and Love. She's written for numerous magazines, including Playboy, Cosmo and Details, and appeared repeatedly on the TV shows Attack of the Show, The Today Show and The Talk, among many others.