Situated above the white sands of Pensacola Beach in Florida is Gulf Breeze Recovery, a holistic, non-12-step rehab that straddles both mid-range and luxury markets and has been around since 2013. The facility is seaside and offers ocean views.
Accommodations and Food
Gulf Breeze’s facility is a lush villa that has 30 beds, including five detox beds. All beds are private in detox; otherwise, clients can choose between semi-private and private rooms, some of which have ocean views (though these cost more). Rooms throughout Gulf Breeze include flatscreen TVs and cable and they also have a recreation room with a pool table and private strand of beach. Average stays last from six to eight weeks, and executive chefs serve three nutritious, gourmet meals a day, all with the intention of removing toxins from the body to heal the body and mind.
Treatment and Staff
Life at Gulf Breeze begins with an on-site medical detox for those who need it, all in private rooms in a separate wing of the facility. Clients can expect to be monitored by doctors and a nursing staff around the clock before primary care begins in earnest.
Treatment itself takes a two-pronged approach to healing residents by focusing first on physical health before addressing mental health. To that end, Gulf Breeze has a workout room on-site with a treadmill and free weights—also with an ocean view—which serves as a cornerstone of their holistic treatment program. There’s also a nearby spa in addition to an on-site hot tub.
The approach to mental health here includes dual diagnosis support and comes in three phases focusing on developmental activities, small group activities and intensive one-on-one sessions for more personal topics. Though the focus is primarily on talk therapy, other therapeutic activities include yoga, meditation, massage and art therapy. Days run from 8 am to 8:30 pm, and the staff is generally permissive.
Gulf Breeze’s staff includes an on-site psychiatrist, a consulting MD, a band of nurses, an executive chef and five drug and alcohol therapists. Medical professionals are available around the clock in case of any emergencies and family members are allowed to visit; for those who can’t, there’s time set aside on Tuesdays to Skype. Once clients are halfway through the program, those in good standing can request permission to stay overnight with their families on Saturday as well.
Though the overall atmosphere is one of respect where residents can expect to be treated like adults, cell phones and laptops still aren’t allowed at Gulf Breeze, though iPods and other music players are encouraged. Clients can still reach the outside world via two landlines at the facility.
Aside from the aforementioned activities, Gulf Breeze includes some other bonuses as well. Weekends are filled with recreational outings like deep sea fishing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, dolphin cruises and a variety of other beach-related activities. Finally, residents can also take in a movie or go bowling if they wish.
In terms of aftercare, Gulf Breeze has an alumni group that all graduates are welcome to join. Meetings take place every week, and all are free.
Gulf Breeze is a high-end rehab for a mid-range price that does not follow in the 12-step tradition. Instead, it focuses on getting residents to recognize the damaging thought and behavior patterns they’ve entered into, and gives them the tools to get out of it. They treat addiction by bringing clients back to physical health before addressing their mental and emotional issues—and for the most part, alumni seem happy with their services. Though it’s not for those who feel their sobriety would benefit from an introduction to 12-step recovery, others will find solid treatment here.
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