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The Hills

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The HillsThe Hills Review

Aside from being a highly visible media spokesman on addiction, Dr. Howard Samuels has a storied past. He started shooting heroin at 16, got into legal trouble at 17 and went to rehab. In his 29 years sober, he’s been a program director for Promises and founded Wonderland with married couple Bernadine Fried and Alex Shohet. (Wonderland has since closed from internal tensions and media-stoked controversy, with Fried and Shohet splitting off to found ONE80Center, also shut down in light of wrongful death suits, among other things). Since 2009, Samuels’ latest recovery project has been the rehab The Hills—and this time he’s got the formula right.

Accommodations and Food

The Hills is a pet-friendly, co-ed center with dual diagnosis support on two acres in the Hollywood Hills. They have two swimming pools and three luxury houses as well as a two-bedroom cottage for private detox: one of the houses is a cottage-style home which offers transitional care, another is a woodsier spot where most group sessions are held and the last is a modernist house where all the cooking happens. There are 14 bedrooms, both private and semi-private, and each house has plush beds, spacious living areas and stylish decor. The food served is nutritious and The Hills has a chef that caters to the dietary needs of clientele.

Treatment and Staff

High-end centers always claim a non-cookie-cutter approach but The Hills lives up to the claim. Days begin at 7:30 am with meditation followed by three group sessions, varying numbers of individual sessions and an evening AA meeting. Though they emphasize the 12 steps, the real name of the game is the individualized approach where residents, after initial screenings, choose which groups and therapies suit them best. And there are many to choose from. The cornucopia of groups and special programs to choose from includes unique offerings like gardening/composting, sex and love addiction and advice on aging in recovery (which incorporates wisdom from The Four Agreements). Perhaps most infamous is “The Beast,” a group lead by Samuels. The term describes the inner demon that pushes us into addictive behaviors and each session is a Socratic exchange between Samuels and residents that examines why they use and how not to.

The staff includes MFTs, personal trainers, nutritional counselors, art therapists, grief therapists and on-site MDs, all of whom are recovering addicts with between 20 and 35 years of sobriety.

Aside from inpatient, the Hills also has three fully-staffed sober living homes: Willow Glen, Cahuenga Place and the Afton House. Each has daily housekeeping services, weekly meetings and regular and random drug testing.

Extras

Most imaginable treatments are also available here, including acupuncture, equine therapy, massage, yoga and wellness coaching. During downtime, residents can go on hikes and nature walks, or pay for extra for activities like snowboarding trips or surfing lessons.

Other offerings include a sober companion program, where staff escort grads through potentially triggering moments as they reintegrate into daily life.

In Summary

The Hills offers a solid balance of luxury, flexibility and serious treatment Those who want the best treatment available in the Hollywood Hills will find what they want here.

The Hills Location

8207 Mulholland Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90046

The Hills Cost

$40-50,000 (30 days). Reach The Hills by phone at (800) 705-1909 or by email at [email protected]  Find the Hills on Twitter and Facebook

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