SOBA Malibu
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SOBA Malibu


SOBA Malibu Review

Abiding by the creed of “one size DOES NOT fit all,” SOBA Recovery Center is a Malibu-based rehab offering a neuro-biological, individualized approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction. Founder/CEO Greg Hannley aims to create custom recovery plans for each resident in a safe, serene and supportive environment that extends well into a long-term aftercare. The team at SOBA is dedicated to treating the underlying cause of substance abuse and addiction with a fully encompassing mind, body, spirit approach to getting, and staying, sober.

Accommodations and Food

Residential treatment at SOBA comes with 10 acres of lush property on par with a five star resort. Rooms for inpatient clients are known as “Sobanas” and clients are usually paired two per room with twin beds; while clean and nice, the living spaces here aren’t quite as luxurious as other rehabs in its price range. Some of the rooms are ocean view suites and all are very nicely decorated with bright colors, modern furniture and inspiring artwork adorning the walls.

The grounds are complete with a zen garden, tennis court, basketball court, in-home theater, flat screen TVs, soaking tubs, a swimming pool and poolside cabanas. SOBA implements social model recovery in its living spaces in hopes of residents coming together over commonalities like drug addiction and then working as a community to grow in sobriety together. A result of this is a strong sense of peer support and responsibility to live amongst other patients respectfully.

A gourmet chef prepares all meals and nutrition expert Robert Ferguson leads the dietary element of treatment. Residents usually follow SOBA’s low-glycemic “Diet Free Life” plan of eating. The goal is to maintain food that keeps a person’s glucose intake at a reasonable level, something SOBA deems the best method for those struggling with addiction.

Treatment and Staff

SOBA does not conduct individual therapy daily but residents do receive a health exam, a bio-psycho-social screen, a psych evaluation and a multi-tiered treatment plan. Clinicians tackle dual diagnosis issues with EMDR and DBT but also integrate 12-step. SOBA focuses on the spiritual aspect of recovery less than many of the treatment centers out there. SOBA aims to treat the cause as opposed to the effects of drug and alcohol addiction, believing they are inherently caused by “diverse ailments of the mind and body.” The staff hopes to identify and heal these ailments—whether it’s PTSD, low self-esteem, anxiety, chronic pain or a chemical imbalance, so clients are clear headed enough to accept and process the root of their addictive behavior.

SOBA also intends to reestablish an internal reward system that’s naturally, not chemically, driven. Despite the myriad of evidence-based practices implemented at SOBA, the tried and true methods for staying sober are still valued. Residents regularly attend local 12-step speaker meetings and Big Book studies.

There are no on-site doctors but the staff includes psychologists, MFTs, social workers and CADCs. The staff-to-client ratio is one-to-two for therapists and counselors during the day and one-to-five at night.


Clients are offered experiential therapies and holistic treatments like acupuncture, equine therapy, yoga and meditation. All are included in the cost, and fitness is heavily emphasized. Being close to the beach means there are plenty of opportunities for recreation, though the facility doesn’t have an on-site gym; instead residents can use the nearby Malibu Villas’ gym, or go to another one nearby where SOBA covers the cost of membership. Pets are welcome at SOBA.

In Summary

The emphasis at SOBA is on the fact that treatment should last well beyond 30 days, which is why they also have an active outpatient/sober living program. While not as glamorous as some of its Malibu competitors in the same price range, SOBA offers both plenty of amenities and extremely solid, well-rounded treatment.

SOBA Malibu Location

22669 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

SOBA Malibu Cost

$38,000 (30 days). Reach SOBA by phone at (866) 547-6452 or by email at Find SOBA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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