Located in laid-back Laguna Beach, Spencer Recovery Center has been treating addiction for over 20 years. In that time, it has blossomed into an umbrella organization that includes something for everyone. Those looking to save money can hit up the low-cost Palm Springs Recovery, while jet-setting VIPs can get a luxury “executive” treatment at Custom Care. Spencer also owns two age-specific Florida locations: a senior citizen’s rehab called Blue Lagoon, and a young adult treatment facility called Dr. Paul’s at the Bay. Their flagship center in Laguna caters right to the middle of the pack, though residents do tend to skew under-30.
Accommodations and Food
Accommodations at the Laguna facility are squarely middle-of-the-road. Although most residents have one or two roommates, the rooms are partitioned into nooks to create more privacy. Some bedrooms feature views of the Pacific, and full-sized beds are the standard. While there’s still something clinical about the center’s overall aesthetic despite its accumulation of grandmotherly furniture, it’s comfortable enough. Clients dine at long, wooden tables in the kitchen, where meals are prepared by a private chef and snacks are available throughout the day.
Spencer encourages residents to stay for 90 days, but shorter programs are available as well. The programming follows a typical regime of 12-step and psychotherapy, without much variation, though special accommodations can sometimes be made. For the first month, residents attend two 12-step meetings, two process groups and one educational group per day, along with individual counseling several times a week. Daily exercise—using the on-site gym or swimming pool—is built into the routine.
Prospective clients should note that while Spencer isn’t the priciest rehab out there, its base price doesn’t include the cost of “optional” treatments. Detox, which employs Suboxone for opiate addicts, costs an extra $3,700. Patients whose evaluations reveal underlying psychological disorders can cough up an additional $2,700 for the Psych Track, which adds more therapy sessions to treat their dual diagnosis, or the Trauma Track, which utilizes EMDR. Christian clients may wish to check out the Grace Track’s faith-based programming for an extra $1,700. None of these extra costs are too egregious, and one might argue that only the clients who need these services shoulder the costs. Still, the dollars can add up, so it’s fortunate that Spencer claims to accept any insurance plan that will cover it.
Aftercare is integral to recovery at Spencer. The extended care program includes continued one-on-one and group therapy as well as job training and relapse prevention workshops. After one month of extended care, clients become eligible for a year-long boarding program in which they can earn a certificate in addiction counseling while living and interning at Spencer—for an additional $3000 per month, of course.
If you like long walks on the beach, you’re in luck: the staff takes the residents for daily strolls on the shoreline Monday through Friday, often using the time for seaside meditation. Clients who stay on longer than 30 days earn more freedom and find some of their daily groups replaced with volunteering and community reintegration activities. They also see a drop in monthly tuition.
Spencer Recovery Center doesn’t go above and beyond in any particular dimension, but it does have a track record to its name and a gorgeous view of the beach. Those looking for something either cheaper or more personalized can always explore Spencer’s lower- and higher-end facilities, respectively. Those seeking a compromise between the two could consider the Laguna destination a relatively happy medium.
Spencer Recovery Center
1316 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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