The common man’s experience of addiction recovery typically involves a twelve-step group, perhaps in a church basement or part of a forlorn low-rent office building. Strong coffee is ubiquitous, as is chain-smoking when permitted. It begins like this:
Jim: My name is Jim, and I’m an alcoholic.
All: Hi, Jim.
Me: My name is Beau. Where’s the keg?
However, addiction recovery for the rich and famous is different. It’s big business too.
Harvey Weinstein checks in
Per The Blast:
According to our sources, Weinstein was planning to go to Switzerland for treatment, but his brother Bob suggested he go to The Meadows, a treatment facility in Arizona. We’re told Bob even offered to pay for it.
Bob suggested The Meadows, we’re told, because the facility is popular among celebrities. Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, and Selena Gomez have all reportedly spent time there.
As we previously reported, Weinstein was very upset when he was told he could not take his cell phone with him into treatment. His position was he needed it to keep on top of business and personal affairs while he sorts out the scandal.
Indeed, according to their rules, cell phones aren’t allowed, which is common procedure for rehab facilities. Further, “There is a three day waiting period after admission before patients are permitted to use the phone. Monitored phone times are designated four times daily.” Granted, it’s a hassle for someone with pressing problems to have to wait three days. On the other hand, giving it a rest might be a relief.
Rehab the celebrity way
The Meadows includes lectures, and common twelve-step groups too, but there’s much more. Some of their many amenities include Tai Chi, meditation, yoga and acupuncture, and even horse therapy. Conditions other than addictions are treated too. According to Rehab Reviews:
Perhaps the most idiosyncratic aspect of Meadows is Survivors, the full week of treatment dedicated to battling clients childhood issues—present or not—where residents mix with daytime clients who are just coming in for that week. Some of the activities during this five day stint include carrying around a teddy bear as a way to help residents access what Meadows calls the “inner child,” and striking stuffed animals or chairs with a Nerf bat as a way to release buried tensions. While inner child work is important and can be extremely beneficial, it has to be done right; so potential residents should do their research to make sure the Meadows’ approach is palatable to them.
Per the Daily Mail:
Blacked-out limos swish silently through the imposing stone gates and up the winding, mile-long drive that meanders through the pristine, cacti-dotted Sonoran Desert.
The still air is broken only by the gentle sound of splashing from one of the magnificent ornamental marble fountains dotted around the manicured 14-acre grounds.
At reception, a smiling team is on hand to welcome travellers with a cool drink before they are whisked away to individual hacienda-style lodges complete with sunken granite baths.
All that may sound pretty yuppified. Still, rehab is never entirely a walk in the park. It’s understandable, given the difficult conditions they treat.
Neil Strauss (writer of The Game, PUA handle Style) also has an addiction recovery experience. The unnamed facility he described in The Truth closely resembles The Meadows: their color coding system, among several other details. Neil’s first experience was thorough suicide prevention protocols, although he wasn’t suicidal. (Still, there’s a reason).
The rules were very stringent, especially for sex addicts; he was classified into “code red”. A top counselor was particularly grouchy and prudish. She wasn’t exactly Nurse Ratched wielding a syringe of Thorazine. However, her attitudes weren’t making it easier for Mystery’s old friend Style to cough up the red pill. Neil went in strongly motivated, yet found all this barely tolerable.
How would the most rich and powerful clients—used to giving orders, receiving adulation, and seldom being told “no”—consider a similar experience? It’s unlikely they’d be happy about it. This especially might be so if they felt under pressure to enter treatment.
The Weinstein miracle
At The Meadows, their standard treatment for sex addiction now is the Gentle Path program. (It costs a cool $66K, but for some of those rich dudes, it’s no pricier than a grocery run is for us.) This lasts 45 days:
How to stop sex addiction? Why is a 45-day program recommended?
Treating addiction effectively requires long term dedication to your personal recovery. There is no such thing as a get well quick response to addiction. It takes longer than four weeks to get the traction you need to change the life long held beliefs and behaviors that are rooted in addictions. Scientific evidence reveals that individuals who remain in treatment longer have a better chance of maintaining long term sobriety.
Despite the above, Harvey finished his treatment in a week. What an amazing success—those decades of casting couch stunts were nullified with seven days of therapy!
This miraculously efficient treatment protocol has emerged just in time. Scores of other Hollywood types, media figures, politicians (even Jesse Jackson), and others got deluged with accusations since the Weinstein story broke. By the time the avalanche is over, surely many other guys will need this extremely efficient seven-day cure. This novel therapy was quite well timed—just as medical marijuana serendipitously came along right before narrow angle glaucoma in the early 20s age bracket became a vast epidemic in participating states.
On a more serious note, per TMZ‘s article on October 20, it turns out this wasn’t the 45 day full meal deal after all, but a seven day program that was to end on Saturday (October 23). The Meadows does have a five day men’s sexual recovery workshop, though the dates don’t coincide with their schedule for these events. So what really happened? Change of plans?
Following this, he was intending to stay in Arizona for about another month, “because he doesn’t want excessive distractions and wants to continue working with his doctors.” The rest of the article details announcements from his psychiatrist (who had his permission to talk about it), clarifying things and dispelling rumors. Damage control items include:
- Yes, he’s taking the program seriously.
- No, he wasn’t ranting that people were out to get him.
- He made it only to one group session, because all the other sessions were one-on-one.
- Although he experienced anger, nobody else would’ve been in a position to know this.
It didn’t mention the other stories that have surfaced concerning his therapy. For example, one alleged tale involved arriving fifteen minutes late to a group meeting, then falling asleep until being awakened by the cell phone he smuggled in.
Perhaps some cynics out there might wonder if the shrink is trying to win an Oscar. Still, as far as aftermath for this big scandal is concerned, these are picayune matters. Hiring an Israeli rent-a-spy firm to dig for dirt on accusers like Rose McGowan was rather more serious.
Is this for real?
The increasing medicalization of immoral or otherwise unacceptable conduct leaves us with several endlessly debatable matters of neurobiology, psychology, and philosophy. Where is the line between bad habits and behavioral addiction? Are free will and moral accountability reduced for addicts, or is the “diminished capacity” argument a big cop-out? Is the casting couch gambit truly a compulsive behavior, similar to voyeurs, kleptomaniacs, or flashers?
Finally, the traditional “repentant sinner” act is oddly more sincere. (Playing the “I found Jesus” card would’ve made Mr. Weinstein look pretty silly, but work with me on this.) In the old days, wearing burlap or a hairshirt was how it went, and maybe some self-flagellation too. Lately, “sackcloth and ashes” are out; blubbering confessions on TV are in vogue. After Bill Clinton got caught, he started attending church with Hillary. (Oddly for them, they never got struck by lightning.) He always made sure to carry his Bible prominently, as a prop for the TV cameras. The penitent act saves the cost and hoopla of halfheartedly going through the motions in rehab, though neither are convincing.