Wellness Resource Center
Wellness Resource Center
Just a couple miles from Delray Beach, Fla., “the recovery capital of America,” Wellness Resource Center (WRC), in Boca Raton, is an independent-living rehab that specializes in dual-diagnosis issues.
People check into treatment here for lots of reasons—not just standard-issue drinking problems, but a mixture of maladies that reflect the complicated state of addiction in modern America. Patients are into everything from cocaine and valium to “lots of LSD,” plus mental-health issues which range from generalized anxiety disorder to PTSD.
Twentysomethings make up the bulk of residents (about 60%), while 30- and 40-year-olds each account for roughly another 20%. “We were a mix of races and sexual orientations,” said one WRC grad, who noted that he made “great friends” at rehab, adding, “For the most part, everyone is friendly and eager to get well.”
That’s a good thing, because you’re going to be in close quarters with your fellow patients: Everyone lives in a small two-bedroom, four-person apartment at “the Residence,” which looks like a beachy, coral-colored Florida condo community—gated and monitored, that is, and with a courtyard swimming pool.
Group and one-on-one therapy sessions take place six hours a day on weekdays, at a separate facility about a mile from the Residence. One alumni described treatment as “12-step-based with experiential and [dialectical behavior therapy],” while another said her non-substance-abuse issues, including an eating disorder, “were focused on a lot.”
Yet another grad characterized the program at WRC as “semi-confrontational and very individualized.” Spirituality (not religion) is “strongly encouraged,” with the importance of having a higher power “always stressed in all groups.” True-believer residents are allowed to attend church on Sunday or dinner on the Sabbath if they wish.
Chores at the treatment center and the Residence are minimal, apart from keeping your apartment clean—and, unlike most rehabs, where cafeteria-style food rules the day, cooking your own meals.
Once a week, residents are taken to a local Publix supermarket, where they can shop for groceries with a weekly $75 gift card. So it’s really up to the individual in terms of what he or she eats. That said, one resident described a “very fun and sociable ... Christmas feast where everyone contributed and cooked.”
Weekends at WRC are pretty low-impact, with trips to the beach, laser tag and baseball games taking the place of therapy. You can swim in the aforementioned pool, “but the rules are very strict when we could use it,” said one grad. Nights and mornings, residents can hit the gym, to which membership is provided, or attend off-site yoga.
Be careful, though: There’s a strike system in place at the rehab, and “if you get at least one strike, you don’t go on rewards” such as Sunday-night ice cream or movies, said one former resident. Big-time offenders aren’t tolerated, either: “People were kicked out regularly for using or other major infractions,” cautioned one grad.
After a couple of weeks in treatment, residents are allowed two five-minute phone calls per day, one of which has to be to one’s AA or NA sponsor. You can veg out in front of the TV in your apartment until 11pm nightly (so long as you don’t have any undone homework)—and there’s no Internet access at all.