Access Malibu

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Access Malibu

By The Fix staff 06/07/15

Access Malibu offers five-star treatment and luxury amenities at a more accessible price.

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Access Malibu
Location : Malibu, CA
Phone : (800) 941-7691
Price : $36,500 per/month. In-Network with Blue Cross. Most PPO insurance accepted
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

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Access Malibu opened in January of 2015 as a sister location to Cliffside Malibu. As its name implies, this facility offers access to people who do not have the hefty bank account required to stay at most Malibu facilities. The aim was to provide a mid-range rehab, but apparently they can’t do mid-range because for the most part, Access has the same first-rate treatment, high-end amenities, and gourmet cuisine of the flagship location but at a lower price.

Access Malibu is a Blue Cross in-network provider of detox and residential levels of care. We believe that Access Malibu is the only in-network treatment facility in Malibu.

Unlike other high-end facilities, Access Malibu does not offer private rooms and there is no pool. You can still find plenty of solitude and leisure, however, in the gated three-acre property which boasts ocean views and no neighbors. There is a maximum of only six clients in primary care at any time. Access also offers detox, IOP, and a nearby sober living.

Almost unanimously, the motivating factor for clients to choose Access was the quality of treatment. This is not surprising, as this facility uses a well-respected model which includes Stages of Change, individual and group therapy, a choice of 12-step or SMART meetings, and other evidence-based therapies. Access Malibu employs three therapists (PhD, MSW/ACSW and MS/LMFT), 14 resident advisors, and a variety of supportive staff for housekeeping and other daily needs.

The clientele is varied and according to one former resident, skews to the younger side: “I am 58 years old and my peers were primarily 21 to 35, the same ages as my five children. It was hard to see people who did not want to work on their recovery as I did.” Others, however, said that everyone there took their treatment very seriously, “just a bunch of people who have realized they want a better life and need help doing it.”

Food is highly rated across the board, with alumni particularly praising the grilled chicken salad, the Mexican and Greek food, and the French toast. One alum loved the “comfort food,” and another praised the pasta and salmon. The only complaints were “one particular fish meal” and “I could have done without the sweets.” The chefs use locally sourced and organic ingredients, and will accommodate dietary restrictions.

The daily schedule at Access Malibu is busy with some down time for relaxation. One former client reports “My day was very busy with at least two group therapy sessions and physical exercises. The yoga, breathworks, meditation and my psychologist were exceptional.” Days consist of a morning meeting, breakfast and then activities such as gym, meditation, or yoga. After lunch there is some free time and then therapeutic groups or individual therapy from 2-5 at the IOP level of care. After dinner clients may attend 12-step or other meetings if they want to. “A few times a week we have hikes, beach walks, and [there are] movie outings on Sundays.” In addition to the previous activities, there are also opportunities to participate in “meditation, sound bowls, breathwork, massage, and hair and mani/pedi outings.” Church is also available for those who want to practice their faith.

Medical treatment is, for the most part, rated highly. Doctors are on call and visit the facility regularly. “Each person sees a psychiatrist and medical doctor weekly. They work with you to find the appropriate medications for each individual, and if you ever need anything, they are easy to reach and can resolve any medication issues quickly.” Non-medical treatment was rated even higher than the medical treatment, with alumni praising “the staff and how compassionate they were to you and your needs,” and the optional 12-step or SMART meetings. “The combination of everything the program has to offer was the most memorable to me. Its not one thing, but how it all works together to create a stable foundation to build from. This program offers a few different meeting options every night, but they are not forced,” recalls one former client.

Access is a nurturing and loving community, and transgressions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Discipline is considered fair and beneficial: “It was the perfect balance. Of course, when you’re in new sobriety and being punished, it seems like the harshest most unfair thing in the world, but looking back, I see that it was always for my protection and if I hadn’t been reprimanded and had rules enforced, it would’ve been detrimental to my recovery, and I might not have made it, sober, to where I am today.”

All the respondents to our survey have maintained their recovery since leaving Access and they have high praise for their time in the program, calling it “The best treatment center that I have experienced.” The staff is also described in glowing terms: “The people here are wonderful, they genuinely care about all of the clients, and that makes a world of difference to someone like me.”

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