Avalon Malibu

By The Fix staff 03/13/15

The beautiful Avalon Malibu campus offers a serene, comfortable environment combined with cutting-edge clinical treatment for not only substance abuse but mental health issues as well.

Avalon Malibu
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Location : Malibu, Calif.
Phone : 844-201-3208
Price : $45,000 per month for Cottage House (Primary Substance Abuse) $60,000 per month for Grand House (Primary Mental Health)
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Accommodations :
Treatment :
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Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

California Drug Rehab Center Review

With a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, the beautiful Avalon Malibu campus offers a serene, comfortable environment in which to recover combined with cutting-edge clinical treatment for not only substance abuse but mental health issues as well. Avalon Malibu is "dedicated to treatment of adults experiencing substance use disorders as well as psychiatric and mental health issues."

Avalon Malibu offers two different residential houses, as well as two different modes of treatment: one for clients with substance abuse as their primary diagnosis, and the other for clients with psychiatric issues including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.

The Cottage House, with its private beach and view of the Pacific Ocean, houses residential clients whose primary diagnosis is addictive issues. At the Cottage House, they treat alcoholism as well as addictions to opiates such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), Ambien, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium, Barbiturates and marijuana. Treatment plans are personalized and may include detox, therapy, education, family integrated treatment, holistic modalities and more. Twelve step meetings are encouraged, but not mandatory.

Therapies used in the substance abuse treatment include equine assisted therapy, EDMR, ropes course, massage therapy, acupuncture, art therapy, sweat lodge therapy, yoga, meditation, music therapy, spiritual counseling, aqua therapy, writing therapy and more. "At Avalon Malibu our emphasis is on integrating mind, body and spirit with evidenced-based therapeutic processes. We combine 12 step approaches with group and individual psychotherapy." 

At the Grand House, a luxurious house with a beautiful garden, spa and one-of-a-kind view of the Pacific Ocean, the focus is primarily on mental health issues. The psychiatric conditions they treat are bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, trauma, depression, anxiety, panic disorder and other personality disorders. 

Both the Cottage House and the Grand House are luxurious and designed to give the client a relaxing, luxurious and carefree stay. Obviously, for the price, residents are pampered and the structure is rather permissive. Almost every resident has a private room and there is a full time housekeeping staff so no chores are expected. There are only thirteen to fourteen residents at a time, young and old, from all different backgrounds, and the staff to client ratio is 2:1. As one alum put it, "I met many residents ranging from all different ages, from all different areas, all with unique personalities. Everyone acted like one big family and that's what made me feel most comfortable...they were my home away from home." One former client, although full of praise for the way Avalon accommodated her requests, did complain that the first room she was placed in triggered her mold allergies. Another alum was not pleased that she couldn’t have a private room because her roommate “didn’t stop talking day or night.” 

As far as responsibilities, a recent client said, "the only thing we had to do was attend groups." In addition to groups, clients get to go on "beach walks, surf boarding, wake boarding, acupuncture, yoga, mountain hikes, walking on wires up in the air, horseback riding, picnics, field trips to movies and museums, massages, hot tubs, hypnosis, brain readings, art time. They truly had a variety of everything."

There is a lot a freedom at Avalon. Residents reported they were allowed to watch TV or use personal electronics when not in groups, but they were not allowed access to personal cell phones or laptops for a brief time after initially entering the program. There is also a house phone that is always available. 

Some clients seek out Avalon for its specialized treatment: "Avalon was the only treatment center that would treat me for DID (dissociative identity disorder). Most facilities got off the phone as soon as possible when I told them what I was suffering from."

There is a private chef on staff and food is available 24/7 although again, opinions varied widely as to the quality. "The chef was amazing, " a former resident claims. The meals "were very healthy and flexible to [an] individual’s specifics." One former client, however, called the food “pseudo-gourmet.” Generally the food is always stocked and readily available to clients. Some client favorites are pizza, tacos and salads. Residents were kind of split on the fish, however, some claiming the fish as their least favorite item on the menu. One alum loved the fish, however: "The abundance of fish was good and very mind healthy for me. My brain was lacking the Omega-3s."

The medical treatment is very well regarded at Avalon Malibu and received the highest possible rating from all alumni surveyed. The recommended stay is 30 to 90 days, with longer stays available. There is also detox, an intensive outpatient program, and a partial hospitalization program in addition to the licensed addiction residential treatment and the licensed mental health residential treatment. For the inpatient programs, there is a 24-hour-a-day nursing staff, an internal medicine MD and an holistic psychiatrist available. "Loved the doctors. Dr. Torrington and Dr. Modir were very good," one former client said.

Avalon’s alumni remain grateful, embodying one of Avalon’s precepts: "Resolve to choose gratefulness over regret until joy becomes your default setting.” Said one recent client, "It was a wonderful and life saving experience." Another agrees: "Just the best treatment experience ever. The reason I have stayed sober so long."

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