Gulf Breeze Recovery

By The Fix staff 11/11/14

An alternative to 12-step programs, Gulf Breeze Recovery offers panoramic ocean views in a caring and therapeutic environment. Housing up to 26 residential guests, this luxury facility offers a choice of semi-private or private rooms with or without ocean views.

Gulf Breeze
Location : Gulf Breeze, FL
Phone : (855) 444-6223
Price : $29,000-$43,000
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

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An alternative to 12-step programs, Gulf Breeze Recovery offers panoramic ocean views in a caring and therapeutic environment. Housing up to 26 residential guests, this luxury facility offers a choice of semi-private or private rooms with or without ocean views.

The length of an individual’s stay varies depending on the client’s progress as determined by their clinical team, with the average stay being seven to eight weeks (for an additional charge, clients can opt for an extended stay up to 90 days).

Located just across the bay from Pensacola, Florida and nestled on the tip of the exclusive Fairpoint Peninsula, Gulf Breeze Recovery offers its guests (a fairly diverse group in terms of age, occupation and substance abuse history) the sensation of total immersion in this bucolic setting. 

With surf, sunshine and soft sandy beaches, Gulf Breeze Recovery provides a relaxing environment for its guests. Gulf Breeze’s founders believe that this is not only conducive to one’s recovery, it is essential. This setting also enables Gulf Breeze to offer its guests opportunities to engage in fun and enjoyable activities which further enhance their recovery process. In the words of one graduate, “The weekend outings were amazing whether paddle boarding or the dolphin cruise or deep sea fishing!” It is not surprising that alumni list “Location” as one of their top reasons for choosing Gulf Breeze Recovery.

The relaxing location at Gulf Breeze is matched with a fairly relaxed attitude when it comes to an individual’s recovery process. This is not a “tough love” environment. When choosing a rehab it is important to know what level of structure is the right fit for you or your loved one. Rehabs run the gamut from almost military-style boot camp to vacation. Gulf Breeze Recovery’s graduates describe the structure there as “permissive.” There are classes every day during the week, so guests are kept busy, but each person is ultimately responsible for their own recovery. As one alum recalls, the staff was “...not strict. We were all adults and they expected us to act like adults.”

The quality of the program receives high marks from alumni and is most often cited as the main reason for choosing this program over other facilities. Gulf Breeze offers a science-based alternative to the disease model favored by 12-step facilities. Its founders assembled a team of psychologists and mental health therapists with over 100 years of experience to develop their program. The overarching philosophy favors teaching over treatment, providing tools for learning and living that last a lifetime. One alum summed up their experience this way: “Not only did GBR help get me off the 10 year run on opiates but it helped me to [deal] with any and all hardships that present themselves during a lifetime.”

Far from seeing their clients as being in the grip of an incurable illness, the staff see their guests as having fallen into patterns of unhealthy thinking and behavior - patterns which can be broken and changed if the client has an honest desire to change them and a willingness to learn how. In the words of one former client, “We were not broken to begin with and we won't have ‘this disease’ for life.” This philosophy is the focus of the classes and workshops.

Perfect for those who are turned off by 12-step programs, Gulf Breeze Recovery offers a different perspective. Residents who have completed the program refer to themselves as “recovered,” as opposed to “recovering.” This approach was considered refreshing by many alumni, one of whom stated “NOT 12 STEP! !  This is where the difference is. You don't have to be labeled a junkie or alcoholic forever.”

For those who want to take advantage of them, there is no shortage of healthy and productive activities and amenities at Gulf Breeze Recovery. In addition to those already mentioned, guests are free to enjoy hot tub, sauna, yoga and weekly massages. Meditation and art therapy were also mentioned as favorites by graduates of the program.

So, how’s the food? Some previous clients felt the food was sub-par so in response, a new chef was hired. Now guests will find that the gourmet meals served there are as varied and delicious as one would expect from a facility with private rooms and flatscreen TV’s. Snacks (healthy and otherwise) and hot coffee are available all day.

When it comes to the use of phones and TV there is quite a bit of freedom. House phones and television are available for use any time guests are not in class. There are some alumni who feel there is too much time to watch TV but, again, if you need more structure, there are other rehabs.

Despite its relaxed and permissive atmosphere, Gulf Breeze Recovery does have rules and expectations for client behavior. Everyone is expected to attend classes and work with their clinical team. And although chores are minimal (kitchen duty can be expected during your stay), everyone is expected to attend classes, keep their beds made and their room tidy. Non-compliance with any of these guidelines can result in a “strike.” 3 strikes = no weekend outing.

There is no doctor in residence, but one comes through daily and is on call if needed. Nurses are on site 24 hours a day. Alumni had nothing but good things to say about the nurses, and while most felt the doctor was helpful, there were those who were not thrilled. Said one client, “I was not a fan of the doc. Too arrogant but [I] felt comfortable in the hands of the nursing staff…Probably my only complaint but that was part of detox. The real part is the program that saved me.”

Considering other options? View the top rated rehab centers in the nation

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