Summer House Detox Center

By The Fix staff 03/27/17

Summer House's "Advanced Detox Protocol" ensures that patients reach a drug-free state with as little discomfort as possible. They also provide excellent food and a choice of amenities and treatments.

Summer House Detox
Location : Miami, FL
Phone : 800-895-8537
Price : $700 / day; Stays are minimum 5 days, usually 5-10, but can be up to 30 days if necessary
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

Many times detoxification is needed prior to rehabilitation and some treatment centers won't even admit you unless you are first detoxed. Since many facilities are not equipped to provide detox services, you might find yourself in the challenging position of needing to be drug-free in order to take the steps necessary for recovery. Summer House, in South Florida, prides itself on combining top-notch medical detox and a luxury environment, rather than the more common hospital setting.

Detox from alcohol or drug addiction can be so uncomfortable that many times it is used as an excuse not to get sober. Addicts dread the pain, both mental and physical, of withdrawal so much that they keep on using. Summer House minimizes that fear by providing not only upscale living quarters, but healthy, professionally prepared meals--with snacks available round the clock, therapists, and such amenities as yoga classes, Jacuzzi, acupuncture, WiFi, cell phone access, tai chi classes and more.

Summer House's "Advanced Detox Protocol" is a gradual process which uses a liquid narcotic formula to detox the patient. This cocktail includes medications prescribed by a physician and it is taken every four hours until the patient is completely detoxed. The composition of the liquid is altered over the length of the detox period in a step-down fashion, minimizing any withdrawal symptoms and gently transitioning the patient to a drug-free state. In the final stages, patients and staff discuss options and recommendations for further treatment. This program may be considered the first step toward a sustained and fulfilling sobriety. While here, the patient will see a medical doctor and have full blood work-ups. There are also nurses onsite at all times and in-house AA and NA meetings. There are no "have-tos" here. The patient can participate in the extra curricular activities or the 12-step meetings, but nothing is required. Since every patient is unique and the detox is tailored to the individual, the process can take as little as five days, but in some cases may last up to 30.

Summer House is a 24 bed facility, with two 3-person rooms and the rest semi-private. All rooms have flat screen TVs. The staff includes a medical doctor, two nurses, three behavioral techs, and a full time chef. 

Former patients we spoke with had detoxed from drugs such as alcohol, heroin, painkillers, and benzos. They chose Summer House based on the quality of treatment for the most part, but also for the quality of amenities, not to mention the fact that smoking is allowed. One patient told us they chose Summer House based on its "reputation for treating patients ethically and with compassion."

There is a good mix of age and gender at Summer House, according to former patients. When asked to describe their fellow residents, a typical response was, "An equal mix of female and male, ages ranged from young to senior.”

Overall, residents we queried rated the food very highly. "Meals were beyond excellent. Amazing quality. Better than fancy restaurants," one former patient said. "Meals are healthy, prepared by a 4-star chef," another told us. Yet another chimed in with: "The food is amazing. They have snacks available at all times. Very accommodating when it came to meals and in-betweens." Specifically, lobster was a popular meal, along with various types of steaks. However, more than one former patient told us, "I didn't care for the lamb."

Accommodations were also rated highly. There are no chores here since the idea is for the patient to be as comfortable as possible through a potentially uncomfortable detox. Daily life is very relaxed: "We weren't forced to do any activities or your normal treatment center meetings. They left the day up to us to do with as we please. A lot of time was spent on the patio enjoying the weather," a former resident informed us. There are "meetings and groups, acupuncture, yoga and tai chi, if you choose to do them. They are not mandatory," said another. You can choose what you want to do at Summer House; it's all about getting you through your detox in a way you can handle. Also, they allow you to use your computer and the phone.

Although you’re in a luxury environment that minimizes discomfort, you are still undergoing a medical detox, and those former patients we talked to rated the medical treatment at Summer House as top notch, very good to excellent. As far as the doctors and medical professionals on staff, former residents said: "They do their best to accommodate your needs and keep you comfortable." And, "They always asked me how I was feeling/doing, and would help me in any way they could."

Although meetings and counseling sessions are offered, nothing is mandatory. The former patients we surveyed characterized the program as 12-step based even though no one is obliged to attend. When asked about this, one former resident said, "Primarily 12-step, but they weren't pushy. They were mostly concerned with helping us feel better and encouraged treatment after detox regardless of the method." That's good advice. Although most have stayed clean since leaving Summer House, one told us he had not, saying, "I did not go to treatment like they advised me to. I tried to do it my way and am now looking to go back to Summer House and then to treatment."

There are different schools of thought on detox. Some treatment centers want you to kick the habit “cold turkey,” thinking it doesn’t make sense to use drugs to detox from other drugs. These days, however, the trend is towards a more humane detox. Whether you believe addiction is a disease or a brain disorder, you don’t deserve to be punished for having it. Summer House provides a safe, gentle, and monitored detox off drugs such as heroin, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and prescription opioid painkillers including Suboxone and methadone. As one former patient told us, "I've experienced MANY treatment centers and detox facilities and this is by far the best I've ever experienced. I hope I never have to come back to detox, but if I were, this would certainly be my number one choice."

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