That is the promise from Passages, will locations in Malibu and Ventura. Their trademarked slogan is "At Passages - Addiction Ends Here." How comforting that must be, to know that all I have to do is go to one of their places and my addiction will end. How can Passages make such a lofty claim? Because Pax has been clean now for over a decade and was helped by his father Chris, who did self-help seminars to make people successful.
Based off of the experiences that Pax Prentiss and his father had with the addiction Pax struggled with, they have figured it out for everyone. I guess that when it comes to recovery, one size fits all. That is so good to know, that what works for one person can be "guaranteed" to help everyone else. Because of that, they claim to do treatment different from everyone else.
For starters, they have a cure for something that is not a disease. Passages states that after all of their research they have discovered that the entire medical and psychiatric field is wrong. Addiction is not a disease. Since it is not a disease, they have a cure. Unfortunately, all of the research I have read has stated that addiction is a brain disease. They base that off of the changes that occur in the brain chemistry and wiring using that pesky scientific model and research that can be duplicated.
Next, they claim that the 12 steps are antiquated, much like the disease model of addiction. Passages Malibu claims to have cured thousands. of people. The antiquated 12 steps, on the other hand, have helped millions find long-term recovery. I guess that you can make any claim that you want, warranted you are not asked to provide any research to back it up.
I want to add that I don't disbelieve all of what Passages says and does. They use psychotherapy, or one-on-one individual counseling, as the core of their practice. I fully believe in that. Use evidence-based practices to treat the disease of addiction. They also state that the drug/alcohol is not the problem. Instead, there is another issue that drugs/alcohol are used to numb and escape from. I also agree with that.
In fact, that is the reason why people who go to 12 step meetings are expected to get a sponsor and work the steps with that sponsor. That is why all treatment providers that I know of do co-occurring, trauma, CBT, Adlerian, Gestalt, Psychoanalytic, Family and narrative therapies with their clients. These methods are all used to work through the "why" of our use. It has been that way since the inception of the 12 steps Passages makes it sound like they invented it, but it has been done for quit some time now.
They also stress exercise, watching what you eat, meditating and taking better care of yourself. This is vastly important, because most of us while our addiction is active don't take very good care of ourselves at all. Add the anxiety, depression and trauma that most of us deal with and you have a perfect storm for unhealthy physical habits to kick in.
Passages is also big on activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Ropes, hiking and team sports that are obviously done all by yourself, because they don't believe in group therapy according to their website. I agree with all of these as viable modes of treatment, but all of these sound like what other places call group therapy. Why do other places call it group therapy? Because it is a form of therapy and it is done with other people, ie a group. Hard to have team building without a team.
Group therapy also allows you to find support and build accountability partners. The 12 step support meetings allow for us to do the same thing. Yet, according to the Passages website these are outdated and don't work. I personally swear by them, and I have met thousands of other people who have used them to find and keep long-term recovery. Many of them I have met have been clean and sober since before Passages started. Guess I should tell them the method they have used to attain multiple decades of sobriety isn't effective.
The price tag of Passages is amazing. Last I looked it was about $65,000 at Malibu and $40,000 at Ventura..................a month!!!! Chris Prentice is good at making money, and he found a new hustle his son could enjoy so that he would no longer feel the need to hustle on the streets. Instead, they found a legal hustle that leads to the death and destruction of others. That scares me!
For as much as Passages says they are interested in helping others, they set many up for relapse if not death. You see, if I am cured, than I can use again. End of discussion. If I discover why I drink and/or drug by working through my past problems, than I can now drink and drug again without a problem. That will lead to relapse, and the next relapse someone has could very well be the one that kills them.
You see, I have worked through the abuse of my childhood and multiple other intense traumas. I have worked through the memory of dying more times than I can count on one hand, gong to jail umpteen times and finally going to prison. I have forgiven and accepted all that I have done in the past because it makes me the person I am today. I define myself today not by my addiction, but by my recovery.
That said, I never want to forget my past. Not only did it make me the person I am today, it gave me knowledge of my limitations. I have a disease that makes me unable to use drugs and alcohol like "normal" people. I will always have that inability. Some call it an allergy, but based on science it is a disease and it has no known cure. However, I have found that through the 5 Pillars it can be managed!
- Higher Power - Find something bigger than yourself that can give you acceptance, love, respect, forgiveness and validation. The only thing I have found that works for me is Christ. I have seen others use the fellowship.
- Meetings - Find a place where you can get support and feedback from peers. I get the most hope from speaker meetings and Celebrate Recovery testimony nights.
- 12 Steps - Find a game plan to change the way you live your life. I use both the 12 steps and the Bible, as they compliment each other in many ways and both lead me to a richer and more fulfilling life.
- Sponsor/Mentor - Find someone who has the life you would like to have in 5 years and ask them to teach you how they got there. This is the person who will help you apply the 12 steps, kind of like a coach teaching you a game plan for success.
- Accountability Partners - Find people who you can depend on who are not afraid to call you out when you are falling short, support you when you are struggling and encourage you when things are going well