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What is an Executive Rehab? Do I Need One?

roberta bruni

As Executive Director of Tranquil Shores, Roberta uses her expertise in substance abuse treatment and social work to better the lives of every patient she encounters. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Florida, Texas, and New York, having spent 25 years with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Roberta is also a Certified Master’s Level Addiction Professional. She understands personalized care, having operated a private psychotherapy practice specializing in substance use disorder and related issues. Her experiences culminate to offer a research-based and motivational course of treatment for each patient at Tranquil Shores. Roberta holds both a master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in business management from the State University of New York at Buffalo. With solution-focused treatment methods, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Accelerated Resolution Therapy, and trauma-informed care, her compassionate approach helps patients from across the country work toward wellness. Roberta is an avid Buffalo Bills fan and hopes and prays to one day see the Bills win a Super Bowl. Her self-care consists of swimming, walking, reading, and completing crossword puzzles.

Addiction is a challenge no matter what your station in life. It may happen slowly, or it may happen quickly, but sooner or later a substance use disorder will throw your life into chaos. But what are the options for an executive with an addiction problem?

What to Consider as an Executive with Addiction

An addicted executive must think about their reputation and how tarnishing it could affect their brand and business. Executives, corporate officers and others in leadership positions are also responsible for many other people. 

A CEO with addiction also must consider the impact their substance use disorder could have on others. Addiction affects not only the family and loved ones of the executive, it can also affect their colleagues and subordinates. An executive cannot afford to have their judgment compromised either. 

The bottom line is that the best way to minimize the risk of damaging (or further damaging) your reputation, experiencing negative or even tragic consequences is to get the best possible help you can and do it quickly. 

There is no way to respond ‘too aggressively’ to addiction, but people often do too little about their addiction until it’s too late. 

How Do Executives Get Sober Without Staying at Rehab?

Someone in a position of authority may feel that it’s impractical or impossible for them to step away for drug treatment, even if only for a few weeks. Rest assured, there are solutions. There are several options which can help an exec with a drinking or drug problem get help.

Residential Medical Detox

Depending on the severity of your substance use, an inpatient medical detox may be necessary (at minimum) to safely get you off of drugs or alcohol without severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms should not be taken lightly and can include fatal seizures. 

An inpatient medical detox usually runs for about 1 week for alcohol, opioids or amphetamines. After the medical detox, you could elect to skip the usual stay at rehab and instead enroll in outpatient therapy that works with your schedule. 

You should always bear in mind that the success rates are significantly higher for people who do follow through with more comprehensive treatment, however. 

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT):

MAT is one of the most popular options, particularly for executives with opioid dependence. In an MAT program, medicines are used to quell both withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT for executives can happen on an outpatient basis in the comfort of your own home. 

Most MAT programs also include some form of outpatient therapy or counseling. This is a key component as the medications alone cannot change behaviors or perspectives. Recovery from addiction for an executive or anyone else is about more than simply removing the substance. We want to make changes to improve the chances of avoiding relapse as much as possible. 

Going to AA or NA Meetings or Alternatives:

The 12-step fellowships have helped millions of people stay sober over the decades. There’s no question that they can be very helpful in empowering people to change their lives (assuming they actually work all 12 steps) and promote long-term sobriety. 

However, going to meetings alone isn’t enough for everyone. The chances for success in staying sober increase exponentially if you attend an executive drug detox or executive rehab first and then include meetings as part of an aftercare plan. 

Why Should an Executive with Addiction Go To Rehab?

Executives are decision-makers and action-takers. They are used to being in command of people and resources. They tend to think of themselves as independent and self-reliant. So the idea of surrendering some of that control by going to rehab can be a little unsettling. That’s completely understandable. 

If that’s the case for you, it may be helpful to look at the idea of executive addiction treatment from a different angle. Consider this: In operating a business, you call upon specialists all the time. What do you do if your website is hacked by cybercriminals? 

You call upon a network security expert to solve the problem and avoid a recurrence. The truth is that being an executive or business owner means relying upon specialists to help solve problems and to help you and your company perform at its best. 

An executive with addiction enlisting the services of an executive rehab really isn’t much different. Executives focus on the big picture, the vision. They set goals and use resources to achieve them. It’s that simple. If an executive recognizes that drugs or alcohol use are an obstacle, it makes sense to turn to the experts for a solution. 

Reasons to go to an Executive Rehab:

  • Efforts to cut down or quit drugs or alcohol have mixed results or not worked at all.
  • You have concerns about the health effects of your substance use. 
  • You believe your work is beginning to suffer or you want to act before it does. 
  • You’re starting to have negative consequences (relationships, legal, professional)
  • You’d like to get treatment, but you need privacy, access to your phone and laptop. 

What to Look for in an Executive Rehab

Once the decision is made to enter an executive rehab for substance abuse treatment, the next step is in considering your needs and desires. What’s going to make rehab work best for you? Each of the elements below can help increase your chances of success as well as making executive rehab a more pleasurable experience for you. Remember, rehab is not punishment, it is a time for healing, reflection and renewal. 

An Executive Rehab Should Have:

  • A quiet, peaceful location that is calming.
  • Privacy, ideally a private room.
  • Optimal patient-to-staff ratio (3-to1)
  • An executive-specific curriculum 
  • Evidence-based addiction treatment
  • Dual-diagnosis care for addiction & mental health
  • Access to your phone and computer
  • Thorough aftercare planning

Executive Rehab at Tranquil Shores

Our executive rehab at Tranquil Shores features all of the critical elements for recovery success listed above. Principals and CEOs with addiction have unique needs that most alcohol & drug rehabs simply are not equipped to meet. The value proposition here is clear. Tranquil Shores executive rehab offers the standard of care and service you deserve and the individualized addiction treatment you need. 

Our beautiful offshore facility is nestled on a Florida barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Private rooms with water views, time to conduct business with access to phone and laptop and everything you need to succeed is here. Tranquil Shores is a short 25 mile drive from Tampa International Airport, which makes transportation easy. If you have any questions at all about our executive rehab services, amenities or therapies, we welcome you contact us at (727) 291-9874

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