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Treatment Centre Says No To Celebrities

Published: 23/04/2007

"Celebrities give rehab a bad name"

No celebrity would be taken seriously these days without a spell in rehab for drug or alcohol addiction. Whatever the problem - from drug addiction to anger management - time spent in treatment seems to add to the glamour of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Amy Winehouse recently had chart success singing about not going and there's a TV sit com about a treatment centre being aired at the moment.

But Mimosa Recovery who run the Lynwode Group of Treatment Centres - a pioneering chain of alcohol rehab centres across the UK - believe that celebrities are giving rehab a bad name!

Sue Allchurch, Director of Mimosa Recovery, explains:

"Celebrities pop in and out of treatment as if it were a trip to the shops. It is given extensive media coverage and can glamorise a serious, life-threatening addiction to alcohol or drugs.

By creating star-status, rehab can seem out of reach to the many 'ordinary' people with problems - one in 13 people in the UK suffer from alcohol-dependency, for example, and yet wouldn't consider rehab as a solution for their problem.

It also gives the impression that rehab is an instant fix - most people don't realise that a month in treatment is just the beginning. If someone is serious about dealing with their addiction, it takes a lifetime of commitment, attending therapy or a support group at least once a week.

The worst-case scenario is when rehab is used simply as a publicity stunt - it shows a complete lack of responsibility by an individual to take ownership of their own actions. Celebrity status can be an addiction in its own right, particularly if the celebrity is famous for being famous and has no other talent, and this simply feeds into it".

That's why Lynwode has adopted a no-celebrity policy at all three of its treatment centres. It offers treatment at less than a third of the cost of all its competitors to make quality treatment accessible to everyone.

This does not mean they will turn celebrities away who are serious about recovery but they have stringent rules: Commitment to treatment - prior to admission, Lynwode undertakes a series of assessments. Anyone who is not committed to getting well, celebrity or otherwise, is not admitted.

No publicity - the point of treatment is to focus on getting well and not create a news story. It's a different matter if, following treatment, if people are prepared to tell their story as a means to encourage others to face their addiction.

No special treatment - no accompanying retinues accommodation requests and a guarantee they are prepared to be seen simply as another of the group in treatment.

The Lynwode Group currently operates three treatment centres across the UK with a further two planned for later this year. They are the only centres exclusively dedicated to treating alcoholism - with one in 13 people in the UK alcohol-dependent, it is one of the biggest killers in the country.

ENDS

For further information, please call Sara Stewart on 07917 753369 or email sara@madasamarchhare.com

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UK Council for Psychotherapy Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals