Residential Center for Internet Addiction Sees Big Demand

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
11/13/2012 – ATIN – Over the years there has been an ever increasing crescendo of blogs, comments and news stories from across the world about people who can’t tear themselves away from their computer screens, a phenomenon that has come to be known in addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab 
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circles as Internet addiction. And so it’s not surprising that enterprising, and concerned, therapists would begin to address this and what, in fact, is beginning to happen is that another subspecialty of behavioral therapy is beginning to awaken to join the already well established subspecialties of the obsessive behavioral addictions such as sex and gambling, both which have seen an explosion in private programmatic offerings in recent years.

New Residential Center

In what is probably the biggest evidence yet that the Net addiction therapeutic specialty has arrived is that there is now a residential center devoted exclusively to treating the affliction that, by all accounts, is growing by leaps and bounds. Behind reStart – “disconnect…and find yourself” – are two highly experienced and obviously entrepreneurially minded therapists, co-CEOs Dr Hilarie Cash and Cosette Rae. The new addiction treatment center is located in Fall City, WA and is of the type of center pioneered in Malibu – not at all institutional and located on what appears to be a lovely residential property with reStartall the usual amenities one has come to expect from high-end private pay centers in recent years. With just six beds, and priced at $20K for 45 days, reStart has started out cautious. “We have been a financial success in that we’ve stayed open,” says Dr. Cash. “After three years we have been inundated with thousands of calls for people needing help,” she said, adding, of course, that the problem is that so few of the callers have the kind of money needed to go to reStart, which gets zero commercial insurance reimbursement. And with the ubiquity of information flows these days, the need for the cocoon safety of residential may even been be more acute than for the alcoholic, whose bane is also widely and ubiquitously available.

All Info, All-the-Time

In a famous scene from a 1970s Woody Allen movie, the comic is standing in line with Diane Keaton having an argument about some aspect of then famous media critic Marshall “the medium is the message” McLuhan Dr Hilarie Cash, reStart co-founderwhen, magically, in a moment typical of Allen’s humor regarding all things intellectual, McLuhan suddenly appears to settle the debate once and for all. Of course, what Woody Allen could not have known at the time is that, almost 50 years later, these types of scenes would be playing out billions of times every day as mobile devices settle factual disputes in our 24/7 all knowledge all-the-time always connected modern world. And soon people will probably have tiny holographic devices like in “Minority Report” where it will not be unusual to see people gesticulating in public for no reason at all just like now we see people walking down the street apparently talking to nobody when 100 years ago such a sight would have brought down speculations of lunacy upon anyone doing such a thing. In this new world, especially among the highly affluent, the ability of information connectivity to take over one’s entire existence to the exclusion of all else – the definition of any addiction – is extremely high. It is this specific highly acute Net addiction that reStart is attempting to address and Treatment Magazine believes the potential private pay market to address this problem, with varying degrees along the pathological spectrum, could easily grow to be in the many hundreds of millions annually in coming years.

Promising Start

And reStart appears to be off to a promising start. The center was featured recently on famed TV journalist Brian Williams’s new prime time news magazine, a tried, true and tested way for addictions centers to quickly get a jump cable like boost. The founder of the high-end addictions business as we know it today, Sierra Tucson’s Bill O’Donnell, was featured in a path breaking Fortune cover on addicted execs, which led to a Phil Donahue show appearance which, many years later, helped lead to the sale of Sierra Tucson to CRC for what still remains, almost a decade later, the record price ever paid for a single treatment center.

read our report on how Sierra Tucson’s lengendary founder used national media