ABOUT SPENCER RECOVERY CENTER
Located in the coastal city of Laguna Beach, Calif., Spencer Recovery Center has been helping adults struggling with drug and alcohol abuse for more than 26 years. The organization provides a broad range of residential treatment services, each with its own á la carte offerings. On-site detox, including Suboxone for opioid dependence, also is available.
Within the state, Spencer Recovery Center is among 37.4 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities in California that provide residential, non-hospital care, among 15.8 percent of California facilities with detoxification services, and 25.2 percent that use Suboxone as a pharmacological therapy option. The organization also operates Dr. Paul’s at the Bay and Palm Springs Recovery.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Spencer Recovery Center is a treatment program that, in its own words, offers “a unique atmosphere and a comfortable setting so that clients can associate positive feelings with sobriety.” As such, it provides a a range of residential treatment options, matching clients with a recovery environment best suited to their needs.
The minimum commitment is 28 days, although the facility can accommodate stays of up to three months. It advises that “clients have experienced the most success with our 3-month treatment program, followed by an extended care internship.”
During the first 28 days of treatment, residents follow a curriculum that includes two daily 12-step meetings and two process groups, as well as educational groups, and individual counseling sessions. To supplement their time in therapy, residents participate in an exercise regimen that features guided beach walks, hikes, other fitness activities, and nutrition. In combination with a scaled-down version of the above, the following 60 to 90 days prepare clients for their next steps through community engagement, volunteering, and job training.
The Extended Care track assists clients with the transition back to their communities. Weekly one-on-one counseling, ongoing group therapy, relapse prevention sessions, and sober living workshops all provide individuals with the skills necessary to lead productive and sober lives.
There also is a Custom Care Program designed for executives and business professionals seeking treatment in a private, intimate setting. In addition to individual counseling sessions, these clients have access to a pool, gym, and spa-like treatments, such as massage therapy, reflexology, yoga, hypnotherapy, and nutritional counseling. This tract also includes extended care, relapse prevention, and a full year of post-treatment counseling.
The Grace Track, an optional Christian-based, Bible-centric program, combines 12-step recovery principles with Bible sessions and Sunday services at a local church.
Within the state, Spencer Recovery Center is among 13.9 percent of California treatment facilities accredited by The Joint Commission. The treatment staff is “committed to finding a solution for you” and provides “compassionate care through methods supported by years of client engagement and professional experience.” To date, the five survey respondents who evaluated the staff’s aptitude offered moderately positive opinions.
Staff Experience and Training: 3.6/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Spencer Recovery Center’s beachside facility has a bed and breakfast-like atmosphere with light and airy furnishings. Residents stay in private or semi-private rooms with full-size beds, many of which overlook the oceanfront. There are also meeting rooms, an on-site gym, shared indoor and outdoor spaces, a dining room with long tables where residents share meals, and an outdoor pool. To date, the five individuals polled on the matters by Rehabs.com praised the facility's upkeep and amenities.
Exercise and Leisure: 4.6/5
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
At the time of this writing, close to three dozen former clients who reviewed Spencer Recovery Center for Rehabs.com submitted largely favorable feedback: about 75 percent positive, 25 percent negative.
Alumni praised the staff, the counseling, the 12-step activities, the care and support they received, and many other aspects of the program. One anonymous alum wrote: “My overall satisfaction of my treatment is above & beyond great. The entire staffs of Spencer Recovery are amazing; they make you feel at home and treat you as part of their family,” echoed by another as: “I really enjoyed my stay at this facility. The counselor was very nice and friendly, giving good advices and guided me every step of my recovery process.”
Criticisms included a lack of organization, misleading marketing, and perceived financial motives. Alum E.S. wrote: “The state funded rehab in my city for people without insurance was better than this place,” and another, in a representative review, added: “I went to spencers and it was not a good program. I was charged for services never recieved and meals were all costco food if you got anything.”
On secondary sites, Spencer Recovery Center received mainly positive coverage to date: 3.5 out of five stars based on 55 reviews on Google and 3.5 stars based on 53 reviews on Yelp.   Positive reviewers described staff as “professional,” “passionate,” “awesome,” and “amazing".
Will, who'd been to other treatment facilities previously, wrote: “This treatment center really is amazing. It is definitely my safe place. Always super clean. The staff is very good at what they do and always treat me with compassion and are kind to me.” Likewise, on Yelp, five-star Jesi wrote: “Spencer’s recovery gave me my life back. The staff is so caring and compassionate.” Negative comments also concerned perceived financial motives and rundown facilities.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
To date, the 14 loved ones who submitted impressions of Spencer Recovery Center to Rehabs.com provided mostly favorable feedback: 11 highly positive and three negative. LIke alumni, loved ones praised the staff and management, the program, customer service, the facility, as well as the care and compassion their loved ones received.
“They did an amazing job helping my son transform…” and added “I’m so grateful that they helped my son build real coping skills so that he can continue to succeed in regular life.” Another parent agreed, writing: “The counseling was really amazing it really helps my daughter to recover.”
However, several loved ones complained about the dubious financial practices and physical conditions.
At the time of this writing, the Spencer Recovery Center website advises that it “accepts all health insurance carriers and can utilize out-of-network benefits coverage.” The facility is an in-network provider with many, including Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and Magellan. The facility offers financing options, payment plans, and scholarships for clients who qualify.
Before factoring in insurance coverage, the residential program costs $21,700 for the first 28 days, and $10,700 for each of the following two months. Clients requiring medically-assisted detoxification pay an additional fee of $3,700. Optional faith-based, and psychiatric recovery tracks can be added at additional costs. To date, the five individuals polled on the matter by Rehabs.com generally approved of the facility's cost.
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