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Passages Malibu

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Passages Malibu was founded in 2001 by Chris and Pax Prentiss as a response to Pax's own alcohol abuse. After years of failed treatment, the father and son duo decided to rethink the approach to addiction therapy, and Passages was the answer: an individualized, one on one approach to treating alcohol abuse. Passages uses a Non-12 Step approach to therapy.

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The Good

  • 4:1 client to staff ratio
  • Stay connected with family and friends
  • On-site detox
  • Holistic approach

4:1 Staff-to-Client Ratio

With a 4-to-1 staff to client ratio, Passages Malibu boasts an impressive staff. They have licensed nurses on-site 24/7, as well as a treatment team of addiction experts, therapists, and medical personnel. Each client is assigned as many as ten staff members who treat and interact on a 1-on-1 basis with the client. There are no group sessions, but rather Passages focuses on 100% individualized therapy.

Stay Connected to Family and Friends

Many treatment facilities do not allow phone or internet usage. This can be to eliminate distractions, promote camaraderie with other clients, or a sleuth of other reasons, but at Passages, phone and internet usage is allowed and even encouraged. Passages wants clients to stay connected to family, friends, and business during their stay. One part of this is due to their one on one treatment style, which removes the group dynamic, but another reason is so that clients can maintain the relationships that will be there for them once a client leaves Passages.

On-Site Detox

Passages offers clients a variety of detox options that are all on-site. There is no need to travel to a detox center when undergoing dangerous withdrawal symptoms, but rather everything can be experienced on campus at Passages. And with 24/7 access to licensed nurses, Passages detox programs are proven to be safe and effective.

Holistic Approach

Clients at passages receive personalized treatment plans to fit their specific needs. At Passages, there are 17 different types of treatments available:

  • Acupressure and Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Blood Chemistry Analysis
  • Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • Continuing Care
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Life Purpose Counseling
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Meditation Therapy
  • Physical Fitness
  • Psychotherapy
  • Sound Therapy
  • Spiritual Counseling
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga

Of these treatments, clients consult with their dedicated Passages staff members to choose what will work best for them and their specific alcohol abuse patterns.


The Bad

  • Cost
  • No Group Meetings
  • Lack of Online Reviews/Testimonials


Passages Malibu does not list pricing for their services, and with its location in Malibu, and it being listed on Forbes magazine's "Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out" list, we can only assume that it is expensive. Passages does accept insurance from a wide list of carriers, but from their presentation and branding alone, it appears to be a pretty high-brow establishment.

No Group Meetings

With their unique approach to treatment, Passages has altogether cut out the group treatment approach. And while this may be a step in the right direction for some patients, for others a group approach can provide much needed support, especially for those lacking relationships back home.

Lack of Client Testimonials

The only testimonials on Passage Malibu's website come from Chris & Pax Prentiss, the co-founders of the facility. And while one can appreciate the anonymity this provides for their patients, it does not allow for much insight into the patient experience outside of what the co-founders present themselves.


The Bottom Line

Passages Malibu takes a unique approach to alcohol abuse treatment. They reject the 12-Step program and instead focus on individualized treatment with a one one one approach. With a lack of client testimonials, forward-facing pricing, and facility statistics, there is no way to tell on the efficacy of Passages program; however, on the eye test alone, it sure looks like a great place to rehabilitate from alcohol abuse, if your insurance will cover the stay.

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