Promises Treatment is a California-based rehabilitation company that has been in business since back in 1988. With decades of experience, this company has treatment centers in Malibu and, of course, West Los Angeles. The facility in Los Angeles (more specifically, Mar Vista) is unique in that its program is for young adults only. To be in the program, you must be between ages 18 and 30.

Promises treats both drug and alcohol addictions, which is helpful if you struggle with drugs in addition to your alcohol struggles. Their program includes four main phases: stabilization, training in life skills, implementing those life skills by beginning to find school or work opportunities, and fully reentering real life. To move forward to the next phase, you must accomplish certain tasks, to “prove yourself” in a sense, which really benefits you.

With an A+ ranking from the BBB and CARF accreditation, Promises West has the overall goal to build confidence in young adults. Their program is catered to this younger age and utilizes a variety of tools that speak to the energy and hopefulness that young adults can once again experience as they recover from an alcohol addiction.


The Good

One of the great aspects of Promises West is that they have a lot of experience. Because they’ve been in business since the ’80s, they’ve had time to get to know a variety of clients and adjust their program details to the needs of patients over the years.

In addition, the company has a solid reputation and an excellent foundation based on the 12 steps. For those who are interested, though, there are also cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy tools. Should you have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, they are fully capable of treating that too.

  • Wolf therapy. If you have heard of wolf therapy before, it might sound a bit frightening or unsafe. But for patients at Promises West, it can be extremely instructive (and remains safe, of course!). Wolves cannot live alone. They need packs and communities in order to make it. In a similar vein, we (both addicts and non) need community to survive. Families, peers, and others can support us in both good times and bad. Should they desire, patients can work with wolves and observe the way they work in relationships and rely on their community to thrive. This is a unique and really intriguing aspect of the Promises West program.
  • Sober reactional activities. In addition to walk therapy, Promises provides several different options that they call sober recreation. In essence, these activities demonstrate to patients that you can have fun without drinking alcohol or taking drugs. You can have fun with being safe and staying in control. Examples of these activities include yoga, equine therapy, and another unique program called Rock Academy, through which patients can meet once a week with real musicians to write and perform music.
  • Aftercare program. The aftercare at Promises, like many other facilities’ continuing care, is personalized. Through it, patients work with their families and counselors to develop a plan of action for transitioning from intensive treatment mode to real life mode. At the heart of it, the program strives to avoid the “failure to launch.” They want all patients to be able to successful implement into their daily lives the life skills, sober recreation, and confidence they learned in therapy. The aftercare program, in so many ways, gears directly toward helping these young adults stay sober and stay confident in their abilities to keep their lives clean.

Promises West has so much to offer. These aspects are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits of using their program. Through family and group therapy, sponsors, and their emphasis on community, the program is riddled with accountability procedures and loving support.

The Bad

There is much to love about Promises West, but to be fair, there are a few downsides to their program, depending on the needs of the client.

For one thing, location can be a limiting factor, especially because the program is for younger people, and some young people or their families would prefer to stay close to home for rehab. If you don’t live anywhere near LA and this is you, Promises West isn’t an option.

Here are a few other features you might find deterring:

  • Only one program option. Obviously, if you need alcohol rehabilitation but are not between the ages of 18 and 30, then Promises West can’t help you. Promises does have other treatment facilities catered toward adults, so it’s worth looking into those. But it can be limiting for this particular facility to have such a great program but to include only young adults in their regimen.
  • Costs of treatment. The program here is actually pretty expensive too. Alcohol and drug rehabilitation are pretty much expensive across the board, which is where insurance can help. But before insurance, it costs $30,000 for the first 30 days (phase 1 of 4), $20,000 for the first half of phase 2, $16,000 for the second half of phase 2, and $10,000 for phase 3. Over the course of the program, the prices gradually drop, but after four phases with prices like these, you’re looking at many tens of thousands of dollars to spend
  • Out-of-pocket costs. Fortunately, Promises accepts a lot of insurance policies, so hopefully your plan can help you out with the costs. However, the facility does admit that no matter what your policy is, you will have some out-of-pocket costs to pay for. Your insurance can’t cover the entire bill with this program, which is a disadvantage compared to other facilities, where you could potentially have insurance cover everything.

Promises West has a great program geared toward young adults and does try to help clients sort out pricing and insurance logistics. But there is no denying that their program is expensive and cannot entirely be helped by insurance. In addition, it’s not even an option for people who don’t live close and would rather not travel—or for patients who simply don’t fit the demographic of the program.

The Bottom Line

Promises West has a great company history and a solid reputation. In addition, the decades of experience they have under their belt speaks well of the success they’ve had working with patients and keeping their program updated and helpful.

You wouldn’t want to work with Promises West if you need a different location, a lower price, or of course a program that caters toward anyone but young adults. (However, don’t forget that Promises as a company has other facilities that address other types of patients.)

So long as these limitation don’t affect you, you would likely enjoy the program details at this facility. The entire process of recovery with them is thorough and built on principles that set up clients for success. Particularly for patients who are so young and at the beginning of life, Promises has a lot of hope to offer and can help rebuild assurance and healthy, fun habits.

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