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Checking In On Malibu's Rehab Problem

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Today's New York Times takes on Malibu's biggest growth industry: the sobriety-for-celebrities business. (The other big growth industry in the exclusive enclave, ironically enough, is winemaking.) We've already mocked the war snooty Malibuites are waging on the facilities in their midst, but today's article adds some new color to the picture. Like how rehab centers charging $60,000-$100,000 a month and offer addiction-busting amenities like luxury accommodations, chef-prepared meals (including lobster tail and osso buco), massage, tennis and yoga are said to be following the "Malibu Model," in deference to its originator Promises of Malibu.

And how there's been a slight problem with escaped patients. One Malibu resident came home one afternoon to find "a naked Passages client wandering in front of his house." Neighbors unhappy with the noise, the paparazzi, the nudity, and the way the places seem to keep mushrooming have filed numerous lawsuits, and letters to the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs asking to revoke operating licenses, and now they've taken their case to argue for state legislation requiring treatment centers to be more widely dispersed. Malibu has company for that lobbying effort—" Reseda and Long Beach and Riverside have exactly the same problems," says Malibu councilperson Lou La Monte. Something tells us Riverside has less of a paparazzi problem, though. --Marissa Gluck
· An Intervention for Malibu [NYT]
· Snooty Malibu Waging War on Fancy Celebrity Rehab Centers [Curbed LA]