Promises Kept, Promises Broken: Inside Hollywood's Preeminent Rehab Center

The main house of Promises' Malibu facility. CLICK HERE for more photos.

Neither program is exactly cheap, though. Promises L.A. charges $34,500 for its 90-day program -- 30 days on the L.A. campus and 60 days in outpatient treatment or sober living, where fees can be up to $1,000 per month. The cost for Malibu's traditional 31-day-program ("31 because we want our clients to leave here with 30 days of sobriety," Sack said) starts at $55,000 and goes up to $90,000 depending on special accommodations a client might request, like bringing a dog, wanting a single room as opposed to a double, or extending their time on site.

According to Sack, cultivating a comfortable environment -- Malibu's campus boasts hot tubs, sun decks and heated pools -- is crucial to attracting and treating clients of means.

"If you have people with needs who are highly successful, they're going to want to go to a place that's like what they know," said Sack. "When you tell people, 'We're going to put you in this institutional type of treatment,' you basically give them reasons not to come."

There is one accommodation Promises refuses to offer celebrities: the rehab pictorial. Lohan famously invited OK! magazine photographers to snap her riding horseback, doing yoga poses and reading from an AA tome when she checked in to Utah's Cirque Lodge treatment center in 2007.

"We never allow media to photograph any of our clients while they're in active treatment," Sack said. "We view that people are here to be treated and any interaction with media during the treatment phase is disruptive."

To that end, to ward off paparazzi and curious passersby, both Promises facilities boast no signage indicating who or where they are. L.A.'s two buildings are offset from a residential road. Malibu's campus is near the top of a precarious uphill climb. These aren't places that invite attention.

Danny Bonaduce, a Promises alum and current detractor, said of the Malibu facility, "I remember thinking that if this place had a bar, it would be fantastic." CLICK HERE for more photos.

Promises Caters to Celebrities, but Not All Stick With the Program

Promises was founded in 1988 by Richard Rogg, a real estate developer who turned his attention to treating substance abuse after kicking his cocaine habit. Intended as an alternative to programs that scolded addicts into submission, Promises' aim has always been to push clients to deal with the personal issues that brought on their addiction, rather than simply stomping out the addiction itself.

The model involves therapy, and lots of it, often in group settings. Sack said the Sheens and Spears who come in are expected to share their stories with everyone else, just like everyone else.

"In fact, we've had very few instances where anyone's privacy has been violated," he said. "The clients are very protective of one another. They're very invested in everyone having a positive outcome."

Problems with celebrities come up when Promises takes them to public AA meetings. (Integrating clients into the wider world of recovering addicts is another mainstay of the program.)

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