treatment for professionals

Addiction: Why Doctors and Pilots Recover at Much Higher Rates

The average American leaves drug abuse treatment with a 14% chance of sustaining recovery for a full year. Among professionals such as doctors and airline pilots, however, recovery rates can reach as high as 90%. This huge variation brings up some real questions about the way these professionals receive treatment vs the general population.

These professionals are held to a high standard of ethics, one that makes it hard for many to get help for their addictions, especially when they know they could lose their license or their jobs, or face career-altering stigmas. And that’s saying nothing of the damage to personal and family relationships.

So how do they take that step into recovery with so much at risk, and how are they able to recover at a drastically higher rate than others?


When considering something as serious as addiction and mental health treatment, understanding all of the factors that lead to successful outcomes is crucial.

Let’s look at how this works with doctors and other professionals with unusually high recovery rates.

The first thing these individuals have going for them, in regard to effective recovery, is the way they’re treated as unique individuals, with their own stressors, triggers and life circumstances.

The rest goes something like this:

In contrast, treatment-as-usual provides the same intensive, 30-day recovery model for every individual who enters the program. That means 80% of those who ever enter treatment get the same care through the same program, with little to no personalization.

Treatment-as-usual pushes people to recovery through an assembly line VS personalized treatment that focuses on the professional’s journey


Since each individual has unique stressors, pains, and interests, each recovery journey, and treatment episode, should be tailored around their specific needs:

  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Social
  • Spiritual

The most effective care also elevates the privacy and dignity of individuals in safe and predictable environments, taking into account the propensities and the severity of addiction before a treatment program is designed.


At Beach House, we understand that to truly personalize care, we must know each individual. That’s where our 3-day in-depth assessment comes in. The assessment takes place in the first few days of care for most patients, depending on the severity of their detox. It then moves through several steps before we even begin to build the right program for the individual.

Assessments begin with a full medical exam by our board-certified, addiction medicine physician, followed by a thorough psychological assessment led by our psychologist. We spend many hours getting to know each patient and their individual needs. This period of the assessment relies on one-on-one conversations, comprehensive testing, and evaluation.

From there, we are able to develop a personalized treatment program for each person, comprised of hand-picked providers that meet each patient’s needs.


We’re here to help you no matter where you are in the recovery journey through custom solutions that will help you regain your career and your life.

If you’ve experienced prior addiction treatment, or looked into treatment options that haven’t offered this level of personalized care, please give us a call at (310) 924-0780, or send us a private message.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.