If there is one place that lacks a shortage of guests, it must be a rehab center or drug clinic. Patients suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, alcohol, and drug addiction may encounter a drug clinic or rehab center. (The UN’s office on Drugs and Crime reported an estimated 29.5 million drug users worldwide as of August 2017) That said, what are the elements that make up the modern-day four-walled drug clinics and what must be considered when designing one?

Up until now, accommodation for rehab patients has been bleak. In the past, drug clinics and residential centers resembled a scene out of a horror movie.  If you were not fortunate enough to afford a trip to a designer getaway clinic or retreat in France or Switzerland, be sure to settle for an average institution. However, things are slowly changing, and the good news is that it is for the better!

1                   Interiors- Some recently designed clinics boast of comfortable interiors which include but are not limited to a clubhouse with designated social spaces, VIP Villas with elegant furnishings, well-manicured gardens that display unique water features and reading libraries for the live-in patients. Other drug clinics that offer outpatient services have also raised the ante by breaking away from the stigma of cold white walls which intimidate the patients and still offer the serenity, medical and psychological attention that is needed and therefore giving the entire process the dignity it deserves.

2                   Spiritual retreat- Other clinics are designed to offer ‘12 steps to serenity’ with emphasis on prayer and meditation. Some even go as far as adding a chapel or mosque making it a functional space that pulls double duty as a spiritual retreat as well as a health resort. This only increases the destination to be relaxing for the mind, body, and soul.

3                   Family friendly environment- Some drug clinics have created a program that is a comprehensive treatment which involves the patient’s close family and relatives as part of the treatment as opposed to segregating the patient in a secluded environment. Space will, therefore, include group and family activities to aid in the rehabilitation of the patient as part of the normalization process.

4                  Balanced staff to patient ratio- Clinics have become aware of the need to balance patients and staff to monitor the progress of each patient. As a result, the number of patient deaths because of negligence or general mismanagement has dramatically reduced because patients are closely monitored, and the general staff isn’t overworked.