Crossroads Centre

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Crossroads Centre
LocationAntigua island, Antigua and Barbuda
PatronEric Clapton
Richard Conte

The Crossroads Centre is a substance-abuse rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol addiction located on the Caribbean island of Antigua in Antigua and Barbuda.

It was founded with support from guitarist/singer Eric Clapton in 1998. He has been assisting with its funding by organising the annual Crossroads Guitar Festival since 1999.


The centre was founded by guitarist Eric Clapton & Richard Conte, CEO of The Priory Hospitals Group (London), and Transitional Hospitals Corporation (Nevada). All development of the facility was performed by officers and employees of these 2 companies. Conte & Clapton served as the Centre's first two board members with Conte being chairman. Transitional put up all working capital during the development phase and the facility was initially owned 2/3 by Transitional and 1/3 by Clapton. Former prime minister Lester Bird of Antigua was integrally involved by Transitional and arranged for the government of Antigua's assistance with roads, utilities and a favourable land purchase price. Conte's wife is credited with naming the facility and his associate Lester Keizer of Transitional was the 'point man' on the project.

Location and description[edit]

The Crossroads Centre is located in the heart of the West Indies on the Caribbean island of Antigua.[3] It is a drug and alcohol treatment centre which has a 36-bed design.[1] Experienced and internationally recognised professionals staff the Centre. Clapton writes "My vision was to create a Centre of the highest caliber to treat the people of the Caribbean and throughout the world" in a letter on the Crossroads Centre's website. His vision became reality in 1998 when Crossroads opened its doors to the world for the first time. Since then it has rapidly evolved into a treatment centre recognised internationally for its excellence, providing care to individuals that are suffering from the devastating effects of drug and alcohol addiction.[3]


The clinic follows a therapeutic 12-step approach that is modelled after the Betty Ford Center and Alcoholics Anonymous.[3] The 12-steps are not an antidote for addiction, but are the guidelines for total personality transformation and spiritual remedy.[4] Crossroads utilizes effective therapies that address addiction and recovery in combination with the spiritual serenity of Antigua.[3] Individuals in a healing and serene atmosphere participate in the structured residential program that allows them to experience a whole person wellness approach to their recovery.[3] As of 2013 the facility has 36 beds.[2]

Why Antigua?[edit]

The island of Antigua for nearly twenty years served as Eric Clapton's refuge from his drug-riddled rock stardom.[1] Clapton thought of the island as a safe and serene place where he could begin the process of healing from very devastating life events and situations.[3] He writes in his 2007 autobiography "It really has been one of the only places on earth I've found where I can completely discard the pressures of my life and blend into the landscape."[5] London-born Clapton calls the land of Antigua his second home.[1]

Giving Back[edit]

Antiguans have seen Mr. Clapton transform from addict to advocate of possibly the next Betty Ford of the century.[1] They embraced him over two decades giving him privacy and peace. Hans Smit, an Antiguan philanthropist and jeweler said Crossroads is the only drug rehabilitation program on the island of 80,000 people.[2] At a time when drug trafficking and addiction rates are soaring in the Caribbean, the facility will treat locals for almost nothing.[1] Clapton’s target is to have one-third of the beds reserved for the Caribbean island people, but particularly Antiguans, because Eric loves Antiguans. As of 2013 about 15 percent of the beds go to poor people from Antigua and Barbuda.[2] “Now Clapton is repaying Antigua for its kindness—and sacrificing some of his treasured privacy,” says Mark Fineman in his 1998 LA Times article "Clapton’s New Riff: Rehab ‘Robin Hood’ of Antigua."[1]


Eric Clapton personally organises the Crossroads Guitar Festival since 1999, with guests such as Albert Lee, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Robbie Robertson and Robert Cray among many others. The 2013 two-day event at Madison Square Garden is the fifth such benefit concert. Also supported are two halfway houses for recovering addicts, on Antigua for local residents, and in Delray Beach, Florida for others.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Fineman, Mark (March 29, 1998). "Clapton's New Riff: Rehab 'Robin Hood' of Antigua". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e McKinley Jr., James C. (April 11, 2013). "Aiding Sobriety, a Chord at a Time". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Clapton, Eric. "History of Crossroads Centre, Antigua". Crossroads Centre Antigua. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  4. ^ Lancer, Darlene. “Recovery Using 12 Steps”, Psych Central.
  5. ^ Clapton, Eric. Clapton the Autobiography. Broadway Books: 2007 Print.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°02′20″N 61°43′33″W / 17.0390°N 61.7258°W / 17.0390; -61.7258