A Birdseye view from some providers regarding the problem in Addiction Treatment.
While scrolling through Facebook, I recently saw one of my acquaintances post a heated status. Anthony Curci, owner of Philadelphia sober living, wrote “For the past few months, I have found myself absolutely baffled by the unscrupulous people involved in the treatment industry. I almost questioned my own desire to continue in it myself. I have spent the past few days reflecting on the last 9 months of Philadelphia Sober Living and realize that the learning curve is big. The rollercoaster of emotions is incredible and I know in my heart it is exactly what I meant to do. South Philadelphia is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Moving forward, I will no longer sit quiet nor will I be passive about the absolute shit show of people in this industry. I have met some great people while networking over the last year. The one thing I realize is with all the principle-based people I have met, we have all talked privately about the unscrupulous people. I’m starting to believe we are just as GUILTY for keeping silent about this! Whether it is a flop house, patient broker or IOP designed to bleed insurances, this can no longer be ignored or justified!”
I called Anthony and spoke to him for almost an hour. He mentioned that since opening his sober house in Philadelphia, he has been marketed by numerous programs. He has learned of programs in Florida finding brokers in the northeast to send addicts back down to Florida for treatment after a relapse. We discussed the confusion this creates with families. Many agree that removing an addict from the using environment or leaving the “stomping ground” can be a useful tool in building a lasting recovery, but why send everyone to Florida? The Northeast has many excellent, respectable programs in every state.
One of the problems I see with FL is that families can not engage in the treatment as easily. The companies prey on families by pretty websites that do not even show the facility. No one can see the program or what type of accommodations are available. When getting treatment only a few hundred miles away the family can participate in the family programs and be an active member in the recovery of their loved one.
One of the problems I see with Florida treatment centers (which they use to their advantage) is that families cannot easily engage in treatment. The companies prey on families using pretty websites that fail to even show a picture of the facility. No one can see the program or gain an understanding of the accommodations available. If a person is receiving treatments only a few hundred miles away, the family can participate in the family programs and be an active member in the recovery of a loved one. Time and again we see that the participation of the family is a useful tool in recovery. So why insist an addict needs to be completely isolated from them in order to get treatment?
A few days after my conversation with Anthony, a nationally recognized addictions coach named Cali Estes, PhD wrote, “Forget the porn industry… I have come to the conclusion that my industry – the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry – is the most dirty, corrupt industry on the planet. You have a bunch of people that are supposed to be clean and sober running around doing a lot of activities that do not promote recovery. You have people stealing clients, you have people telling lies about each other and you have people milking the insurance company out of tens of thousands of dollars so they can ride around in their Porsches. I know there’s something called the Delray Trifecta, however it’s not just in Delray, it’s everywhere. I have a plan to clean it up, if you want to know what I’m doing, inbox me. Give me a week to respond as I’m expecting an overflow of inboxes.” When I reached out to Cali, she shared with me an experience where a treatment center in California sent her a $5000 gift card for the referral of a client. She sent it back. The program called her, baffled by her actions and she simply replied, “I sent them because they were clinically appropriate, not because I wanted your money.”
Zach Snizter, Director of Business Development for Maryland Addiction Recovery Center said, “On social media, there are a bunch of groups set up for professional networking and referrals, but people are fighting for clients and not paying attention to clinical appropriateness.” He offers an example, saying that a person may post that they have a client with trauma and psych issues. Suddenly marketers claim their treatment center specializes in trauma and psych, when the reality is that only a small percentage of treatment centers have properly trained professionals for these particular issues. They tailor their marketing strategy to meet the client’s needs, fully aware that the treatment plan will not be tailored to meet those needs.