I have always been extremely vocal about my goals in the field of treatment and recovery. I have never waivered from the fact that I will do anything and everything I can to raise awareness about addiction as a disease. That I will go to any lengths to help those struggling to overcome their demons, all while holding tightly to my moral and ethical values. Sadly, I sit here today disheartened and ashamed of the way business is being conducted in my chosen field. Too many people are treating people with addictions like cattle, using them for the high insurance payouts, and then discarding them back into the world with little in the way of a long term plan, much less any true shot at maintaining their sobriety.
Crackdowns on the industry are beginning to happen. There have been several FBI investigations of treatment centers in Florida, regarding kick backs and false insurance claims. Companies like Health Net Insurance are catching on and recently began investigating a number of facilities for insurance fraud.
Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone making money or achieving success. However, when it's done by taking advantage of those with a chronic, progressive disease, it must be stopped. I was fortunate. I had incredible support and people like Dr. Drew and Bob Forrest whose only concerns were ensuring that I was ok and I was prepared for the reality of long-term sobriety.
It disgusts me when the sole focus of treatment centers is on the bottom line. There comes a point where unethical work becomes illegal work and it's mind boggling to see it happen over and over again. I find myself shaking my head thinking "nothing ceases to amaze me anymore" when it comes to lengths companies will go to.
However, I also know that there are many others in the industry that believe, as I do, that we can help without compromising our integrity or taking advantage of people when they need help the most.
Treatment does work and there are wonderful treatment centers that conduct themselves with the upmost of integrity and a true 'mission over margin' client first philosophy. Unfortunately, these good treatment centers are being thrown in with the shady ones. I encourage anyone seeking treatment for him or her self or a loved one to thoroughly vet every treatment center they speak to. Don't just google search. Ask as many questions as you can. Talk to friends. Talk to your doctor. Talk to everyone you can. Anyone can throw up a good website and hire a good marketing team, but are they actually doing good work? You need to do your homework to make sure your loved one isn't being taken advantage of.
My personal goal is to smash the stigma of addiction. As a collective we have made tremendous strides in doing so. However, the practice of numerous treatment facilities is holding us back. Even more damaging, these amoral practices are making it harder for people who want to get sober and into recovery, as the amount of hoops they need to jump through can begin to seem endless.