Yesterday, it was suggested that I post about the abuses in the residential treatment and sober housing industries, suggesting that readers might get the impression that drug-free treatment is good while medication-assisted treatment is bad.
The reader had a point–there’s no shortage of exploitative and shady behavior among these providers. In fact, at Dawn Farm, we go out of our way to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the industry.
I probably haven’t posted a whole lot about it because the problem is not quite as visible in Michigan. Some areas, parts of Florida and California in particular, have become hubs of exploitative and shoddy addiction services.
Earlier this year, the Palm Beach Post did an investigative series on the problem in their area. It’s REALLY bad. And, while the problem might be worse in some areas, it is everywhere.
The problem is that people are usually seeking treatment in the midst of a crisis–they are willing to do almost anything for their loved one. Too many programs offer false hope and exploit that desperation.
Things to look out for include:
- claims of absurdly high recovery rates;
- exorbitant fees (higher fees are not an indicator of better services);
- lack of transparency in fees;
- no-refund policies for prepaid and unused days in the event of early discharge or leaving against staff advice;
- lack of professionalism;
- short term programs for high severity problems;
- a treatment culture that resembles a boot camp or a spa;
- the absence of meaningful and appealing long term follow-up care;
- low retention rates; and
- doesn’t offer family programming/support.