California Law Attacks Rehab Facilities

By Zachary Siegel and Allison McCabe 04/18/16

Despite a nationwide drug epidemic, California lawmakers have come up with draconian legislation that will result in the loss of thousands of treatment beds.

 

Earlier this year, a small handful of state legislators began what can only be described as an all-out assault on California’s behavioral and mental health care industry. They introduced four separate bills on February 19th that, each in its own technical way, take immediate aim at different facets of the continuum of substance abuse treatment. Though these bills serve only the self-interest of a few affluent, coastal communities, they are being pushed at a state level, which makes their potential impact widespread.

In the late ‘80s, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was expanded to protect people from discrimination based on disabilities, including those who have substance use disorders. Then in 1990, these protections were further enforced under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upon signing the act into law, President H.W. Bush called it a historic opportunity, signaling “the end to the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of A

few affluent, coastal communities, they are being pushed at a state level, which makes their potential impact widespread.

segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life.”

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Prince

Prince’s Tragic Death Underscores the National Opioid Epidemic

Like | May 4, 2016 | Blog |

The surprising and sudden death of musical superstar Prince bears to light the increasing problems and challenges our society faces with the onslaught of opioid-based pain medications. Prince, long considered a genius for his ground-breaking musical creativity that crossed so many boundaries, was found unconscious in his Paisley Park compound recently. Although many close to the icon suspect that sleep deprivation played a role in his death, the legendary performer, who was just 57, was found with a prescription opioid medication, leading to initial conclusions that these powerful pain killers also contributed to his untimely death. Prince had been treated a few days prior to his death for a potential overdose of pain medication, which had forced his plane to make an emergency landing, where he was then taken to a nearby hospital and released a few hours later

For The Parent's

Source: Drugfree.org

When looking for addiction treatment, become an informed and educated consumer
It is a well-known fact that over the course of the last several years our country has found itself in the grips of the worst addiction epidemic in American history. Numerous factors such as pharmaceutical companies’ marketing tactics and doctors’ overprescribing of opioids (prescription pain medication), all taking place within our current instant-gratification society, have brought the country to the breaking point now faced by every community nationwide.

Parents and families find themselves in fear and crisis, often uneducated and not knowing where to turn to find the help vitally needed for their children and young adults.

Unfortunately, the opioid crisis has become the breeding ground for numerous unethical people to prey upon the fears of families. Addiction treatment has become big business and a family in crisis or an individual suffering from addiction are now commodities.

Marketing companies’ call centers and even many treatment centers have engaged in immoral and sometimes even illegal behaviors in order to lure potential patients through their doors, offer sub-standard care for the purpose of making money off their insurance. Addiction treatment is often the Wild West in terms of the healthcare services industry – often unregulated and with many states having poor oversight due to understaffed government organizations.

While years ago addiction treatment was a small industry run by a dedicated few – often people in recovery themselves or clinicians with a heart to help those suffering from addiction – over the last decade the industry has caught the eye of Wall Street. Large organizations and venture capitalist companies have entered the picture, putting bottom-line profits ahead of patient care.

The corrupt and often illegal behaviors within the addiction treatment industry can take many forms.

One well-known corrupt behavior is patient brokering, where treatment centers pay brokers a fee in order to gain patients. Each patient has a price tag and brokers are paid for sending kids to specific treatment centers. The brokers, typically people with no training or clinical expertise, sell patients to treatment centers regardless of how clinically appropriate that rehab may be to meet the needs of the patient.

Illegal enticements by patient brokers or even directly from treatment centers are another example, sometimes offering free plane tickets to fly patients to treatment or offering free rent at recovery or sober homes if a person is enrolled in a specific outpatient program.

Many treatment centers utilize online marketing tactics including posturing online as inpatient or residential treatment while they are actually an outpatient treatment facility with sober living which is a much less intense and restrictive level of care.

Online marketing tactics also include treatment centers setting up generic looking websites and call centers and “Help Lines,” posturing as objective but with the purpose of steering families and patients toward a specific facility that owns them or selling those patient leads to the highest bidding treatment center.

There has also been a recent trend of treatment centers hacking into the online listings of other facilities and changing the contact information, so when a family or individual attempts to call a specific rehab for help they instead reach someone else who redirects them to their facility.

I see this every day.

All of these predatory practices within the addiction treatment industry are something that I see and hear about on a daily basis. Not a day goes by that I or someone on our admissions team doesn’t receive a call from a parent or family member regarding a horror story they’ve experienced with their loved one dealing with an addiction treatment center or industry-related individual. This is both heartbreaking and infuriating.

Parents complain that the experience they were expecting for their child was nothing like what actually occurred. They report that there was little to no interaction with the treatment center when their loved one was there and they received no explanation for how or why certain situations were handled. They complain about receiving enormous bills after the treatment episode, for toxicology tests, treatment services and other ancillary services. And they have every right to complain and be outraged.

The truth is that within the addiction treatment field there are many good quality treatment providers that go above and beyond for those in need and their families and continually put patient care first.

If your child was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness like cancer or heart disease, you wouldn’t jump at the first option, would you? You wouldn’t send them across the country to a place you’ve never seen simply because they had a sleek website and sounded nice on the phone, would you? No. You would make sure the facility was vetted thoroughly. You would ask other professionals for their recommendations of that hospital. You might ask family and friends if they had any experience with that specialist or facility. You would go with your child to meet the hospital and staff and make sure everything meets your standards.

Unfortunately, this isn’t so with addiction.

Because the crisis occurs and the stigma exists, the natural inclination of parents and loved ones is to not talk about it with their friends and rather to simply find the first place that seems nice and that will immediately get their child in the door so that mom and dad can finally sleep at night, knowing their child is safe. This is understandable, but it has created an environment where the unethical, unscrupulous and dishonest prey upon the scared and helpless.

So What Can Parents Do?

The best way that parents and families can protect themselves and make sure they are sending their loved one to an ethical, quality treatment providers that best fits their child’s needs is to become an informed and educated consumer. This can guard you against being taken advantage of during these anxious times.

1. Be wary of information you find via an online search. All you will find is an overload of information on treatment centers, all with great websites claiming to do everything for everybody. Instead, ask questions. Reach out to local professionals, therapists or other addiction specialists in your area. They will be able to give you a better understanding of the issues your child is suffering from and thus what types of clinical services will best meet their needs. Is this simply addiction – or are there other mental health issues at play? Is there trauma? Grief and loss? Are they dealing with gender issues? Behavioral issues? Every case is different, which it is why it is imperative to understand what the issues are in order to find the best clinical fit for your child.

2. Vet the treatment center you’re considering. Use your consumer education skills that you would use in any serious health care decision. Trust your judgment and your feelings about the answers you get from the people you talk to. Here are some things to consider:

Are they transparent?
Is their staff listed on the website, with their experience and qualifications?
Are they easily accessible to answer your questions? Make sure to listen to what they are saying. Are they just telling you what they want to hear? Treatment for addiction is uncomfortable, for both the child and family. If a treatment center is explaining themselves and their programs to you, listen to see if they explain why they do what they do and what is the rationale behind their practices.
Ask about their clinical philosophy. Every treatment center should be able to explain this, the philosophy behind their decision-making and ultimately their patient care.
Ask about their programs and what they entail. If they say they offer detox, make sure that means an actual detox with 24-hour medical care. If they say they are residential, what does that look like?
Ask about licensing and accreditation (although be careful if they sell themselves too much on their accreditation, as many centers hire consultants that basically walk them through the accreditation process.)
Ask if the program uses a published assessment tool. Assessment is the cornerstone of the decision-making process from which all else should flow. As you look for a program, check to see if they use an assessment tool that has been tested and found to be reliable and valid versus an assessment that the program designed by itself.
Because mental health issues often go hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol abuse, it is important that your son or daughter will be be assessed for co-occurring mental health problems.
Ask them pricing upfront. If they accept insurance, they should be easily able to give you a full amount of what treatment will cost.
Ask about their urinalysis billing. If they are residential, there should be little need for your loved one to be drug tested more than a few times. If it is an outpatient program, there is a need for drug testing but no more than twice a week at most unless there is suspicion of drug use.
Listen if the treatment center is trying to sell you on their facility because of the amazing amenities. Single rooms, big-screen TVs and pools are nice, but are not treatment for addiction. Rather, they should be explaining their clinical services.
Ask if the staff is full time.
Ask for references.

Treatment Options

Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating addiction. Drug treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management), medications, or their combination. The specific type of treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the types of drugs they use.

Treatment medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (including a new long-acting formulation), are available for individuals addicted to opioids, while nicotine preparations (patches, gum, lozenges, and nasal spray) and the medications varenicline and bupropion are available for individuals addicted to tobacco. Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are medications available for treating alcohol dependence,1 which commonly co-occurs with other drug addictions, including addiction to prescription medications.

Treatments for prescription drug abuse tend to be similar to those for illicit drugs that affect the same brain systems. For example, buprenorphine, used to treat heroin addiction, can also be used to treat addiction to opioid pain medications. Addiction to prescription stimulants, which affect the same brain systems as illicit stimulants like cocaine, can be treated with behavioral therapies, as there are not yet medications for treating addiction to these types of drugs.

Behavioral therapies can help motivate people to participate in drug treatment, offer strategies for coping with drug cravings, teach ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help individuals deal with relapse if it occurs. Behavioral therapies can also help people improve communication, relationship, and parenting skills, as well as family dynamics.

Many treatment programs employ both individual and group therapies. Group therapy can provide social reinforcement and help enforce behavioral contingencies that promote abstinence and a non-drug-using lifestyle. Some of the more established behavioral treatments, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are also being adapted for group settings to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, particularly in adolescents, there can also be a danger of unintended harmful (or iatrogenic) effects of group treatment—sometimes group members (especially groups of highly delinquent youth) can reinforce drug use and thereby derail the purpose of the therapy. Thus, trained counselors should be aware of and monitor for such effects.

Because they work on different aspects of addiction, combinations of behavioral therapies and medications (when available) generally appear to be more effective than either approach used alone.

Finally, people who are addicted to drugs often suffer from other health (e.g., depression, HIV), occupational, legal, familial, and social problems that should be addressed concurrently. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet an individual patient’s needs. Psychoactive medications, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. In addition, most people with severe addiction abuse multiple drugs and require treatment for all substances abused.

The Right Treatment

                                                       

                                           What is Drug Rehabilitation?
Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab) is a term for the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cocaine, meth, heroin or amphetamines.
The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and cease substance abuse in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse and addiction to such substances.

                              What is a Residential Rehabilitation Facility?
A facility or distinct part of a facility that provides a 24 hr therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of individuals with disorders in the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and other substances.

                                       Residential Rehab for Children
A facility or distinct part of a facility that provides a 24 hr therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of children with disorders in the use of drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Medical and supportive counseling services and education services are included.