Bain Capital’s grip on addiction–The profit behind 12-step treatment
I just came across this article and agree with a lot that is being said. People often spend a lot of money going to 12 step rehabs expecting real treatment for their problems with addiction, and simply get an introduction to AA or another 12 step group by a poorly qualified member of staff. They would have been better off spending their money going to a real psychiatrist if they are serious about giving up and trying to do something about the issues that drive them to addiction.
The article talks about the relative salaries of treatment center staff and so it is no wonder that centers that are run for profit take this approach, often staffed by evangelical members of the 12 step world, with little experience of any other types of therapy that are probably more effective. It mentions the fact that 12 step methods do not have a great success rate but are still used the most, and that 36% of people going to AA are court ordered which keeps the numbers attending up.
I like this part which illustrates the problem and shows how people are being ripped off:
According to Indeed.com, the median salary of a counselor with an associate’s degree is $34,340, compared with $96,500 for a Ph.D.-level practitioner. A psychiatrist would cost right around $200,000.
But, the reality is, you don’t need a PhD or a psychiatrist in order to “take a fearless and thorough moral inventory of yourself,” as almost all treatment-center curricula consists mainly of learning to regularly attend AA meetings and completing the first four steps before graduating the 28-day treatment program.
“Ninety meetings in ninety days,” is the catch-phrase most oft recited in rehab.
“What we have in this country is a washing-machine model of addiction treatment,” A. Thomas McClellan, chief executive of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute, based in Philadelphia, told The New York Times. “You go to Shady Acres for 30 days or to some clinic for 60 visits or 60 doses, whatever it is. And then you’re discharged and everyone’s crying and hugging and feeling proud — and you’re supposed to be cured.”
It’s pretty clear then why opportunistic corporations and shrewd investors are preying upon an ignorant public, medical community, and criminal-justice system. Treatment facilities are unregulated, expensive snake-oil salesmen pitching a self-help ‘cure’ for a medical condition.”
Here is a section about court ordered attendance:
“The government’s own Alcohol and Drug Services Studies (ADSS) revealed that 86% of substance-abuse facilities receive public funding, with a median of 62% regularly receiving public funding.
Corporate money grabbers are eager to jump on the addiction-treatment bandwagon because few question the methods, and programs are cheap to operate and very profitable. Simply have patients repeat, “I am powerless over alcohol and my life has become unmanageable” enough times, then hand them a meeting list and they’re cure
That is until the court-to-treatment pipeline sends them through again and with county funding.
Well-intentioned judges don’t really understand addiction or its effective treatment so they continue to order defendants to what they’re vaguely familiar with–Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step-based treatment.
Due in large part to increased court-ordered treatment; CRC alone boasts an annual growth of 2-2% with patient revenue of $452.3 million, with 20.9% it government funded.
Even if the patient doesn’t qualify for public funding, there really isn’t a problem. 12-step treatment centers are slick operators who know just which philanthropic agencies and good-hearted churches to turn to, and keep a list of contacts.
Unlike medical facilities, treatment centers demand payment up front, so they’re a no-lose investment for vultures like Bain. They’ve already got the cash even if a patient drops out of the program. Overflowing with a steady stream of state- and privately funded clients, the opportunities for profit just keep growing.
The courts are more than happy to accommodate this.”
It is obvious to me that many are not suited to the 12 step way of life and many are now writing about this. here is a review of the Lance Dodes book “The Sober Truth” which talks a lot about how the 12 step world, influenced the American rehab industry. https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/sober-truth-book/
Here is a post about the new book Quicksand which talks about the problems people can face after joining the 12 step world when it was not a suitable solution for them https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/quicksand-c-a-sheckels/
On the links page there are solutions that are not 12 step based and people who have written books which focus on non 12 step recovery https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/other-sites/
If you are looking for a rehab it is a good idea to look at what you are paying for otherwise you can end up with a few AA meetings and some table tennis for your life savings!
Here is a new link about rehab https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/10-rehab-centers-wont/