June 11, 2015 13:09 ET

Empower Clearwater Refutes Mother Jones Article Condemning Addiction Treatment Centers

In Response to a Recent Article in Mother Jones, Highly Critical of Addiction Treatment Centers, Jim Dillon, President and CEO of Empower, Refutes the Author's Condemnation of the Industry and Raises Concerns That His Claims May Stop People From Seeking Qualified Help

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA--(Marketwired - June 11, 2015) - An article in a recent issue of Mother Jones that takes a harsh view of treatment centers for addiction and alcoholism, has caused Jim Dillon, President and CEO of Empower (www.alternative2rehab.com), a Florida non-12-step, holistic and dual-diagnosis treatment center for addictions and psycho-emotional disorders, to speak out. According to Dillon, the article; The Rehab Racket: The Way We Treat Addiction is a Dangerous, Costly Mess, is an unfair blanket indictment of the entire industry. He is concerned that the article, written by John Hill, may convince some people in need of qualified help and guidance not to seek treatment, and could result in lives lost. "While Hill's article draws attention to some problems within the addiction treatment industry that need to be addressed, we must make certain that it does not help to create a public mindset that stops those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction and their families, from finding the help they so desperately need," explains Dillon.

The central focus of the Mother Jones article was a December 2012 episode of the National Geographic Channel documentary series Drugged. During this episode, cameras followed Bryan, a charming 28-years old chronic alcoholic battling some very serious demons, on his journey into rehab. Bryan died just 17 days after checking-in to a California rehab facility that was selected and paid for by the series' producers. It is quite likely that a combination of drugs that had been prescribed for him by his service providers contributed to his death. Hill accurately reports in his article that at the time of his death, Bryan's treatment center was already under state investigation for a previous incident that resulted in a patient's death and three other complaints. The facility was permitted by California law to remain open while the investigations were underway. Hill also points out that rehabilitation treatment can be expensive (Bryan's treatment cost $1,800 a day), regulations and oversight can differ greatly between states, and insurance coverage for treatment is spotty at best.

"What Hill fails to mention in his article are the thousands of lives that have been saved and changed for the better by hundreds of accredited, qualified rehabilitation centers throughout the United States. These centers welcome more regulation and actively campaign to get the insurance carriers to come on board. If more people were able to get treatment and insurance coverage, the cost of treatment would come down," says Dillon.

Although Bryan's heartbreaking story is a tragedy, it is an anomaly and definitely not the norm. "Perhaps, if the producers of the documentary had taken a little more time to find Bryan the competent care he so desperately needed, he might not have died. For those considering treatment for themselves or a family member, there are a few important things to consider when searching for a facility that offers high-quality care and will best suit your needs. The bottom line is that rehab is no more a "Racket" than journalism. Not all programs are equal. Some save lives," adds Dillon.

Tips to help find the right treatment program and quality care:

1/ Speak with your doctor and/or therapist. Their knowledge of your psychological profile and medical needs can help determine which treatment option will work best for you. Your physician or therapist may even be able to provide referrals for programs and centers.

2/ Call your insurance provider. It is helpful to know from the start the kinds of treatments they may be covered and what the insurance provider will pay. There may be centers that are in network for your carrier.

3/ The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers an extensive listing of licensed, certified alcohol and drug treatment facilities. Call the referral helpline operated by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment:

1-800-662-9832 (Español)
1-800-228-0427 (TDD)
Their database can be accessed online at http://www.samhsa.org/

4/ Check with the state government agency that oversees substance abuse treatment. There is a full listing of various state agencies and contact information on the SAMHSA website.

About Empower Clearwater:

Located at the eEvole Holistic Health and Wellness Center in Clearwater Florida, Empower (www.alternative2rehab.com) provides a safe, peaceful and therapeutic environment for those who suffer from the effects of alcoholism, drug and substance abuse, depression, trauma and other emotional and spiritual disorders. A clinically-based psycho-therapeutic program administered by licensed, credentialed physicians and mental health professionals, Empower offers both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that integrate traditional western medicine, Perception Therapy® psychotherapy sessions, achieve exceptional results. For more information about Empower addiction treatments, call 727- 410-8911.

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