With all the pressure for substance abusers to enroll in rehab programs this lucid, eye opening examination of the largely unregulated treatment industry is a definitive “go-to” reference guide. Fletcher goes inside centers around the U.S. to provide an up close look at facilities ranging from those catering to celebrities to modest outpatient programs for the homeless. Interviews with staff administrators, councilors and over one hundred clients provide unique perspectives into the assorted programs. Shockingly, the vast majority are based upon the 12-step program used by Alcoholic Anonymous despite research and client experience showing that approach in many cases simply doesn’t work. Particularly scary is the overall lack of regulation, councilors are frequently unlicensed, their only qualification being recovered abusers themselves. Many facilities do not provide or even keep accurate recovery rate records and employ the bizarre technique of kicking clients out of the program should they lapse, thus penalizing those who need them the most.
Thankfully, there are also excellent treatment centers and surprisingly, they aren’t the most expensive. An example of this is the Healing Journey Program at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. This program combines education with a support group and realizing what these addicts are struggling with, only asks that they show up to the sessions sober. Throughout the book, there are informative sidebars along with plenty of insight into the assessment process, program philosophies, insurance and payment issues, getting the most out of treatment and much, much more. This important guide will prove invaluable to those struggling with addiction and their families and is an absolute must read for public and private policymakers at every level.