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Blog Post

The Treatment Model is Broken.
Addiction Treatment

The Treatment Model is Broken.

Ryan Rhodes was a born entrepreneur. Unfortunately, trauma and loss as a child – compounded by toxic influences at too young an age – corrupted his entrepreneurial spirit. Ryan made money from other people’s suffering: Dealing drugs and engaging in other illicit activities that earned him millions of dollars but bankrupted him spiritually.

When Ryan’s lifestyle finally caught up with him, he was forced to face the truth about what he had done to other people. What follows is Ryan’s journey from darkness to light. As the co-founder of Manifest Recovery Centers, Ryan now uses his business acumen to lift others up.

The name Manifest is an acknowledgement that we are all capable of manifesting anything we want – spiritual wellness, moral corruptness. It’s in our power to decide how we live,” Ryan said. “To be part of someone else’s journey… there is no business in the world where you’re able to help people create lives of substance in such a powerful way.

Addiction treatment planning has drastically changed over the recent years. Pressure from insurance companies coupled with growing overheads have molded the treatment model we see today. These changes have not been in client’s best interest. What we know as residential treatment is becoming an almost archaic approach to looking at alcohol and substance abuse. Left in its place, is a seemingly endless cycle of relapse and detoxification based centrally around outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment, for those who don’t know, is a system designed around providing various therapies at a facility in which the client does not reside. In short, the place in which they receive treatment is not the place they live. What is the significance? The reason this is such an important distinction is because structure and safety normally associated with an inpatient or “residential” treatment center has seemingly evaporated.

The current treatment model focuses on shorter periods of stay at higher levels of care. This tradeoff is in favor of minimizing overhead, with emphasis on logistical efficiencies. Essentially, treatment businesses have been forced to provide care in a model that is not in the best interest of the client. Beside the blatant ethical issues that have been arising, it has become increasingly difficult for companies in good standing to be able to provide effective treatment.

What the hell happened? There are a number of reasons for the shift in the treatment model. It is the opinion of the writer that the insurance companies are at the center of the debate. On one hand, we have facilities providing excellent treatment at fair market rates, and on the other, we have centers who have criminally manipulated the system. Insurance companies have begun to reduce the amounts and frequency in which they will reimburse on claims in an attempt to curb or deter some of the fraud that is occurring. This has caused a drastic ripple effect throughout the entire industry. Residential treatment reimbursement is significantly more expensive than its leaner and meaner brother outpatient treatment. Fundamentally forcing clients into programs which provide less safety and structure early on their road to recovery.

The case study: recently I spoke with a friend who had been pushed through the current treatment model and barely escaped with his life. Let’s call him John Doe, John freshly went through what he described as the, “South Florida shuffle”. Johns story of how he received treatment in Del Ray Beach FL is something seemingly taken from a work of fiction. Tales of corrupt marketing, laughable sober living conditions, and ethical nightmares left this writer deeply disturbed. A snapshot of an industry built on greed, and exploitation.

What is a possible solution? As sad as it may sound. The answer to the epidemic of ineffective treatment may be one found on a long and arduous road that leads directly to the door step of the health insurance cartel. Keep in mind, the problem is much more complicated than vilifying the insurance providers. Small treatment business has also been caught with its pants down. Predatory marketing tactics, fraudulent billing practices, and subpar treatment are all key factors in the mess that has been created. Being a recovering addict myself, I have grown angry at the state of affairs. Day in, day out, I continue to see these people dying, Friends of mine, dying! When will the body count be large enough?

In the end, the solution will be multifaceted. Insurance companies and health care regulators must come together to ensure the bad actors in the industry cease to operate. People of every socioeconomic background should be able to receive affective treatment. Quality care in a safe and structured environment with the option of long term treatment if necessary. A decision that must be left to a clinician, not an accountant. This is a disease of the body that centers in the mind and spirit. The answer will never come from numbers on a spreadsheet. The remedy is compassion, connection and ultimately love.