Commentary By Scott W. Stern, Psychotherapist/Empowerment Professional:
Kudo's to to producers Greg Horvath and Adam Finberg for their brutally scathing documentary, "The Business of Recovery," and to colleague Gabrielle Glaser for her article about the inpatient rehab industry.
The film documents various perspectives about the billion dollar rehab business, unnecessary and expensive for most who can be treated more effectively in appropriate outpatient treatment therapy. (So much for reducing costs of health care!) It premiered at The Newport Film Festival in California on May 3rd.
Noteworthy are contributions of San Francisco's Dee Dee Stout who, like me, got sober in the rooms of AA without bias against evidence-based alternatives to Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF).
The film takes a scathing view of promises and guarantees made by inpatient rehabs (focused primarily in Southern California) via advertisements and literature."The filmmakers compare the services offered at Betty Ford (it has since merged with Hazelden), which costs $53,000 a month, to those of a nearby retirement home, which cost $4,005 a month. (One notable difference: at Betty Ford, you eat what’s being served that day. At the retirement home, you have your choice of a restaurant-style menu.)A spokeswoman for Hazelden said that they had not had the opportunity to see the film.
Other facility directors, including New Directions’ Rebecca Flood, did not return calls for comment."In fairness, I believe there is tremendous value to inpatient treatment for people with Severe Substance Use Disorders (i.e. extreme medical and legal consequences should they drink again). But this does not constitute the majority of people with substance use disorders who would greatly benefit from treatment alternatives.