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Malibu Addiction Center Growth Hurts Betty Ford
Written by Ted Jackson   
May 2008

Quite a few years ago, the CEO of Betty Ford Center, the notoriously ill-tempered John Schwarzlose, began a series of tirades against Malibu centers in the storied non-profit's newsletter Findings. The attacks, which went on over several newsletter issues, were very strongly derisive of the fast growing Malibu market. Schwarzlose argued that the treatment facilities increasingly popping up along Malibu’s magnificent canyons were little more than spas that overly pampered their clients, the assumption being that somehow toughness and deprivation were necessary and vital elements to the treatment process. But as Schwarzlose ranted, the Malibu model of care grew and grew. Now, fifteen years later, Betty Ford, the inventor of high end celebrity care can't fill its beds as consumers have flocked to the consumer friendly Malibu style of treatment...

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The Wagering Boom ... Montana's Rimrock Foundation
February 2008

The Wagering BoomIn the early 1990s, Rimrock Foundation was visited by producers and camera crews from the popular CBS news program 48 Hours. It was a time when legalized wagering was beginning to experience explosive growth, due to largely to tribal expansions into the casino business, and 48 Hours had come to Rimrock's facility in Billings, Montana, to examine some of the fallout from gambling's rapid spread. "They spent about a week here, and they were fascinated by what they found out," says Rimrock CEO David Cunningham, adding that it was clear to the 48 Hours journalists when they left that there was indeed a very dark underbelly to wagering's blistering pace of expansion throughout America...

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Addiction Treatment's Generational Leadership Shift
Written by Ted Jackson   

In the mid-1990s, Doug Tieman was hired away from Hazelden, where he had initially been charged with setting up what is now the Hanley Center, and began his duties as the new CEO of the venerable Caron Foundation. (Full circle: Caron recently took over struggling Hanley) This year celebrating its 55th anniversary, Caron was at the time, like most of its addiction treatment brethren, going through a tumultuous and difficult period. "My predecessors, and pretty much everyone else in the addiction industry, had assumed that the growth of the 1980s would continue," says Tieman...."

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Heir to the Cabela's Outdoor Gear Fortune Tries His Hand at Treatment
Written by Ted Jackson   
November 2007

Chaz Cabela ARC CEONot too long ago, Chaz Cabela came across a case, a female desperately in need of help, where he could not refuse admission, even though the woman did not have the means to pay for care. A wealthy scion of a catalogue and retailing family, Cabela has sharply boosted the charity care offered at South Florida-based Advanced Recovery Center, ARC, since he bought the cen- ter two years ago. "If there was ever a case of desperate need, this was it,"says Cabela, who is of that unique and ubiquitous type of treatment industry entrepreneur, the type who goes to treatment, gets clean, and then decides to buy or start a treatment center...

In Cabela's case, he bought a center that is among the nation's leading providers of extended care treatment services for those suffering from addiction combined with strong co-occurring psychiatric afflictions.

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Using The New Addiction Meds
October 2007

Treatment Magazine October 2007

 A few years ago, Percy Menzies made a decision to get into the treatment business, opening a center in St. Louis that was built on the highly medical model that he had been promoting as a consultant for many years.

Menzies' belief in the efficacy of a medical model stemmed from his years as a top level product manager at Dupont, where he helped bring naltrexone to market, first as an anti-craving treatment for heroin in the 1980s and then for the treatment of alcoholism in the 1990s.

And Menzies admits it was a frustrating experience at times: "Dupont basically brought naltrexone out just like any other drug, with a big focus on the general practitioner MDs."

 

  

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California's Six-Bed Model
September 2007

California's Six-Bed ModelA few years ago, Ray Blatt found himself confronted with a very serious problem. Someone he loved had succumbed to the disease of addiction and needed to get some help fast.

What eventually was decided upon was to send Ray's loved one to a well known highend treatment center in Arizona, where Ray visited during family week.

"That was really a very eye-opening experience for me,"says Blatt, a young real estate entrepreneur from Northern California. "During family week, the treatment center did such excellent and difficult work with us that it increased my respect immensely for the whole treatment process."

 

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Treatment Entrepreneurs
August 2007

Treatment EntrepreneursA few years ago, Mark Houston began to get the idea that he wanted to do something different after having worked for years as a top industry executive in the Texas addiction treatment market. And, besides, Houston had always had a bit of the entrepreneurial bug. "I wasn't getting any younger," he says, adding that conditions seemed right, the treatment market having more than fully recovered from the deep managed care induced recession of the 1990s.

So, he approached a financial backer and the two worked out a deal where the investor would provide financing in return for a 50 percent silent partnership in Houston's proposed venture...

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Therapeutic Schools
July 2007

Therapeutic SchoolsAbout a year ago, Robb and Debb Holub watched as their son emerged from a medically induced coma, mouthing the words to the favorite song his worried parents had played over and over again in the hospital room at Palomar Medical Center north of San Diego.

As Joey Holub was on his way toward a miraculous recovery - he had sustained serious head wounds after being hit by a car, and was weeks away from walking out of the hospital on a path to making a full recovery - his parents began thinking about how they could give something back. The answer came when a friend of Joey’s, Jason Moscartolo, showed up to wish his friend well. "We had sent Joey to a wilderness program and then on to a therapeutic school in an effort to help him with his addiction to opiates," says Debb Holub.

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Treating Chronic Pain
June 2007

Treating Cronic PainNot too long ago, a wealthy Southern California construction entrepreneur fell victim to intense and highly debilitating pain. An internal morphine pump was then installed, upon which the entrepreneur later became very highly dependent. Worried family members, who had witnessed the man’s descent from a vigorous individual engaged with life, to a listless, unmotivated and demoralized opiate addict, approached clinicians at Bayside Marin, a Northern California high-end center, seeking help.

“This man had a real sense that he could never again live without that internal morphine pump,” says Roland Williams, a 20-yr treatment industry veteran who has been the clinical director at Bayside Marin since its opening several years ago. “But we asked him if he was really ready to throw in the towel on his life...

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When Addiction Treatment CEO's Relapse
Written by Ted Jackson   
May 2007

When CEO's Relapse: A Big Business RiskA few years ago, Dr. Douglas Cook was driving down a country road near his treatment center in Monroe, LA. He spied a little store off the road, drove in and bought a quart of beer. Just like that, banal in its details, began Dr. Cook's tale of relapse. As industry clinicians know well, the moment of relapse can often be similarly banal for many addicts: a small trigger, a snap decision and, of course, denial, always denial.

It's the back stories behind the banality of these relapse moments that are often anything but banal, and so it was in the case of Dr. Cook, overwhelmed as he was at the time by a setback in his son's battle with kidneys that hadn't worked properly since the day he was born. "It had been a long, heart wrenching experience...

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Addiction's BioPharmas
April 2007

Treatment Magazine April 2007Several years ago, Richard Pops took the time to look closely at the state of the addiction treatment field, and what he saw was opportunity.

Then CEO of drug delivery powerhouse Alkermes Inc., Pops - who early last month ascended to the chairmanship of the company, with former COO David Broecker moving up into the CEO post - began to realize that the company's ong lasting Medisorb drug delivery technology might fit ideally within an addiction pharmaceutical treatment context.

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The Outpatient Future
Written by Ted Jackson   
March 2007

The Outpatient FutureAs early as the 1960s, Dr. David Smith, along with addiction medicine colleagues like Dr. Donald Wesson, were looking into whether compounds like flumazenil and naltrexone were effective in combating the disease of addiction. Of course, these compounds now form the basis of pharmacological-based treatments that many, including Dr. Smith, believe are just the vanguard of a wave of new treatments that will one day fundamentally alter how addiction is treated and, indeed, perceived.

As founder of the storied Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, Dr. Smith developed the nation's first outpatient detox program, and he believes that "there are many things coming down the line that many people in the treatment field just don't seem to be prepared for."

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Meeting Unmet Demand
March 2007

Treatment Magazine - Newport AcademyA few years ago, an impeccably mannered young man - equally well-dressed - began to make himself known on the treatment industry conference circuit, becoming, indeed, quite a ubiquitous presence.

In his late 20s, Jamison Monroe has had his share of trouble staying clean, enough to know that giving back was going to be big for him if he were to remain on the path of recovery he had managed to carve out for himself.

"This is going to sound kinda like a cliche," said an earnest Monroe, back in 2007 when Treatment Magazine first made his aquaintance at Naatp. "But it is the helping people part that really has driven my interest in the field."

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South Florida: A Booming Market
January 2007

Back in the 1970s, Don Mullaney was leading a colorful double existence, by day working for Rensselaer County in upstate New York teaching prevention in the schools, while partying very hardy at night. Fast forward a few decades, and Mullaney is one of the very top players in the booming South Florida market for private addiction treatment services. As the founder of Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, Mullaney was a pioneer of the Florida Model of care, a cross between outpatient and residential developed in the 1990s that helped lead the treatment industry out of the darkest days of the managed care cutbacks.

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The Interventions Boom: Everybody Wants to Be an Interventionist
November 2006

About 20 years ago, Chris Crosby, now CEO of thriving South Florida-based Watershed Treatment Programs, was working at Boca Ratonbased Anon Anew as an interventionist. Crosby was one of many such interventionists throughout the nation who then mostly worked as quasi in-house marketing agents at treatment centers around the country.

Trained at the Johnson Institute, which was founded by the famed Vernon Johnson, who is credited by many of today's interventionist as the founder of the interventions profession, Crosby says he and his colleagues would visit places like emergency rooms looking for appropriate treatment candidates. "Some saw us as kind of like ambulance chasers," says Crosby. "But I didn't see it that way at all. We did a lot of good and got a lot of people into treatment...

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Treating the Middle Class
September 2006

Almost forty years ago, doctors in tiny Norton, KS - a mostly agricultural enclave in the Northwestern part of the state - began to notice that an alarmingly large number of admissions to the local emergency room seemed to have a common substance abuse thread.

Instead of ignoring the addiction issue, as most med surg facilities do to this day, Norton"s small team of medical professionals decided to call Dr. William Leipold, who was then working several states away in North Dakota running a substance abuse program there. Dr. Leipold came to Norton and began looking into the local substance abuse problem, with the upshot that a small twelve-bed inpatient center was opened in a state facility nearby.

From that small program grew what is today known as Valley Hope Association...

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New Players Target Busy Addiction IT Market
August 2006

Several years ago, Caron Foundation’s information technology director Bob Wagner found himself at a fork in the road, needing a new IT system. For years, Caron - which in the 1990s effectuated a remarkable turnaround under CEO Doug Tieman's new leadership - had used Substance Abuse Treatment Information System, SATIS, Betty Ford's in-house system that the renowned treatment center had decided to commercialize in the 1990s.

At the time of its commercial launching, SATIS was not only a pioneering IT effort within the treatment industry, but also within the highly underdeveloped general healthcare IT world as well. But, after snagging about 30 treatment industry clients - including leading players like Rosecrance and Cumberland Heights - Betty Ford eventually made a strategic decision to exit the commercial information technology...

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High-End Keeps On Expanding
July 2006

  Successful in a number of business ventures - law, mediation and real estate - Perry  Litchfield over the last few years has turned his attention to opening a high-end Northern California center in tony Marin County, just across the bay from San Francisco. The new center is Bayside Marin...

 

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Addiction Industry Lobbying: Centers are More Active, Getting Results
July 2006

When you talk to Chris Crosby about managed care, it quickly becomes apparent that you're talking to a man on a mission: "The whole way managed care approaches addiction treatment is a travesty," says Crosby, who, as CEO of South Florida-based Watershed Treatment Programs, runs one of the nation's largest and fastest growing treatment operations. "The payors wouldn't dream of denying coverage to someone with diabetes who has, yet again, ignored the advice of doctors about diet and exercise and wound up, yet again, in the hospital. But if an alcoholic seeks help repeatedly, that's somehow less worthy? The situation our industry finds itself in with respect to the payors is absurd and wrong, and it needs to change."

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The Physiological Frontier
May 2006

In 2002, The World Health Organization identified alcoholism as the third leading risk to health in the developed world, and the leading risk in low mortality developing countries like Russia. When WHO data on tobacco and illicit drugs are thrown into the mix, substance abuse emerges as probably the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, substantially beating out other single causes like high cholesterol, unsafe sex, obesity and diet deficiencies.

And yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of addiction's role as a key underlying cause of myriad types of death, not to mention disability and productivity lost, the resources devoted to treating addiction within healthcare systems continues to be pitiful, representing a tiny fraction of total expenditures. In the U.S., where annual spending on healthcare is approaching $2 trillion...

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Adolescent Treatment Resurgent
April 2006

In the late 1990s, the family that owned diversified medical and behavioral health services provider College Health Enterprises made a fateful move, resolving that they would sell the youth division of the company. Hindsight is golden, but maybe they would have decided differently had they known that the unit, now known as Aspen Education Group, would become one of nation’s largest and fastest growing private providers of therapeutic services to the country’s growing ranks of troubled teens.

Certainly, Aspen’s investors -Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Sprout Group in 1998 and then Warburg Pincus in 2002- have hit a major home run, being early movers into the now booming marketplace for therapeutic boarding schools and programs.

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