Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Art Levine’s article, “Dark Side of a Bain Success,” is inaccurate, unbalanced and disheartening.
Mr. Levine makes treatment seem as though it’s about money. In fact, we believe it’s about helping people — the work- and life-changing treatment to help afflicted children, spouses, individuals and families. The 30,000 individuals we serve each day are just the tip of the iceberg. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are 23 million Americans who need but do not receive alcohol and drug abuse treatment. The failures of non-intervention are disastrous. According to Department of Justice surveys, two-thirds of arrestees test positive for illegal drugs. Drug abuse costs the nation tens of thousands of deaths and according to the Research Triangle, $200 billion a year in hospitalization, lost productivity and prison terms.
The article lacks journalistic balance. Although there are myriad examples and success stories, Mr. Levine does not include anything from the thousands of our clients who, after treatment, have repeatedly cited quality of care, understanding of their addiction issues, and improved family relationships and trust. He failed to interview referrals provided by CRC who had positive stories and, in the one instance where he did, the positive testimonial was buried at the end of a very long article. Mr. Levine failed to reference any of the extensive staff and top executive interviews provided to him by CRC. Instead, the article relies extensively on organizations that exist to criticize youth treatment programs, “critics” with no first-hand knowledge of the events they purport to describe, and the selective republication of erroneous information in earlier media reports. Mr. Levine also fails to mention that we are prohibited by law from discussing specific cases or patient care, while the “critics” and family members making allegations against CRC have no such restraints. The net result: a sensational, politicized article that attempts to draw broad conclusions from one-sided accounts of a handful of episodes over the last 10-15 years.
Mr. Levine clearly began his reporting with a biased perspective, specifically soliciting “survivors” of CRC and Aspen’s treatment programs to be his sources. The vast majority of our estimated half a million clients served over our company’s history would tell of positive outcomes, as our surveys and numerous testimonials indicate, yet Mr. Levine paid no attention to those. Instead, the article denigrates the industry’s own audits and surveys, including those bodies that accredit all institutional health care providers in the country. We are apparently criticized for having internal policing and criticized for not having it. Would Mr. Levine not have the industry do everything possible? Would he have the industry not provide self-policing and standards? The article remarks that there are no studies that show that residential programs work, when in fact there is a body of research that clearly shows there is an important place in the continuum of care for residential treatment and the efficacy of all levels of care.
We work hard to provide the highest quality individual care and best scientific clinical practices and have actively invested in these areas, as we relayed to Mr. Levine.
Some of what we told to him, but he neglected to include: we are the only provider in this field to have a team of over 20 people solely dedicated to clinical quality that visit every facility and conduct comprehensive reviews of clinical practices, delivery of services, systems, operations, and policies and procedures, and make enhancements wherever needed; we reinvest in the development of superior clinical programming by sharing best practices and peer-developed solutions across facilities; we collaborate with the leading experts in this field, other providers and therapists to identify the latest evidence-based treatments; we have a Clinical Advisory Board of established behavioral health industry experts to provide expert guidance as we develop a cutting-edge treatment delivery system that encompasses the latest innovations and research, our own “CRC Treatment Model;” we deployed a Clinical Supervision System that was personally implemented by the leading expert in this field; we implemented a Clinical Outcomes Management System and a new system for administering patient satisfaction surveys that capture timely and candid feedback from our most important audience; we have a Vice President of Quality who conducts weekly quality meetings with the field to disseminate best practices.
CRC is a recognized leader in this field and has ranked in the top three for overall best practices by the MHCA (Mental Health Corporations of America). All of the aforementioned efforts are above and beyond any state, federal or industry mandated standards. And all of this was shared with Mr. Levine.
The bottom line is that as the nation’s largest behavioral health and substance abuse treatment provider, CRC and its programs have long-been helping individuals and families, addressing the enormous national drug crisis and helping people to lead better, more productive lives. The only “Dark Side” to our work is that there is not enough treatment provided in America to save every troubled soul with a behavioral or substance abuse problem.
Dr. Philip L. Herschman is the chief clinical officer of CRC Health Group More Dr. Philip L. Herschman.
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Mandela is accompanied by his former wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years in jail. (Reuters)
In this February, 1990 photo, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, gives the black power salute to the 120,000 supporters packing Soccer City stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. (AP Photo)
Nelson Mandela showed his passport in February 19, 1990, shortly after his release from prison. The South African government authorized an application for himself and his wife Winnie - (Juda Ngwenya / Reuters)
In this July 27, 1991 photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas, Cuba. (AP Photo)
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela acknowledges cheers from the crowd as he prepares to unveil the ANC's official election platform in 1994. (AP Photo/David Brauchli)
African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela greeted residents of Mmabatho in March 1994, during a visit after the nominal homeland came under South African control following the ousting of the former President Lucas Mangope. (Reuters/Howard Burditt)
South African President Nelson Mandela smiles with actor Sidney Poitier at a press conference in Cape Town in 1996. Poitier played Mandela in the film "One Man, One Vote" (AP Photo / Sasa Kralj)
South African President Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in a an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace.(AP/Louisa Buller)
Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly Cyril Ramaphosa, left, holds up a copy of the country's constitution which was signed by President Nelson Mandela, in December 1996. (AP Photo / Adil Bradlow / POOL)
Nelson Mandela at a news conference in Johannesburg in February 2000. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)
South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, right, received the Rugby World Cup trophy from President Nelson Mandela also wearing a South African rugby shirt, after South Africa defeated New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup , in 1995. (AP Photo / Ross Setford)