The Business of Recovery[i] was the title of the debut documentary produced by institutional insider, Greg Horvath. I talked to Horvath in November 2016 at Toronto’s film/art festival, Rendezvous With Madness. Rendezvous is an art, addiction and mental health amalgam. Painters, filmmakers and psychiatrists sit on panels together and discuss well-being and falling off the beam in panels that precede and follow indie films and documentaries.
|Greg Horvath with Geoff Pevere of Rendezvous With Madness|
This just in: Horvath! Crowd-sourcing is underway for his second treatment business inventory-taking documentary. His followup documentary has a working title of The Truth About Rehab[ii]. It aims to frame the addiction treatment business as a wild, wild west, where wild claims are made and wild fees are charged for healthcare. Greg’s film is dedicated to exposing corruption and unethical, predatory practices. The new trailer to The Truth About Rehab quotes 50,000 as the number of people who died of addiction in 2015 (the year of his first documentary). Death is something Greg has some insight into. As the drama of his film unfolds, some of the people Horvath interviewed in The Business of Recovery, who are going through the addiction treatment system, don’t live to the documentary’s completion; Others are no longer alive, today.
The Business of Recovery motivated Rebellion Dogs to do our own digging around behind-the-scenes of the $US $35 Billion + addiction treatment industry. We share some of what we’ve found in this episode. Pundits, advocates, critics, lobbyists, all have a spin on this. Why not? A lot is on the line—a lot of well-being and profit to be had.
Background we need to know for context:
Ask Google: What does addiction treatment cost? A 30-day program could be $14,000 to $27,000, or $80,000 in Malibu. Out-patient treatment could be in the $500 range. Detoxing can cost $600-$1,000 per day.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)[iii] was formed in 1992. Formed by Congress, SAMHSA describes itself as “the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.”
Here is a mind-blowing statistic from SAMSHA:
In 2015, they count just under 286 million people 12 or older with either alcohol or drug dependency or abuse. By the way, the $35 Billion that is reportedly spent only meets the demand of 10% or so of Americans seeking addiction treatment.
SAMHSA itself has requested Congress for a budget of $4.3 Billion to carry on its work.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)[iv] has some AA history. A first in many regards, Marty Mann was AA’s first LGBTQ success story and an early advocate outside the AA rooms. It’s interesting to wonder if we had formal Traditions or finger-pointing tradition enforcers back then, if Marty M could have or would have done what she has done. Mann is credited for organizing the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism in 1944, which became National Council on Alcoholism in in 1950, became equally concerns with drugs and re-branded as NCADD in 1990.
Mission Statement for NCADD: “Affiliate Network is a voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting the Nation’s #1 health problem – alcoholism, drug addiction and the devastating consequences of alcohol and other drugs on individuals, families and communities.” Activities include professional and community training, referral services, support and advocacy and public information.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)[v] or
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)[vi]
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)[vii]
Horvath’s first movie makes the claim that treatment center cost for addiction in America is $35 Billion and has risen 300% over 25 years. He also points out that treatment centers have tripled in 25 years now with 14,000 places that take your money to treat your addiction.
We also bring you some of what we’ve found from Vice, In Recovery Magazine and The Guardian. Of note, many within the industry are dedicated to ethical best-practices, education and outing predatory and unethical practices. We will report on some of their efforts and advocacy, also.
Visit the links below to buy or rent The Business of Recovery or keep up to date with Greg Horvath’s newest project.
Mark your calendars for November 3 - 12, 2017 for this year’s Rendezvous With Madness[viii] art and film amalgam.
A complete PDF transcript will be coming soon.
SEDONA MAGO RETREAT October 27, 28, 29, 2017 "A Secular view to Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions: http://www.sedonamagoretreat.org/beyond-belief/
Secular Ontario AA Roundup September 16, 2017 SOAAR http://www.soaar.ca/
Issues of Substance, Calgary November 13 - 15: http://www.cclt.ca/Eng/newsevents/Issues-of-Substance-Conference/Pages/default.aspx
Feature song: "Crazy" by Ash Leigh Ball http://www.ashleighballmusic.com/