WHEN THE TIDE GOES OUT ON A PRIVATE REHAB
World-famous private investor and the fourth wealthiest person on the planet, Warren Buffet, once said, “Only when the tide goes out to do you discover who has been swimming naked”. Buffet refers to the idea that when businesses suddenly become very bleak, and the markets have a sudden correction, it is much easier to see what companies genuinely have a good business model.
Likewise, other companies that cannot withstand devastating unforeseen events and are built on a house of cards become destined to fail.
If there is anything positive to actualise from the 2020 worldwide pandemic, many private rehabs will no longer exist in 2021 and onwards, which can only be a positive step in the right direction.
For far too long, endless private rehabs in faraway exotic locations have blatantly deceived, conspired and manipulated families, clients and the general public that they operate legitimate, accredited and accountable addiction treatment services. These claims often range from guarantees about relapse prevention, so-called evidenced-based treatment models and holistic approaches. The holy trinity of deception are guarantees, the expression Evidence-Based and Holistic models of care.
How do they do this?
How have they gotten away with this for so long?
Why will they now have to close their doors suddenly?
Unfortunately, because of film, tv, music and popular culture, many people wrongly believe that a rehab is a magical place that fixes everything in someone’s life in a short period, and that is the first and only option available to people in a difficult situation.
When family members, friends or individuals who suffer from chronic addiction decide it is time to get some help or assistance, they find themselves in a highly precarious situation.
They are vulnerable, impressionable, isolated and traumatised, culminating in a unique recipe for many private rehabs to ride along and devour them with great gusto, praying on their victims with imaginary tails of success, validation, competence and professionalism.
Many unsuspecting people do not understand that what is being sold to them is complete fiction with zero scientifically validated approaches and methods.
Anyone, even a computer bot, can join many of the accrediting peak bodies they are connected to, and the same private rehabs own all their review websites, rehab helper websites, rehab summary websites and operate in a cabal like fashion with other private rehabs partners in crime.
Their workforces have never worked in an actual legitimate accredited addiction treatment service because they have no qualifications other than being sober members of a 12-Step program.
Regrettably, when people are looking for private rehab, common sense flies out the window.
Firstly, they are genuinely conned by some very enthusiastic salesmanship and are even more willing to believe anything because of their current predicament.
The two most common questions people ask when enquiring about a private rehab are:
“What are your success rates?”
“Do you have any doctors?”
For anyone who does not know anything about addiction treatment services, these two questions would seemingly be the most logical and reasonable questions to ask.
The problem is twofold.
No rehab in the world, either public or private, can honestly answer the first question. The question is entirely subjective, and the potential answers have endless variables.
How do you judge success?
If the question is; what length of time do people stay clean and sober after completing the treatment program?
The answer is also the same, impossible to measure unless the treatment program has sober housing attached to their existing program post-treatment with regular drug testing and monitoring.
However, this too is not a guarantee.
There are no guarantees.
The next time you read on Facebook that rehab guarantees sobriety for their client’s post-treatment, they should be reported to Facebook, the ACCC and potentially sued for deceptive and misleading advertising.
The doctor question is also fascinating.
A doctor’s consultation is, on average, around 15 minutes at the cost of between 200 to 400 hundred dollars.
Although General Practitioners have extensive experience and knowledge, they are generally given a brief period to assess patients, recognise symptoms, prescribe medication, and make referrals.
Doctors are not psychotherapists; they do not have the luxury of spending long periods with individual patients; they must professionally make fast diagnostic decisions and move on to their next patient. Doctors do not work at rehabs. They work with rehabs or have a practice nearby which the rehab services utilise for their clients, like any member of the general population.
(Unless, of course, the rehab is in a private hospital, but the same principle still applies. Private Hospital rehabs are notorious for having repeat business from individual clients. Private Hospital Rehabs base their entire business models on Private Medical Insurance claims which essentially means they never have to advertise and tend to have a direct effect on the premiums paid by the general population)
Private rehabs are mostly cash businesses that extort superannuation funds, medical loans, health insurance and many private rehabs in Australia consciously deceive the TAC to extort claims for their business. Being such a large cash business has often invited large criminal organisational syndicates to own and operate rehabs to launder money.
All private rehabs benefit from repeat business; most private rehabs rely heavily on repeat business.
People looking for a private rehab get seduced by pictures of beautiful sceneries, 5-star accommodation and food, yoga and martial arts and supposedly evidence-based programs delivered by highly qualified professionals. Unless you would be paying half a million dollars for such extravagant treatment, it is basic mathematics that can dictate the situation’s true nature.
Most private rehabs utilised the free community-based self helps groups of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous.
Many private rehabs based their entire rehab programs on AA and NA. This is why most of the staff at a Private Rehab are also members of either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous or both.
The private rehabs themselves believe it to be a professional qualification to a sober member of AA or NA.
In most businesses, it is not easy to retain and maintain highly qualified and professional expert staff.
Now think very carefully about a remote location far from any city in a remote part of the world.
What are the chances of having highly qualified professional clinicians working at these private rehabs?
The answer is in the question.
This is why private rehabs lie so flippantly, firstly because they can and secondly because they do not have a choice.
AA and NA are not evidence-based programs. Although numerous studies claim to have tried to calculate its effectiveness, it is somewhat tricky to kept empirical data about organisations that are entirely based on preserving a person’s anonymity.
However, by AA owns admission, it believes success rates for people are somewhere between 1 and 10%, which is roughly slightly lower than the supposed success rates of residential treatment programs.
It works for some people but does not work for many others.
The central fact is that it is a free non-professional program that anyone can attend anywhere in many places worldwide.
If you plan on going to private rehab, you might as well begin attending AA and or NA, and you will probably find a meeting, free of charge, tonight very close to your home, if you live in an urban area, perhaps at the end of your street.
Families and individuals should not be paying thousands of dollars to be taken to fee programs readily available to them.
(This includes NA, AA, GA, SMART Recovery and numerous other free community-based peer support mutual-aid programs)
Private Rehabs spend millions of dollars a year on advertising through their PR firms, embedded journalism and Chequebook journalism, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, fabricated news stories, enticements for doctors and detox units and mainly through referral fees which can be anywhere from 10% to 25% of the cost of treatment open to anyone who helps them get more clients. Entire business models and industries are based on the referral fee system.
Exotic rehabs in faraway places run by unqualified ex-pats from the United Kingdom or elsewhere who are AA members have now suddenly had to shut their doors.
The worldwide pandemic has destroyed their business models because of no international flights, and new social distancing measures have meant self-help groups have had to move online.
Because these rehabs base their entire programs on taking people to AA meetings, they cannot charge people for logging onto an online free AA/NA meeting.
In many please around the world, this is still exactly what they are doing. Asking people to pay them large sums of money, then sending people links to free online AA meetings
We can all only pray that when the pandemic has dissipated, these individuals running these fraudulent private rehabs have moved onto their next Ponzi scheme.
Please note that not all Private Rehab providers fit the description above. Many private providers offer some of the best treatment services in the world.
However, it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.