Category Archives: Social Work Ethics

What’s Going on at Pennsylvania DDAP?

NYS OASAS needs a similar investigation, because the situation is similar (my analysis of OASAS), because the rehab industry works in every state like this (disruptedphysician) to become entrenched in health systems and gain regulatory capture (disruptedphysician).

A series of articles by Ford Turner of the Reading Eagle exposed serious conflicts interests that are not unique to the employee, the department Secretary, the Department, or to Pennsylvania for that matter. This is happening nationwide and state workers need the freedom to speak out about it. It’s disgusting to hear how much money these rehab industry people are making and the lengths they go to to hide the realities of addiction treatment from the public (which is what this blog is about). Here is a quick overview, with links to the articles:

“I spoke loud and clear while I worked within the department via the allowable channels. Any disgruntelment I had was expressed while I was a Bureau Director. Current employees for DDAP, however, are not permitted to speak to the press. I believe in full transparency in government, and I will answer any direct questions that are asked. Part of going out on my own was to have the true freedom to speak my mind.” -Ex-state employee responding to comment about ‘sour grapes’

Top state lawmaker commends Gov. Wolf’s dismissal of drug chief (Reading Eagle)

“In an email to the Reading Eagle’s top management shortly after the story was published, the chairman of the board of a large and influential member of DASPOP in Berks County attacked the story and said it “could lead some to surmise a suggested scandal in the government or treatment field.”
The latest federal filings of financial information by nonprofit members of DASPOP show that their three highest-paid leaders receive compensation packages of $4,760,306, $1,015,577, and $736,244.” – Pennsylvania Secretary of Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs loses his job (Reading Eagle)

This follows up on investigative work from October 2015 on the connection between Caron Treatment and DASPOP: On drug abuse policy, one group wields enormous clout but is shrouded in mystery (Reading Eagle)

“The concern is whether the state agency has in some sense been captured by the substance abuse (treatment) industry as represented by this lobbyist or trade association,” Clark said. “It is a situation in which that agency is at risk of being dominated by the industry.”

“Reactions from four professionals told of the agency-lobbyist interaction varied from surprise, to disbelief that such a scenario might not violate laws, to outrage.
“This is just so wrong, I think, in so many ways,” said Sen. Mike Folmer, a Lebanon County Republican whose district used to include part of Berks County. “A lobbyist should not be interviewing prospective state employees. It opens the door for corruption, whether it is intended or unintended.” – Ex-state employee says she interviewed with a lobbyist (Reading Eagle)

State lawmaker criticizes Wolf’s plan to merge agencies (Reading Eagle)

Feb 2, 2017 – Pennsylvania drug treatment program uses ‘archaic practices,’ 2 ex-state employees say (Reading Eagle)

Department of Drug and Alcohol Prorgrams recognized support options (all 12-step…DDAP website).

Deceased Patient Records – HIPAA Concerns and Rights for Substance Abuse Treatment

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I am sure many parents whose children have died after drug rehab become curious to know what exactly happened. I am concerned that dissent in rehab is not being correctly documented, perhaps even censored. I know this is possible because I have unsuccessfully attempted to get my complaints amended to my therapy records from Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region (which is a HIPAA right). These included detailed accounts of my own experience which did not necessarily put all the professionals in a very positive light. Instead, I found that without these complaints, it looks like I was no more than tragically non-compliant and personality disordered due to ‘untreated alcoholism’.

“Q: Is access to a deceased person’s psychiatric or substance abuse records treated any differently than access to other medical records?
A: HIPAA governs most healthcare providers and the records they keep; however, a different federal law governs many substance abuse programs (42 CFR Part 2). A substance abuse program can be covered under one, both, or neither regulation, depending on how it is funded.”

Accessing Deceased Patient Records—FAQ

Is Complaint About Alcoholics Anonymous a Mental Illness?

Nobody knows why I was taken out of my home by Oakland CA police to spend 5 days at a mental institution, including the mental institution itself. But they still asked the government to pay for it. The government refused to pay for it because the mental institution did not have any good reasons for me being there.

This coincided with my complaint to the NYS Justice Center about how the Department of Education investigator said it was their policy to not look into ‘the AA thing’, which I told them made me feel suicidal because there is plenty of reason to look into it.

The Clinical Director of Samaritan Counseling at the time, Jenness Clairmont, happens to be on the NYS DoE Office of Professions licensing board. She is a consultant for the 12-step group NYCPG (problem gambling). I am not allowed to speak with her because I didn’t use a stamp when I delivered a letter about AA coercion. The letter telling me that I was not allowed to speak to her was signed by her and David Olsen, the Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling, and it referred me back to a 12-step interventionist. I thought this was strange because in the one meeting I had with her, she said that most Samaritan Counseling therapists don’t agree with the 12-step approach. The Office of Professions first investigator told me “nothing you are saying now makes any sense” and the second one told me “we don’t look into the AA stuff“.

I have also asked for verification that my complaint was received and understood by my therapist Oona Edmands, who seemed compelled by addiction specialists to ignore me, and there has been no response.

denial

Marty Mann and the Disease Theory

Here’s a really interesting article in The Atlantic about how Marty Mann promoted the disease concept of addiction in order to get doctors to promote AA.

“Mann’s reply to Armstrong was both fascinating and revealing. She agreed with Armstrong regarding the inefficacy of conventional medicine regarding alcoholism; she also vouchsafed her commitment to AA and its less-than-generous opinion of conventional treatment enterprises. “Not that I, as a dyed-in-the-wool AA,” she wrote to Armstrong in reply, “believe that clinics, or any other medical or psychiatric means can straighten out very many “alkies” (although I know it can in some instances, here and there) but I do believe that the average individual will more readily go into a clinic to find out what to do for what ails them than they will investigate a layman’s organization such as ours [AA]. And also I believe that the very presence of a clinic will emphasize and advertise to the uninitiated that alcoholism is a disease which is to be treated, not hidden or punished.”

And here is a fascinating intellectual history of addiction as disease, Addiction as Accomplishment: The Discursive Construction of Disease by CRAIG REINARMAN —

“In 1942, the Alcoholism Movement was founded by Marty Mann, a public relations executive and former ‘‘drunk’’, and others. By 1944, she joined with Dr. E.M. Jellinek at Yale to create an organization whose purpose was to popularize the disease concept by putting it on a scientific footing. Note the chronology: science was not the source of the concept but a resource for promoting it. This organization later became the National Council on Alcoholism (NCA). Their goal was to create a new ‘‘scientific’’ approach that would allow them to get beyond the old, moralistic ‘‘wet’’ versus ‘‘dry’’ battle lines of the Temperance and Prohibition period (Roizen, 1991). While there were a few scientists doing research on alcohol in the 1930s, the bulk of the scientific research that Mann and her allies hoped would be the basis for their new disease concept had not yet been done. Indeed, they hoped the NCA would generate contributions needed to fund that research. The 1942 ‘‘Manifesto’’ of the Alcoholism Movement clearly stated that they sought to ‘‘inculcate’’ into public opinion the idea that alcoholics were ‘‘sick’’, and therefore ‘‘not responsible’’ for their drinking and its consequences, and were thus deserving of medical treatment (Anderson, 1942; Roizen, 1991; Room & Collins, 1983).”

Involuntarily Institutionalized, No Stated Reason

Last month I talked about how the police came to my house at around 5am and handcuffed me, taking me to a mental institution where I spent five days. I told the police that I did not want to go.

Today I find that Medi-Cal is not going to pay for this, because there was no medical or psychiatric reason for me to be there. The police would not tell me who made the call. I have been filing complaints for nearly three years and they have not been addressed. A New York State DoE investigator specifically told me that they “don’t look into the AA thing”, so I filed a complaint with the Justice Center against the NYS Department of Education. Two days later, I am involuntarily institutionalized.

How do I get my 5 days back, and who had me committed in the first place? All questions that cannot be answered by anyone, apparently.

denial

More Misuse of OASAS Money to Promote 12-Step Goals

If you follow OASAS’ Facebook feed, you’ll see that they are constantly promoting and funding Alcoholics Anonymous-based rehabs and “outreach” programs. This is most likely illegal and the public needs to know that OASAS is suppressing informed consent when they do this, not to mention violating the First Amendment by using government funds to establish religion.

Impact of Federal Court Decision Concerning Alcoholics Anonymous On Government Funded Providers

Here’s a recent one: NEW YORK OASAS LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP CONNECT MORE NEW YORKERS TO ADDICTION SERVICES IN NEW YORK CITY

What they don’t mention is that this is going to promote this 12-step agenda. Notice “favorable outcomes, such as increased participation in 12-step meetings”, as if that is the REAL goal via abstinence. This proves that it is Twelve Step Facilitation with 2 goals: acceptance of powerlessness, and surrender to God (the stated goals of TSF)

“There isn’t a lot of research in the field of recovery, Provet admitted. But there is still evidence that promoting some of its components is effective in preventing relapse. “Although quantitative research on the overall efficacy of recovery coaching and personal recovery plans is sparse, many of its components and effects have been researched and supports using this approach with our target population,” said Provet, citing in particular the work of Bill White. “Recovery coaches, 12-step programs, spirituality, and social and community support are integral to sustaining recovery. Increased goal-oriented thinking was positively correlated to length of time abstinent, quality of life, and self-efficacy,” he said. Maintaining motivation and self-efficacy for abstinence and increasing active coping post treatment were predictive of more favorable outcomes, such as increased participation in 12-step meetings.

“Asked how long people will stay in the recovery support program, Provet said the goal will be for each mentee to receive services over a period of six to 12 months to accomplish the goals set forth in the individual recovery plan. “Accomplishing each goal will, over time, build each mentee’s recovery capital to help sustain their recovery,” he said. “Our goal is also to provide each mentee, based on their progress in their recovery, with the opportunity to become mentors in the OHROCS program further sustaining their recovery support, this time through their mentoring of others in early recovery.”

Gamblers Anonymous meetings, NYCPG Funded by the State

“Problem gambling education also will be provided to patients at these six ATCs [Addiction Treatment Centers]. Several ATCs also have established connections with local Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) chapters, who will provide GA meetings on site at the ATCs.”

You can now go in to ‘treatment’ for substance use disorder and come out powerless over gambling, or at least telling everybody you know that they might be.

NYS OASAS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF SERVICES FOR NEW YORKERS STRUGGLING WITH PROBLEM GAMBLING

Here’s why that’s probably illegal Impact of Federal Court Decision Concerning Alcoholics Anonymous On Government Funded Providers

HHS Office for Civil Rights Policy loses its “religion” — or — This is is not the kind of “oversight” the rehab industry needs

Hello,

In Surgeon General Murthy’s report on Facing Addiction, I noticed that the word “religion” was not used in OCR’s notice.

or religion

The word “sex” WAS in this notice, but not “religion”, so the decision to leave “religion” out might be slightly more certain than:

last year after having no luck in getting New York state *at any level* to acknowledge precedented Establishment Clause violations (religious coercion) in 12-step treatment, I received a similar response from Sarah Brown, Deputy Director, where the wording was changed to “under certain circumstances, sex and religion [are protected].

This was not the response I expected, because on the OCR website where I initially filed my complaint, it says “religion” on the complaint form.

My question is: Under what circumstances is discrimination based on religion allowable, and is “addiction treatment” one of those circumstances? It does seem to be, based on the notice in the Facing Addiction report. If so, why?

Does it have anything to do with the 12-step programs, which the same notice says are not specifically endorsed by HHS?

http://notpowerless.com/new-york-state-education-department-investigator-admits-policy-of-willful-negligence/

—-

“Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Please note that OCR has limited jurisdiction to investigate complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of religion. This jurisdiction depends on the particular program and the funding source to pay for the program.

Me: “Thank you for your response. Are there any documents I can read regarding OCR’s jurisdiction, such as which funding sources prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion and which ‘particular programs’ might be exempt from investigation? “

“This information is not on OCR’s website and is not available to the public. It is information that is used in OCR’s investigation process.”

Me: “Is it available via a FOIL request?”

“You can request anything under FOIA, but it is likely that the request would be denied because it is part of OCR’s investigative process.”

Me: “Thank you. Perhaps you could answer about a specific situation with NYS OASAS funding Gamblers Anonymous indoctrination in the course of substance abuse treatment, or using Gamblers Anonymous meetings on site, or funding the non-profit organization called the Council for Problem Gambling which promotes GA meetings and OASAS state-run GA-based rehab.”

“I don’t investigate complaints or have access to the information to make this determination. If you have further questions regarding your complaint, it should be directed to OCR’s Central Intake Unit which investigate your complaint.”

Plausible deniability

Alcoholics Anonymous lives in a state of ‘plausible denial’.

AA is not ‘technically’ responsible for anything, most especially the unfortunate circumstances or deaths of tradition violators.

AA isn’t a person; how can AA be responsible? No individual technically speaks for AA. AA is technically not the Big Book, technically not the meetings, not technically its members or its board, not technically the 12-steps, technically not a religion, technically not ‘treatment’, while also technically not medical fraud, and the Surgeon General technically doesn’t promote it, Twelve-Step Facilitation is technically not AA, the Oxford Houses and 90% of the rehab industry is not technically AA. The New Recovery Advocacy Movement is not technically AA either, and NYS OASAS technically is not an AA front group.

Plausible deniability is the ability for persons (typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by others (usually subordinates in an organizational hierarchy) because of a lack of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such acts in order to insulate themselves and shift blame onto the agents who carried out the acts, as they are confident that their doubters will be unable to prove otherwise. The lack of evidence to the contrary ostensibly makes the denial plausible, that is, credible, although sometimes it merely makes it unactionable. The term typically implies forethought, such as intentionally setting up the conditions to plausibly avoid responsibility for one’s (future) actions or knowledge. In some organizations, legal doctrines such as command responsibility exist to hold major parties responsible for the actions of subordinates involved in heinous acts and nullify any legal protection that their denial of involvement would carry.”

-wikipedia

Journal of the AMA 1939

ama

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Vol. 113(16), October 14, 1939

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The story of how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism. Cloth. Price $3.50. 400 pp.. New York: Works Publishing Company. 1939.
The seriousness of the psychiatric and social problem represented by addiction to alcohol is generally underestimated by those not immediately familiar with the tragedies in the families of victims or the resistance addicts offer to any effective treatment. Many psychiatrists regard addiction to alcohol as having a more pessimistic prognosis than schizophrenia. For many pears the public was beguiled into believing that short courses of enforced abstinence and catharsis in “institutes” and “rest homes” would do the trick, and now that the failure of such temporizing has become common knowledge, a considerable number of other forms of quack treatment have sprung up. The book under review is a curious combination of organizing propaganda and religious exhortation. It is in no sense a scientific book, although it is introduced by a letter from a physician who claims to know some of the anonymous contributors who have been “cured” of addiction to alcohol and have joined together in an organization which would save other addicts by a kind of religious conversion. The book contains instructions as to how to intrigue the alcoholic addict into the acceptance of divine guidance in place of alcohol in terms strongly reminiscent of Dale Carnegie and the adherents of the Buchman (“Oxford”) movement. The one valid thing in the book is the recognition of the seriousness of addiction to alcohol Other than this, the book has no scientific merit or interest.”

It then took Marty Mann and NCADD, and coercive EAP programs to promote the ‘disease model’ and gain acceptance by doctors who proceeded to be abused by their own EAPs. Here is a timeline showing what happened after this book review. NCADD History