Condemn Abusive Practices of Nation’s Largest Behavioral Health Services Provider

Treatment Center Protest

Target: R. Andrew Eckert, CEO of CRC Health Group

Goal: Prevent patient trauma and deaths by overhauling inadequate facility protocols.

CRC Health Group is the nation’s largest network of behavioral health and addiction treatment services. In 2006, CRC was purchased by Bain Capital for $720 million. Recently, it was recognized by the Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA) for Best Practices in outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment services. Yet the group has a dark and controversial past. An investigation by Salon, a popular news and media outlet, found previously unreported allegations of abuse and neglect in at least 10 CRC residential drug and teen care facilities across the country. Shockingly, CRC’s Aspen Education, a provider of therapeutic schools and programs for teenagers, has had six deaths occur in its facilities, mainly due to neglect.

The most infamous example of patient neglect occurred at CRC’s Youth Care program. A 14-year old with Asperger’s syndrome was found dead after spending the night in an isolation room. He had been exhibiting visible signs of illness; an autopsy confirmed that he had a serious, but operable stomach problem. Due to emergency services protocols, monitors at the facility could do little to help him. This tragic incident exemplifies the “distorted atmosphere of terror and punishment” that seems to occur at CRC facilities. Emergency service protocols make providing medical care difficult. Furthermore, evidence indicates that some practices at CRC facilities can be abusive and harmful; many teenagers have reported nightmares, anxiety, and PTSD-like symptoms.

Due to slack state regulations, CRC’s programs have faced little consequences. Furthermore, despite state investigations and legal actions, the leadership of CRC Health Group has not changed much. According to lawsuits and critics, all of this reflects a corporate culture that “prizes profits, and the avoidance of outside scrutiny, over the health and safety of its clients.”

Research has found that “get-tough, discipline-based approaches” generally do more harm than good. Furthermore, these practices have led to the abuse, neglect, and even death of patients in CRC facilities. By signing this petition, you will help to recognize, scrutinize, and condemn the harmful protocols established by CRC Health Group programs. Troubled teenagers deserve services that will work to improve their lives; they should not be left worse off than when they arrived.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Mr. Eckert,

Recently, CRC Health Group was honored by the Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA) for its practices in outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment services. This being said, certain information indicates that this accolade may be undeserved. A report has found previously unreported allegations of abuse and neglect in at least 10 CRC residential drug and teen care facilities across the country. Disturbingly, several deaths have occurred in your facilities. While this is not unexpected, evidence shows that these deaths may be due to neglect.

Due to your facilities’ emergency services protocols, monitors can do little to help in situations that require immediate medical attention. Former employees and patients attest to a culture at CRC programs that promotes the avoidance of outside scrutiny over the health and safety of your clients. Furthermore, lawsuits and testimonies reveal that practices at some CRC facilities are abusive and harmful; many teenagers have reported nightmares, anxiety, and PTSD-like symptoms.

The current protocols at CRC facilities should be scrutinized and condemned. I am urging you to act on the multitude of evidence and reports; the inappropriate practices at your programs should be altered in order to prevent patient trauma. Teenagers, drug addicts, and other individuals with behavioral issues enter your facilities in order to improve their lives; they should not have to worry about abuse, neglect, and a lack of safety.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: foot fingers (Steve Bozak) via Flickr

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163 Signatures

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