Three years ago, I wrote this piece on what to ask of programs so that you can identify if they are honest and effective.
Most of the detox, inpatient and outpatient substance treatment programs in NJ are terrible and can’t give viable answers to the questions that I listed in that article.
So if you or a loved one are at a treatment program and you have experienced problems, this is what you should do:
- File an internal grievance. Every program is required by law to have a written policy on the wall at their center that describes how to file a grievance and whom to send it to. You need to write something up (short, detailed examples of the problems) and send it to the clinical director, executive director, and the owners. Save a copy for yourself.
- You should contact the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and let them know about your problems/concerns. You can contact them here.
- You should send an email to lawyers at the NJ Attorney General’s Office. Kelly Levy LevyK@njdcj.org and Sharon Joyce Sharon.Joyce@law.njoag.gov are two lawyers there that I trust and are assigned to look into abusive programs.
- You should probably go to another program. Don’t think that your complaint is going to lead to better treatment for you.
By the way, treatment programs that have sober living attached are not allowed to make you attend their treatment programs. You can continue living at their housing and attend a different treatment program. If they deny this, they are in violation of the law.
Also, sober living houses cannot deny you from living there if you are taking medication to help with your addiction. If so, they are in violation of the law.
If you want to sue those awful treatment programs, go get an attorney. I really trust CK-Litigation.