American Addiction Center’s Unauthorized, Unethical and (perhaps) Criminal Behavior

Earlier this week, I googled my name* and discovered that the first link was for a link to drugabuse.com. That is a website that is owned by American Addiction Centers (AAC), which is a for-profit treatment company that has been in the news a lot because of variety of problems at their centers, but most significantly because multiple employees have been indicted for murder of their clients. That’s right: multiple employees from American Addiction Centers have been indicted for the murder of their clients. I have contacted my lawyer and will be pursing a few different legal actions against them.

Question: Why would American Addiction Centers pay for the search engine optimization (SEO) use of the name “Frank Greenagel” and why would they then link the name to drugabuse.com?

Great questions.

1) On June 5, 2017, I wrote an article about how an AAC treatment center in NJ locked out its employees and transferred its patients to other facilities. The article received over 20,000 hits in the first week.

2) On February 24, 2017, I published a piece by Andrew Walsh about the unethical (and probably illegal) behavior of addiction treatment hotlines. While AAC was never mentioned by name in the article, one of the hotlines that engaged in the horrific and unethical behaviors that Mr. Walsh wrote about is owned by AAC.

3) On February 11, 2018, I wrote an article where I linked to the lock-out piece and also taught my readers to ask three questions of treatment programs. At a conference earlier this year, I spoke to two therapists who work at an AAC facility and both of them emphatically stated that the treatment program they worked at could not answer any of those questions satisfactorily. I encouraged both of them to contact the State Attorney General’s Office and to quit.

I believe that none of those articles caused American Addiction Centers to move against me. I firmly believe that my next two points enraged someone there and then AAC unethically used my name without authorization.

4) On August 28, 2018, I posted this on my Greenagel Counseling Services Facebook page:

American Addictions Center is the company in this story. While they have many sub-sub standard treatment programs and sober homes, they are fairly typical of the field. Because they are such a large player in the market and advertise so much, they are even more to blame. A reckoning will eventually come.

The article is good.

_______________________________________

That price tag of more than $3,300 a day buys recovering addicts group therapy sessions during the day, conducted by interns according to Lapina, not licensed professionals. At night, clients are transported in vans to free 12-step program meetings throughout the valley.

“Mental health counseling, which most of their addiction clients need, would cut into profits, so they rely on Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous because they are free,” says Lapina, who detailed the daily routine of Solutions’ clients. “They even buy generic cola, not even Coke. Everything is about saving money.”

Lapina has received the green light from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to sue Solutions and its parent company, American Addiction Centers. She’s filed a claim in federal court for employment discrimination.

Lapina, who is now a licensed drug and alcohol counselor, says the vast majority of house managers are former clients who have little to no training and are paid just above minimum wage.

“The house managers have traded one drug for another — power. They bully people. I was asked by clients to protect them from house managers,” she says. (and then I linked to this article)

5) On September 10, 2018, I posted this on my Greenagel Counseling Services Facebook page:

Straight up, American Addiction Centers is shit.

SHIT.

They own these websites: recovery.org, rehabs.com, projectknow.com and drugabuse.com. They are set up as community help, but they steer clients towards themselves. And their programs are rife with problems. (and then I linked to this article about their websites)

6) In the post referenced in point #5, I included three more articles:

a) complaints filed against American Addiction Centers through the Better Business Bureau

b) this piece about a dead American Addiction Centers client and how multiple employees have been indicted for murder

c) this lengthy article in the New York Times about the numerous professional, ethical and legal troubles that American Addiction Centers have

I believe that sometime after the September 10th post, American Addiction Centers or one of their subsidiaries or one of their contractors purchased the use of my name (without authorization) to be linked to their website. This behavior should be added to the long list of reasons why you should never, ever send someone to a treatment center owned, staffed or run by American Addiction Centers.

Image result for prison

All too often, America is incarcerating the wrong individuals, particularly when it comes to issues around drugs. Someone who is caught with $200 of heroin goes to jail while no one from a company that knows doctors are overprescribing opioids serves any time. That needs to change. Furthermore, I’m a strong advocate for the incarceration of bad actors within the substance abuse treatment field.

________________________________________

* update: I checked this on 10/20/2018 and found that the link to drugabuse.com no longer appeared and had been replaced by a link to SAMHSA. This piece was read by over 5,000 people in less than two weeks. Many of the readers are in government or the treatment industry. I have no doubt that AAC decided to remove the link after recognizing they walked into a wolf trap. By removing it and linking it to SAMHSA (their lawyers must have thought it was a good idea), it is tantamount to admitting they did something wrong. I have saved some screen shots to show what it looked like when AAC was engaging in their wildly unethical behavior. Here is one: