It was disheartening to see the top story on CNN today (July 31st, 2013) referencing the scams orchestrated by California drug and alcohol rehabs. The actions perpetrated by these facilities tarnish the reputation of an industry that seeks to better the lives of those affected by addiction-related issues. Unfortunately, it is evident the inherent problem rests with treatment centers mixing money and recovery. And in California, the numbers are staggering. The figure on the right, taken from CNN’s website, estimates how much taxpayer money was being funneled to treatment facilities engaging in questionable practices. It’s important to consider all factors when deciding on the right rehab. The spirit of recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism is founded upon altruistic actions. These actions arise from a genuine desire to help others, especially alcoholics and drug addicts in need of sobriety. 12 step recovery programs build upon this philosophy, espousing the idea that one alcoholic or drug addict can obtain and retain sobriety by passing along the gift of recovery to someone else. Alcoholics Anonymous, the first 12 step recovery organization, foresaw the mixing money and recovery problem. In response, they formulated traditions 6 and 7 which state:

“6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”

“7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

In addition, “12th step service work” (one alcoholic or drug addict attempts to “carry the message” to another alcoholic or drug addict still in active addition) strictly prohibited the messenger from receiving any form of financial compensation. This condition of performing 12th step service work ensured the work’s integrity and benevolence. Obviously, Alcoholics Anonymous could not survive without money. To survive, this recovery organization draws all of its finances from its members.  Treatment centers, especially for-profit and state-funded facilities, would do well to consider incorporating some of these recovery principles into their business practices. Not all principles will be applicable, but some would alleviate the issues created by money’s involvement in recovery-related industries. 

I’m definitely biased because I completed Discovery Place’s residential recovery program and long-term recovery program (and now work for the organization too). I can say with complete confidence that our organization does an incredible job of removing the money problem from our mission of recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Clearly, some drug and alcohol rehabs today fall prey to, “problems of money, property and prestige.” Discovery Place, on the other hand, is nonprofit with no commissioned staff. No staff member owns any kind of recovery-related business, like a sober-living home. People work here because they genuinely care about, and live for, the gift of recovery. Maybe that’s why we are known for producing incredible outcomes.

Though I am saddened by the actions of these California drug and alcohol rehabs, I am grateful for organizations like Discovery Place that continue to pass along the gift of recovery in the absence of profit motive. Contact discovery place now for help.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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