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Aspen Education Group’s Therapeutic Education Programs Produce Significant Positive Change in Teens According to Results from Outcomes Study Project

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(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – Families who are struggling with a troubled teen may find new hope in the results of just-released outcomes data on the effectiveness of residential treatment for troubled youth. According to initial results, most teens with serious behavioral and/or emotional problems improve during treatment at an Aspen Education Group private residential treatment program, and sustain that change over time.

Aspen Education Group is the nation’s largest provider of therapeutic education programs for struggling or underachieving teens. The company conducted the outcomes research as part of its continuous quality improvement efforts. Key findings from discharge and post-discharge data indicate statistically significant positive changes as a result of treatment.

“We are very pleased with the results we are seeing as they now confirm the consistent feedback we receive from parents about the effectiveness of treatment at an Aspen program,” said Dr. Phil Herschman, Chief Clinical Officer of CRC Health Group, parent company of Aspen Education Group. “Our phenomenal program staff have long been producing great change in students and this data reflects their hard work and dedication to saving lives.”

Data was collected using the mental health industry standard Y-OQ 2.01 and Y-OQ SR youth outcome questionnaires. The first is a brief yet comprehensive instrument that assesses parents’ perception of six areas in which their child may be thriving or struggling. Total score reflects the parent’s perception of their child’s overall mental health functioning. Y-OQ SR is the self-report version of the Y-OQ and is completed by the student. As to be expected, self-report scores reflected that students saw their problems as less acute than their parents. However, they still scored in the clinically significant range and showed the same relationships as the parent scores. By their own report, kids improve significantly while in treatment. Even with the anticipated post-discharge deterioration of gains achieved during treatment, significant positive change holds up 180 days post-discharge.

The data also suggests that Aspen’s outdoor treatment programs result in very quick and dramatic positive impacts on teens.

“Our parents and students are telling us that our treatment programs are positively affecting their lives,” said Dr. Herschman. “We are wholly committed to helping teens and families and take great pride in this success. Aspen has been a longtime leader in the field of therapeutic education and we will continue to conduct quality and outcomes measurements to ensure that we are providing the highest levels of evidence-based care.”

Six hundred, eighty-four parents and 649 students were surveyed at admission. The majority of them also completed the questionnaire upon discharge.

“Aspen and CRC are leading the field with outcomes research,” added Dr. Herschman. “Parents struggling with their teen should be sure to inquire about a program’s accreditation and clinical evidence of success. We are proud that all of our programs can boast such measures of excellence.”

Aspen Education Group’s nationwide services range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic settings such as boarding schools, outdoor behavioral health (wilderness) programs and special needs summer camps, allowing professionals and families the opportunity to choose the best setting to meet a student’s unique academic and emotional needs.

Aspen is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC has been helping individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., Joins CRC Health Group Clinical Advisory Board

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March 11, 2013 – (CUPERTINO, Calif.) – CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of behavioral health and addiction treatment services, announced today that A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., has joined the company’s Clinical Advisory Board. The industry veteran becomes the 13th member of a distinguished group of experts and professionals tasked with providing guidance as the company develops its cutting-edge treatment delivery system that encompasses the latest innovations and research, the “CRC Treatment Model.” The full Clinical Advisory Board is scheduled to meet at the end of this month.

“We are delighted that Tom is joining our Clinical Advisory Board,” said Philip Herschman, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer for CRC Health Group. “He brings an extraordinary knowledge base that will further our efforts to become the leader in clinical excellence.”

Dr. McLellan is a 35-year career researcher in addiction who has published over 400 articles on the topic and has received numerous distinguished awards for his contributions to the field. He is the CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and providing evidence-based solutions to the devastating problems of substance abuse affecting families, schools, businesses, courts and healthcare. From 2009 to 2010, he was Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). At ONDCP, McLellan worked on a broad range of drug issues, including formulation and implementation of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and promotion of drug treatment through healthcare reform. Dr. McLellan is the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Life Achievement Awards of the American and British Societies of Addiction Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovator Award, and awards from the Swedish and Italian Medical Associations.

“CRC is one of only a few organizations that has the resources to transition substance abuse treatment into mainstream healthcare,” said Dr. McLellan. “I am happy to help them bring about the full potential from effective, comprehensive care.”

The CRC Clinical Advisory Board was created in 2011. Each Clinical Advisory Board member has experience in behavioral health and/or addiction treatment or research; their expertise and guidance help drive CRC Health Group’s vision of becoming the recognized industry leader for clinical excellence. The full list of Clinical Advisory Board members includes:

- Dr. Kathleen T. Brady, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, Researcher

- Dr. Thomas J. Brady, MD, MBA, Medical Director of Villa Fairmont Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, Medical Director of Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization Clinic, Behavioral Health Consultant

- Lee T. Feldman, Co-Chair & Chief Scientific Officer of Integrya, Executive Director and Member of the Managing Board of The Institutes for Human Security

- Dr. Marc Fishman, MD, Medical Director of Maryland Treatment Centers, Member of the Psychiatry Faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Current President of the Maryland Society of Addiction Medicine

- Dr. Michael T. Flaherty, Ph.D., Founder of IRETA (Institute for Research, Education and Training in the Addictions)

- Dr. Norman G. Hoffmann, Ph.D., President of Evince Clinical Assessments, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University

- Jim Hudak, MPP, Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Management Services

- Four-Star General Barry R. McCaffrey, MA, Former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, President of BR McCaffrey Associates LLC

- Dr. A.Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute (TRI)

- Dr. Cardwell C. Nuckols, MA, Ph.D., Author, Former Clinician, Program Director and Hospital Administrator

- Dr. David Powell, PhD, CCS, LADC, LMFT, President of the International Center for Health Concerns, Inc. and the Clinical Supervision Institute, Author of Clinical Supervision in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

- Dr. Ian A. Shaffer, MD, MMM, CPE, President of Behavioral Health Management Solutions, LLC

- Gerald Shulman, MA, MAC, FACATA, President of Shulman & Associates, Training & Consulting in Behavioral Health

About CRC Health Group
CRC Health Group is the largest and most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit www.crchealth.com.

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Aspen Education Group Staff and Students Give Back a Total of 30,000 Hours in 2012

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March 7, 2013 (CUPERTINO, Calif.) — Aspen Education Group, a division of Cupertino-based CRC Health Group and the leading provider of therapeutic education programs for struggling or underachieving youth, has announced that its staff and students participated in approximately 30,000 hours of community service in 2012, a record for the company.

Aspen students spend the vast majority of their time in treatment working through behavioral and emotional issues within themselves and their own families, yet they are given many opportunities to give back to the communities around them as well. Students learn the value of taking the focus off of themselves and giving to others less fortunate. Aspen employees lead by their own example of philanthropy.

“We are very proud of the tradition of community service that exists within our programs, students and staff alike, and consider it our special responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operate,” said Susan Cambria, Division President of Aspen Education Group.

Over the past year, Aspen Education Group staff and students participated in various community service projects such as:

Oakley School (Oakley, Utah) students volunteered at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, worked with seniors at two different area assisted living communities, helped out at an afterschool program at a Salt Lake City elementary school, cleaned toys at the Children’s Center, sorted goods for Habitat for Humanity, volunteered at the Utah Food Bank, sorted and distributed food to local families for the Park City Food Bank and Resource Center, and assisted in unloading trailers full of donated food for the annual Turkey Toss giveaway at the Indian Walk-In Center in Salt Lake City;

Copper Canyon Academy (Rimrock, Arizona) students volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, cared for a section of highway, volunteered at Bread of Life Mission preparing and serving the evening meal, then washing dishes and cleaning up afterwards, “adopted” a grandparent at Verde Vista home for the elderly, making gifts for them and singing to them as part of a choir group during the holidays, sang for Rainbow Acres home for adults with developmental disabilities, and traveled to Hollywood to serve food to the homeless at clinics and soup kitchens;

Academy at Swift River (Cummington, Massachusetts) students volunteered at a nursing home and animal shelter, did trail maintenance, horticulture and animal care at their local Manda Farm, volunteered at Greenfield Community College, and assisted with animal care at the local Hilltown Adventures dog sledding facility;

Island View RTC (Syracuse, Utah) students volunteered for water/aid stations for several marathons/half marathons, took part in the “Utah Polar Bear Swim” at Utah Lake with all proceeds going to One Hundred for Haiti, Habitat for Humanity and Help International, shoveled snow for many houses in an older neighborhood of elderly individuals as part of the “Flash Mob Random Acts of Kindness,” held a performance for which the admission fee was a donated gift or cash donation for the Utah Co-Op, helped with a river clean-up project in Idaho, made pillowcases for Primary Children’s Hospital, volunteered for the Race Aid at Rails to Trails Running Race and Layton Marathon, participated in Climb-4-Life, an awareness event for ovarian cancer, chopped wood and cleaned yurts for Bear River Outdoor Recreation Alliance, gardened at Community Gardens, and volunteered at the local animal shelter;

Adirondack Leadership Expeditions (Saranac Lake, New York) students assisted in the removal of pine needles and the building of a snow fence at Gabriel’s Park;

Four Circles Recovery Center (Horse Shoe, North Carolina) clients volunteered at the Animal Haven shelter assisting with the care of abused and homeless animals, assisted in the warehouse processing area and helped sort and organize packages at the MANNA Food Bank, maintained trails and picnic areas at Holmes State Forest, helped with winter gardening at Long Branch Educational Forest, and partnered with Soles4Souls, a non-profit shoe charity that collects and distributes gently worn shoes to those in need in local communities and around the world;

Stone Mountain School (Black Mountain, North Carolina) students volunteered at the MANNA Food Bank to put together “MANNA Packs” that are distributed to elementary schools and sent home to families that cannot afford food to eat, and ran a food drive on campus that collected over 90 pounds of food to donate to MANNA;

SUWS Adolescent & Youth Programs (Shoshone, Idaho) sponsored a two-mile section of “Adopt-A-Highway” and cleaned up roadside trash;

SUWS of the Carolinas (Old Fort, North Carolina) staff donated clothing, toiletries, household items, books and food for God’s Country Thrift Store and Community Outreach Center for local families in need;

Youth Care (Draper, Utah) students volunteered for Hoofbeats For Healing, a local equine therapy program, decorated food boxes for Utah Food Bank, prepared food and served the homeless at the local soup kitchen, assisted individuals from Center For the Blind, assisted the elderly at the Legacy Retirement Center, volunteered at the local animal shelter, and did a trail clean-up.

“Our communities are thankful to have our staff and students volunteer, and we are grateful to have such wonderful neighbors,” said Cambria. “It’s really a win-win for all of us!”

About Aspen Education Group

Aspen Education Group’s nationwide services range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic settings such as boarding schools, outdoor behavioral health (wilderness) programs and special needs summer camps, allowing professionals and families the opportunity to choose the best setting to meet a student’s unique academic and emotional needs.
Aspen is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC has been helping individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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Adolescent Rites of Passage Topic of Upcoming South Carolina Workshop

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February 14, 2013 (Columbia, SC) – Is America really a society without rituals? Not necessarily. An upcoming workshop called “Adolescent Rites of Passage: Safely Crossing the Threshold into Adulthood” will examine this issue and the importance of creating healthy, meaningful rites of passage for adolescents to transition into adulthood.

In the workshop, to be held Friday, February 22nd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the DJJ Community Connection Center (4900 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC), experts will examine the innate hunger adolescents have for initiation and how they may create their own rite of passage if adults do not provide it for them. These self-created rites may include substance abuse, gang violence, eating disorders, isolation, self-mutilation, promiscuity, and other forms of self-destruction and risk-taking behaviors. Experts will retrace the ancient paradigm for understanding adolescent identity formation and belonging, as well as address therapeutic strategies grounded in nature and methodologies from around the world.

The CEU-certified workshop is being presented by SUWS of the Carolinas wilderness program, Four Circles Recovery Center, The Price Group Educational Planning Services Incorporated, and Columbia’s Epworth Children’s Home.

Kedar Brown, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Founder and Director of the Rites of Passage Council, Inc., and Program Manager and therapist for Phoenix Outdoor, a program of SUWS of the Carolinas in North Carolina, will be the workshop presenter, with a breakout session led by Danielle Andrews, M.A., therapist at Four Circles Recovery Center, also in North Carolina.

Brown is a licensed professional counselor with over 25 years of counseling practice, and has worked extensively with adolescents and young adults with chemical dependency and dual-diagnosis issues. He has developed and facilitated wilderness rites of passage programs as a primary modality of treatment for addictions, emotional trauma, and physical trauma.

Andrews specializes in gestalt, psychodrama, DBT, and strengths-based, heart-centered practices, and will highlight techniques to help young adults discover and incorporate their gifts into their larger communities.

To register for the event, go to http://rop.eventbrite.com. The workshop will provide 6 CEU credits to licensed professionals in attendance.

About SUWS of the Carolinas

SUWS of the Carolinas is an accredited wilderness program in Old Fort, North Carolina. Since 1999, SUWS of the Carolinas’ professional staff has specialized in helping teens ages 10-17 who struggle with anger, defiance, ADHD, self-esteem, substance abuse, and related issues. The outdoor experience is designed to engage students’ deeply held passions and desire for purpose. Students are expertly guided through an experiential curriculum, which allows them to discover inner strengths while increasing self-awareness and self-esteem. For more information, visit http://suwscarolinas.crchealth.com/.

About Four Circles Recovery Center

Four Circles Recovery Center is an innovative addictions, substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders treatment program for young adults ages 18 to 28 that combines a traditional counseling setting with a series of wilderness expeditions. Four Circles employs the most effective, cutting-edge clinical modalities from highly skilled masters and doctorate level professionals, with an underlying traditional 12-Step philosophy to create the foundation for sustained recovery. For more information, visit http://fourcircles.crchealth.com/.

SUWS of the Carolinas and Four Circles Recovery Center are programs of Aspen Education Group, the nation’s leading provider of therapeutic education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen’s services range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic settings such as boarding schools and outdoor behavioral health programs, allowing professionals and families the opportunity to choose the best setting to meet a student’s unique academic and emotional needs. Aspen Education Group is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. Since 1995, CRC Health has been achieving successful outcomes for individuals and families.

About The Price Group

The Price Group was established in 1983 by Ann Carol Price, an experienced Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and pioneering educational consultant. In 1996, Price’s former clients May Dowling Peach (with a Masters in Education) and Louise Rogers Slater (with a Masters in Psychology) purchased the firm and continued building on The Price Group’s innovative consulting process. The company recognizes each student is unique and so too is each school, college, or specialized program. It can be difficult for families to determine the best choice for their children due to a bewildering array of options and Peach and Slater make this process easier and more effective with their in-depth knowledge and first hand experiences of schools. The practice currently includes May Peach, M.Ed., Louise Slater M.A, Connie Conley, and Rachel Booth M.Ed. The Price Group’s specialized process includes diagnostic services, educational planning through in-depth interviews, psycho-educational testing, academic and emotional needs assessment, and matching interests to a student’s optimal educational environment. For more information, visit http://thepricegroup.com/.

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CRC Health Group Appoints Deni Carise, Ph.D., to Deputy Chief Clinical Officer

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February 11, 2013 (CUPERTINO, Calif.) – CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services, today announced the appointment of Deni Carise, Ph.D., a nationally and internationally recognized leader in behavioral health and substance abuse treatment and research, to Deputy Chief Clinical Officer. Dr. Carise is a Clinical Psychologist and has been part of the recovery community for over 25 years.

“We are thrilled to welcome Deni to our established team of professionals,” said Phil Herschman, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer for CRC. “Deni has an extensive background in substance abuse prevention, treatment and research, and has done much to advance the science of treatment and awareness of the disease of addiction through her research and conference presentations. She will be a tremendous asset to us as we execute our mission to deliver clinical excellence and lead CRC to be the preferred treatment provider to individuals and families in need.”

Dr. Carise recently completed a three-year contract as Chief Clinical Officer for a leading addiction treatment provider with over 100 programs where she developed national standards for various types of clinical care, developed toolkits for over 30 evidence-based practices, blogged about addiction-related issues, and helped usher in a new era of care to position the company to successfully address changes secondary to healthcare reform.

Prior to this, Dr. Carise was Director of the Treatment Systems Section at the Philadelphia-based Treatment Research Institute. At TRI from 1994 to 2010, she made significant advances in the quality of substance abuse treatment through the development, application, evaluation and research on newly developed interventions, systems and technologies. She was the Principal Investigator on numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as a five-year White House-funded “Drug Evaluation Network System” (DENS). Under her direction, the DENS computer-assisted assessment system became the nation’s first real-time system for tracking drug-related problems and drug use trends and is still installed in over 300 drug and alcohol treatment centers and drug courts across the nation, and in use in eight countries worldwide. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, books and chapters.

Dr. Carise’s research career followed over 10 years delivering clinical services, during which time she worked directly with patients in a variety of modalities and settings: medical, substance abuse and mental health public and private facilities, abstinence-oriented, methadone maintenance, hospital-based, and residential programs, as well as numerous types of outpatient environments.

“This is the most exciting and transformative time for our field,” said Dr. Carise. “We know more scientifically about substance abuse, addiction and recovery, have more proven effective treatments available and, as a field, we are more uniquely poised to show our value to the rest of healthcare and to the general public than ever before. When people struggling with substance abuse or mental health symptoms get well, everyone wins – the person, the family, insurers, and the public. CRC is a company committed to leading the field in clinical excellence by investing in clinical care, measuring the effectiveness and outcomes of their services, and using their numerous metrics collected to continually improve the accessibility, quality and results of their services. I know of no other set of programs that continuously collects the needed data and uses that information to guide and improve care the way the CRC programs do. They bring the power of science to their everyday management and decision making in a remarkable way, and I am thrilled to be on their team!”

Dr. Carise is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. She has been affiliated with UPENN since completing a NIDA Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Center for Studies of Addiction in the Department of Psychiatry from 1994-1996. She earned both her Bachelor’s Degree and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Hahnemann (now Drexel) University, and interned at Homewood (part of the Johns Hopkins Health system) and Union Memorial hospitals in behavioral medicine.

Dr. Carise has worked extensively internationally, with treatment providers in Nigeria, Mexico, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Singapore, Brazil and numerous other countries to help develop national systems that integrate scientifically-validated tools into clinical treatment delivery. She also is a consultant and trainer for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Dr. Carise has presented over 150 lectures by invitation (approximately 35 internationally) in the past 15 years. She also has been featured in segments of Nightline, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBC evening news, New York news and many federally funded Web-casts, and also has been quoted in popular newsprint media such as US News and World Report, Fox News, AM New York, The Fix, Business Week, The Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, LA Times, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly, NIDA Notes and others. She also is a frequent blogger on Huffington Post on topics including the Affordable Care Act, treatment, recovery, prescription drug abuse, the media’s portrayal of drug problems, Healthcare Reform, Parity and emerging drug trends.

Dr. Carise resides in Philadelphia with her husband, A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Treatment Research Institute and former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., CRC Health Group is the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare services in the nation. CRC offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC has been helping individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit www.crchealth.com or call (877) 637-6237.

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CRC Health Group Announces Acquisition of Oregon’s Willamette Valley Treatment Center

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February 1, 2013 (CUPERTINO, Calif.) — CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest network of behavioral health and addiction treatment services, today announced the acquisition of Willamette Valley Treatment Center located in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 1999, the Willamette Valley Treatment Center provides comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment services.

“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Willamette Valley Treatment Center and welcome their exceptional staff and high-quality program to our outstanding network,” said R. Andrew Eckert, Chief Executive Officer of CRC Health Group.

CRC Health Group currently owns the most comprehensive network of addiction treatment services in the nation. The addition of Willamette Valley Treatment Center expands the company’s ability to offer individuals the latest, evidence-based addiction treatment services that include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) like Suboxone and methadone. MAT is a highly regulated treatment option for individuals who are attempting to overcome an addiction to opioids such as prescription narcotics (Oxycontin, Codeine, Percocet, Morphine, etc.) and heroin. When used in proper doses as part of a medically supervised addiction treatment program, research has confirmed that the medications used in MAT programs can block cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, and allow individuals to live normal, productive lives.

Together, CRC and Willamette Valley Treatment Center will administer medication-assisted treatment in a safe and caring environment that is supervised by a physician medical director and clinical staff, as part of a complete treatment plan that includes motivational and behavioral therapy, group counseling, and individual counseling to enhance recovery success. The program also provides intake assessments, treatment for co-occurring disorders, drug abuse education, individualized treatment planning, and relapse prevention.

Said Eckert, “Jay [Lawshe, former Executive President who will stay on as Clinic Director] has established a very positive reputation in this community and has greatly helped to increase awareness and understanding about treatment clinics. We are excited to partner with her and continue her terrific legacy.”

Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., CRC Health Group is the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare services in the nation. CRC offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC has been helping individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit www.crchealth.com or call (877) 637-6237.

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Researchers from Wellspring Weight Loss Programs Reveal Recommendations for Teens’ Long-term Success in Two New Published Papers

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January 22, 2013 (CUPERTINO, Calif.) — Researchers from Wellspring, America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps and residential treatment programs for overweight young people, families, and adults, recently published two articles in peer reviewed scientific journals that provide recommendations for teens’ long-term weight-loss success, addressing the nation’s growing childhood obesity crisis head-on.

In a paper published in Childhood Obesity in October 2012 (http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/chi/8/5) , Dr. Daniel Kirschenbaum, the senior member of Wellspring’s research team and professor at Northwestern University, noted that, “We conducted detailed qualitative analyses based on transcribed interviews with some of our very successful teenage weight controllers – what we termed ‘Losers’ – more than a year after they participated in one of our Wellspring Camps, as well as some of their peers who regained at least some weight after leaving camp, the ‘Gainers.’”

Dr. Kirschenbaum continued, “Losers reported following the key guidelines from Wellspring more carefully than Gainers by eating very little fat, staying more active, weighing themselves more, and self-monitoring – or tracking – their eating very consistently, either in writing or using a phone app. The Losers also indicated that they found even negative experiences from their past, like being teased or feeling depressed, as sources of inspiration, part of their current ‘healthy obsessions.’”

These findings reinforce the critical role of close monitoring of eating and activities and using both positive (e.g., improved moods and health) and negative (e.g., former sadness or instances of being teased) memories as motivators, explained Dr. Kirschenbaum.

The Wellspring Childhood Obesity study illustrates what teens can do to help themselves, but what can parents and healthcare providers do to help young people who struggle with excess weight?

That answer lies in a review paper published this month in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=search.searchResultsonline ), in which Dr. Kirschenbaum and doctoral student Kristen Gierut reviewed five sets of recent expert recommendations: 2007 Healthcare Organizations’ Four Stage Model, 2007 Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines, 2008 Endocrine Society Recommendations, 2009 Seven Step Model, and 2010 U.S. Preventive Task Force Recommendations.

In the paper, Kirschenbaum and Gierut examined the expert recommendations pertaining to the four primary treatments that offer the most promise for reducing excess weight in obese children and teens: self-help groups, outpatient cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), immersion CBT, and surgery.

All of the expert committees supported using intensive dietary education, physical activity training and CBT, a scientifically based approach to help people improve their goal setting, planning, self-monitoring and related skills, attitudes, and emotions. Two of the five groups discouraged reliance on educational interventions alone “because just telling people how to lose weight rarely does any good,” explained Dr. Kirschenbaum. Two other groups advised referring clients to increasingly intensive interventions, a stepped-care approach that suggests that if self-help and outpatient counseling prove ineffective, parents and healthcare providers are encouraged to send overweight teens to immersion CBT treatment, which is currently available through therapeutic weight-loss camps or boarding schools, or even consider surgery if necessary for very obese teenagers.

Dr. Kirschenbaum concluded, “Greatest benefits may accrue by encouraging healthcare providers and parents to view medical management and education as foundations to change, but to pursue increasingly intensive viable options until overweight and obese children make clinically significant progress toward improved health and happiness. The message is that obesity won’t just go away by itself – and it’s important to keep taking the necessary steps to produce lifelong change.”

About Wellspring

Wellspring is America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps and residential treatment programs for overweight young people, families, and adults. Wellspring Camps and Wellspring Academy have helped thousands of overweight and obese individuals achieve dramatic weight loss, better fitness, and improved moods and self-confidence. With several programs nationwide and one in the UK, Wellspring programs have achieved among the best results ever reported in scientific journals for non-surgical weight loss programs for children, adolescents or adults.

Wellspring is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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Sierra Tucson Announces $2.5 Million Capital Improvement Project

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January 22, 2013 (TUCSON, Ariz.) – Sierra Tucson, an international leader in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, mood disorders, pain management, and trauma/PTSD, has announced the completion of a $1.7 million state-of-the-art capital improvement project, with $800,000 in additional improvements also in the works. The renovations began two years ago with the goals to further enhance patient satisfaction and engagement, key influencers of treatment success.

“We are very pleased with these facility enhancements and truly believe they will positively affect our patients’ experience at Sierra Tucson,” said Stephen Fahey, MSW, MBA, Executive Director. “By substantially investing in structural enhancements and clinical efficiency, we have reaffirmed our position as a world class treatment center.”

To accomplish specific design objectives, Sierra Tucson commissioned design expert Julia Date to oversee the project.

“We approached the Sierra Tucson project with specific goals in mind,” said Date. “First, to assess the existing interior elements and finishes and create a plan to unify them into a cohesive plan visually. Second, to address functional issues, such as seating, storage space and lighting. And third, to purchase and install new items and finishes that update the overall presentation and create a sense of warm, welcoming color.”

Some of the renovations included:

  • Full makeover of the reception/lobby area “to allow the all-important first impression to be one of professionalism augmented with a warm residential feel,” said Date.
  • Renovated front admissions office for patients and families “to feel as much at ease as possible during what can be such an emotional experience,” said Fahey.
  • The redesign of the 15 bed acute care unit in the facility’s main building to be more patient-friendly, comfortable and welcoming.
  • Renovated medication rooms in each of the three patient lodges to increase operational efficiency and improve the patient medication experience.
  • Aesthetic improvements throughout the main building and family rooms that add light and warmth, “and serve to bring Sierra Tucson’s stunning exterior landscape into the building,” said Date.
  • Redesigned auditorium and dining area, with a new self-playing piano for better ambiance and relaxation.
  • Major outdoor landscape improvements including way-finding signage to help patients and guests traverse the property with ease.

“Of utmost importance was to create spaces with ample seating and adequate light, promoting a sense of peace,” said Date. “We achieved all of these goals through numerous and extensive visits to the campus, conversations with staff, walking the grounds and observing the manner in which a patient or family member may use both interior and exterior spaces.”

The state-of-the-art capital improvements project also included adding six new horses to Sierra Tucson’s equine therapy program, significant enhancements to the stables, and a new misting system. The treatment facility also added an improved, more challenging rock climbing wall for the experiential/adventure therapy program component.

Date said she hopes “that the improvements made at Sierra Tucson will continue to provide an excellent atmosphere for the treatment and recovery process.”

“The intent was to add to the warm, welcoming feeling that patients have always described as being the hallmark of the Sierra Tucson experience,” said Fahey. “I am confident that this project has accomplished that and more. Our patients, families and guests have expressed great approval, and we will continue to seek ways to add to our patients’ comfort during their stay with us.”

About Sierra Tucson

Since its inception in 1983, Sierra Tucson has become an international leader in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, mood disorders, pain management, and trauma/PTSD. A fully licensed Level 1 Special Hospital and Level 2 Behavioral Health Residential Treatment Center, Sierra Tucson is known for its holistic, bio-psycho-social-spiritual treatment approach and expertise in treating co-occurring disorders. Individualized treatment plans incorporate 12-Step philosophy, a wide variety of innovative and integrative therapies, a Family Program, and a combination of Western and Eastern Medicine practices. Dually accredited by The Joint Commission, Sierra Tucson employs seven full-time physicians as a key part of its multidisciplinary treatment team. Located on 160 acres at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, this exceptional facility offers a beautiful, natural healing environment and the highest level of confidentiality. For more information about Sierra Tucson and its programs, call 800-842-4487.

Sierra Tucson is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management, and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped thousands of individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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CRC Health Group Opiate Treatment Outcomes Show Pharmacoeconomic Benefit with Non-Addictive Injectable Form of Naltrexone

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Data presented at American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Annual Meeting indicate lowered AMA rates, longer LOS & fewer readmissions, promising implications for treatment & managed care policy

January 16, 2013 – CUPERTINO, Calif. — The results from a pilot evaluation of a once-monthly, extended-release naltrexone injectable for opiate addiction conducted by CRC Health Group, the largest behavioral health care company in the U.S., serving over 29,000 opioid dependents daily, provide promising implications for the treatment industry and managed care policy: lower rates of discharge against medical advice (AMA), longer lengths of stay in treatment (retention), and fewer readmissions (relapse).

The data were presented recently at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) Annual Meeting, and authored by Kathleen Brady, MD, PhD, of Medical University of South Carolina, Philip L. Herschman, PhD, of CRC Health Group, Gerald Shulman, MA, MAC, of Shulman & Associates, and David R. Gastfriend, MD, of Alkermes, Inc.

The multi-site, retrospective pilot study analyzed the electronic records of 8,441 patients from CRC Health Group residential facilities over the course of 12 months. CRC developed a specialized program called “Provita” to treat opioid dependence by combining counseling services with Vivitrol®, the once-monthly, non-narcotic, non-addictive injectable form of naltrexone developed by Alkermes. Vivitrol® blocks the reception of opioids to the relevant brain receptor sites, thereby blocking the creation of dopamine (the “high”) and reducing cravings.

After detoxification and during inpatient rehabilitation, the CRC patients fell into one of three groups: 1) not recommended for or prescribed the once-monthly injectable, 2) prescribed but did not receive the once-monthly injectable (due to insurance denial or other reasons), or 3) received the once-monthly injectable at least once during rehab.

Compared to patients who did not receive the once-monthly injectable during rehab, those patients who did had 85% lower AMA rates, 37% lower readmission rates, and a 37% increase of length of stay. More specifically, discharges against medical advice (AMA) occurred in 28% of those patients who did not receive the injectable, 25% of those who were prescribed but did not receive the injectable, and just 4% of those who did receive the injectable. Results were generally consistent across the CRC Health Group sites.

These results prompted a collaborative disease management initiative with a leading behavioral managed care organization. The goal, says CRC, is to align opioid dependence prior authorization with a model of integrated counseling services and the once-monthly injectable in California, South Dakota and Texas CRC facilities. The program involves early identification of patients at-risk for relapse and actively engages them in longitudinal treatment.

“The findings of this study, which are currently undergoing replication, have very promising implications for U.S. managed care policy, the treatment industry at-large and, most importantly, our patients,” said Dr. Herschman, CRC Health Group’s Chief Clinical Officer.

About CRC Health Group

CRC Health Group is the largest and most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit www.crchealth.com.

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Wellspring’s “Too Fat for 15: 500 Pounds and Counting” Named One of the Best Obesity Videos of 2012

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December 10, 2012 (CUPERTINO, Calif.) – The television special “Too Fat for 15: 500 Pounds and Counting” featuring Wellspring, America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps and residential treatment programs for overweight young people, families, and adults, has been named one of the 12 best obesity videos of 2012 by Healthline.com, a health information website that seeks to educate and empower the public.

From the Healthline website, “Obesity has never been a bigger part of public health campaigns, and it is increasingly a focus of the international media… These insightful obesity videos cover the gamut of weight-related topics.”

Healthline commends the winning videos for their “incisive commentary, excellent research, and a dash of drama,” all of which make them “the best of the best.”

“Too Fat for 15: 500 Pounds and Counting” features three teens on their journeys through Wellspring Academy in a “startling story of weight, lifestyle, and positive personal growth.” Healthline calls the video “inspiring,” saying “You may not believe your eyes and ears at first, but this program is one for the record books.”

The three adolescents were dangerously overweight before going to Wellspring Academy, a premiere weight-loss and lifestyle program that teaches simple, scientific and sustainable methods for life-long health. The three teens transformed their lives while attending Wellspring; as of the taping of this show, Tanisha had lost 160 pounds, Emily lost 72 pounds, and Scotty lost 74 pounds.

“Wellspring definitely changed my life,” says Scotty in the video.

“My time [at Wellspring] was unforgettable, it changes your life,” echoed Emily.

Says Healthline, “You can’t help but love this touching story of determination and optimism.”

About Wellspring

Wellspring is America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps and residential treatment programs for overweight young people, families, and adults. Wellspring Camps and Wellspring Academy have helped thousands of overweight and obese young people achieve dramatic weight loss, better fitness, and improved moods and self-confidence. Wellspring at Structure House provides life changing residential weight-loss treatment for adults who are ready to live healthier, happier lives. Ranked the #1 weight loss program in Health magazine’s review of America’s Top 10 Healthiest Diets, Wellspring at Structure House is backed by more than 35 years of research, experience and success. With 10 programs nationwide and one in the UK, the Wellspring programs have achieved among the best results ever reported in scientific journals for non-surgical weight loss programs for children, adolescents or adults.

Wellspring is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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