CRC Health Group Press Releases

Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey Congratulates FDA and CRC for Adopting Science-Based New Approach to Reduce National Drug Treatment Gap

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CONTACT: Bob Weiner 301-283-0821/202-306-1200
or Kristen Hayes 949-589-1765/562-229-2204


Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey Congratulates FDA and CRC for Adopting Science-Based New Approach to Reduce National Drug Treatment Gap; CRC Health Group to Include Vivitrol among Treatment Options for Opioid Addicts

Company says it has been using Vivitrol to treat alcoholism for years with extremely positive results

(Cupertino, CA) – “The FDA’s just approved monthly drug treatment with Vivitrol could be a game changer,” said the country’s largest substance abuse treatment provider, CRC Health Group, Recovery Division President Jerry Rhodes, whose company has 140 facilities across the country. Rhodes said the new treatment regimen “will provide addicts seeking help one decision a month instead of 30, and a new way to reduce or eliminate relapse. We are pleased to play a part in rolling out this potentially life-saving treatment.”

Former U.S. Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, now on CRC’s Board, congratulated the FDA and CRC “for adopting a science-based new approach to reduce the national drug treatment gap. Addicts who in the past have been reluctant to seek treatment will be far more likely with a once-a-month opportunity to stop their craving. This is another important new tool in treatment.”

Rhodes and McCaffrey offered “thanks and congratulations” to Alkermes Inc. for developing and providing the medication approved today by the FDA and to be used by CRC facilities.

Rhodes stated that CRC has been utilizing Vivitrol to treat alcoholism “for years with extremely positive results” and is now in the process of developing the protocols and formulations for therapy for opiate patients. He stated that “every patient is an individual case. Vivitrol will be among the treatment options doctors will now have available, in addition to already existing Methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine). In all cases, counseling and monitoring are a crucial part of treatment.”

McCaffrey added, “The abuse of opioids like prescription pain medications and heroin is on the rise. Prescription drug abuse has tripled in the past decade – it’s the new heroin. Nearly 16 million Americans ages 12 and older misused or abused prescription drugs or heroin in 2008 according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”

“We are very optimistic about what this recent FDA approval means for the millions of Americans who are dependent on prescription drugs or heroin,” said Rhodes. “Our experience with Vivitrol for alcoholic patients has been extremely positive and we have every reason to believe it will be just as helpful for those addicted to opioids.”

The once-monthly, extended-release Vivitrol was approved by the FDA as an injectable medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence in April 2006. CRC Health Group has been using Vivitrol in six of its residential treatment programs. The proprietary drug delivery technology in Vivitrol enables the medication to be gradually released into the body at a controlled rate over a one-month time period. In clinical trials, Vivitrol has been proven to produce substantial, rapid and sustained results for abstinence and ongoing recovery from alcoholism.

Now, with the recent FDA approval, this same, once-a-month injection will be used to help treat opioid abusers.

Said Rhodes, “Now, many will have the option of receiving a once-a-month injection of Vivitrol. Vivitrol can be used for inpatient treatment to help opioid-addicted individuals stay drug free as they make the transition from a highly structured treatment setting. We expect to see a drop in relapse rates in the months following discharge – a crucial period for relapse.”

The Vivitrol injection works by providing continuous levels of its active ingredient naltrexone, blocking activity in the brain’s limbic (reward) system which is thought to play a central role in drug and alcohol dependence. Put simply, Naltrexone helps patients overcome urges to abuse opioids by blocking the drugs’ euphoric effects.

CRC Health Group will utilize the injectable Vivitrol for opioid addicts in facilities across the country. The company has established a wrap-around treatment “package” with their medical and counseling teams to ensure the likelihood of treatment success.

CRC Health Group is the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. It offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, eating disorder, 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

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CRC Health Group Welcomes Linda Fisk as Senior Vice President of Internet Marketing

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CRC Health Group Welcomes Linda Fisk as Senior Vice President of Internet Marketing

(November 2, 2009 – Cupertino, CA) – CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of behavioral health services, today announced the hiring of Linda Fisk as Senior Vice President of Internet Marketing.

Fisk brings to the position over 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising, research and public relations, including more than eight years in online marketing. Previously, Fisk served as Vice President of Marketing for Freedom Interactive leading all consumer and trade marketing, research and analytics initiatives, sales support activities and public relations projects. Prior to this, she served as Vice President, Online Marketing and Analytics, for Scripps Networks in Knoxville, Tenn., where she managed the growth and development of the online audiences of Scripps Networks brands. Fisk also served as Vice President of Audience Development and Management for Belo Interactive in Dallas, Texas, as well as Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, Tenn.

“I am very pleased to announce that Linda has joined CRC,” said Barry Karlin, CEO of CRC Health Group. “Linda is a highly talented marketing executive with a simple, yet vitally important charter at CRC: to drive internet-based admissions growth and support our facilities in achieving their growth plans.”

“The internet is an increasingly powerful force in our business as growing numbers of people use the internet to gather information, identify programs and help them decide which programs best fit their needs. Linda will undoubtedly be a key executive in helping CRC achieve its growth objectives,” added Karlin.

Fisk holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“I look forward to working with CRC to create a dynamic and effective strategic plan to drive internet-based admissions growth for each of our valuable facilities and programs,” said Fisk. “It’s an exciting time and I look forward to partnering with the CRC team to exceed growth expectations.”

CRC Health Group offers the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. As a world-class specialty health organization, CRC has provided healing and hope in the lives of their patients and students. By offering the largest array of personalized treatment services, individuals, families and professionals can choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, and therapeutic educational needs. Every day, more than 30,000 people receive treatment from CRC programs making it the most trusted specialized behavioral health organization in the nation. CRC Health Group’s motivation for growth stems from a deep commitment to make their services widely and easily available to those in need, while maintaining passion for delivering advanced behavioral, addiction, and therapeutic educational services. For over two decades, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit or call (877) 637-6237.

For media inquiries, please contact CRC Communications Director, Kristen Hayes, at (562) 229-2204.

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It’s All Harm Reduction

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On Friday, July 24th, the Southern California Harm Reduction Summit: “It’s All Harm Reduction” conference was held at the California Endowment building in Los Angeles. CRC’s Shahan Suzmeyen was one of the organizers of the conference that enabled providers from all parts of southern California to present on the Harm Reduction Model and how it interfaces with traditional social model programs. Attendees had the opportunity to attend workshops throughout the day. CRC was a gold sponsor for the event and Clinic Directors from the San Diego and Los Angeles regions attended. Featured as the keynote speaker was Dr. Sharon Mitchell , CEO of AIM Health Care Foundation. AIM is a non-profit corporation that provides HIV and STD testing and treatment, counseling services, and support group programs to high risk individuals. CRC’s Dr. Laura Rossi presented a workshop entitled, “Treating Personality Disorders Utilizing the Harm Reduction Model.” The day was filled with workshops that were interactive in nature and allowed all aspects of Harm Reduction to be explored.

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Meet Me In Saint Louis!

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You are probably familiar with Sober Living, one of CRC’s residential facilities located on the beach in Newport Beach , California. But you’ll probably be surprised to know that Sober Living has a location in the heartland of the United States – St. Louis, Missouri.

The Sober Living Midwest office is run by Tib Albach who has been a resource for the greater St. Louis area for several years. Tib and his staff (including office manager Bert Emmons) provide counseling, intervention, assessment, and facilitate support groups for families and individuals in recovery.

Most of the people who find their way to the Sober Living Midwest office do so from the “word of mouth” of the greater recovery community. Tib, Bert, and their group of volunteers are very knowledgeable about recovery and resources.

When a client comes to Tib’s office for help and is a good fit for the Sober Living by the Sea network of facilities in California, they can travel there to receive treatment and then have a great support system waiting for them when they arrive back in St. Louis.

If you’re ever in St. Louis please stop by and met Tib and his team.

For more information about Sober Living Midwest call Office Manager Bert Emmons at 314-909-0125. You can read more about their “focus on the family” by visiting

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Bayside Marin Welcomes New Executive Director

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Pamela brings to Bayside her expertise in multi-disciplinary treatment for addiction, mental health disorders, eating disorders and other process addictions. She also specializes in treating post traumatic stress disorder as well as individuals who chronically relapse.

Having worked in some of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the country, Pamela knows how important it is to develop an individualized treatment plan that thoughtfully engages a client’s support system outside of the residential environment, something she says Bayside excels at. “Bayside takes full advantage of the rich, local resources by bringing nationally known speakers and mentors on a regular basis to work with clients and provide that extra inspiration that can so often make the difference for people who are ambivalent about their recovery or do not have the right tools to maintain their sobriety despite numerous past treatment attempts”, she says.

“One of the benefits of being back in the bay area, where I grew up, is that there are so many truly gifted people working in the helping profession and who choose to call this beautiful place home”, Pamela says, adding that she is “hopeful” for Bayside’s future. “In the year to come, we will continue to improve our excellent programming by providing additional specialized services for chronic relapse clients and clients who are dually diagnosed, including those who engage in process addictive behavior as well as those with mental health disorders”.

Bayside Marin, an 18-bed residential chemical dependency treatment program, which also offers outpatient services, is uniquely positioned to provide its clients with an individualized program that blends a world-class, peaceful, private environment with a solid, evidence-based program, preparing clients for their next step in the recovery process.

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Miss America 2008 Visits Sober Living by the Sea, Speaks to Clients about Her Own Battle with an Eating Disorder

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Sober Living by the Sea recently welcomed Miss America 2008, Kirsten Haglund, with a special luncheon and tours of each of the facilities. Kirsten then spoke to residents about her own struggle to overcome anorexia.

As Miss America, Kirsten has traveled the country creating an awareness and open dialogue about eating disorders in entertainment media, the fashion and beauty industries, and with the many young women who look to Miss America as a role model.

Kirsten’s visit to Sober Living began with coffee and an orientation about SLBS from Ryan Franke, Director of Clinical Outreach, and Melissa Preshaw, CRC Director of Corporate Outreach. Then, Kirsten toured each of the facilities (The Landing, The Rose and The Victorian).

“The homes were absolutely beautiful, with large glass windows looking right out to the beach, stunning decor, and the most warm, loving, engaging staff,” wrote Kirsten on her blog (see “I couldn’t help but think to myself… what a blessing it would be to retreat to such a place, and spend all day, every day, caring for your soul and yourself; minus distractions, expectations, judgments, or other stresses.”

After the tours, Kirsten joined Michele Lob, The Victorian’s Program Director, Kathy Sylvia, Executive Director of Sober Living by the Sea, and other eating disorder professionals from around the community for lunch at The Dock in Newport Beach. There, she and an alumna of The Victorian were honored for their tremendous work raising awareness and scholarships to help those afflicted with the disease.

Following lunch, Kirsten spent an hour with the women of The Rose and The Victorian telling them of her personal struggles with anorexia that began with ballet classes as a child. Through the help of professional treatment, Kirsten is now in recovery and has dedicated herself to helping others by speaking about her past experiences.

“I’m struck by a wonderful and humbling realization every time I speak about this issue to people… that it is not my skills, or my talent, or my accomplishments, or any other measure of greatness or worth that enables me to connect with these other women, or make any kind of impact in any way,” tells Kirsten. “It is my flaws. It is my weaknesses. It is my humanity… There is tremendous power in honesty, disclosure, and the admitting of insecurity and vulnerability. Imperfection. It was a wonderful talk with those women.”

She goes on, “I (left) with such a feeling of hope, for them, for me, and for the triumph of love and understanding over moments when it seems like our personal demons are certainly going to drag us over the edge.”

“They are so extremely lucky to be in a place with such love, warmth, and specialized care. If only all those struggling with addiction and/or eating disorders had the resources to go to such a place for healing.”

Kirsten Haglund has established the Kirsten Haglund Foundation (KHF) to raise awareness about eating disorders while also providing hope, resources and scholarships for those seeking treatment.

“It is devastating to see a family left heartbroken and bankrupt because the insurance company does not recognize an eating disorder as an illness,” states the Foundation’s website. “Not one man or woman should die a victim to the disease, guilty and alone, because their family is… unable to pay for treatment.”

With such passion and commitment to a worthy cause, Kirsten sums it up best by writing: “We all have the right and the responsibility to define beauty on our own terms, to love and respect ourselves and our bodies. With complete recovery from eating disorders comes this peace. It is real, it is beautiful, and it IS possible.”

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Burkwood Treatment Center featured in Behavioral Healthcare Journal

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Candace Clausen appointed to Executive Director of Burkwood Treatment Center in Hudson, WI.

A veteran of 33 years as a recovery and addiction counselor, interventionist, and executive, Candace Clausen, MBA, CADAC, ICADC, has worked in a variety of settings, in large and small facilities everywhere from Alaska to Greece. Her new position as Executive Director of Burkwood Treatment Center brings Clausen back home to the Midwest, where her career began.

Clausen is honored to have received the appointment at Burkwood, a licensed residential addiction treatment center in Hudson, Wisconsin, which is part of CRC Health. Burkwood is near her family in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, where she grew up. Clausen was promoted from her post as Director of Compliance and Accreditation at Sierra Tucson.

“Achieving directorships is a challenge in this industry, and it is deeply rewarding to be in this position,” Clausen says. “

Clausen’s roots in the behavioral healthcare field go back to 1977. She initially became interested in becoming a counselor after her own eating disorder recovery. After working as an intern, Clausen became certified in addictions in the early ’80s and received her master’s degree in 2000. She also is an internationally certified drug and alcohol counselor and she has experience working with Transactional Analysis and Trager & Mantastics Body Therapy.

Candace directed an addiction recovery program she authored at the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Minnesota, while working with CREATE, Inc. Moving to Arizona in the late 80″s she worked as Director of Westcenter Rehabilitation Facility (part of the Tucson General Hospital). Clausen has also had a private practice as an interventionist.

Just prior to coming to Burkwood Candace was the Director of Compliance and Accreditation at Sierra Tucson.

Burkwood specializes in treating clients with addiction issues and co-occurring mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. As executive director, Clausen hopes to work more closely with insurers and expand the facility’s client base. During Candace’s first two months Burkwood purchased a second house increasing its number of beds from 29 to 35. “We aren’t trying to get a lot larger, but this is a wonderful program and we want to broaden the scope of the clients we serve,” Clausen explains. To that end, she is reaching out to the local Native American community to offer treatment services.

Clausen says that Burkwood fills a niche between court-mandated public programs and more expensive private recovery facilities. “We really sit in between,” she points out. “We want to be available for someone who is committed to treatment and maybe can’t afford some other programs.”

Working with insurers has been Clausen’s biggest challenge so far. “There are fewer funds available for drug and alcohol treatment, and some insurance companies will deny a certain number of days of treatment,” she says. “We don’t have the HMO complications that we had in the past, but there are still some insurance companies that won’t cover a full three- to four-week treatment plan. But outcome studies show that treatment is more effective, and recovery longer lasting, when we are able to work with someone for multiple weeks.”

Burkwood passed their first CARF accreditation in August of this year and was granted a 3 year accreditation. Burkwood is a small rural facility but very proud of its services and the accreditation.

While her work has taken her across the country and overseas, Clausen says that the need for services is similar from region to region. “I’m happy that I have a background working in different types of economic environments and situations,” Clausen says. “But the disease remains the same no matter where you are. It devastates families and the addicted person in the same way.”

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Wellness Resource Center Welcomes New Executive Director, Paul Reed

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Wellness Resource Center, a treatment center for men and women dealing with addictive disorders and co-occurring mental health issues, is pleased to announce the appointment of new Executive Director, Paul Reed, LCSW.

Paul Reed is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience in clinical and administrative positions. He began his clinical career at Miami Children’s Hospital, then progressed to Program Director and Executive Director in several residential mental health facilities in Florida and Georgia. With senior management experience in for-profit and not-for-profit human service organizations, Reed brings with him a commitment to clinical and operational excellence at Wellness.

“I am proud to be a part of the unique, integrated dual diagnosis treatment here at Wellness Resource Center,” says Reed. “It is a pleasure to engage in a program that maintains a stellar reputation and achieves such success with this population.”

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CRC Recovery Division Employees Show Their Commitment to the Field

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CRC Health wouldn’t be the industry leader we are today without the passion, commitment, and sacrifice of our employees. Not only do CRC employees routinely go the extra mile on behalf of their programs and patients, but many also devote their free time to advancing the field of addiction medicine.

Four dedicated CRC Recovery Division employees — Jim Sellars of the Sacramento Treatment Clinic, Jose Suarez of the Third Avenue Clinic, Tim Sinnott of Bayside Marin, and Danielle Farnsworth of Sober Living by the Sea — have volunteered their time and expertise to serve on the Board of The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC).

CAADAC is the largest Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counseling certification (CCBADC) organization in California. Since 1979, it has conferred certification upon thousands of counselors who have successfully treated clients struggling with the disease of addiction. CAADAC counselors are recognized for their professional training and education in the field of alcoholism and drug abuse and are considered experts in treatment and treatment management.

People volunteer for a variety of reasons, but for Jim Sellars, who currently serves as CCBADC Chair, working with CAADAC is an opportunity to be part of an organization that is committed to providing the highest quality care to the population we serve. He feels a deep sense of gratitude to serve an organization that has helped him become his personal and professional best. In recovery himself, Jim feels indebted to those who “took him under their wing” and encouraged him to get involved with CAADAC meetings and committees.

“We have dedicated, hard-working board members who volunteer their time to ensure that CAADAC is the best,” Jim says. “It’s that commitment that keeps me inspired to do what I can for an organization that has meant and done so much for me over the past 23 years. I guess you can say I’m ‘giving it back.’”

For Danielle Farnsworth, serving as a CAADAC Regional Board Member has given her an opportunity to work with an association that sets “the gold standard” in terms of its expectations of counselors, requiring a great deal of education, experience, time, and effort to earn the credential.

Serving with CAADAC has also resulted in tremendous personal growth: “Serving with peers from different parts of the state and in different modalities has really opened my eyes to the different aspects of this profession,” says Danielle. “I believe that serving with CAADAC has assisted me in my position at Sober Living by the Sea because I am able to assist my employees in the certification process, studying for the written exams and preparing to take their orals.”

There are so many wonderful reasons to get involved with organizations that advance the field of addiction medicine. Whatever the source of inspiration, whether personal, professional, or both, volunteering for a cause is admirable. To all of you who devote your time and expertise to serving the field, we honor your commitment.

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CRC Employee Nominated to be a Delegate to the IC&RC

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The International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium / Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc. (IC&RC) includes 79 organizations representing over 35,000 certified addiction professionals. One of the member boards of IC&RC is the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals. M. Hari Sheppeard LADAC, Clinical Team Lead at the Albuquerque Treatment Center, has been appointed as a delegate to IC&RC by the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals for her tireless work on assisting counselors obtains their CADAC Certification and then the LADAC License. She has been an active and passionate member of the NMCBBHP Board for over a year now and has assisted numerous individuals obtain their LADAC Licensure. She has assisted all Counselors at the Albuquerque Treatment Center obtain their LADAC License, single-handedly raising the counselor licensure level of the entire clinic.

Her work extends far beyond this clinic, assisting a number of counselors obtain their licensure, mentoring them, helping with the application process and in preparing for the CADAC examination. She has been active member of the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals, ensuring that alcohol and substance abuse counselors have a fair and educated voice on this board.

It is because of her hard work and willingness to advance the status of alcohol and substance abuse counselors throughout the State of New Mexico that she was nominated and accepted as a Delegate to the IC&RC. We are proud of her and the work that she has accomplished.

IC&RC is the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium / Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc. This is a not-for-profit voluntary membership organization that is comprised of private, non-profit and governmental certifying boards involved in credentialing or licensing alcohol and other drug abuse counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice addiction professions and co-occurring disorders professionals. The mission of this board is to establish, monitor and advance reciprocal competency standards for credentialing of professionals engaged in prevention and treatment of substance use disorders and related problems. They have helped create standards for these professionals that allow for reciprocity across different states and jurisdictions.

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