CRC Health Group Media During NAADAC Conference

Posted at October 7, 2004 | Categories : 2004 | 0 Comment

Internet Answer To Treating Drug, Alcohol Abuse
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
By Kayley Mendenhall, Chronicle Staff Writer

Within the next 20 years, Barry Karlin says that 70 percent of all medical care will be administered over the Internet. “Technology will revolutionize the world of treatment,” he said.

Karlin, CEO of CRC Health Group Inc., the largest provider of chemical dependency treatment in the country, was invited to explain the online treatment concept at the NAADAC’s annual conference for addiction professionals in West Yellowstone this week.

The conference is focusing, in part, on alcohol and drug services in rural areas.

Karlin says technology could answer many rural health care problems, especially in relation to chemical dependency treatment. He is the founder of eGetgoing, a program offering interactive group treatment sessions over the Internet.

“It’s live, audiovisual-based treatment online,” Karlin said Wednesday. “None of the participants, they are not visible on the screen. … They can all hear each other.”

Since Karlin founded eGetgoing in 1999, 600 people have participated. Eighty percent of them completed the program and the relapse rates nine months after treatment are only 20 percent, he said.
“Twenty-seven million people have a (drug or alcohol) problem, 19.5 million need treatment and only about 3 million get treatment,” Karlin said. “There is a huge treatment gap that has been there for decades.”

That gap exists for several reasons, he said. People often hesitate to receive treatment because of the stigma associated with alcohol and drug abuse.
But for people who truly want treatment, it’s also not easy to find. Nationwide, Karlin said, there is a shortage of treatment facilities, especially for adolescents.
It is often inconvenient for people to take weeks off of work to attend treatment programs, he said. And the programs are expensive and are not always covered by health insurance.

“Think of all of those issues and how does technology have a role?” Karlin said. “It’s not a panacea. It’s not the only thing. But use of technology can increase access to treatment.”
He says the eGetgoing model can apply in both urban and rural areas, but understands why it would be particularly exciting for small communities like West Yellowstone.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to focus on rural issues,” said Donovan Kuehn, outreach coordinator for NAADAC.
He said more than 350 people from around the country are attending the four-day event.
Karlin is scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m. this evening at the Holiday Inn Sunspree.

Drug Abuse Professionals To Hold Conference At Holiday Inn
West Yellowstone News
By David Warner, Staff Writer

According to its webpage, The Association for Addiction Professionals was founded in 1972 and is “the country’s largest organization for addiction-focused health care professionals.”

The group, also known by the acronym of its former name NAADAC (National Association of Alcohol and drug Abuse Counselors), will be holding a national anti-drug conference in West Yellowstone at the holiday inn Sunspree Resort next week, October 6-9.

A news release states that more than 300 delegates will be attending the annual conference. The President of the group’s executive board in Roger Curtis, NCACII, LAC, or A/D Services of Anaconda, in Anaconda, Montana.

The conference’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Barry Karlin. Karlin is the Chairman and CEO of CRC Health Group, the country’s largest substance abuse treatment provider, with more than 80 facilities.

In his address Karlin will call for using new technologies, including Internet drug treatment services, to reduce the long unbridgeable U.S. treatment gap – 19 million regular abusers, only 3 million get treatment.

In a pre-released copy of Karlin’s speech, he asserts that “Over 50,000 people die a year from drug related causes, and the nation spends $200 billion annually as the price of drug abuse.

New technologies like the Internet can drastically reduce the gap in treatment provided versus what is needed.”

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