Greg interviews Dr. Alan Goodwin, a psychologist from Palm Beach, Florida that has spent decades in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Goodwin recently appeared in a New York Times article titled “A Doctor with a Phone and a Mission,” about his work investigating rehab facilities in Florida, who are part of the increasingly competitive, $35 billion drug and alcohol treatment center industry.
Greg asks Dr. Goodwin about how he got started in calling these treatment centers and what he encountered when he did so. Dr. Goodwin explains that it initially started when he tried to call the Palm Beach Drug Awareness Coalition to ask some questions for a presentation he was doing, but ended up being redirected to a call center for a rehab facility. This led Dr. Goodwin down the path of calling multiple rehab facilities and pretending to be various people to see how they would react. Of one such instance he states, “They were very excited about me coming. They could help me. They had a full contingency of staff. They did evidence based practices… And we got into the discussion of money and I could bring in my cashier’s check for 30 or 40 thousand dollars and they were sending a car… At that point I said – hey, I have to get forthright, I’m Dr. Alan Goodwin. I’m a psychologist… This doesn’t make sense to me. And this person got very defensive, [said I was] wasting their time. And I kept pursuing my concerns… that number one, how could you make clinical decisions over the telephone, and second who was I really talking to? And I was talking to a person in whose job was to basically throw out the net and bring in the bodies, so to speak. There was not a professional involved.”
Listen to the podcast to discover what else Dr. Goodwin discovered through these calls and what can be done to combat the hard sell tactics many big businesses use in running their treatment centers.