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Monday, March 24, 2014

WHO'S WATCHING THE WATCHERS? Miss Fortune's Exclusive Report Reveals Per Wickstrom's Best Drug Rehabilitation Failed Its Last Annual Inspection; Best Drug Rehabilitation "Never Investigated" An Employee Complaint Alleging "Inappropriate Relationships" Between "Recipient Rights Officer" and Clients


The findings of Best Drug Rehabilitation's most recent annual inspectionconducted on September 25, 2013—and obtained by Miss Fortune from the State of Michigan under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that the facility was found to be "not in substantial compliance" with the requirements of the code and rules,
specifically "Michigan Administrative Rules for substance abuse programs R325.14101 through R325.14928".

The inspection, conducted at Best Drug Rehabilitation's Manistee, Michigan facility, included participants Jason Burdge, Deputy Executive Director of Best Drug Rehabilitation, Jay Calewarts and Chris VanFleet of the State of Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
The report, dated October 7, 2013, revealed that the facility fell short in the required level of full-time counselors and did not investigate a complaint by an employee that BDR's designated (and unidentified) "Recipient Rights Officer" had "inappropriate relationships with clients".

Under Michigan law,  every person who receives alcohol or drug treatment services within the state has certain rights protected by the Administrative Rules for Substance Abuse Programs in Michigan, and in other State and Federal laws.

Some of those rights include:

· the right to confidentiality (privacy)
· the right to be free from abuse and neglect
· the right to services that meet your needs
· the right to be treated with dignity and respect

In addition, the instructions for filing a complaint, as detailed in Best Drug Rehabilitation's "Client Handbook" did not follow Michigan Administrative Rule R 325.14303. The Best Drug Rehabilitation handbook did not provide instructions for the complainant to file a complaint with the coordinating agency if the complainant was not satisfied with the program findings, conclusions,recommended remedial action, etc.

During a conversation with Calewarts and VanFleet, Jason 
Jason Burdge, Deputy Executive Director and the "Recipient Rights
Counselor" for Best Drug Rehabilitation, acknowledged that they did not communicate with the Coordinating Agency.

The Michigan Department of Community Health has 16 regional substance abuse coordinating agencies within the state, and Gaylord-based Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services serves the northern lower peninsula, including Manistee.

The inspection report states that Best Drug Rehabilitation is required to "communicate directly with the coordinating agency rights consultant when necessary."

And Best Drug Rehabilitation did not comply with the administrative rule that required a client’s personal belongings, including money, be mailed within 24 hours of discharge. 

Instead, Best Drug Rehabilitation's stated policy showed that personal belongings and remaining money would be mailed "within 30 days of discharge".


The reports shows that, based on an interview with Deputy Executive Director Burdge and a review of its staff list, Best Drug Rehabilitation had 7 counselors for the September 2013 census of 117 clients. Michigan's Administrative Rule R 325.14901 (2) requires the equivalent of "1 full-time counselor shall be available for every 10 residents".

Burdge stated that Best Drug Rehabilitation was "in the process of hiring two additional counselors." 

A minimum of 12 full time counselors should have been available for the 117 clients on the day of the inspection.


The inspectors reviewed the staff file of Best Drug Rehabilitation's "Recipient Rights Officer" and discovered that a complaint had been submitted by another employee alleging that the Rights Officer had "inappropriate relationships with clients". 

However, there was no documented evidence within the file that those allegations were ever investigated, and no proof that the Recipient Rights Officer had attended the training specific to recipient rights as required by Michigan Administrative Rule R 325.14304(3)(a)(i). 

The State of Michigan requested a "written response within 30 days as to how the program plans to correct the above comments." 

Miss Fortune will continue to monitor this story, and bring you any new developments.


And if you think any of this sounds familiar, you'd be right. 

In a September 16, 2013 post, Miss Fortune revealed the results of an August 8, 2013 substance abuse facility licensing inspection report.

The State of Michigan determined after its June 25, 2013 inspection that A Forever Recovery (AFR) and Best Drug Rehabilitation (BDR) were conducting their own forms of “labor therapy”.  AFR and BDR were both cited for violating the human rights of clients paying upwards of $25,000 for drug rehabilitation by forcing them to clean the facilities—without payment for their labor.

In addition, the report revealed a critical lack of emergency care readiness, no discharge documentation for clients moved between facilities and “co-mingling within the same space with no physical separation whatsoever”, a clear reference to the unlicensed Tranquility Detox.

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