|The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) got welcome news during its 40th annual leadership conference in Denver: efforts to assure the public of the field’s overall professionalism and integrity are succeeding. The first evening, the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse told attendees that the federal agency considers NAATP “the good guys” in the treatment field.
Dr. Wilson Compton said that because he works for the National Institutes of Health, a review team had to approve an award the trade association presented to him. “They came back and told me, ‘It’s OK, these are the good guys.'”
It was one of several reports during the May 20-22 event that confirmed that NAATP, which includes La Hacienda Treatment Center, is having a positive impact on public perception of the treatment field.
“It was a wonderful conference,” said Art VanDivier, La Hacienda’s Executive Director and Chairman of NAATP’s Board of Directors. “For years people were saying that we were not doing enough. We have drawn a line in the sand, and are showing people that we can function both ethically and successfully.”
NAATP’s Executive Director Marvin Ventrell didn’t rest on the laurels, however. He challenged the approximately 700 persons from 220 member facilities to put aside differences of opinion, come together as a community, and share progress toward the ultimate goal of full recovery for patients.
“There is much talk in the national dialogue about treatment. Frequently absent from that talk is a discussion of the end goal of treatment: recovery,” said Ventrell. “It is recovery on which we must focus, and we know that ultimately, recovery–true recovery, not just abstinence or survival–occurs through human transformation.”
Attendees heard about NAATP’s Quality Assurance Initiative, designed to confront abuses in the treatment field, establish operational competence, and restore public trust. At the center of the initiative is a revised code of ethics, which defines unethical behavior in the marketing and treatment of addiction, including patient brokering, billing abuses, and deceptive advertising practices.
NAATP developed an accountability policy to ensure that members adhere to the code. It can remove–and already has dropped–members if they do not meet the standards, said Ventrell.
NAATP will also soon require that all member organizations receive certification by one of the national bodies – The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) – which survey and accredit behavior-related treatment facilities.
La Hacienda Treatment Center, which has been part of NAATP since 1995, is accredited by The Joint Commission, which recently renewed its certification.
Founded in 1978, NAATP’s mission is to provide leadership, advocacy, training, and member support services to ensure the availability and highest quality of addiction treatment.