Thomas McLellan is an expert in the field of addiction. He has conducted numerous studies and research on the subject and even helped the Obama administration working for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Despite all of his expertise, McLellan was unable to save his son from the deadly effects of addiction.
After losing a son to alcohol and pills, McLellan said he realised that despite being an expert in addiction and surrounded by other addiction experts, he had no idea what to do when the disease started to take control of his children. While his knowledge of the science behind addiction was impeccable, he was unable to find any treatment centre near him in the US that offered more than someone preaching morals and unsupportive aftercare.
This drove McLellan to find what he believes is the formula for a good, effective rehab. He believes the key is to get rid of old notions that surround rehabs. Traditionally people viewed rehabilitation centres as washing machines, said McLellan, dirty addicts went in and clean, sober members of society came out, but this is not a reasonable expectation. Addiction is a lifelong disease and 28 days of treatment is not going to change that.
McLellan found his model rehab in a program used to treat addicted doctors and airline pilots. This system has had great results with a low number of people relapsing and few experiencing more than one relapse. Analysing this and other scientifically proven methods of treatment, McLellan came up with the Consumer Guide to Adolescent Treatment. This is a guide that can help people choose the best and most appropriate rehab for their children.
The guide ranks rehabs on 10 basic features like quality employees, bespoke treatments based on the needs of patients, the ability to prescribe medication, helping patients overcome physical and mental challenges and planning for long term recovery. Currently the Consumer Guide to Adolescent Treatment only covers rehabilitation centres around Philadelphia but McLellan hopes to further expand his list nationwide and eventually even around the globe.
The goal is not just to provide a list of the best places to find help, McLellan also hopes to force poorly ranked rehabs or those that refuse to be ranked into improving. He sees it as simple capitalism. Rehabilitation centres with good ratings will benefit from more clients while those with bad ratings or no rating at all will either improve or disappear.