Lessons Learned From Calling Rehab Hotlines

I was on the phone yesterday, all day. I had been asked to help find someone a drug rehab that could offer him a private room within his pretty decent insurance constraints.

And I figured it would be a breeze, to find someone a private room for treatment on 20k a month – but as the afternoon crawled on, and I still searched, I eventually had to face the reality – that this wasn’t gonna happen!

I gave up while on the phone with one of the largest addiction treatment organizations in the world. They have 100’s of rehabs under their operational umbrella, and not a one was able to meet his needs. The intake coordinator I was speaking to described the situation to me like this.

One day, years ago, Elizabeth Taylor needed to check into the Betty Ford Center for treatment. She of course expected a private room, and when she was told she couldn’t have one – was furious.

She knew Betty Ford, and no intake woman was going to tell Elizabeth Taylor what she couldn’t have!

So she called Betty on the phone, and she asked what the H*** was going on that she couldn’t have a private room.

And Betty Ford just said no. Hung up the phone and didn’t take any more calls from Elizabeth Taylor until after she came out the other side of treatment.

Haha

Good little story, and the intake counselor told it a whole lot better than I wrote it. She got a laugh out of me, but she also got me thinking that she sounded very well rehearsed in telling that story.

She said that the real reason they very much prefer to have clients bunk up together is to keep people from "isolating". They want to encourage interaction and break people free from unhealthy habits.

They also probably very much like doubling their capacity and revenues – but the lady on the phone didn’t mention anything about that to me.

Man, finding treatment that fits your needs is tough – but the people they’ve got answering those phones sure know how to explain how your needs aren’t really what you need, and how what you really need is what they’ve got! They have an answer for everything, and at first, I think that feels very reassuring to a stressed out treatment seeker.

After too many hours on the phone though, it starts to feel icky. Should talking about a stay in a hospital give off a late-night infomercial vibe?

Man, I don’t know. Maybe it was just too many hours on the phone in a row. I mean the lady who told me the story couldn’t have been nicer, or more knowledgeable – should I complain about someone who has too many answers?

Am I too cynical? What’s your experience been? Tell me I’m wrong!

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I was on the phone yesterday, all day. I had been asked to help find someone a drug rehab that could offer him a private room within his pretty decent insurance constraints.

And I figured it would be a breeze, to find someone a private room for treatment on 20k a month – but as the afternoon crawled on, and I still searched, I eventually had to face the reality – that this wasn’t gonna happen!

I gave up while on the phone with one of the largest addiction treatment organizations in the world. They have 100’s of rehabs under their operational umbrella, and not a one was able to meet his needs. The intake coordinator I was speaking to described the situation to me like this.

One day, years ago, Elizabeth Taylor needed to check into the Betty Ford Center for treatment. She of course expected a private room, and when she was told she couldn’t have one – was furious.

She knew Betty Ford, and no intake woman was going to tell Elizabeth Taylor what she couldn’t have!

So she called Betty on the phone, and she asked what the H*** was going on that she couldn’t have a private room.

And Betty Ford just said no. Hung up the phone and didn’t take any more calls from Elizabeth Taylor until after she came out the other side of treatment.

Haha

Good little story, and the intake counselor told it a whole lot better than I wrote it. She got a laugh out of me, but she also got me thinking that she sounded very well rehearsed in telling that story.

She said that the real reason they very much prefer to have clients bunk up together is to keep people from "isolating". They want to encourage interaction and break people free from unhealthy habits.

They also probably very much like doubling their capacity and revenues – but the lady on the phone didn’t mention anything about that to me.

Man, finding treatment that fits your needs is tough – but the people they’ve got answering those phones sure know how to explain how your needs aren’t really what you need, and how what you really need is what they’ve got! They have an answer for everything, and at first, I think that feels very reassuring to a stressed out treatment seeker.

After too many hours on the phone though, it starts to feel icky. Should talking about a stay in a hospital give off a late-night infomercial vibe?

Man, I don’t know. Maybe it was just too many hours on the phone in a row. I mean the lady who told me the story couldn’t have been nicer, or more knowledgeable – should I complain about someone who has too many answers?

Am I too cynical? What’s your experience been? Tell me I’m wrong!

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