Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones

Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones

A small number of consultants are advising families on treatment options for addiction, The New York Times reports.

Their services can be very expensive. One service charges about $10,000 a year, while another charges $5,000 to $10,000 to set up an initial plan of care, and an additional $5,000 a month for close monitoring for six months.

Addiction treatment itself can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month for residential treatment, the article notes. Even people with good insurance often find they face limits on how much the insurance will cover.

People seeking addiction treatment often find referrals from their doctor or psychologist, along with personal recommendations. Consultants say they offer a broader and more objective selection of programs. In some cases, they recommend specific clinicians.

Sam Dresser, a principal at Clere Consulting, said his company works with a person’s extended family for as long as two years to educate them on how to handle the addiction or mental health needs of their family member. He charges $325 an hour, which often adds up to $20,000 to $80,000 the first year.

Arden O’Connor, founder of the O’Connor Professional Group, which helps families find treatment on issues ranging from addiction to eating disorders, said she helps families coordinate care and provides them with coaching.

She helps them select a treatment center and can arrange round-the-clock monitoring.

Some treatment centers are not happy with consultants, who work on behalf of the entire family, not just the person in treatment. “A lot of case managers or standard health care services providers are very standoffish with anyone in the financial realm,” said Jim Grubman, founder of FamilyWealth Consulting. “They see advisers as only acting in their own self-interest. They defend confidentiality to an extreme. They don’t understand the collaborative nature of how people work really well together at this high level of wealth and private banking.”

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