CRC Health Group to Present Emerging Trends in Adolescent Treatment at West Coast Symposium on Addiction Disorders

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Nation's largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services to address crowd of 700 healthcare professionals, discuss urgent teen health issues including drug trends and obesity

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The third annual West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders is being held this weekend at the La Quinta Resort and Club (California), featuring a panel of experts from the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services, CRC Health Group. CRC’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Phil Herschman, Director of Adolescent Clinical Services, Dr. Rick Meeves, President of Wellspring weight loss programs, Dr. Dan Kirschenbaum, and Executive Director of The Oakley School, James Meyer will present on the emerging trends in adolescent treatment to the over 700 professionals expected to attend the symposium.

Their panel discussion will explore the complexity of issues facing adolescents, with CRC’s experts explaining the various options for adolescent treatment available today, including residential treatment centers, wilderness therapy, therapeutic boarding schools and options for weight management. Empirical evidence to support these treatment interventions will be presented and guidelines for matching adolescents to specific treatment alternatives will be discussed.

The CRC presentation will provide a framework for the attending professionals to learn to work effectively with families of teens struggling with a range of emotional and behavioral issues including adoption, oppositional defiance, obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), learning differences, low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse and family conflict.

Dr. Herschman will kick off the presentation examining substance abuse and mental health information from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings that found that illicit drug use among adolescents increased in 2010, breaking a downward trend. Dr. Herschman will discuss the implications of this survey, as well as touch on the nation’s growing prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents, citing data that indicates that the obesity rate for young people will reach nearly 50 percent by 2015. According to Dr. Herschman’s presentation and data, the cost of obesity will quadruple by 2030, with experts estimating that 86 percent of adults in America will be overweight or obese (vs. 67 percent now), and 20 percent of all healthcare costs will be directly attributed to obesity (versus 5 percent now).

Dr. Meeves, former Executive Director of Outback Therapeutic Expeditions, will follow with a discussion on the evidence that indicates therapeutic wilderness programs work for troubled teens. His evidence includes data from a Y-OQ that rendered statistically and clinically significant results for overall improvement, outcome studies on anxiety, depression and substance abuse, and longitudinal studies.

Meyer will cover a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of therapeutic boarding schools like The Oakley School, describing its balance and integration, and the appropriate teenagers for such a milieu. He’ll explain the essential four components of The Oakley School: therapy, academics, student life and recreation.

Dr. Kirschenbaum will end the presentation by discussing the treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity, including expert recommendations and the emergence of immersion models like Wellspring. Wellspring is America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps and residential treatment programs for overweight young people, families, and adults. Dr. Kirschenbaum will introduce his seven step model that encourages parents to use increasingly intensive interventions in order to reduce obesity in their children. This serious disease requires an aggressive stance, including the use of simple medical management and education to immersion cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches like Wellspring Camps and even bariatric surgery if necessary. Dr. Kirschenbaum will also discuss his Immersion-to-Lifestyle Change model that helps explain why immersion treatment that includes CBT may produce better results than traditional outpatient weight loss programs. This model asserts that such differential benefits may occur because immersion replaces the obesogenic environment with a nearly ideal weight controlling environment, increases the intensity of therapy, education, and modeling, and promotes faster and more dramatic weight loss.

The panel presentation is scheduled for Saturday, June 2. Attendees of the symposium include physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, eating disorder specialists, mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors, educators, lawyers, and registered dieticians. For more information, visit

CRC Health Group is the largest and most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives.

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Kristen Hayes, Director of Corporate Communications
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