California Pushes For More Thorough Background Checks for Substance Abuse Counselors

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Passages Malibu issues statement supporting the findings of a new state Senate report that calls for additional oversight of substance abuse counselors.

The California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes recently released a report that revealed lapses in the reporting process for the 36,000 certified substance abuse counselors working in the state. Those lapses included details of counselors who were able to continue working despite the fact that their certification had been revoked or they did not comply with state training requirements.

Unlike other large states, California does not currently mandate criminal background checks for drug, alcohol, and substance abuse counselors.

The report revealed 23 registered sex offenders who were also certified by the state as substance abuse counselors, as well as individuals who were convicted of driving under the influence while certified to be counselors. In the report, detailed in a recent story by the Los Angeles Times, the state Senate blamed a “hybrid system filled with gaps and inconsistencies” for the certification shortcomings.

“Obviously we enthusiastically support tough regulations for substance abuse counselors here in California,” said Pax Prentiss, CEO of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. “Internally, we strictly adhere to state requirements when considering candidates to hire as drug and alcohol treatment counselors. When prospective clients come to Passages seeking help, we have always felt that it is important for them to feel 100% safe and secure during their stay, so they can get to the root of the underlying issues that drive addictive behavior.”

At Passages Malibu - Addiction Ends Here™

About Passages Malibu & Passages Ventura:

Father and son team Chris and Pax Prentiss founded Passages Malibu in 2001. Its second location, Passages Ventura, first opened its doors in 2009. The two alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12 step/AA model of addiction treatment by utilizing a holistic program that focuses on the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than attributing addiction to an incurable disease.

Both Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura accept insurance and each have earned the coveted Joint Commission (JCAHO) accreditation, which has only been given to 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs.

Passages Malibu was named the #1 treatment center in the world by Healthcare Global, one of the "Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out" by Forbes magazine, and the Huffington Post recently acknowledged Passages as a center that “caters to a high-end crowd, with many CEOs, entrepreneurs and high-powered professionals among its clients.”

The co-founders are also authors of an acclaimed series of addiction treatment books, including their groundbreaking, flagship title, The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.

For general inquiries about treatment, contact: 866-233-1753.

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