Rehab Series

This two-part series, looks at two substance abuse rehabilitation facilities in North Carolina providing questionable care. Such as requiring participants to work outside jobs to cover the cost of their care but go unpaid themselves, or therapy sessions that last 50 hours. Another type of therapy session was called "fight night" by patients. 

The faded Recovery Ventures Corporation sign is almost not visible from the road. The rehab's office is off a state highway in Swannanoa, near Asheville.
Alex Olgin / WFAE

Therapy sessions that last 50 hours. Sessions that involve garbage bags, screaming, even getting sprayed with water to stay awake. Jason Pulliam testified to this in a 2008 deposition. "They call you everything,” he said. He told of being put in a room, he couldn’t get up,  trash bags were on the window. He said, “You don’t know what time of day it is.”  

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

When you work, you expect to get paid, right? But not for participants who work while getting sober at a type of substance abuse rehabilitation facility in North Carolina. These facilities are known as therapeutic communities. Shortly after patients arrive at these long term residential treatment facilities they start working at outside companies, and the money they earn goes directly to the rehab. The jobs involve long hours at unexpected places. In one case, moving the substance they are trying to avoid.