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Ala. Mental Health Focuses on Uncertified Treatment Programs

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - State mental health officials will start visiting 112 uncertified drug treatment programs next month.

Authorities say they will be checking that the programs either meet standards or stop claiming to offer substance abuse services.

Many of the programs are run out of faith-based residential facilities. Officials are reacting to consumer complaints about residents getting incompetent treatment and being financially abused.

Kent Hunt with the state Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation said all state agencies have agreed to not refer people to uncertified programs for treatment.

The state will help facilities through the certification process, if necessary and Hunt said the goal isn't a witch hunt to close programs.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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