Vanguard and Phoenix House Join Forces

Monday, November 1st, 2010

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Vanguard and Phoenix House to Join Forces, Broaden Reach of Addiction Treatment

Alliance to Address Rise in Substance Abuse Spurred by Economic Recession

Arlington, VA (November 1, 2010) – With more Americans turning to alcohol and drugs in the wake of the economic recession, Vanguard Services Unlimited and Phoenix House Foundation today announced plans to combine and broaden the reach and scope of their services. Effective November 1, Vanguard will be known as Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic.

“This is an exciting time for Vanguard and a hopeful time for Americans battling addiction,” said Debby Taylor, President and CEO of Vanguard. “With Phoenix House, we will be able to provide more services to more people and aid them on the road to recovery.”

With poverty and unemployment at record levels, the rate of substance abuse is also at its highest in nearly a decade, according to a September 15 report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

“In tough economic times, treating addiction and removing barriers to treatment is more important than ever,” said Howard Meitiner, Phoenix House President and CEO. “The skill and talent at Vanguard will allow Phoenix House to amplify our organizations’ shared commitment to clinical innovation, quality of care and the inclusion of new, evidence-based practices.”

A top priority for Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic will be to develop partnerships with other organizations. Following passage of national healthcare reform, insurers are now required to cover substance abuse at the same level of benefit they provide for other medical conditions. Previously deemed “specialty care,” substance abuse treatment has been largely inaccessible to the 25 million Americans who meet criteria for substance abuse disorders. As a case in point, Washington, D.C. has one of the highest rates in the country of people who need substance abuse treatment but don’t seek it.

“With passage of healthcare reform, medical providers will be able to open a door that has been closed to millions of Americans, and we plan to be on the other side of that threshold to provide best-in-class treatment and recovery programs,” said Meitiner. “Our partnership with Vanguard allows us to expand our services in a critical area, promote greater understanding about the nature of addiction, and begin to remove the stigma that keeps people struggling with addiction from seeking the treatment they need.”

As one of the most established addiction recovery centers in the Washington D.C. area, Vanguard brings nearly 50 years of service to its partnership with Phoenix House, the nation’s leading non-profit provider of substance abuse treatment and prevention services. During more than twenty years at Vanguard, Taylor has led the organization into a full-spectrum service provider for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and will oversee operations of the region as senior vice president. Members of Vanguard’s board of directors will continue to serve on the board of Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, and all of Vanguard’s current programs and service contracts will be maintained.


Vanguard Services Unlimited has provided substance abuse treatment services to and in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area since 1962, currently offering 14 programs for adults and adolescents in residential, transitional, and outpatient settings. For more information, contact Kevin Doyle, Vice-President for Enhancement, at 1 888 671 9392 or at

Phoenix House is the nation’s leading non-profit provider of substance abuse treatment and prevention services, serving more than 7,000 men, women (including women with children), and teens each day at more than 120 programs in 10 states – California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. For information, contact Karen Sodomick, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at 1 888 671 9392 or at

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