Too many drug treatment counselors in California are unskilled, unethical and uneducated, according to a report released today by a Danville-based drug treatment organization.

The Justin Foundation, an organization that helps families affected by drug use, determined that 40 percent of patient deaths in state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment centers over seven years were caused by failures by counselors.

"For most Californians, rehab is not the glitzy, star-studded yoga retreat portrayed in celebrity magazines," the organization's founder, Cathie Smith, said Thursday. "Rehab with unskilled or unethical counselors can be harmful and, in some cases, deadly."

The foundation announced its study at a news conference in Martinez to support a bill introduced by Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.
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Contributor: Don Phillips