One Addict's Death Illustrates Sprawling Rehab Industry

One aspect of the story is fairly straightforward: An alcoholic who also happened to have a chronic lung disease checks into a California rehab clinic to get clean and is found dead in his bed the next morning. But the death of Gary Benefield is just a launching point for a New York Times piece about the sprawling, and lucrative, rehab industry in the US; the competing theories on which type of treatment works best; the rise of American Addiction Centers, now one of the biggest rehab companies in the nation; and, for good measure, the role of a financial whiz kid of sorts who sought to dig up dirt on the company and short-sell its stock when the bad news affected the share price.

The short version is that AAC eventually faced murder charges over Benefield's death, with prosecutors arguing that employees acted with malice in their treatment by, for example, giving Benefield sedatives instead of a new oxygen tank.

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