This Place is About
Changing Lives

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide quality, comprehensive, compassionate and innovative care to adults and adolescents struggling with alcohol and/or drug conditions and mental/behavioral health issues. Through research-based and empathetic care we instill hope that long-term recovery is possible. Our purpose and passion is to empower the individual, his/her family, and the community through the promotion of optimal wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.

American Addiction Centers’ Key Features

We Specialize in Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is the simultaneous treatment of drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Up to 50 percent of those with mental health disorders also have a substance abuse problem. To combat an endless cycle of unhealthy living, dual diagnosis is built into the very core of our treatment programs. Additionally, if a client has a medical condition complicated by substance abuse, such as hypertension, we offer concurrent treatment for all three conditions.

We Are Research-Based

Our curriculum and treatment program are research-based, meaning we provide the best care possible by rooting our program in scientifically proven therapy modalities. Our licensed counselors utilize motivational interviewing techniques to meet the client where the client is, along with many other research-based treatment modalities. Another key component to our program is its integration of the 5 Essential Elements. These elements are based on Michael Cartwright’s 20 years of experience and 15 federally-funded studies on dual diagnosis and addiction. We also consult with a wide range of clinical experts in order to stay innovative and up-to-date with the latest advancements in addiction recovery.

12-Step Philosophy

Building out from our research-based program that incorporates the latest research and best treatment practices, our program is augmented by the 12-Step philosophy. Introduced in the 1930s by Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps were designed to help individuals achieve physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery.

We Are CARF Accredited

All of our treatment centers as well as each of their programs earned Three-Year CARF Accreditation, the highest level of accreditation. Thus, according to CARF, we satisfy each of the CARF accreditation conditions and standards and there is substantial evidence that our programs and services are designed and operated to benefit the clients. Unlike centers that have earned One-Year CARF Accreditation and were unable to demonstrate conformance to several standards, we implemented processes to ensure our programs and services are client-centered, of highest quality and value and quality improvement focused.

Our Caring, Expert Staff

Our staff of compassionate, seasoned professionals is committed to the success and wellbeing of our clients. This includes everyone from medical doctors, resident nurses, Board-certified psychiatrists, registered dietitians, licensed counselors, therapists, and social workers, to licensed personal trainers and professional chefs.

“It’s not enough to say, ‘I want a better life.’ Merely dreaming about living in grandeur will never get you there. You have to see it specifically, visualizing yourself there now.”

Michael Cartwright
Chairman & Co-Founder, American Addiction Centers

Michael Cartwright, Chairman & Co-Founder, American Addiction Centers

Michael Cartwright

Chairman & Co-Founder, American Addiction Centers


Known as an addiction industry author, national speaker and overall trailblazer, Michael Cartwright has been a behavioral healthcare entrepreneur for over 20 years. Having started four companies, Michael’s treatment services have spanned 12 states across the nation and served both the public and private sectors. From government grants, Medicaid and Medicare to commercial insurance and private pay, Michael has provided services to many population segments.

Committed to quality, effective care, Michael has directly supervised 15 federally funded research studies regarding best treatment practices. Identified as an expert on program development, integrated care and research-based approaches, Michael was appointed to the U.S. Senate Help Sub-committee on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, a bi-partisan Technical Advisory Workgroup and NASADAD / NASMHPD Joint Task Force. Michael was also a founding board member of Dual Recovery Anonymous and currently serves as a member of the National Steering Council on Co-occurring Disorders.

The culmination of his research and experience are the foundation of his book Believable Hope: 5 Essential Elements to Beat Any Addiction.

In Believable Hope, Michael shares his personal struggles, his recovery process, and the 5-pronged approach, the 5 Essential Elements, that have caused dramatic, healthy transformations for thousands of people.

Currently, the Chairman of the Board of American Addiction Centers, a national behavioral healthcare company with treatment centers located in Southern California, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee and Florida, Michael offers treatment and recovery options for drug, alcohol, mental health, and binge eating disorders. The 5 Essential Elements play a key role in American Addiction Centers’ clinical programs and are integral to the AAC culture.

In addition to co-founding American Addiction Centers, Michael launched the national Lifestyle Intervention Conference. This annual conference focuses on all lifestyle addictions, including food, obesity, sex, pornography, gambling, smoking and gaming. Currently in its fourth year, this is the only conference in the country where all specialties come together in one place.

Michael currently lives in Franklin, TN, with his wife and two children.

Management Team Bios:


American Addiction Centers Jarrod Menz

Jerrod Menz, President

Jerrod is the former General Manager of Wits Inn and Vice President of Chapman House Addiction Facilities. With 15 years of experience, he is the co-founder of Forterus, a premier rehabilitation facility in Southern California. Jerrod is also the founder of Addiction Hotline, a Riverside, CA-based 24-hour addiction hotline service.


Candace Henderson-Grice, Chief Operating Officer

Candance “Candy” Henderson-Grice, Chief Operating Officer

Candy joins AAC with over 24 years of healthcare experience. Prior to her position with us, she worked nine years for CRC Health Corporation, the largest behavioral healthcare provider in the country. She held various positions of increasing responsibility, rising from Executive Director, Director Operations, Vice President Operations to Division President. For eleven years she worked for Comprehensive Addiction Programs, a full-service addiction treatment provider of residential and opiate treatment. The company was acquired by CRC in 2003. Candy is an experienced leader in growth-oriented organizations, merger/acquisitions, startups, turnarounds, talent recruitment, program development, financial planning, market analysis, and community relations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Alabama and Masters in Psychology & Counseling from Troy State University.


Kirk Manz, Chief Financial Officer

Kirk Manz, Chief Financial Officer

Kirk has 23 years of professional experience as founder and chief executive of five communications companies, managing partner of a boutique investment banking firm, institutional account manager in the securities industry, senior healthcare executive, and independent business consultant. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Igaea, an international voiceover IP Company, and founder of Private Capital Group, a boutique investment banking firm. Kirk is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.


Mike Stetar, Chief Technology Officer

Mike Stetar, Chief Technology Officer

Mike spent more than 27 years with UPS prior to joining American Addiction Centers. Mike worked in various technology roles during his many years at UPS. He brings with him vast knowledge and experience in multi-facility IT system architecture and design. He now resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and children.


Adam Mittelberg, VP Marketing

Adam Mittelberg, VP Marketing

Prior to joining American Addiction Centers, Adam was the Director of Worldwide Sales at Griffin Technology. Adam brings over 15 years of executive sales and marketing experience to the organization, spending much of his career within highly successful interactive marketing and technology based companies. He holds a BA in Marketing and resides outside of Nashville, TN with his family.


Paul Reed, VP Operation & CEO, Singer Island & The Academy

Paul Reed, VP Operation & CEO, Singer Island & The Academy

A South Florida native, Paul Reed, LCSW currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Singer Island and The Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida and is the Vice President of Operations for American Addiction Centers. Mr. Reed earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Florida International University. Prior to joining American Addiction Centers, Mr. Reed was the Regional Director of Florida Programs at CRC Healthcare Inc. With over 20 years of experience in the behavioral health industry, Mr. Reed has managed programs with a 200+ bed capacity, attained and sustained both JCAHO and CARF accreditations and “specialty” licenses, and spearheaded several expansion projects driven by capacity limitations and consistent waiting lists.


Mike Blackburn, VP Sales

Mike Blackburn, VP Sales

Mike is a certified Employee Assistance Professional, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Labor Assistance Professional, Substance Abuse Professional and is Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management. He retired from the Providence, RI, Fire Department with the rank of Battalion Chief and is a proud member of the Rhode Island Fire/Police Union.


Kathryn Phillips, General Counsel and Secretary

Kathryn Phillips, General Counsel and Secretary

Ms. Phillips joined the Company in 2013 as General Counsel and Secretary. From 2009 to 2013, Ms. Phillips served as Managing Partner of Sevier Phillips & Associates, a legal, compliance and political consulting practice focused primarily on healthcare clients. From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Phillips was General Counsel and Secretary of National Renal Alliance, LLC, a national renal disease management and dialysis provider, where Ms. Phillips served as the chief legal and government affairs officer. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Phillips practiced with the law firm of Stites & Harbison PLLC. In 1999, Ms. Phillips served as General Counsel for Alexander for President, the presidential campaign of Senator Lamar Alexander. From 1995 to 1998, Ms. Phillips practiced with the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.

Our Brand Promise

If you successfully complete our 90-day program, we guarantee you’ll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.