May 15, 2017

"It is an open secret among addicts enrolled in South Florida treatment facilities that hundreds of suburban homes posing as drug-free recovery residences are little more than co-ed flop houses..."

"... where the use of drugs is permitted and sometimes encouraged. Rather than promoting health and healing, the business model that supports this multimillion-dollar health-care fraud involves warehousing addicts in fake sober homes to facilitate the perpetual fleecing their parents’ insurance policies. Many of the addicts are complicit in the scam, using their parents’ insurance benefits like a credit card to fund a work-free and responsibility-free South Florida lifestyle while hiding behind a false fa├žade of 'treatment.'"

From "Alison’s story: How $750,000 in drug ‘treatment’ destroyed her life" (in The Christian Science Monitor).

43 comments:

Owen said...

Horrifying. Let me guess that the problem is not confined to South Florida.

traditionalguy said...

Government Health Care is a scientifically Bureaucratic system that aims at stealing as much money as possible. And the scam makes up a large part of the donors money that is paid for services rendered by members of Congress who claim they are heroic angels. Ergo: The Health Care Reform Bill is SNAFU, while head angel Paul Ryan smirks his little smile.

whitney said...

That is tragedy. And Florida is where the opiate crisis started. Every strip mall had a "doctor" that was nothing more than a drug dealer.

David said...

Sadly unsurprising.

EDH said...

Isn't this what president Obama and the Democrats describe as "minimum credible coverage" on your parent's insurance until age 26?

Jason said...

"Ten essential coverages."

Jason said...

Hell, I've known this for years. And if I wanted to buy an insurance policy that excluded these drug treatment scams, and got these cretins out of my risk pool, Obama made those plans illegal.

urbane legend said...

I am shocked, shocked to find that drug abuse is going on in here!

David Ragsdale said...

Connor was cruising for some share time. His win, the get of things. Simple things. Basic. Nothing fancy at a Friday morning meeting. A share was anything but basic. It itself wasn’t the win. Not the get. Nor the things he needed. Share was only a way to win. The key. Clutch…an awfully complex one at that. Bespoke.


He crafted his shares on the fly. For maximum get. And where he could, to give back. This often confused, “Give to Get, get to give.” In this, the normals heard a grift but fellows got the deal. Even those who wouldn’t play. And everyone played in some way. Why else waste the hour?


Some rooms pushed time. Others steps. Still more a joie de jur. Genre aside, a smile and a handshake only ever got a smile and a handshake. Also, coffee and a cookie. Maybe. Not that anymore shook hands. Connor fucking hated hugs. New buds became strangers in them. Again. Returned the entire get back into the share itself.


Which made simple hard. He could meander, as long as it closed. Some here, then there, now back, actually worked well in-share. Too tight, too combobulated sounded…off. Fake. Method-y. ish.


Dude facing Connor had gotten kill-dead-stuck in the rambles. The vital fall from beam. Sometimes. To everyone. Just the point! Completely forgotten mid-tangent. Solved with rigorous honesty? "Oh, what was I saying? Ha! I have no idea. I'll just stop now..." No. Dude's share rambled to full fail. Right in front of him.


And him needed a win.


So Connor directed his best vulnerable at the Chair. The share selector. The first task on the way to win to get some things he needed.


And rambling dude stopped.
Share chose next.
Not him.


Struck out to a hot newcomer. Pretty things were always flash. Never basic.
Connor did not need that. With concern, he looked away.


2-0 wth 10 minutes. 5 really, what with closing ceremonies. Maybe only 3 then. No real time for one more share.


Though he still listened, every share counted (for something).


Pretty was busy with her ‘greats’. Almost 90 days & life was never better.


“Good for her” Connor smiled at the Chair.
Burning desire baby.
He fucking hated using these for the get.


Pretty was going real short. 4 maybe?
And Connor was at bat.


No win.
No key.
No time.
No get.
No joy.


Buddy got the burning.
Six months, six days for real for real this time. For real.
And Connor couldn’t catch a fucking share.

----------------------------------------------------


“It’s a great day to call America Living Sober, this is Amanda.”
“Soberly…”
“Excuse me?”
“America Living Soberly.”
“Well good luck with that friend. We’re here when you’re serious about getting help.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------

“It’s a great day to call America Living Sober, this is Amanda.”
“Hi Amanda, this is Connor again.”
“Hey there Connor, how you doing today?”
“Good…good. Sober. I’m using a friend’s phone, so…”
“Dopeman?”
“What? No…I just finished a meeting
“I know a dopeman who goes to meetings…”

Jersey Fled said...

What a surprise. Another government program scammed. Right out in the open. I see ads for these "programs" every day on tv.

Not far from me is an apartment building that was converted to low income housing due to a settlement our township was bullied into by HUD. You can hardly get by the place because of all of the scooters that Medicaid paid for at our expense. "And you can get your scooter at no cost to you with your Medicaid insurance. We do all of the paperwork!"

If I can see these scams a mile away, why can't the government see them? Or maybe they don't want to. Just call them voter services.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It is my belief that not all government programs start out as intentional scams.

I could be wrong about this.

rehajm said...

Meh. Some auditors and some consequences would help.

Birkel said...

Think how easy it is to distribute "walking around money" on election day when all the drugged out 19-26 year olds are warehoused in the same building.

buwaya said...

Has someone thought of this?

Drug treatment facility on an isolated island, as a concentration/work camp.
No contact with the outside world other than the supply boat.

Undine said...

Same thing is going on here in California. My suburban neighborhood is seeing an increasing number of homes being used for "group rehab." Many of them are nothing but insurance-and government-subsidized party houses. They're a real problem for the neighbors, who are faced with a bunch of drug users or drunks moving in next door.

Craig Howard said...

I'd noticed that a surprising number of young people from my upstate NY village had ended up in rehab in Florida. Some have turned out OK; many haven't.

I didn't realize it was an industry.

Seeing Red said...

Another reason to change Obamacare.

Sebastian said...

"At first, Ms. Flory was relieved that under the Affordable Care Act a parent’s health insurance policy extends to their children up to age 26 – including requiring open-ended coverage for drug treatment programs." So the headline should be: ACA claims another victim. Right?

Fernandinande said...

The Adventures of Florida Man!

Florida man tells cops large amount of drugs for personal use
Florida man who looks like Santa arrested for drugs
Florida man's drugs fall out of shorts during traffic stop
Florida man accused of trading drugs for sex with 17-year-old

Daniel Jackson said...

Interesting program; not quite as refined as one can find in France. In a town I have been studying for a visual ethnography, addicts know well how to use the system. They see a social worker who classifies them as depressed, bi-polar, unstable, etc, that allows the person to register their disability, collect money for rent, treatment, food, and a living allowance. Government assistance allows them to enter the street trade at any point in the dope-sex-money market to increase their unreported earnings tax free.

Cafe society is full of such folk, the children of the Revolution of 1968, where they drink their food all day long.

Birches said...

I'm guessing this industry didn't exist in such numbers before Obamacare, but nothing to see here folks.

And as stupid as the government is, I also would like to dole out a little judgment for these parents. If my kid were in rehab, I think I would want them close, right? Why send them so far away?

Jupiter said...

11% of the adults in Ohio have prescriptions for opioids that are paid for by Social Security because they are "disabled".

Finally, something the government is good at. Killing everyone.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Other than the insurance scam part, what's the problem?
This is what people want, isn't it? Legalized/decriminalized hard drugs, right?

As someone with libertarian leanings it's a tough problem for me, but for real Lefties and real Libertarians this is more or less what they're calling for. I mean, maybe they're deceiving Mom & Dad about the actual amount of "therapy" they're getting--giving families false hope about the likelihood of being "cured," but all sorts of medical treatment facilities do that (diet centers, etc).

Owen said...

How many of these cases end up in the ER or ICU? Costing the rest of us most of the budget for healthcare?

The statistics must exist, but I suspect that asking for them is not welcomed.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"At first, Ms. Flory was relieved that under the Affordable Care Act a parent’s health insurance policy extends to their children up to age 26 – including requiring open-ended coverage for drug treatment programs."

Cha-ching!
Damn, if I was less ethical I bet I could make some cash. Curse my upright upbringing!

FullMoon said...

And yet, an addict who genuinely wants to quit, can do so for free, by going to N.A.

Harder for some than for others.

Virtually Unknown said...

Florida let's you stay on mommy's insurance til you are 30

Robert Cook said...

I know someone who went to rehab for an addiction and was then transferred to a halfway house. This occurred here in NYC. This person stayed in the facility for a period of months until deemed ready to graduate. The person has been out of the halfway house for four years now and remains sober.

From this person's account, the counselors in the halfway house were serious about their business, and anyone caught using, missing curfew, or coming back from being out noticeably drunk or high was evicted from the house immediately.

This halfway house is in a nondescript brownstone in Manhattan in a nice neighborhood. One would never know the building housed addicts in recovery if one were not informed about it.

eric said...

Drug addicts are probably easy targets. Sounds like in this particular case, many were recruited for sex trafficking as well. Because when you're on drugs, making decisions like that is easy. Gets you more drugs.

This is why I'm not a libertarian and why I support drug laws. Because our society will spend tax dollars like this.

It's also an impossible situation. If our society didn't spend the tax dollars like this but allowed drug use, a libertarians dream, eventually those drug users and those families would be plentiful enough to vote themselves the use of your tax dollars.

FullMoon said...

Robert Cook said...

I know someone who went to rehab for an addiction and was then transferred to a halfway house. This occurred here in NYC. This person stayed in the facility for a period of months until deemed ready to graduate. The person has been out of the halfway house for four years now and remains sober.

From this person's account, the counselors in the halfway house were serious about their business, and anyone caught using, missing curfew, or coming back from being out noticeably drunk or high was evicted from the house immediately.

This halfway house is in a nondescript brownstone in Manhattan in a nice neighborhood. One would never know the building housed addicts in recovery if one were not informed about it.

5/15/17, 10:26 AM


Let's hope that most are like this. Serious about helping those that want help.

Earnest Prole said...

“At first, Ms. Flory was relieved that under the Affordable Care Act a parent’s health insurance policy extends to their children up to age 26 – including requiring open-ended coverage for drug treatment programs. . . . Now, two years later, she has a different perspective. ‘Oh my God, if I would have just lost my job and not had insurance, [my daughter] would still be alive.’”

Thanks, Obama!

Jupiter said...

eric said...

"It's also an impossible situation. If our society didn't spend the tax dollars like this but allowed drug use, a libertarians dream, eventually those drug users and those families would be plentiful enough to vote themselves the use of your tax."

eric, our society already allows drug use, and uses tax dollars to pay for drugs. It also pays various enforcement agencies to attack the distribution networks, keeping the price artificially high and leading to massive violence by traffickers who cannot rely on the law to protect them. So, win-win, right?

Meanwhile, being addicted to drugs is actually not that much fun, and most addicts quit on their own, if they don't get killed first by the lifestyle.

Freeman Hunt said...

I know parents who are locked into paying for endless rehabbing. If they pay for it, the kid treats it like a responsibility free vacation. If they don't pay for it, they worry that the kid will die, and they will never be able to forgive themselves. It's heartbreaking and financially ruinous.

Lem said...

There are two schools of thought about recovery. One believes once recovered you remain recovered. Another believes recovery is ongoing until the day you die.

Kirk Parker said...

Owen,

Yes, these folks end up end up costing society a YUUGE amount.



eric,

"eventually those drug users and those families would be plentiful enough to vote themselves the use of your tax dollars"

Once upon a time, this country had property-ownership and other restrictions on the privilege of voting.... just sayin'.

Lem said...

My impression is that hard core AA believes that if you thoroughly do the 12 steps you either recover or you don't.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Kirk Parker: "Once upon a time, this country had property-ownership and other restrictions on the privilege of voting.... just sayin'."

Yep.

Larry J said...

Similar things have been going on in the mental health industry for a long time. Back in the 1980s, my wife was a student studying to become an RN. While in school, she earned her LPN license and worked per diem at local hospitals. One place she worked a few times was an adolescent mental health facility. Back then, most health insurance policies that covered mental health had coverage limits. That facility's mode of operations was to house the kids until their coverage ran out and then, shazam!, released them as cured. Whenever someone lobbies for "open-ended" coverage for mental health or drug treatment, I think of that hospital.

Michael said...

A chimp who drinks too much whiskey will become addicted to drinking whiskey. Not because he didn't get enough bananas when a baby chimp or because his father cuffed him too much. Stop the whiskey and the chimp "recovers" in a few days or a couple of weeks. No therapy, no half way house. Way too much is made of the psychology of addiction thus creating the industry of "recovery."

Douglas said...

Reads like a Carl Hiaasen story.

Gospace said...

Lem said...
There are two schools of thought about recovery. One believes once recovered you remain recovered. Another believes recovery is ongoing until the day you die.


There is a third school of thought. Addiction isn't a disease, it's a moral failing. No one forces you to take that first, second, or tenth drink. No one forces you to inject drugs into your arm. It's a free will choice you made to do so. And if you want to stop, you will, after using your free will to make the decision to stop

The addiction treatment industry absorbs a lot of money. And some of it isn't under the health care umbrella. I worked in in a prison. A large number of inmates are there not because they were alcoholics or druggies, but because they did something stupid while drunk or high. Virtually all, if not all, state and federal prisons have drug and alcohol counselors. How do get to be one? By being a "recovering" alcoholic or druggie. So you "understand" the inmate's problems. Every guard in the system know the treatments are farce writ large. As do the counselors if you talk to them privately. But hey, it's a great gig and it pays well. And where else are you going to get a job because you ARE a drunk or druggie?

Valentine Smith said...

Man takes drink. Drink takes drink. Drink takes man.

Open ended coverage is not only monumentally stupid, it is wrong wrong wrong. Not a doubt in my mind that it kills more people than it helps. The success rate from rehabs and drug programs is abysmal. One shot at rehab per person and that's it. You're on your own. The idea that problems are soluble by endlessly throwing money at them is at the root of endless corruption. Of course that's the only recourse open to those whom believe that a spiritual life IS the real corruption.

Sometimes death is the only redemption. Whoops that's a spiritual ritual concept.

holdfast said...

I know that this is partly an Obamacare-created mess, but assuming these people have insurance that is sourced from private insurers (even if Exchange-listed and subsidized), shouldn't they have auditors that police this stuff?

Or is there a perverse incentive problem - where the coverage has to be of "infinite duration", but the actual coverage per week is too low to cover the cost of a legit facility? So better to let the junkies party and hope they OD and die?