Drug Abuse Crisis Fueled by Unregulated Sober Homes

Unfortunately there are plenty of scam, abusive and useless drug rehab centers. And the ongoing heroin crisis is fueling the growth of these ineffective and harmful drug rehab centers.

The Heroin Crisis in Trump’s Backyard

Palm Beach County is dubbed “the recovery capital of America” because it’s home to so many drug treatment centers, and has been for at least three decades. But in recent years its reputation as a balmy locale to get well has been particularly hard hit because of the proliferation of corrupt “sober homes,” communal houses for addicts who arrive from around the country, lured by offers of free rent, airplane tickets and even gym memberships.

Unregulated, the operators, many of whom lack any professional training, either ignore the rampant drug use at their facilities or even supply their clients with heroin so they can funnel them to outpatient drug treatment centers in exchange for bribes, an illegal practice known as “body brokering.” The owners keep them for as long as their insurance lasts and then they kick them out, broke and still addicted. Local residents have taken to calling them “walkers,” a reference to the stumbling zombies in the TV show “The Walking Dead”: forlorn-looking kids wandering around in a daze, dragging suitcases or toting plastic bags, who often end up sleeping in the park.

One notorious sober home owner, Kenneth Chatman, who was sentenced last month to 27 years, ran a facility where investigators found bloody carpets and clients shooting up in their rooms.

Fraud is so endemic in Palm Beach County’s billion-dollar-a-year drug treatment industry that in 2015 health insurance provider Cigna pulled out of the Obamacare marketplace in Florida, citing overbilling for urine tests by drug treatment centers as the reason. Cigna is suing Sky Technology, a Texas-based firm that runs a string of drug-testing labs in South Florida to try and claw back some of the sky-high fees that the company has reimbursed.

Sadly our failure to regulate properly creates disastrous results and fuels fraud. We need to expose and close fraudulent facilities abusing people and robbing our healthcare dollars without treating addicted people using practices that can work.

Even when there is an honest effort to treat those addicted to drugs the success rates are far from good. Still we need to work on continuing to improve and adapt treatment practices. We can’t afford to have criminals bleed the health care treatment dollars.

Related: Drug Treatment Funding Can More Than Pay For Itself With Reduced Crime CostsA Small Town Struggles With A Boom In Sober Living HomesImproving Addiction Treatment with The University of Wisconsin – MadisonThe Causes of Drug Addiction are Complex

CC Sabathia Entered a Treatment Facility for Alcoholism

CC Sabathia a pitcher for the New York Yankees has announced he has entered a treatment facility for alcoholism as the Yankees are starting the playoffs.

photo of CC Sabathia

Photo of CC Sabathia, from his official web site.

His statement:

Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.

It is good he realizes he has a problem and is seeking treatment.

Upon signing with the Yankees prior to the 2009 season, Sabathia became the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history. He is now 35 years old.

This is another reminder that alcoholism is a devastating problem to a large number of people. Treatment is helpful but we also really need better options for addiction treatment (and more study of what is effective) to help those in need.

Related: Jon Hamm Exits Rehab for Alcohol AddictionThe Success Rate of AA is Only 5-10%Colin Farrell Wanted To Be A Better Dad

Jon Hamm Exits Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

Jon Hamm is best known for his role as Don Draper on Mad Men. He has recently completed a stay at a rehabilitation center where he sought treatment for alcohol addiction.

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm at PaleyFest 2014

He reportedly received rehab treatment at the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut which is affiliated with Yale University.

The hospital describes their addiction treatment program as follows:

The Addiction Program provides a highly structured, intensive program of education, behavioral skill development and increasing psychological awareness. The focus of this abstinence-based program is to help patients identify triggers and learn relapse prevention strategies that will help them remain substance-free.

Treatment for addiction disorders often begins in our inpatient level of care. Patients are admitted for detoxification from alcohol, prescription medication and other substances. Simultaneous treatment of psychiatric symptoms is also provided for mood and other psychiatric disorders as needed. The goals of this phase of treatment are crisis stabilization, symptom reduction and medication management. This phase of care is generally covered by insurance.

After stabilization, the next phase of treatment is our Transitional Living Program. Patients reside on campus as they focus on developing a psychological understanding of their illness and developing new behavioral skills to manage their recovery process. The length of stay for this phase of treatment is 4 weeks, and some patients extend their treatment beyond this minimum. This program is self-pay – a small portion of the program may be covered by insurance. Our staff will help you determine if you have this benefit.

Related: Representative Patrick J. Kennedy Spends a Month in RehabRobert Downey Jr. Rehab SuccessRussell Brand’s Testimony on Dealing with Drug Addiction

Drug Treatment Funding Can More Than Pay For Itself With Reduced Crime Costs

Some interesting details and data from Texas government web site.

Drug users constitute a large and growing proportion of the criminal justice population. Drug users not only commit a substantial amount of crime, but as the frequency of drug use increases, the frequency of crime increases and the severity of crimes committed also increases.

Drug use in the general population appears to have declined over the past decade, yet the number of drug-involved offenders is increasing. The number of convictions for drug violations in Texas has increased from 8,103 in 1980 to 23,126 in 1988, a 185 percent increase in less than ten years.

Estimates of lifetime drug users among the nation’s incarcerated population range from 80 to 87 percent.

The American Correctional Association notes that more than 95 percent of drug and alcohol offenders will be discharged from prison, most without receiving any treatment. Because of the high association between drug abuse and recidivism, it is in the public interest to place offenders in the kinds of treatment programs that have been found effective. A noticeable reduction in drug use and criminality can occur with an alliance between the criminal justice system and drug abuse treatment.

Public expenditures for drug abuse treatment are wise and prudent investments. Treatment works to reduce crime, drug abuse, and recidivism. Sustained reductions in recidivism can be achieved up to six years after treatment. With appropriate drug abuse treatment more than 75 percent of offenders with chronic substance abuse histories can reenter the community and lead socially acceptable life styles.

For every dollar spent for drug treatment, $11.54 is saved in social costs, including law enforcement costs, losses to victims, and government funds for health care.

Research has shown that funds invested in drug treatment reduces future criminal justice costs for treated offenders. Every dollar spent on residential drug treatment in probation saves $2.10 in future criminal justice costs. Every dollar spent on outpatient drug treatment in probation saves $4.28 in future criminal justice costs.

This is an old report, from 1997 but the basic model doesn’t change. A large amount of criminal activity is driven by drug addiction. To reduce crime in society drug addiction needs to be reduced. While success rates of drug addiction treatment centers are far from perfect the results more than pay for the cost – just in reduced crime costs (without even considering the better lives these people lead and the benefits to their children and loved ones).

Related: The Rise and Fall of America’s First Prison for Drug AddictsResults of 4 Year Study of Women in Drug TreatmentAlcohol is a Major Cause of Drug Rehab AdmissionsHow Effective is Drug Addiction Treatment?

Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Rehab Centres in Australia

There are many of reasons why people resort to abusing substances such as drugs or alcohol. People from different levels of society and from different age brackets fall into drug or alcohol addiction. Many use it for socialization or enjoyment but others tend to abuse it leading to addiction. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is so easy to plan about but it is in fact so difficult to start with and to be able to sustain it. This is great challenge for addicts, and why avoiding the problem in the first place is far more preferable. But if you find yourself, or a loved one, addicted there is hope.

Substance abuse/addiction is considered as a disease and should be treated by a health care provider with specialization on this area in order to arrive at a proper treatment protocol for that particular stage that client maybe in. For whatever the reason and at whatever kind of lifestyle the abuser may have, the question is, “Is help readily available and accessible for them?”

The good news is that help is just around the corner. Once someone makes the decision they need to make a change, in order to put their life back on track the next step is choosing the right option for them from the available drug and alcohol detox centers.

Here are some Rehab Centres in Australia:
The Sanctuary Byron Bay
Location: Byron Bay 2481, Lismore
Specialization: Offers inspiration, advice and support for those who want to overcome addiction.

Banyan House
Location: Berrimah, NT 0828
Specialization: treatment for people recovering from alcohol and drug addictions and any co-occurring mental health disorders

Karobran
Location: Adelaide, Melbourne
Specialization: Residential programs with intensive assistance in addiction recovery and life skill watching with a Christian Philosophy.

Narcotics Anonymous of Victoria
Location: Victoria, Australia
Specialization: fellowship of recovering drug addicts

Related: Top 10 Luxury Rehab CentersBetty Ford Center

New Jerusalem Now

“You cannot fully recovery unless you help the society that made you sick, recover.” New Jerusalem Now, a community of former addicts helping each other achieve a “fullness of life” formerly prevented by drug and alcohol abuse. From the residents’ narratives, you learn how they run their community within a community in one of the poorest neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, PA.

New Jerusalem Now was started by The Simple Way, a web of subversive friends conspiring to spread the vision of ‘Loving God, Loving People, and Following Jesus’ in our neighborhoods and in our world.

They are not just treating the people but building up the community. This is an important activity. Creating a healthy community will not eliminate drug and alcohol abuse but it will help both reduce the amount and reduce the impact of the abuse. Just as a healthy body can get sick and recovery quickly a healthy community can help people recovery more quickly than a sick community.

Related: Shane Claiborne: Interview with a New MonasticBetty Ford CenterFinding Rehab CentersNew Owner Updating Celebrity Rehab Center, Promises

Beyonce Donated $4 million to Drug Rehabilitation Center

Beyonce Knowles donated her entire $4 million salary for Cadillac Records to the Phoenix House rehabilitation charity. She spent 2 weeks at Phoenix House researching her role in the movie where she played signer Etta James. Etta James struggled with drug addiction throughout her career.

photo of Beyonce Knowles singing

Beyoncé Opens Cosmetology Center at Phoenix House

The new Cosmetology Center will offer a seven-month cosmetology training course, helping our clients gain the career skills they need to lead productive, rewarding lives in recovery.

Beyoncé spoke about meeting with women in treatment at Phoenix House while preparing for the role of Etta James in the 2008 film Cadillac Records. “Through their stories, I realized that all of us have our personal struggles and we all have something to overcome,” she said. “Drug addiction… has a stigma that must be removed. Addiction is a disease and these beautiful women I met did not choose to become addicts, but they have chosen to get better.”

Later donating her salary from the film, Beyoncé wanted to create a program that was geared toward women, “something that would teach them skills that would give them hope even after Phoenix House.” Together, she and her mother, who owned a popular hair salon in Houston when she was growing up, came up with the idea of our new cosmetology program.

As a child, she observed that her mother’s salon was a place for women to “share stories, cry, laugh, and get advice” – and she wanted to bring that experience the women at Phoenix House. “The first sign of recovery is caring about your appearance,” she said. “And hopefully, this Center will be a place that will change lots of lives every year.”

Photo by Hassy, 2009.

Related: Smokey Robinson Helping Fight Against Drug AddictionEminem’s ‘Relapse’ Explores His Drug Addition and RehabilitationMaradona Drug RehabCarrie Fisher’s Novel Explores Drug Addiction and Rehab

New Owner Updating Celebrity Rehab Center, Promises

Remaking Promises by Alexa Hyland

Promises Treatment Centers became famous for its Hollywood clientele, including starlets Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

Promises charges $38,500 for a 90-day stay at its West L.A. facility, while treatment at its Malibu location – with panoramic views of the ocean and perfectly manicured lawns – starts at $54,500 for a 31-day stay.

Sack then turned his attention to improving the centers’ treatment programs. He started a service program where patients volunteer with organizations such as homeless veteran projects while they are being treated. He upgraded the staff and contracted with more licensed professionals who provide care in a wider range of areas, including post-traumatic stress disorder, sex addiction and other compulsive disorders.
Susan Blacksher, executive director of the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources, said Sack is making the program better by not just treating a patient’s drug and alcohol issues.
“More and more, people of good programs are dealing with the entire person,” Blacksher said, “including an assessment of any underlying medical or psychiatric needs that could interfere with a person’s ability to stay with a commitment of a more sober lifestyle.”
A big part of Sack’s efforts have been focused on improving Promises’ follow-up care, which he said will help patients remain sober and allow staff members to better track information such as relapse rates.

Promises started setting goals for discharged patients. They are now held responsible for attending 12-step meetings, finding a group home and sponsor, and remaining sober.

He said the most recent data shows that 79 percent of Promises’ alumni were continuously sober for 90 days. The national relapse rate for that period is 40 percent to 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Obviously the luxury addiction rehabilitation centers are out of the price range of most people. But the basic rehab strategies are the same as many other centers.

Related: Betty Ford CenterRehab Center Reality CheckShould Rehab be Enjoyed?

Principles of Effective Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation

Principles of Effective Treatment from the United States National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service

Drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. While the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive. This behavior results largely from the effects of prolonged drug exposure on brain functioning. Addiction is a brain disease that affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior.

Because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives.

Too often, addiction goes untreated: According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 23.2 million persons (9.4% of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2007. Of these individuals, 2.4 million (10.4%) received treatment at a specialty facility (i.e., hospital, drug or alcohol rehabilitation or mental health center). Thus, 20.8 million persons (8.4 % of the population aged 12 or older) needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but did not receive it.

Scientific research since the mid–1970s shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives. Based on this research, key principles have emerged that should form the basis of any effective treatment programs:

  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
  • Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
  • Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
  • An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
  • Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long–term drug abuse.
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.

When looking for drug rehab centers it is valuable to keep these facts in mind. Even the best rehab centers have many failed attempts to beat drug addiction. By finding centers that have adopted scientifically tested strategies success rates can be improved.

Related: How Effective is Treatment for Drug Addiction?Methods to Treat Drug and Alcohol AddictionDrug Rehab Centers in Los AngelesUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison Program Aims to Improve Drug Treatment

Tiger Woods Puts Focus on Sex Addiction

photo of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has greatly increased the focus on sex addiction recently. A few years ago, David Duchovny, of X-Files fame, rehabed to the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services Treatment for a sex addition. That is the same rehab center that Tiger Woods is rumored to be a patient at now.

Taking sex addiction seriously by Nicole Baute

Statistics claim that from 3 to 10 percent of Americans have a sex addiction, but the condition is not listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and not all experts agree that problematic sexual behaviour should be called an addiction at all.

Vermeire describes sex addicts as people struggling with sexual compulsions they cannot stop, despite negative consequences.

The addiction is not limited to the rich and famous. In Toronto, there are therapists who specialize in sexual addiction and support groups like Sex Addicts Anonymous. Bellwood Health Services has a 12-week, $12,000 residential program and outpatient counselling.

Margaret Hicks, a Toronto psychotherapist and social worker, says the addiction is often about shame and low self-esteem. Sufferers are trying to fill a void in their lives, she says: “You can fill the hole with alcohol, you can fill it with drugs, you can fill it with sex.”

Hicks says Internet porn is increasingly driving the addiction, and exposure to certain types of porn can change a person’s sexual template in destructive ways.

“Treatment for sexual addiction involves abandoning the unhealthy sexual behaviours and, after a period of abstinence, developing healthy sexual functioning with a primary partner – which often requires learning how to function in a healthy emotional way,” says Lawson, manager of family services and special programs at Bellwood.

“With sex addictions we are sort of where the people supporting the idea of alcoholism were 50 years ago,” she says.

“When they started talking about alcohol addiction and being an alcoholic back then, there was the same reaction, ‘No way, there’s no such thing, what are you talking about?’ So, it takes time.”

Related: Brett Favre Overcomes Painkiller AddictionRobin Williams Reflects on RehabEva Mendes on Rehab