The Real Story of Florida’s Addiction Treatment Centers:
Saving Lives and Understanding Addiction
A Statement by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association and The Florida Behavioral Health Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 30, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida’s Addiction Treatment industry has come under attack recently in the national media. Some criticism is undeniably deserved and “bad apple” owners are going to jail for their reprehensible actions and their companies put out of business. However, this negative critique fails to adequately address the whole picture – what is happening “right” with Florida’s Substance Use Disorder treatment programs.
The recent news reports and articles – all willing to put the spotlight on problems in South Florida – have failed to report the other side of the story: the majority of the treatment centers in the region and state that provide high-quality clinical services and are laser focused on truly helping people recover.
Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) and Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) members stood at the forefront of the opioid crisis in January during a statewide press conference. They urged statewide action and an emergency proclamation to address the crisis. Respected leaders within the treatment community and the association approached the legislature seeking help to address unethical marketing and business practices in the industry. They also successfully promoted the funding for a task force that allowed State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office to study unethical practices in Palm Beach County.
“Treatment center leaders in Florida are the driving force promoting legislation and policy that will clean up the facilities trying to give the industry a bad name. The treatment community has been actively involved in successfully promoting legislation to address abuses in both the treatment and sober home industry over the past few years,” said Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Executive Director Mark Fontaine. “Florida has some of the most respected programs in the country and thousands of people find long-term recovery in our state through these treatment providers.”
Federal laws to increase the number of people receiving coverage for substance use and mental health disorders should be applauded rather than lambasted. The law’s allowance for people to recover from a relapse in their recovery if needed is part of understanding addiction. Sometimes recovery takes more than one episode of treatment. However, any treatment center or sober home that purposely encourages a relapse must be stopped from committing such heinous acts.
Perhaps at no other time in our country and state do we need the valuable care and compassion offered by so many of our providers to people with Substance Use Disorders. The opioid crisis in the United States and here in Florida mandates quality services that save lives and help families understand addiction. It’s easy to focus on the problems of addiction treatment centers and sober homes. It’s much more difficult and requires more patience, skill, and understanding to focus on the effective solutions that treatment centers offer patients seeking recovery from an addiction and the benefits these companies offer to the community.