You might’ve seen the news articles, the documentaries and tv coverage on the drug rehab industry in Florida over the past year.
A common question we hear from families today is: Is it safe to go to drug rehab in Florida?
If you or a family member are considering going to substance abuse treatment or already are in treatment in Florida we can put you at ease and tell you:
YES, it is safe to go to treatment in Florida.
Although there can be unethical or unsafe facilities in Florida (or any state), you still have to do your homework. And when it comes to the availability of drugs, well, there is no place on Earth you can't get to illicit substances locally or through the dark web.
Overall, Florida has made general change that has improved the industry as a whole, and below you’ll find how Florida became one of the the safest states for addiction treatment in the country:
Florida has become the leader in regulation of the drug rehab and sober home industry.
The laws that Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aaronberg’s Sober Home Task Force helped craft have ultimately changed the industry.
House Bill 807 was landmark reform with dramatic change and positive success.
Florida now has the toughest laws and most well thought out regulations to create safe environments for patients being treated for addiction.
The laws have addressed patient brokering, kickbacks, insurance fraud, sober home safety, marketing practices, and given wider range of authority to licensing entities like Department of Children and Families and the Florida Association of Recovery Residences.
Other states now (like California) are drafting laws and implementing changes based off of Florida’s model.
Today, patient brokering is not allowed, marketing practices have to meet standards, kickbacks have been outlawed, sober homes are regulated, and facilities must comply with the highest standards of any state currently.
City Case Study
Cities like the “Recovery Capital” of America, Delray Beach has been ground zero for drug rehabs and has seen a dramatic drop in overdoses due to these regulation changes.
Cities like Delray Beach have armed themselves to fight and improve addiction treatment with actually great success.
For more, see “7 ways Delray Beach Fought Opioid Addiciton"
Community Level Responses
Florida enacted legislation for first responders to be trained and able to carry naloxone (Narcan), a medication used to reverse an overdose.
Several community organizations also have heavy involvement in fighting the opioid battle which include the substance abuse awareness coalition and opioid abuse coalition.
Florida is also home to an abundance of 12 step meetings that provide free help to those in need.
Help From County And State Levels
In May 2017, Governor Rick Scott declared a public health emergency in Florida. Florida then called for a three day cap on most opioid prescriptions and requested $50 million in funding for treatment, education and enforcement efforts.
Palm Beach and Broward county in South Florida also started a process to take opioid drug makers to court for their roles in the opioid epidemic.
Here are all treatment center oversight organizations and the roles they have:
(DCF) Department of Children and Families - Treatment Facility Licensure
Joint Commission - Accreditation Body for standards of care
FARR (Florida Association of Recovery Residences) - Licensing for sober homes
Sober Home Task Force - Advising on new laws and criminal prosecution of illegal activities
Operation Thoroughbred - FBI operation to investigate insurance fraud and illegal activities
Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition - Community outreach to bring public awareness to the opioid epidemic
Overall, Florida now is the most regulated and safest state for addiction treatment.
States are relying on Florida’s model as the blueprint for creating safe and effective treatment in their states as well.
At the end of the day, not all programs in any state is good (or bad) because of the state it is in. You have to do your homework. There can be unethical or poor performing facilities in any location, but Florida went from being the black sheep to the gold standard.
If interested in learning more about selecting an appropriate drug rehab, see "11 ways to identify a good drug rehab".