The Cost of An Addict’s Life

cost of an addicts life

Drug rehabs have been popping up by the hundreds in the wake of the opiate epidemic and general drug use being up, across the board. There are a few different areas of the country, often times called the “Meccas of recovery,” where rehabs, halfway houses, intensive outpatient program (IOP) clinics and 12-step meeting houses exist in epic concentrations. One of the most famous “Mecca’s” is an area of Southeast Florida stretching from West Palm Beach down to North Miami. Delray Beach is the “epicenter” of the “Mecca.” Aside from the hundreds of displaced addicts roaming city streets after having relapsed and gotten kicked out of their sober houses, another problem is the buying and selling of addicts.

Yes, that’s right. In Delray Beach, FL, addicts are bought and sold at a cost. The individuals who are seeking these down and out addicts are sometimes called “body brokers” or “junkie hunters” and their sole purpose is to funnel addicts in and out of detox centers, in-patient rehabs and outpatient clinics, taking full advantage of their insurance benefits. All they do is spot kids dragging their suitcases down the street who need a place to get clean… and they get paid about $500 per intake.

The “Headhunters”

These “headhunters” are able to squeeze every last penny out of these addict’s insurance policies by cycling addicts through detox, rehab and outpatient clinics, so keeping them relapsing is all part of the scheme. The sick part is that the addicts are in on it too. These “headhunters” have been known to actually go out and buy drugs and intentionally cause addicts to relapse, because you have to be “dirty” to get into detox. Once in detox, sometimes even the addict is in on it, and gets a cut of the insurance money. A huge scam all for the all-mighty dollar. That’s not even where it ends. Once in a halfway house, addicts are often set up with major incentives like cell phones, grocery store gift cards and free rent. All they have to do is hand over their insurance information and go to a specific outpatient program. Oftentimes, halfway houses, who can only charge insurance for the cost of drug testing, will partner with these outpatient centers so they can charge insurance policies hundreds of dollars a day for treatment.

Wrong Choice of Treatment

Another scam that’s run is the “mole.” During this scam, addicts are paid to go in and out of detox centers, usually being bought drugs so they can give a positive drug test result, and once enrolled, convince other addicts to go to specific rehab centers. After being promised a wonderful treatment center, with all the “bells and whistles,” the addict finds themselves at an overcrowded and understaffed facility, meeting at an office building for group therapy all day and living in a crowded apartment off-site. The kickbacks are endless for these scammers and have turned the positivity of going to rehab and turning one’s life around and shrouded it with a veil of darkness.

Going to rehab is supposed to be a time of change and a time for giving an addict the hope of a future. Unfortunately, in this area of the country, vulnerable addicts are preyed upon for their insurance policies so other people can make money. Drug rehab shouldn’t be a money-making scheme for anyone!

If you or a loved one is looking for addiction treatment, find a non-profit center that is results-based and gets to the core root of the addiction and has a comprehensive exit plan. No addict should be taken advantage of due to their wonderful insurance policy. The name of the game is helping people, NOT making money.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.