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Sober Homes Task Force Arrests: Total Now 26, Including A Lab

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Palm Beach County Sober Homes Task Force is at it again and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results: 26 total arrests, and the first (of what we expect will be many more) arrests of shady lab operators. This is big news for South Florida and yet another step forward in saving lives.

Sober Homes Task Force Arrests

The Sober Homes Task Force’s most recent arrests occurred over the course of about 24 hours. Included in these five new arrests were lab operators – proving the Task Force’s dedication to cleaning up the addiction treatment industry by pursuing fraudulent practices – is starting to pay off.

“You cannot clean up the industry without cleaning up the labs,” explained Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.

What You Need To Know About The Sober Homes Task Force Arrests

Going after the labs has been a little more difficult because of their more sophisticated business models, but due to cooperation from previously arrested individuals, and detailed tips from a concerned community contacting the Sober Homes Task Force hotline, we may finally see more arrests of these bad labs in the near future.

The reasons these labs are so important to clean up is because they are the major “money makers”. An estimated $2,000 or more can be made from an insurance company for just one urine drug screening test.  In many cases, patients are tested three or more times a week, making these crooks a huge profit. Sober homes and outpatient programs will usually get a kickback from sending patients to these labs, or in some cases, the outpatient program themselves may even own the lab under a different name. It has become a complicated web that officials are starting to finally figure out and make some serious dents in the take down of these bad businesses.

Currently, these crimes are considered third-degree felonies and hold a maximum prison sentence of just 5 years. Officials have issued a strong warning, stating that even if fraudulent programs have already shut down, anyone who has engaged in fraudulent behaviors will still be held accountable.

As a result of recent arrests and the awareness at a federal level, new laws aimed at increasing penalties and increasing resources to combat fraud have passed through both the Florida House and Senate, and await signature by Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott. Right now a minimum of 13 counts of patient brokering are required for maximum sentencing.

How To Find A Safe Addiction Treatment Program

We want to make sure you know that not all treatment centers are bad and there are good facilities out there, like The Watershed, who are helping addicts and alcoholics recover. You may have heard talk that all addicts that come down to Florida are not recovering and are dying, and that is just not true. There are good treatment centers and there are addicts recovering, so please do not deter others from going to treatment or getting help because of these bad sober homes. Here are some suggestions to help you decide if a rehab center is safe for you or your loved one:

  1. Make sure they have been in business for a while, if they have only a few years, look into them further.
  2. If they give you a place to stay rent-free for your urine, then remove yourself from that sober home.
  3. If it sounds shady, it most likely is shady, so research the facility. Are they licensed? Do they hold accreditation? Are they BBB certified?

People Do Recover

Recovery is possible and treatment does work, so please do not allow these bad sober homes stop you or your loved one from getting help. Please contact us today for more information on how treatment can work for you.  We want to make sure that no addict or alcoholic has to suffer at the hands of these bad centers, so even if you can’t attend our program, we will help locate a facility that will work for you. Call now for more information at 1-800-861-1768. Our lines are open 24/7.

If you have tips, please contact Sober Homes Task Force and let them know. Together we can help save more lives and stop the corruption happening here in Palm Beach County.




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