All 2019 News
12/30/20 1000 people sent me their addiction treatment stories. Here’s what I learned.
Stigma blamed for lack of insight into addiction treatment. No one wants to admit to a 90% failure rate.
12/29/19 Parents Say Son’s Death Inside Unlicensed Residential Mental Health Home Could Have Been Prevented
The nightmare that was Sovereign Health operating out of San Clemente, and still operating elsewhere.
12/21/19 Suspect arrested in stabbing at Simi Valley sober-living home
Verbal argument between recovering addicts escalates to stabbing in residential neighborhood.
12/20/19 Ohio sees decline in drug overdoses for first time in in over a decade
72.6% of 3700+ deaths were related to fentanyl or fentanyl-like drugs.
12/19/19 Inside the Crackdown on Florida Rehab Clinics That Became Piss-Test Scams
“It is seedy on every level.”
12/5/19 Opioid death rate in Orange County eclipses other Southern California counties
Still no government research into correlation between a surplus of rehabs and too many deaths.
12/2/19 The Class of 2000 “Could Have Been Anything"
Decimation of the Class of 2000 in rural Ohio due to drug use.
11/26/19 As homeless crisis grows, new law offers forced treatment for mental health, addiction
“The current conservatorship laws in California are not meeting the needs particularly of
people with severe drug addiction."
11/25/19 South County Senators Seek Crackdown On Sober-Living Homes
Sens. Bates and Moorlach appeal to DOJ and HUD to issue a new Joint Statement.
11/15/19 If somebody dies, even in drug rehab, shouldn’t it be a potential crime?
YES! Because a business has a contract to maintain sobriety of the client.
11/15/19 Operator of defunct Orange County chain of drug rehab centers indicted for fraud
DOJ indicts former CEO is of Morningside Recovery, associated with at least one death and
lawsuits against Costa Mesa and NB. Also: Morningside Recovery accused of unlicensed treatment
11/13/19 The Opioid Crisis Has Affected More Than 2 Million Children
In California, 20 children out of 1000, for 196,000 total in 2017.
11/6/19 Costa Mesa council denies permit for Eastside group home
Rehab residence shifted to treatment for mental health. Issue: is the 650 ft. limit
applied in a direct line or by distance traveled between properties?
11/5/19 Inside the Fight for Regulation as Rehab Centers Cash in on Patients
Decent, summary of what is taking place.
10/31/19 Legislators and others push for stronger regulation of addiction-treatment industry at Costa Mesa hearing
Legislators Petrie-Norris, Bate and Quirk Silva were there. So was Advocates. Our remarks below.
Also: Treatment industry needs fixing, say state lawmakers
10/31/19 She lost her son to addiction, then lost her house to save her daughter
The high cost of fraud in addiction treatment ruins parents trying to save addicted children.
10/28/19 “Rehab Racket”: High Costs of Addiction Treatment and Questions Over Efficacy
Vox Reporter and families interviewed about conditions of rehab around the country.
10/24/19 Senators Take Aim at ’Sober Home’ Scams
U.S. Senate Finance Committee holds hearing, invites industry and government to speak,
but not victims or advocates. What else is new in Washington, DC?
10/21/19 My Years in the Florida Shuffle of Drug Addiction
A view of rehab from the inside, happening in California as well.
10/16/19 The China Connection: How One DEA Agent Cracked A Global Fentanyl Ring
Some drugs killing Americans originate way overseas.
10/14/19 California governor signs some addiction treatment reform measures, rejects others
Article includes quotes from the governor and representatives about approaches to the bills and aftermaths.
10/11/19 Rogue rehab facilities need state oversight: Cottie Petrie-Norris
"The simple fact is that our regulatory framework has not caught up to the scope and scale of this crisis.”
10/9/19 Private Equity Investment is Soaring in Addiction Treatment Centers
Because you don’t have to have a moral compass when you invest: just pretend everything will get better.
10/8/19 Four members of AAC’s board resign amid NYSE troubles
American Addiction Centers now has too few directors on its audit committee; what could possibly be wrong?
10/7/19 Federal agents raid 4 Southern California addiction treatment centers
Only four? Locations in Agoura Hills, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Santa Ana.
10/4/19 Phantom fentanyl killed 1649 people in California over 5 years, a number dwarfed by other states
Fentanyl deaths up 1247% in Los Angeles and 564% in Orange County in the same period
9/25/19 Rehab Homes in Unincorporated OC to Face New Rules
Review of Orange County Board of Sups approval of zoning related to recovery residences.
9/20/19 Orange County, following Costa Mesa’s lead, may regulate sober living homes
Orange County Board of Supervisors to consider zoning regulations.
9/20/19 California officials detail drug overdose case against big political donor Ed Buck
Sex and drugs and money.
9/17/19 Huntington Beach to create laws regulating sober-living homes in neighborhoods
Huntington Beach seeks to follow in Costa Mesa’s footsteps.
9/16/19 Inside Kern County’s plan to reduce homeless by jailing misdemeanor drug offenses
“…Those repeatedly arrested for drug possession and theft could be held in jail on no-bail warrants until trial."
9/15/19 A Detox Drug Promises Miracles - If It Doesn’t Kill You First
Another magic pill is being advertised in Mexico, $5000 for five days.
9/15/19 Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy
Distributor of opioids has a more than $10 billion plan to settle claims.
9/13/19 Court Upholds Injunction in Dana Point’s Lawsuit against Drug
“ ...the court emphasized that operating a business in a residential zone is a violation
of the city’s zoning ordinance, and that such a violation is deemed a nuisance for
which an injunction can be issued."
9/12/19 Google’s new addiction recovery website is more useful than a Google search
Because Google is addicted to recovery advertising revenues.
9/11/19 Why Drug Rehab is Outdated, Expensive, and Deadly
Big Pharma wants you to believe that taking daily medication is the cure to addiction.
9/6/19 Orange County taking steps to crack down on addiction treatment fraud
As the Task Force under Rackauckas languishes, county fires up “registry” of houses.
9/4/19 Addiction treatment bills aim to change troubled industry — but it’s slow in coming
Bills in Sacramento show promise.
9/4/19 Judge rules Costa Mesa can enforce its sober-living restrictions as lawsuit continues
Rehab operators want to stay open while exploring legal options.
9/3/19 The Rehab Racket: She spent more than $110,000 on drug rehab. Her son still died
Vox is (just now?) investigating addiction treatment.
8/23/19 Addiction Clinics Market Pricey, Unproven Treatments to Desperate Patients
This “magic pill” is an infusion.
8/21/19 ‘Unconscionable’: Why an online directory of rehab facilities doubled as a recipe book
for drugs like GHB, crack and meth
Pages were likely created to drive traffic to the website.
8/21/19 ‘Unconscionable’: Why an online directory of rehab facilities doubled as a recipe book
for drugs like GHB, crack and meth
Pages were likely created to drive traffic to the website.
8/9/19 Unlimited authorization for addiction recovery services should be mandated
Industry’s goal: keep recovering addicts in treatment forever, no approval ever required.
8/8/19 Appeals court hands Palm Beach County state attorney big win in opioid crackdown
Court ruled that people charged with patient-brokering can’t argue that their lawyer said it was legal.
8/7/19 Costa Mesa council shoots down permit for five-unit sober living facility
Despite existing since 2012, the facility is within 650 of another city-approved facility
7/25/19 Carlsbad approves committee to address sober living homes
Carlsbad takes action ahead of many Southern California cities.
7/23/19 Pence reportedly canceled a New Hampshire trip to avoid drug dealer
Top government officials can’t find an exemplary rehab
7/20/19 Federal Judge Issues Ruling Affirming Costa Mesa’s Victory in Sober Living Lawsuit
California Central District Court rules that Costa Mesa is not discriminating in requiring a 650 ft buffer and 6 or fewer residents.
7/18/19 How racial inequality is playing out in the opioid crisis
Racial disparities mean less access to treatment for minorities.
7/17/19 Recovery programs my be leading to OD deaths
Should say ARE leading to OD deaths, or just deaths, and mayhem in general.
See states section below.
7/9/19 Costa Mesa Planning Commission backs making local local needle exchange ban permanent
Protection of dense sober living community in Costa Mesa cited as reason.
7/1/19 Relapse for Cash: How Patient Brokers and Unscrupulous Rehabs Prey on Addicts Looking for Help
“If treatment centers don’t pay for patients, there’s no more patient brokering.”
6/27/19 Deaths at California Rehab Centers Prompt Push for Reform
190 deaths at licensed houses since 2010 do not include deaths at unlicensed houses.
6/25/19 How judges added to the grim toll of opioids
Repeated sealing of evidence delayed publicity of Big Pharma’s involvement.
6/22/19 Drug rehab counselor charged with murder in Navy man’s fentanyl overdose death
Clinical director of a rehab who helped set up rehabs sold pills laced with fentanyl on the side.
6/18/19 Orange County Supervisor Says Residents Concerned About Increase in Sober Living Homes
Supervisor Don Wagner is proposing an ordinance modeled after regulations in Costa Mesa.
6/17/19 How the opioid crisis is leading to elder financial abuse
The elderly are more susceptible to financial fraud.
6/17/19 How Malibu became the celebrity rehab capital of America
Historical backdrop on how rehabs end up in warm places.
6/17/19 OC Psychiatrist sentenced to prison for for prescription drug sales scheme
Psychiatrist was also a meth addict.
6/14/19 An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis
So much easier for the courts and legislatures to talk about housing.
6/4/19 Lawmakers vow to push stiffer regulations on addiction treatment in California
Bi-Partisan Legislative Substance Abuse Treatment Working Group formed around various bills.
6/4/19 San Francisco to Force Treatment on Mentally Ill Drug Users
"San Francisco’s program would allow a court to appoint a public conservator for someone who
has been involuntarily detained for psychiatric hospitalization at least EIGHT times in a year."
6/3/19 “American Relapse” Reveals the For-Profit Corruption of the Heroin Rehab Industry
Documentary follows two addicts through cycle of addiction and treatment.
5/31/19 ‘He died in their hands’: Marin family suing Sonoma County rehab center over son’s death
Detox required to perform face-to-face checks 12 times only checked three.
5/30/19 The Predatory Malibu Rehab Guru Who Ripped Off Obamacare
Evan Wright’s book about Chris Bathum, Bad Therapist will be published on May 30 by Amazon Original Stories.
5/28/19 Driver on trial for suspected DUI crash in Westminster that left a passenger dead
Driver and friend had been kicked out of an Anaheim recovery residence hours before.
5/26/19 ’Tired of Being Dope Sick,’ A Drug User Gets Help From Police to Get Sober
Police take a different approach to addicts in order to encourage recovery.
5/20/19 A meeting in Fire Mountain about David Fishbach
Retired anesthesiologist with history of building sober living homes accused of adding un-permitted
rooms to houses he has purchased in $1 million property neighborhood in Oceanside.
5/18/19 In Cities Where It Once Reigned, Heroin Is Disappearing
Fentanyl is now preferred.
5/15/19 Meth Overdose Deaths in U.S. Quadruple Over 6-Year Span
Staggering losses with no end in sight.
5/11/19 Yes, drug-assisted treatment is needed for opioid-addicted patients in U.S. prisons
Medication assisted treatment (MAT) reduces deaths and is compared to insulin.
5/9/19 Inside the Mysterious $11 Million Death of a Scientology Rehab Patient
Patient went through withdrawal without his anti-depressants and hanged himself.
5/4/19 Setting Precedent, A Federal Court Rules Jail Must Give Inmate Addiction Treatment
Judge rules she must continue to receive her MAT, which is a low-dose opioid.
5/3/19 Battle-weary Sovereign Health claims boost from state in fierce fight for millions from Health Net
Does an insurer have the right to demand extensive documentation from a fraudster?
How else are we going to keep healthcare fiscally sound?
4/29/19 Opioid Use Disorder Should Be Thought of Like an Infectious Disease, Experts Say
Actually, this article describes how infectious disease specialists have the potential
to identify opioid addicts and help them get treatment.
4/25/19 The Federal Government Needs to Take Stronger Action to Prevent
Discriminatory Coverage of Methadone
In depth analysis in an op-ed of financial impediments to medication assisted treatment.
4/24/19 Fresno alcohol, drug rehab owner faces federal mail fraud indictment
"… falsely billed insurers for hundreds of thousands of dollars."
4/24/19 A Barren Landscape for Meth Treatment
Small incentives, like iTunes gift cards, may make a difference.
4/24/19 Rehab patents’ unpaid work for big companies likely illegal
Another way to profit off of recovering addicts--a common tactic in this industry.
4/24/19 Faced with an outcry over limits on opioids, authors of CDC guidelines
acknowledge they’ve been misapplied
Patients who should have received opioids have been denied them according to
doctors who receive funding from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
4/23/19 Insurer sent $33,000 to a man with struggling with addiction.
He used the cash to go on a binge — and died.
Twenty stints in rehab. Is an addict mentally capable of handling their insurance reimbursements?
4/22/19 America’s Only Publicly-Traded Addiction Treatment Chain
Makes Millions Off of Patients. What Could Go Wrong
AAC has dozens of residences across eight states. People die.
4/20/19 Prison for Forced Addiction Treatment? A Parent’s ‘Last Resort’ Has Consequences
Involuntary commitment in Massachusetts is possibly not a good choice for addicts
with mental health issues.
4/17/19 Patrick Kennedy Profits from Opioid-Addiction Firms
Sadly, it’s just too easy for treatment centers and pharmaceutical companies to
compensate advocates who then go on to promote more money for treatment,
not better treatment.
4/14/19 $1.5m in Fentanyl Found in Couple’s Car in South San Diego
They were “speeding."
4/12/19 The New Proposed Federal Guidelines for Sober Homes Are Disappointing, Observers Say
When you ask industry for advice and rely on barely existent research, what do you think happens?
4/12/19 Six Orange County cities add to lawsuits against opioid makers
Maybe the funds should be used to cover lawsuits against rehabs?
4/12/19 Shuttered Sovereign Health resurrected under new name wrongful death suit alleges
What does it take to shut down a bad operator?
4/11/19 Arbitrator awards $8.8 million to man, blames Sovereign Health for overdose that led to seizure, brain injury
Young suicidal addict from Maryland was allowed access to pain medications.
4/9/19 The role jobs play in opioid addiction recovery
Doing something productive helps recovery.
4/9/19 Many Nurse Practitioners Cannot Provide Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction
Researchers want nurses to start prescribing low-dose opioids.
4/8/19 First-of-its-kind addiction treatment registry to launch soon in Orange County
May only cover licensed houses on county land.
4/5/19 California tests if addiction treatment can be incorporated into primary care
Hub and spoke model, funded by feds, gets people into rehab quickly. But then what?
3/29/19 Five States to Pilot “Rating System for Addiction Treatment Programs"
California would have a hard time doing this because it wants to pretend they
are all equally great because the state certifies them.
3/29/19 As nation struggles with opioid crisis, workers bring addiction to the job
23% of U.S. workers responding to a survey say they have used drugs or alcohol on the job.
3/27/19 White House touts progress in opioid crisis, but health researchers are skeptical
Researchers say decline in opioid prescriptions predates the current presidency.
3/27/19 The opioid crisis is partly fueled by insurers’ and employers’ approach to back pain
Health insurers make 20% of more costly treatments, improving their bottom line.
3/26/19 Want to Reduce Opioid Deaths? Get People the Medications They Need?
The next panacea for addiction? More drugs. However, they DO reduce deaths.
3/26/19 Why you’re likely going to hear more about being “sober curious”
Brands are offering more nonalcoholic products to young people concerned about wellness.
3/25/19 As opioid crisis explodes, few youths get drug treatment - especially youths of color
Article falsely states the number of treatment facilities did not increase 2007-2017;
tell the people who live in Orange Park Acres, Orange, CA where the number of
youth facilities have exploded. Nevertheless, youth treatment options have not grown
nationally at the same rate as adult treatment adoptions.
3/21/19 As Kids Get Hooked on Vaping, Parents are Desperate for Treatment That Doesn’t Exist
Here’s a more important concern than nicotine: vaping devices can be used for other drugs.
3/19/19 “Mother Jones” Investigation Takes A Look At the World of Drug Treatment Programs
Four rehabs in five weeks at a cost of $100,000.
3/15/19 Methadone Helped Her Quit Heroin. Now She’s Suing U.S. Prisons to Allow the Treatment
Use of methadone for ongoing cravings is not allowed, while it is for detox.
3/15/19 Opioid Litigation Brings Company Secrets Into the Public Eye
Purdue Pharma looked to profit off addicts hooked on their drugs by selling them more drugs.
3/13/19 Doctors Accused of Trading Opioids for Sexual Favors from Patient Undergoing Addiction Treatment
Nothing new here.
3/12/19 No one is inspecting California’s sober living homes...
Advocates for Responsible Treatment quoted in this article.
3/11/19 Show up drunk to shrink your prison sentence: indictments highlight rehab scam
Qualifying for treatment knocks time off a criminal’s sentence.
3/7/19 In Orange County - as well as elsewhere - cheap, super-powerful heroin is one internet click away
Important article on drug use in Orange County.
3/2019 “Mom, When They Look At Me, They See Dollar Signs”
The writer continues to parrot industry: there are “lots of responsible providers.” But where?
2/20/19 Big Demand, Potential for Fast Money, and No Regulations Make Sober Homes a Wild West
“Insiders tell NBC Bay Area that the sober living business is in desperate need of oversight.”
2/19/19 The Seedy Underbelly of Rehab Centers’ Online Marketing
Lots of tricks in this trade.
2/16/19 A new study shows America’s drug overdose crisis is by far the worst among wealthy countries
Overdose deaths are dragging down the U.S. life expectancy.
2/13/19 10 Ways Private Equity investors evaluate addiction treatment centers
Incredibly, no one considers deaths or the criminal background of operators.
2/6/19 Alphabet’s Verily is building a high-tech rehab campus to combat opioid addiction
Google, not content with the money it is making off rehab advertising, gets into the
addiction treatment business.
2/1/19 Saucon Valley Woman Sentenced to Jail for Teen Boy’s Sexual Assault
Pennsylvania pedophile went to a rehab in San Juan Capistrano.
1/25/19 Feds say Rancho Cordova nurse sold thousands of opioid pills nationwide on dark web.
Our health care systems are identifying criminals too late.
1/25/19 Beverly Hills Attorney Sold Opiates on Craigslist, Feds Say
The law isn’t what it used to be.
1/23/19 Addiction treatment is a maze. A way out of it is coming.
A complete puff piece promoting industry’s new certification program, as if it will be any better.
1/23/19 Inside the Specialized “Recovery” High Schools Designed Just for Teens With Addiction
40 Such schools nationwide struggle with how far behind the students are and rebellion.
1/23/19 The Benefits, and Realities of Using Medication to Overcome Addiction
Medication Assisted Treatment is evidence-based and reduces but does not eliminate relapse.
1/23/19 California Doctors Alarmed As State Links Their Opioid Prescriptions to Deaths
They should be.
1/18/19 Deadliest States for Overdoses
CBS highlights the worst.
1/12/19 “Horrific” mass overdose kills one, injures 12 in Chico
Two police officers were also affected.
1/11/19 New rehab laws mean changes to addition treatment in California.
Highlights of some changes to California laws.