sober homes

House Panel Targets 'Sober Homes'

Feb 7, 2018

Florida would require additional background screening for operators of controversial recovery residences known as “sober homes,” under a bill that cleared a House panel Tuesday.

Widespread incidents of fraud have given the South Florida addiction treatment industry a black eye. Law enforcement has been cracking down — with strong support from the treatment industry’s legitimate providers.

About five years ago, Dillon Katz, entered a house in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"I walked in and the guy was sitting at this desk — no shirt on, sweating," Katz says.

The man asked Katz for a smoke.

"So I gave him a couple cigarettes," Katz says. "He went around the house and grabbed a mattress from underneath the house — covered in dirt and leaves and bugs. He dragged it upstairs and threw it on the floor and told me, 'Welcome home.' "

Law enforcement has been cracking down on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry. State and federal officials have arrested more than 30 people for running scams in rehab centers or sober homes in the past year.

But the facilities are often filled with recovering drug users from out-of-state. And when the homes shut down, the residents frequently wind up on the street.

Sober Homes To Receive Stricter Guidelines

Jun 30, 2017

A new law to better control sober living homes in the Sunshine State goes into effect Saturday.

As the addiction recovery industry boomed in South Florida over the past decade, so did the number of recovery residences - also known as sober homes.

A task force is making recommendations to state legislators for cracking down on fraud in the addiction recovery industry.

The Palm Beach County Sober Homes Task Force is putting the finishing touches on a report headed to lawmakers in Tallahassee. It outlines strategies to better regulate drug treatment providers and sober homes.

Among the recommendations: Give the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) the ability to license and inspect commercial sober homes.

The man leading the fight against unscrupulous sober homes has a message for state legislators.

“When the appropriations process comes up, please keep us in mind,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg at a meeting with the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation in Boca Raton Tuesday.

Aronberg leads the county’s Sober Home Task Force - created in July 2016 with a $275,000 appropriation from the state legislature.

A new law could be in the works to regulate so-called “sober homes” in Florida. 

At a meeting attended by hundreds of residents in Lake Worth, Assistant State Attorney Al Johnson said that he is part of a task force created to crack down on  unscrupulous addiction recovery residences in Florida. The facilities are not currently required to be certified or licensed and the task force will propose legislation to change that.