Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It was a very large crowd at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center last night

Over 200 people came out last night (Monday, 9/26) to hear Asst. State Attorney Alan Johnson speak with Lake Worth neighbors about the Sober Homes Task Force and legislative actions to bring some kind of order from the chaos currently playing out in our neighborhoods all over South Florida. Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and NAPC Chair Jon Faust hosted the evening. Commissioner Andy Amoroso attended (he's a member of the Task Force), other elected's, along with PBSO Capt. Todd Baer and Lt. Anthony Johnson.

Mr. Johnson pointed out that the use of the term "sober house" is not reflective of the reality what most of Florida is dealing with. That term is generally used to describe what is referred to as the Oxford house model. He said they were different models in that homes following the Oxford Model are made up of people who have been through drug treatment, sober, and wish to stay that way. These are not the "bad actors" plaguing many Florida neighborhoods.

For better or worse, Florida has become a "health care destination." The Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing and Affordable Care combined to form a series of unintended results which have spawned what is known as "Recovery Residences."

Mr. Johnson told the group that many are part of a sophisticated system that markets services to families in crisis due to addiction. The "1-800" numbers you see soliciting for drug treatment services are a way of getting people to various locations in Florida for "treatment." This takes that family member who is suffering from addiction out of the familiar home setting.

Generally unsupervised once they arrive the addict can quickly be influenced to use drugs once again, be kicked out of their housing and end up on our streets. Many contribute to the increasingly high overdose deaths experienced in Palm Beach County and in cities like Lake Worth and Delray Beach.

Please watch the videos on my YouTube channel. It was less of a formal presentation and more of a Q&A session on the work being done by the task force, attempts to create legislation that would regulate the 'recovery' industry, and the unethical (and sometimes illegal) practices that are taking place.

Once again, Thank You to Al Johnson, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, the Scottish Rite, and everyone else who helped to make this meeting happen.

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