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How to Fix the Florida Shuffle

The Palm Beach County (Florida) Sober Homes Task Force has made real progress in cleaning up the local drug rehab and sober home industries, but the Florida Shuffle has become a national problem that requires a federal response.  Until Congress and the White House take the following actions, local authorities will be forced to continue fighting this crisis with one hand tied behind their backs.

Here's how the federal government can help fix the Florida Shuffle:

Change the Affordable Care Act’s fee-for-service reimbursement model to outcome based reimbursement

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided access to drug treatment coverage to millions of Americans, which has saved countless lives from substance use disorder.  Unfortunately, the ACA’s fee-for-service reimbursement model has been exploited by corrupt drug treatment providers to promote endless relapse, leading to many patient deaths.  Ironically, the solution to this ACA’s problem of unintended consequences lies within the very same Affordable Care Act...


Clarify the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to allow states and local governments to enact reasonable regulations

Sober homes, also known as sober living homes or recovery residences are places where multiple unrelated individuals in drug recovery live together in pursuit of sobriety.  There is no medical treatment inside these residences.  They are just a communal living space where residents usually attend outpatient rehab at a nearby facility.  The best of these homes are the ones you never even notice are amongst you.  The worst degenerate into flophouses, where unscrupulous landlords exploit people with substance use disorder for money or sex, and encourage relapse over recovery...


Pass the Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act and The Recovery Home Certification Act

One promising bill that is currently pending in Congress is the “Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act (H.R.4684),” which would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to identify and disseminate recovery housing best practices, such as the National Alliance for Recovery Residence’s (NARR) quality standards, to the states and provide them with technical assistance to adopt the standards...



Enhance federal enforcement of civil and criminal interstate marketing fraud

One of the many contributors to fraud and abuse in the private treatment side of the opioid crisis is false and misleading advertising.  Millions of dollars are spent to gain placement, particularly for on-line internet access, to create a funnel from one part of the country to treatment destinations such as Florida, Arizona, Texas and California...



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