Ending the Heroin Epidemic

As The Palm Beach Post’s 18-month investigation makes clear, Florida played a pivotal role in igniting America’s heroin epidemic.

“In 2011, the national heroin epidemic was the equivalent of dry tinder, lacking only a match,” wrote The Post. “Florida lit it up.”

What PB Post reporter Pat Beall’s thorough (and thoroughly alarming) three-part expose doesn’t say, is that Florida has the power to extinguish that deady wildfire. Or at least lead the bucket brigade. In fact, it’s got an obligation to do so.

That’s what we believe at Recovery Boot Camp anyway. And that’s what we’ve advocated since our inception. Florida was inordinately complicit in this tragic heroin epidemic. Consequently, Florida should be inordinately responsible in ensuring its end.

Advocating an End to the Heroin Epidemic

We at RBC have long advocated for state and local government to fully regulate the addiction treatment industry. And we’ve both lauded and applauded the sober home crackdown bill sponsored by Florida State Representative Bill Hager of Boca Raton, as well as new ordinances passed by the city commissions of Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach and Delray Beach.

In addition, we at RBC have been especially vocal in our support of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s Sober Home Task Force. And we’re proud that our adjacent Healing Properties is among the listed sober living facilities certified by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR). HP pushed for drug treatment industry self-regulation even before the formation of FARR; we’re only too eager to help hold the recovery community as accountable as possible.

Perhaps that’s why WPBF anchor Tiffany Kenney singled out RBC/HP CEO Timothy Schnellenberger in her special on-air report on the addiction treatment industry. And also why Delray Beach sober home code enforcement officer Marc Woods called Schnellenberger “one of the good guys” in writer Frank Owen’s Politico expose. It's most certainly why RBC has earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval.

For recovery to succeed, the recovery industry needs to be held to the highest possible standards. And unscrupulous drug treatment providers should be sanctioned as much if not more than the pill mill operators who preceded them. That takes rules. That takes regulations. And yes, that takes tough new legislation. The higher the bar is set; the lower we won’t have to go.

Please take the time to read the Palm Beach Post reporter Pat Beall’s comprehensive expose on the heroin epidemic. It truly is about as fine a piece of reportage as you can get. And let us not ever forget how we got in this deadly mess.

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