CNN has a pretty powerful investigative series on California’s dysfunctional treatment system:
Over $185 million per year of state and federal money goes into California’s drug rehab counseling program, much of it lining the pockets of unscrupulous clinics who pay people $5 to sign in (or simply invent clients).
While each state has a different system, the fraud and abuse in treatment is a national problem as the treatment industry has become a hugely lucrative business (try doing an internet search for “drug treatment” or “drug rehab” to see just how large this industry is), with lots of taxpayer money to tap and tons of “addicts” who are required to go through treatment because of their involvement in the criminal justice system.
Yes, there are legitimate treatment centers that are doing good things, but there are also a ton of programs sniffing out their chunk of the cash.
Every week, I’m approached by some unscrupulous person or group who wants to use Drug WarRant to increase the search engine rankings of a treatment clinic or referral site. These are in addition to the ones that show up in the Google ads on the right (I’m not involved in choosing those). They want to supply me with an article of my choice that they’ll write for the site, in exchange for an embedded text link to their site, or an infographic, or simply that they’ll pay me to stick a text link in one of my posts.
Since Drug WarRant has excellent google rankings, they’re looking to take advantage of that link power for their rankings. I always turn them down (or simply ignore them). They’re as low a form of life as spammers.
The treatment industry needs vastly better regulation. It alo needs to have the drug war end, so that treatment isn’t so heavily tied to the criminal justice system.
And then, we need to have a serious conversation about the kind of treatment we provide for people, and take a good hard look at harm reduction and maintenance therapies as an alternative to ineffective coerced cold-turkey methods.