Local opioid crisis featured in NBC News report - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Local opioid crisis featured in NBC News report

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Palm Beach County's crisis with opioid overdoses and sober homes is receiving national attention.

On Sunday night, NBC News featured prominent leaders of the community during a report that aired on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly."

The segment highlighted the issues people face during the treatment process. Many of the tactics are now illegal since they prey on people for their insurance.

Once treatment centers reel in patients, the investigation revealed they bill tens of thousands of dollars to insurance companies for often questionable counseling, costly and potentially unnecessary drug screens, and exotic laboratory tests.

Some treatment centers not only overlook drug use -- they encourage it. To Florida's worst operators, relapse doesn't mean failure. It means profit.

"This is an entire industry that's been corrupted by easy money," said State Attorney Dave Aronberg told NBC News. "Unscrupulous actors have taken advantage of well-intended federal law, and a lack of any good law at the state level, to profit off people at the lowest stages of their lives."

Aronberg says the problem stems from the Affordable Care Act, which along with the federal Mental Health Parity Act passed in 2008, was meant to ensure people suffering from addiction could get the care they needed. Together they required insurers to cover substance abuse treatment, barred companies from rejecting those with preexisting conditions, and allowed young people to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. But this broader coverage is met with little oversight.

Aronberg and many in Palm Beach County are renewing their cry for further regulation since there are no certifications, registrations or requirements of supervision needed.

Scripps Only Content 2017

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