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City and county commissioners hear from families suffering from the opioid epidemic

Posted at 11:24 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 06:42:57-04

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay and West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shanon Materio joined together to offer local families an outlet to discuss the opioid epidemic.

There was so much pain and suffering in one room.

"Six months ago my son was found dead with his pants down to his knees in a sober living facility," said one mother.

Parents who lost loved ones to the opioid crisis and parents with children still in recovery spoke out about their frustrations with the sober home industry in South Florida.

"They have charged my insurance company 600 thousand dollars," said another mom. "There are people that are making money off our children and it is murder."

Many people talked about how their sons and daughters were admitted to sober homes just to cash in on their insurance. In many cases, they were still allowed to do drugs.

"I thought having insurance would help her, it didn't. It enabled her," said a parent.

One mother says she came to fund out the FBI raided her daughter's sober home on the news. She attended the meeting Wednesday night to tip off Palm Beach County's sober home task force.

"I have stacks this high of all the unscrupulous homes that she's been in and lists," said the parent.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says with over a dozen arrests and more on the way, his sober home task force is committed to shutting down homes operating illegally.

"The best tips come from families who have seen their children get exploited, the individuals who have been exploited and members of the industry themselves who want to do the right thing and speak out against the abuses," said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.