SAO announces recommendations to combat opioid crisis

Posted at 7:17 PM, Dec 12, 2016

The Palm Beach County State Attorney's office continues to crack down on the billion-dollar sober home industry in Florida.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg not mincing words. “The word is out that the accepted way of doing business within the treatment industry, such as paying for patients is not legal and it acceptable in Palm Beach County,” said Aronberg.

Aronberg announced late this afternoon that for the very first time in state history a grand jury convened to deal with the opioid crisis hitting our neighborhoods.

“We will continue full speed ahead with our push to clean up the fraud and abuse in the drug treatment industry that feeds the heroine epidemic,” said Aronberg.

Fifteen grand jury recommendations are presented in the report.  Some of those include banning deceptive advertising from the treatment industry, requiring background checks to own a facility and cracking down on patient brokering.

“Today's grand jury presentment is another important step in the right direction,” said Aronberg.

He pointed to widespread opiate abuse across our area.

“This is an epidemic,” said Aronberg.“This is the number one public health and public safety crisis facing Palm Beach County and all of Florida.”

Congresswoman Lois Frankel taking to task those who exploit recovering addicts. “This is such a big, important part because people have to know that they basically cannot abuse our addicted people,” said Frankel. “They cannot profit off people who need to go through recovery.”

The county's new sober home task force has made eight arrests so far. Aronberg's message: this is just the beginning. “More arrests are coming,” said Aronberg.

The grand jury report will be submitted to the legislature on January 1.

To see a list of all the recommendations follow click on the link to the State Attoney's Office.