John Oliver’s Sunday night HBO program, Last Week Tonight, has a stellar reputation for shining a light on underreported exploitative practices affecting that affect all facets of society. Last Sunday, on May 20, 2018, Oliver turned his sights on the scams and abuses plaguing the field of substance addiction treatment.
In the segment, Oliver notes that addiction treatment has now become a 35 billion dollar industry, with approximately 14,500 different treatment centers operating across the United States. Despite the massive impact this industry has on society, however, it remains almost entirely unregulated. Indeed, addiction treatment centers are not held to a single standard of care and many do not even require licenses to operate.
The segment explores the particularly abusive practices of “patient brokering” or “patient bidding,” wherein patients are treated as commodities instead of getting the professional counseling they need. Oliver singled out Florida where profit incentives have led to a cycle of addiction, treatment, and relapse that often ends in fatality. This has become known as the “Florida shuffle.”
Oliver concludes the segment by explaining how difficult it can be for someone seeking addiction treatment to avoid these scams and abusive practices. He recommends steering clear of treatment centers that fail to specify the therapies or treatments they offer and speaking with a board-certified addiction specialist before enrolling in any treatment program.
The residential treatment program at the Asana Recovery Center offers supervised detoxification along with a variety of different behavioral therapy options to ensure our patients have access to the comprehensive care they need. Call us today at (949) 438-4504 to find out whether our drug and alcohol addiction treatment program may be the right fit for you.