Orange County DA Hands Down Addiction Treatment Indictments
09/30/2018 -ATIN- An Orange County DA has brought down a raft of charges against more than a dozen people alleging misconduct ranging from performing unnecessary medical procedures to patient brokering.

Particularly targeted were a group of doctors and outreach marketers that allegedly rounded up clients for expensive - $40K per procedure - naltrexone implant surgery, targeting those with good health insurance and offering kickbacks.

The charges are serious, carrying sentences of 10 yrs to 40 yrs, and come on the heels of vigorous prosecutions of addiction treatment industry wrongdoing in other parts of the country, particularly in Florida.

Orange County, like the rest of Southern California, has been the scene of an enormous increase in the number of addiction treatment and sober living centers, facilities that are only very loosely regulated. That situation is changing radically after Governor Jerry Brown last week signed into law a group of bills designed to rein in unscrupulous behavior and create basic common standards of addiction care.

The roots of the Southern California "Rehab Riviera" can be found in 1970s legislation creating the "six bed" model of care. Designed to end the warehousing of mentally ill patients in big, institutional settings, the law prohibited municipal jurisdictions from denying zoning permission for mental health facilities of six beds or less.

In the 1990s, Promises Malibu was the first high end addiction center to apply the legislation to the treatment industry and to luxury addiction care. Since then over 2,000 treatment centers have sprung up all over the state, making it a rival for Florida as the nation's biggest addiction treatment "hub."

In Southern California, the epicenter of the Rehab Riviera is in Newport Beach, residents of which have risen up in virulent NIMBY - not-in-my-backyard - reactions to the proliferation of addiction treatment centers.


READ OUR story on recent California addiction treatment regulatory legislation

READ OUR Special Report on the development of California's "six bed model" of addiction treatment

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