Back in the year 1864, the New York State Inebriate Asylum was first opened with the hope of treating those struggling with “alcoholism” (a term coined only 15 years prior to the Asylum’s opening). After a short while of being open, they began to apply their rudimentary approach of treating alcoholics and addicts all throughout New York City. The Martha Washington Home in Chicago opened shortly after the Asylum in 1867 to treat inebriate women. Then came the Ribbon Reform clubs and the Keeley League. Slowly, but surely, various hospitals in major cities began to open drug and alcohol treatment wards, Alcoholics Anonymous was conceived, Hazelden Treatment Center was established, and so the story goes all the way to the year 2015. Today we have nearly 15,000 treatment centers in America and nearly the entire medical community recognizes addiction as a brain disease.
The intentions were pure in the origin of addiction treatment.
Today, however, the ugliness of corruption and greed has found its way into our community allowing egregious treatment center owners to pop up on every corner of the south Florida streets.
The Business of Addiction
Look, I understand that there is money to be made in substance abuse treatment and, of course, every facility hopes to be successful. A successful center that is profitable is not what scares me nor is it the problem I wish to discuss.
My issue is that somewhere along the way, the treatment business went from legitimate to street.