The Southern California News Group has spent years probing deaths, sexual assaults, drug use and illegal paying-for-patients in California’s loosely regulated problem-prone addiction treatment industry, dubbed the Rehab Riviera.
The reporting launched a major, bipartisan effort in Sacramento to fundamentally change how addiction treatment is delivered in California, away from a behavior-based, 12-step system run primarily by former drug users into a science-based, medical system run primarily by physicians.
SCNG’s work also prompted state and federal hearings, more stringent rules for recovery homes, myriad new laws and a task force dedicated to rehab abuses in the Orange County District Attorney’s office that has made dozens of arrests, some spectacular. Dr. Randy Rosen and girlfriend Liza Vismanos supported a life of luxury on the backs of often-desperate drug users eager to make a buck however they could — even if it meant enduring unnecessary surgeries, getting unnecessary lab tests and receiving unnecessary injections for inflated prices, according to Orange County prosecutors.
Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have more than half of California’s licensed addiction rehabs, and many more for-profit sober living homes, which are unlicensed and unregulated groups of people just trying to live substance-free lives together.
Legislators were hoping to advance a fundamental overhaul of the system regulating addiction treatment this year, but it was put on hold due to the pandemic.
Source: Orange County Register