The opioid crisis has been devastating to local, state and national communities. Unfortunately, many stakeholders operate in a vacuum, lacking communication and cooperation. Opportunities to positively impact the crisis may remain unknown to legislators, law enforcement, medical societies, treatment providers and the public at large. The void created by disjointed action can actually serve to perpetuate the inefficiencies, fraud and abuse that currently plague our current system of treating opioid use disorder. The problems of patient brokering and insurance fraud, which have plagued the rehab industry, has spread throughout the country. In response, Palm Beach County's Sober Homes Task Force provides a national model for success.
There are many honest, effective providers in the addiction arena that are working tirelessly toward the goal of reducing drug dependency and overdose deaths. Combining these forces with elected leaders, patient advocates and others will develop innovative ideas and legislative proposals that will provide law enforcement and regulators with the proper tools to reduce fraud and abuse in the treatment industry. Two task forces -- law enforcement and civilian -- working toward the common goal of protecting those with substance use disorder and holding accountable corrupted providers will bring clarity, oversight and needed change to a complex and inefficient treatment system. As a result, lives will be saved and taxpayer funds safeguarded.