WELLINGTON, Fla. – For 23-year-old Kailey Keith, addiction has been a slippery slope.
“I was prescribed narcotics very young, age then I started trading them for different narcotics,” she says. “I was shooting up by the time I was 15.”
Her path to finding the right help has also been treacherous, as she’s been in and out of 20 programs in the past year.
Many of them, she says, with less than honorable intentions.
“Whether they’re more concerned about finances than the patients, or there’s drugs going on,” she says.
Stephen Perme is a clinical director and Square One Recovery in Wellington, Kailey’s newest drug treatment center.
“It’s scary, it’s frightening, and also it makes me a little angry that these abuses are happening,” he says.
Square One just opened up this year, as scrutiny of the industry ramped up.
The State Attorney’s Office is cracking down on centers and sober homes looking to exploit the vulnerable.
Perme says they’re keeping their operation above board.
“Once greed or carelessness or apathy get in the way – then we’re sunk,” he says.
Perme says while some are doing wrong, he and other centers are trying to do right and trying to provide the help addicts need.
He says there’s room for improvement across the industry.
“We as treatment providers owe it to ourselves and the people that we treat to really approach from the point of view that ‘hey, we’re family’.
5 weeks in now, Kailey hopes she’s finally found her right family.
“I was almost to the point of giving up, so I’m really grateful I did find this place,” she said.
State attorney Dave Aronberg has convened a grand jury to deal with the opioid crisis and sober homes.
The grand jury has come up with recommendations that will be submitted to the legislature on January 1.