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My Addicted Son is Caught in the Cycle of Patient Brokering
by Alice, parent
My 22-year-old son is a drug addict who has been caught up in the vicious cycle of detox, treatment and relapsing — all perpetuated by a terrible scheme called “patient brokering.”
With the growing number of drug treatment facilities, many unscrupulous players in the treatment industry are participating in kickback schemes known as patient brokering or “body brokering.” In return for referring a patient to a drug treatment facility, the broker receives a generous compensation of $500 to $5,000. Brokers will offer to share these kickbacks with patients or entice them with drugs to leave an existing facility and qualify for another because they have relapsed. These brokers troll AA meetings, coffee shops in popular rehab towns and, in my son’s case, detox and rehab facilities.
My son’s recruitment into this darker side of drug treatment occurred when he met a broker about his age at a Florida detox facility. He persuaded my son and a few others to fly to another detox in California, all expenses paid. After a week in California, they decided to go back to Florida where this broker was able to fly them back to another detox, all expenses paid. The night before leaving, he put everyone up at a hotel on Sunset Strip providing cash so they could party all night on whatever drugs they could find.