Three months after a raid by federal and state authorities on a West Palm Beach, Fla., recovery residence operator that subsequently went out of business, federal investigators were back in Palm Beach County this week. According to local recovery community leaders and local media reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Dec. 17 visited two Delray Beach locations of Real Life Recovery, which operates outpatient treatment and sober living sites.
Florida officials have launched a wide-ranging investigation into both recovery residences and primary addiction treatment providers in South Florida, with much of the attention focused on improper insurance billing practices involving excessive drug testing. Back in September, authorities seized records from the offices of Good Decisions Sober Living, an organization that recovery community leaders considered one of the most egregious violators of ethical standards of operation. Good Decisions has closed.
A local television report stated that 25 federal agents visited Real Life Recovery's Halfway There sober home on the morning of Dec. 17, while authorities also went to Real Life Recovery's offices to seize files and computers.
The Real Life Recovery website describes a continuum of services that include outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization care along with sober living. Its mission statement reads “honesty and truth,” and it states as one of the goals for the individuals it serves, “To prepare you to re-enter the world and realize your dreams.”
Leaders of highly regarded recovery homes in South Florida have been seeking enforcement and legislative remedies to help weed out operators who they say largely warehouse individuals in order to collect rent and insurance payments.