Recently released data from the Department of Children and Families disproves claims that the crackdown on corruption in south Florida’s drug treatment industry has caused a sharp decline in the number of treatment providers.
According to a licensing report provided to the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force at a meeting last week, as of Aug. 1 there were 207 licensed treatment providers in Palm Beach County – up 1 from the 206 providers licensed a year ago.
There are another 127 prospective treatment providers in Southeast Florida awaiting licenses, the data show. However, the west coast of Florida has even more applications – 166.
“That means a lot of the industry is heading to the southwest coast of Florida,” said Chief Assistant State Attorney Al Johnson – head the county’s Sober Home Task Force – at the task force meeting.
Overall, there are 3,546 drug treatment providers in the state – up from 3,230 providers in 2016.
The data also show that 140 providers in southeast Florida, including Broward and Miami-Dade counties have voluntarily closed their doors. Another 16 providers were shut down when their licenses were revoked, according to the data.
The Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force has made more than 30 arrests since it began investigating corruption in the billion-dollar sober home industry in south Florida. A federal task force has made 9 arrests.