How Florida’s Rehab scams changed me


On the verge of losing the only thing I had pride in, my job, I decided Heroin had taken a toll on me and contorted my life enough to reach out for help.

I had been lying to everyone around me, saying I was in recovery, and had an addiction to the maintenance drug, suboxone/buprenorphine.

In December 2015, I called an addiction help line I found online and conversed with a rather friendly young man named Justin. He told me I could leave my job, get family leave, and basically go on a vacation for a month where I would come home clean as ever, all expenses paid by my insurance. They even paid for my plane ticket and travel expenses.

The next day I called in sick, saying I had not pooped in a month and had to go to the hospital (this was partially true).

The next morning I packed my things, and prepared to leave my small town in New York for 45 days in Miami.

The day I left I paid off my $750 dollar heroin debt and did enough drugs to kill a few people before boarding the plane, I was so high I almost missed my flight. I left behind my drug addicted significant other with $400 stolen dollars and $400 in my pocket.

When I was in an overlay, I met a young man who asked me for 2 cigarettes. He asked me why I was going to Florida, and if it had to do with drug rehabilitation.

“Are you a cop?” I said, while smoking my 9th cigarette.

“No, years ago I would have asked you for a few packs out of your carton, but I’ve changed my life. God told me to speak to you.”

He explained to me everything he knew about the big book, meetings, sponsoring, and the dangers of Florida rehabs. He even gave me his 2 year coin and his beaten up big book.

He rode with me on the plane and made sure the rehab picking me up was real.

I pulled up to a beautiful mansion styled detox center with glimmer in my eyes.

When they admitted me, they did not believe my 100 lb ass, was about to come off a 50 bag a day heroin habit, and concluded I was not being realistic.

Well, needless to say they dosed me when I got there and when I woke up the morning I was so sick I couldn’t see.

I was woken up for blood work and walked out into an area full of young adults playing games, eating and listening to music. HOW COULD THEY NOT BE ILL??????

They dosed me again with comfort meds and suboxone.

I layed in my bed with the heat on 90 degrees, completely naked while puking on the floor and sweating through my sheets. I tried to read the book the kid at the airport gave me, but I couldn’t. I then cried, and cried. I started screaming once I couldn’t stand up in the shower long enough to change the dial back to cold after sweating out a few more hot flashes and nearly pooping on the floor. My abdomen cried with me for the constipation had been so bad I hadn’t gone in almost a month.

The third day I was there I finally came out into the sunlight. I was offered cigarettes, back rubs, facials, haircuts, nail manicures, and a buffet of food. I wanted to go home.

I met a few kids my age that were there for petty detoxes after using once while in a halfway house and forced to go to detox. I also met people there to recruit new people to other halfway houses to make more money. I also met people like me who had no idea of what was going on and actually wanted to be clean.

After my 6th day, I had been hanging out with a couple. The man had been hoarding suboxones and selling them in detox. I did not know this and was locked in my room for days because they thought I was involved while others I barely knew protested outside my door. This was crazy and I wanted to go home.

I told the man who sent me that I was going home and he became irate, saying I would ow thousands on thousands if I did not go to long term treatment.

By my 11th day I was released and my mother purchased a ticket for me to fly home. When I got home, I went to my friends house and relapsed that night.

Two months later after becoming involved in scary activity beyond my comfort zone, I took my boyfriend and went to a different rehab. We flew down together and had to pretend we were not dating. When we got there he was very sick, but I was not.

We met a couple that had just met, and began deciding we’d have fun with them in treatment.

12 days into living in an apartment at the treatment center, I decided I was done with drugs, but my boyfriend left to a halfway house with the couple we met. That night a self paid client invited me into her room and offered me drugs, which I took.

The following day I got scared and left with a girl from buffalo to be picked up by a guy I barely knew so I could get to the halfway house.

That night this man got drunk, drove, and had us stay in a hotel room where we were drugged and possibly raped.

When I came out of the fog I woke up in a bed naked, and the girl was asleep with a needle in her arm still full. He was gone. I shot her drugs on the floor and made her get dressed and frantically asked her what happened, she had little recollection.

The following morning I asked for help to a person also staying at the hotel who said they had a halfway house, little did I know this guy did not and would also try to have sex with me. When I got there I ate all the food, and watched him shoot crack in the bathroom of this halfway house he apparently had been running, he then tried to kiss me and said he couldnt get hard from the drugs anyways when I denied him in tears. I found the other girl through a stranger and headed back to the rehab, where they denied my entry.

The following day I found the halfway house my s/o was at, and was told to stay there I had to go back to detox, so I went to the detox I had previously been in. When I got back the couple I originally met had been doing drugs and got everyone kicked out, but me. I cried to the owner, about how I couldn’t stay alone, and left.

We stayed in another mansion that was a halfway house and was told our insurance would pay for it. I piggybacked off my mans insurance. After looking for jobs two days later, the other guy we were with packed all our stuff and said we were leaving.

I stayed at a halfway in lakeworth, fl, where kids were overdosing everynight. I went out with my friend at 3 am and she had her money stolen. We also managed to see a man dead under a sheet on the railroad tracks, and reported it to the police.

We then were taken to another rehab, where we packed and left before becoming admitted.

Given in to homelessness I got up into a detox in south florida, it was in a small house that had 32 detoxers in it. We had barely enough food to eat, and were taken to classes that qualified our insurances as an inpatient and detox which is illegal now.

After leaving there we went to a halfway house in delray. I used again and did rat poison. I then ended up in the ER and had to walk back to the halfway. I admitted myself into the rehab where I puked in the hallways and took a bath in a public bathtub because I was still so sick.

My boyfriend was arrested and bailed out by the person getting paid by his insurance company.

We stayed half a month, and left after my insurance denied us.

We used again and ended up in a flop house, where I continued using, but they sent out clean urine so my insurance would continue paying, they were shut down.

I was then paid by a marketer in drugs to go back to detox, following three more. I agreed again to go to rehab and decided against it after hopping a wall and having a displaced hip while in a detox. My boyfriend came back after leaving and caused a ruckus which forced me out onto the streets of miami.

I was homeless, sleeping by the trirail, and while told we could stay at some young kids house, I was faced with guns, drugs and another man trying to have sex with me. I hopped out the window and ran into town. I called more places and got into another flop.

This rehab was also full of users in trashed mansions all sharing the same needle to shoot drugs while the staff bought them drugs.

I then went to another detox and was kicked out because the previous person left needles under the bed and they thought they were mine.

I eventually made it to a beautiful new rehab in miami that was not accredited yet. We went on cruises and lives in luxury, but my insurance kicked me off and I was sent to another flop.

I left there and went to an all girls halfway house, but after weeks of living alone I became isolated and sad, thus leaving once again to join my boyfriend in a couples halfway house. When I got there I learned they had all been using. This broke my heart, but I gave in and used again.

I left and went to another detox where I finally flew home, just to come home and relapse, I eventually became clean that year and changed my life.

Florida and me, almost killed me.

People used my addiction for profit, and I was bought and sold to attend treatments and halfways, I never felt safe.

After countless tries, coming home and attending state run rehabs, helped save my life. I completed 9 months of rehabilation successfully and have stayed clean. But, I do not believe florida helps. Many of the people I met down there have died, and their parents only thought they were doing them good. A vacation will not save your life, pain will. Florida opened my eyes to a new bottom I hadn’t witnessed. Thank you florida.


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August 3, 2018

It is a miracle you survived. You have a special purpose in life.