Why it’s so hard to break an opioid addiction

More than a half-million people died from opioids between 2000 and 2015. Today, opioid deaths are considered an epidemic. To understand the struggle of a drug addiction, we take a closer look at what happens to the body.

More than a half-million people died from opioids between 2000 and 2015. Today, opioid deaths are considered an epidemic. To understand the struggle of a drug addiction, we take a closer look at what happens to the body.

Three South Florida residents face multiple charges for their alleged roles in a health insurance scheme that profited at least $13 million, according to their court records.

An indictment alleges Peter Port, 64, Brian Dublynn, 62, and Jennifer Sanford, 57, were instrumental in getting Safe Haven Recovery Inc. and several other clinical laboratories to bill heath insurance companies for services that were either not performed or unnecessary. The trio made at least $13 million from their alleged scam, court documents show.

Located right off of I-95 in Golden Glades, Safe Haven Recovery is a sober home that offers “clinical treatment services for persons suffering from alcohol and drug addiction,” their indictment says. Think of sober homes as an apartment complex that guarantees a substance-free environment — they generally don’t provide medical care billable to health insurance companies, they aren’t state or federally funded and their patients pay rent.

Safe Haven, however, didn’t operate as a regular sober home between July 2014 and July 2019. With Port as president and Dublynn second-in-command, they paid individuals with insurance to be treated as Safe Haven. Additionally, they paid people like Sanford, who served as a marketer, to recommend treatment at Safe Haven, according to the indictment.

Once at Safe Haven, patients received counterproductive treatment. The indictment goes on to detail how Safe Haven allowed patients to use drugs and instructed them to undergo excessive amounts of urine tests which didn’t allow for the results to be reviewed by medical professional.

In addition to billing health insurance providers for the urine tests, Safe Haven also submitted claims for substance abuse treatment services which were never properly rendered. All of this was done to lengthen the patient’s stay, according to the indictment.

All three were arrested on Sept. 13. and posted bond by the 23. If convicted, they could face at least 20 years in prison.

Port, Dublynn and Sanford were three of 30 individuals who the Southern District of Florida recently charged with health care fraud, according to their U.S. Attorney Office.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.




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