It is no secret the U.S. is in the midst of the most serious drug epidemic in history. Drug overdoses now account for more deaths to young people than anything else. While this current crisis is tragic, it has spurred a proliferation of treatment centers and treatment practices.

While there are plenty of treatment facilities and their corresponding referents adhering to moral principles with the clients best interest in mind, different profit seeking practices have become prevalent.

A recent article from The Fix, highlights the issue of patient brokering, the practice of recruiting people in need of treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) in exchange for kickbacks. Most of the country has yet to pass legislation or guidelines for best practices in the treatment industry, leaving those in search of help vulnerable to such predatory behavior.

Our own Ryan Hampton, along with California Senator Ricardo Lara, recently took a stand against patient brokering by introducing Senate Bill 1228, designed to eliminate these practices and tighten regulations on California’s treatment industry.

“As I sit here, a patient broker is luring an unsuspecting, frightened person in exchange for a headhunting fee,” said ATN Advisory Board member Ryan Hampton in his testimony before the California Senate Healthcare Committee on April 18. “The quality of care that desperate person will receive is anyone’s guess.”

Also included in Bill 1228 are certain guidelines treatment centers and sober living facilities must adhere to, including the requirement of “life-saving overdose-prevention measures”, such as naloxone, on hand at all times.

“Common sense measures like naloxone in sober living homes, ethical standards, and protection for people who are trying to recover are crucial if we want to save lives,” noted Hampton. “We’re done being taken advantage of,” Hampton said in a statement on Facebook. “We’ve had enough.”