Identifying good sober home living centers from corrupt ones is the goal for many family members who are seeking treatment for their loved one. One website recently launched aims to help families who want to learn more about local sober homes and how to compare them.
Ed Schmidt is one of thousands of parents looking forward to the day their child is sober and healthy.
“We have great hope right now because he’s in a safe place getting the care he needs and working hard at it,” said Schmidt.
This is his 24-year-old son’s 8th treatment center in 7 years, battling a heroin addiction.
“He’s OD twice. He’s been in intensive care. I’ve walked into his bedroom where I’ve had to give him mouth to mouth,” added Schmidt.
The process of finding the right center and a successful program has been trial and error.
“Our process with that was looking at treatment centers almost like you do university or college,” added Schmidt.
Some parents find out about illegal activity when the facility treating their child is raided by police for patient brokering – others find out when their child continues to use drugs at a sober home. Situations like these drove Hanna Marks to step and help.
“I just got sick of seeing the negativity in this industry,” said Marks, founder of Wherehab.com
Wherehab.com has been active for 60 days. It’s a website where real people can share their experiences, good and bad, at drug and rehab treatment facilities.
“The purpose is to create accountability in the industry. I want people to be able to leave reviews and for other people who are seeking to send a family member to treatment or trying to find a treatment facility themselves to be able to see those reviews,” added Marks.
Marks says Wherehab.com does not advertise for any sober homes and is not affiliated with any treatment facility.
Other agencies like the Florida Association for Recovery Residences also share information on treatment facilities that are certified. For a list, click here.
Schmidt says in a world where some sober homes are only looking after their pockets, awareness is key.
“We cannot have shame or embarrassment if we have a child- to say my child uses heroin, it kills me, but we got to have a loud voice,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt was one of dozens of parents who spoke at a meeting held by Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay and West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shanon Materio on Wednesday. The local leaders opened the opioid epidemic discussion to local families to hear what roadblocks they are facing. Schmidt suggested more restrictions on doctors writing prescriptions for opiates, investing in public facilities for addicts who don’t have insurance, and going after the drug dealers who are selling fatal drugs laced with fentanyl and carfentanyl.