Out of the FOG – Into the FOG –
June 9, 2018 – The nation’s ongoing opioid and heroin abuse crisis isn’t just big business for street-corner drug dealers and unscrupulous medical and pharmaceutical professionals. It’s becoming a big, largely unregulated, business for outfits purporting to treat the addicted in group settings, causing Pennsylvania officials to issue a consumer fraud alert. State Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman and Jennifer Smith, secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, advised residents to be wary of advertisements from out-of-state drug treatment centers. Many are from so-called “sober living homes” or “recovery houses” in Florida, California and Arizona looking to entice addicts to seek recovery in warm climates.
It is common for families to want to move a loved one in the hope the change will help break their dependence, Altman said at a news conference in the Capitol. But scammers are looking to prey on that addiction, she said. To protect themselves, residents should not believe or accept unsolicited claims of free airfare and accommodations for treatment, Altman said. Check with your insurance carrier about coverage because fraudulent claims usually involve sales people wrongly claiming your insurance coverage will pay for travel, amenities or any medical bill they submit, Altman added. “Do your research,” Altman said. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”