By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger
As predicted, this issue (“Should a rehab facility be permitted in Ocean Grove?”) has spawned a variety of sub-discussions. We would like the dialogues to be coherent in terms of organization. So we will establish a series of related “Rehab” posts on Blogfinger so that commenters can post their opinions under a particular heading.
You may just have to look at each post regarding the “Rehab” issue and then read the comments. It’s a bit like herding cats.
Some of you have raised questions regarding the economics of the situation. It is relevant because it offers us insight into why this is happening here and how the finances fit into the puzzle.
One such comment came in this morning accompanied by a link from the APP from “Exgrover”:
“Paul, reminds me of the 80’s, with deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and dumping wholesale on seasonal shore towns. It’s structured by the state. Hotel owners bought out and hearings scheduled in the dead of winter when the town empties out. Then a meeting on a cold February night will be postponed to a later date if a crowd shows up. That will continue till the town folks get discouraged. You know the story.
“But this APP article (linked below) really tells the story of the why in OG. This is not pretty, and lots of money to be made with legislated mandates.”
The essence of the Asbury Park Press story noted above is that there is a growing demand and a reduced supply for drug rehab. facilities. Insurance money is sometimes available to pay for treatment, and law enforcement now has tools to coerce addicts into treatment when, in the past, the addicts often would refuse. The leverage is to offer treatment instead of jail. You can read the article for the particulars, and since there are big drug issues in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, there will be increased efforts to open such facilities at the Shore—-perhaps in Ocean Grove. It seems to be a profitable business, although some are non-profit enterprises. We don’t know about Sprout.
If the client can pay cash (ie “self pay”) that’s fine, but the sums can become huge for an individual or family. A one month stay can cost $30,000 or more. Insurance companies may pay for one round, but usually only one, and addicts often are readmitted over and over. Sometimes the facility will treat someone for free, referred by law enforcement, in exchange for referrals of those with insurance who are trying to avoid jail time. This speaks to the financial pressures upon those who would probably stay at the Laingdon.