Dating an addict in recovery

But she tired of that life and got into running recovery houses because “it was a calling.” She listed her qualifications for the recovery houses this way: “I’m trained to do it from loving people." Residents at her houses overcome addictions and find jobs, Payton said.

"People's lives are being changed here." As many as 4,000 addicts, along with former inmates and other disadvantaged individuals, live in about 200 recovery houses in Kensington, Frankford, and North Philadelphia.

This predatory process is known on the street as "pimping out." "You're selling God's children for money," said Joseph Di Giovani, 36, a Kensington auto-repair worker and former drug addict.

For months, he said, the North Philadelphia recovery house where he lived – unlicensed and unregulated by the city, like 90 percent of such places — shuttled him out to a treatment center. Money comes into play, motives start to get twisted.

"This is a pay-to-play system of kickbacks," said Cecil Hankins, a former program analyst who worked 25 years in drug and mental health programs for the city.

Hankins ran a drug-treatment center that he said made a policy of never offering payments to recovery houses. "And it's a form of slavery." The main office of Women Walking in Victory & Empowered Men at 2441 N.

Payton, 54, said she used to be a drug addict and a prostitute.

Thereafter, treatment centers can receive a person per session.

Each person in an IOP is worth roughly 0 per month in reimbursements for group and individual therapies to a center, a former treatment center official said. If a treatment center pays a recovery house for clients, both the center and house are in violation of federal statutes that say it’s a crime to receive or solicit money in exchange for referring anyone for services reimbursable by Medicaid. Also, it’s a violation of Medicaid rules for recovery houses to decide which treatment centers its residents must attend without offering them a choice, said Joseph Trautwein, a former assistant U. Attorney in Philadelphia with expertise in health-care fraud who is now a whistle-blower lawyer in private practice.

More like cargo than passengers, junk-muddled men and women journey in vans from their boarding houses to drug-treatment centers for a form of group therapy whose efficacy is unknown.

Stripped of basic rights, addicts are told by the people who run their boarding houses — called recovery houses — what facility to attend, when to go, and for how long.

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