By Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter
For more than a year, we have been investigating drug and alcohol rehab programs that offer a tantalizing promise: freedom from addiction for free.
In exchange for treatment, people with addiction are required to work full-time jobs and turn over their paychecks to the rehab center. But we found that some of these programs are little more than work camps for private industry.
Now we need your help to keep the investigation going.
At each rehab we dug into, we found unique problems: Former chicken executives who created a rehab to provide chicken plants with labor. A judge who had participants do his yard work. Fortune 500 companies and powerful politicians reaping the benefits of the cheap labor. Participants put to work as caregivers in an assisted living facility, dispensing the very drugs that landed them in rehab.
We have amassed a list of tips about other rehabs that merit more scrutiny. But it would take years for us to do a deep dive on each of them.
So we’re opening up our database of tips to reporters and editors who want to investigate these work-based rehabs in their own communities. And we’ve put together a reporting guide with our pointers on how to investigate programs in your area.
Do you have experience with a work-based rehab? Share your story.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Byard Duncan, our engagement reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Seattle Weekly: The Seedy Side of Seadrunar
- The Frontier: Working for sobriety: Recovery program took some clients’ disability pay
- StateImpact Oklahoma Report: Work-based recovery program took some clients’ disability pay
- KOSU 91.7: Oklahoma City Says It Will Take Action If Federal Investigation Finds Recovery Program Broke Laws
- WFAE 90.7: At These Rehabs, Patients Work To Pay For Care
- WFAE 90.7: Complaints About Long Work Days And Confrontational Therapy Plague Rehab Facility