recovery

Danielle Preiur / WMFE

Mission Medical Director Dr. Alric Simmonds says most of the patients who required emergency medical attention after Hurricane Dorian have already been airlifted out.

Jason was hallucinating. He was withdrawing from drugs at an addiction treatment center near Indianapolis, and he had hardly slept for several days.

"He was reaching for things, and he was talking to Bill Gates and he was talking to somebody else I'm just certain he hasn't met," his mother, Cheryl, says. She remembers finding Jason lying on the floor of the treatment center in late 2016. "I would just bring him blankets because they didn't have beds or anything."

Small group meetings for the Mind-Body Ambassadors always start with guided breathing. Students call it a "soft-belly" breath.

Ten students at a time sit in a circle in an upstairs teacher's lounge at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - and they take slow, deep breaths from their diaphragms. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

The Reflections treatment center looked like just the place for Michelle Holley's youngest daughter to kick heroin. Instead, as with dozens of other Florida substance abuse treatment facilities, the owner was more interested in defrauding insurance companies by keeping addicts hooked, her family says.

About five years ago, Dillon Katz, entered a house in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"I walked in and the guy was sitting at this desk — no shirt on, sweating," Katz says.

The man asked Katz for a smoke.

"So I gave him a couple cigarettes," Katz says. "He went around the house and grabbed a mattress from underneath the house — covered in dirt and leaves and bugs. He dragged it upstairs and threw it on the floor and told me, 'Welcome home.' "

Thousands of cancer patients lack a ride to the treatments they need to stay alive. Some lack access to a vehicle, while others are too sick to drive themselves or use public transportation. Cancer patients may also face acute dietary restrictions or nutrition needs during and after their treatment.

That's all on top of the costly and time-consuming efforts of ensuring the battle with cancer is covered by health insurance.

Florida wildlife authorities want federal involvement in managing the state's growing panther population.

Florida Fish and Wildlife describes the Florida panther as a conservation success story as its population has rebounded to about 180 from fewer than 30 when it first was listed in 1967.

Operating a halfway house for recovering addicts is a profitable business in Florida, where there is little regulation; naturally, it's attracting swindlers and ex-felons.