Los Angeles Times Examines Emergence of Rehabilitation Facilities in Malibu
The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday looked at the "proliferation" of rehabilitation clinics in Malibu and efforts by the Residential Integrity and Peace committee of local residents to change a 1979 state law that prohibits cities from enacting zoning restrictions that discriminate against facilities with six or fewer beds. According to the Times, the rehab industry has grown since the approval in 2000 of Proposition 36, an initiative that allows nonviolent drug offenders to receive treatment instead of jail time. Malibu currently has 16 rehab centers, or about one facility for every 810 city residents, compared with one rehab center for every 58,100 people in Los Angeles County overall. Rehab center operators and state officials say that applications for two other facilities in Malibu have been filed. In contrast to some rehab facilities located in other parts of Los Angeles County, the Malibu facilities cater to wealthy professionals "who count on rehab administrators' legendary professional discretion" and are attracted by their "lavish" features, the Times reports. David Feinberg, who supervises licensing at the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, said that the "Malibu programs have been set up to serve a privately funded, affluent part of society." Committee members are concerned that the extra people the centers employ and treat in residential neighborhoods will overtax septic systems and narrow hillside roads and that the presence of the rehab centers could affect real estate values. "You're basically creating a medical subdivision," Malibu resident Eric Myer said, adding that he questions whether the state law intended for rehab facilities to be located so closely to one another (Groves, Los Angeles Times, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.