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Her mother, Tracy Spears, and aunt, Susan Rule, say that when the rehab center closed without notice, Scout’s life was turned upside down, and she began using drugs again. The first funeral after Bathum shut down his Colorado operations was for Estelle “Scout” Watson, 33, who had come to Community Recovery from Florida. She received treatment and then became a staffer at Bathum’s sober-living home on Race Street in Denver. But Watson’s world turned upside down when Community Recovery shut down with little warning , her family said. Watson, nicknamed for the character in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” overdosed on heroin and methamphetamines a few weeks later. “The safety net was just cut below them, and they fell back into the cesspool,” recalled her aunt, Susan Rule. “She got the shaft all right. She died.” Watson is one of five overdose deaths The Denver Post confirmed for former Colorado patients of Community Recovery. Two of those occurred before the closure. Members of Congress are among those concerned lax state regulations aren’t doing enough to protect the public from corrupt profiteers in the industry. “In Colorado, my home state, more people died from overdoses than from car wrecks last year, just to put this in some kind of context,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Denver, during a hearing of a Congressional subcommittee investigating abuses in the drug rehabilitation industry.
For primary edition which includes any additional pictures or video, check-out https://www.denverpost.com/2018/03/11/colorado-sober-living-homes-opioid-crisis-christopher-bathum/