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Pass the Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act and The Recovery Home Certification Act

One promising bill that is currently pending in Congress is the “Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act (H.R.4684),” which would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to identify and disseminate recovery housing best practices, such as the National Alliance for Recovery Residence’s (NARR) quality standards, to the states and provide them with technical assistance to adopt the standards. The bill aligns closely with the recommendations of the National Council’s State Policy Guide for Supporting Recovery Housing. The bill is a positive step forward and passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a larger opioid legislative package. 

A bill that goes even further, but unfortunately is stalled in the House, is “The Recovery Home Certification Act of 2018 (HR 5100),” by Rep. Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Eshoo (D-CA), which would impose national standards for the protection of the vulnerable residents being exploited by bad actors in the industry.  This bill not only establishes model criteria for the certification of sober homes, but also goes after the bad actors in the industry by making payments for referrals punishable as crimes, and extending the jurisdiction of the DOJ from government programs to interstate commerce. 


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