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Arizona House panel OKs bill to regulate sober living homes

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A House committee passed a bill Monday to regulate sober living homes after hearing testimony from Prescott residents about problems the homes are creating in their communities.

Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott, is pushing new standards for sober living homes even as Gov. Doug Ducey vows to cut regulations and the Legislature passes measures to take control away from cities and towns.

Campbell’s measure would allow cities, towns and counties to register sober living homes, adopt standards and set management qualifications.

Sober living homes are the final step to recovery for many former drug addicts who are looking for a supportive and structured place to live after leaving in-patient care or lockup.

Campbell says Prescott has become saturated with sober living homes and authorities need his measure to deal with them. It’s not clear how many sober living homes are in Prescott because the facilities don’t have to register, he said.

“We have no idea what’s happening in these houses,” Campbell said. “It’s not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is a health, safety and wellness issue.”

The Committee on County and Municipal Affairs voted to pass House Bill 2107 on a 5 to 3 vote. The measure still requires a full vote in the House before going to the Senate.

Prescott residents, sober living owners and former drug addicts provided testimony during the meeting.

Eric Jordan, a resident who retired in Prescott, said he lives beside a sober living home whose members have violent outbursts and toss their cigarette butts over the home’s balcony railing. Other residents complained about increases in crime and homelessness in addition to dropping property values.

The measure’s opponents included several sober living homes and the Arizona Recovery Housing Association, a statewide association that sets standards for recovery services.

Theresa Ulmer, who lobbies for the Arizona Recovery Housing Association, said the bill would violate federal standards that consider recovering drug addicts a protected class.

“This bill discriminates and wants to pull out a certain group of people and treat them differently,” Ulmer said.

Owners of the sober living home said the regulations would add an additional cost they can’t afford.

“The problem I see here representative, is that the people in this room do not understand the recovery process or how recovery homes operate,” said Thomas Brown, who runs a sober living home.

Campbell ran a similar bill to regulate sober living homes through the Department of Health Services last session. It failed to pass in the Senate.

2 comments

  1. Of course these sober living homes are complaining at the “costs” but for decades you “get what you pay for” which meant no regulations and unsafe conditions and deteriorating property costs in neighborhoods. These are flop houses disguised as having a “method” and “solution” to keeping people sober BUT they have absolutely no oversight or evidence proving this. What they do have is a money making scheme that is NOW revealed and they will have to pony up and deliver safe environments— which may well force them to close/shut down. A person needing sober living should have an outpatient support- therapy or a support group- and an agency in the state helping them find employment. A sober living house is nothing more than a day camp that the government does not control. Nor does it have medical oversight. The key point is reintegrate these former addicts into the real world. That will save so much money. And it will get rid of these con artists running a shady business that wants $money$ but doesn’t care if they fail or succeed.

  2. Women are brokered through call centers , Courts , DV Services into sober living , where on a daily they are sexually harassed , violated ,raped, abused all the way to murder. I whole heartedly support Rep. Noel Campbell’s bill.
    I have worked in the high end sober living homes in Scottsdale where I saw women refused medical who were in cardiac distress to keep the 6K in house .
    Addicts or their loved ones , contact a call center via 1-800 # , and talk to a AA member ( a non profesional ) who works in sub standard conditions, often for room/ board and meals.
    Women / residents go without psyc medications and adiquite Mental Heath services. There are un licenced staff passing controlled substances , including but not limited to ; Suboxone rx by the QUACK D.O. ( not an MD or PHD ) whos licence hangs in the strip mall rehab center next to the CEOs ” AZ Diploma mill degree ” from National University on line…… She will tell you that her residents all have a ” disease that talks “.
    In the hallways of these rehab’s , an angry CEO/Admin on steroids (rx from DO quack) psychologically abuses residents on a DAILY while they wait in line for their medicines before loading up the van to attend the local AA Morning Meeting.
    I have never met a female , and I have met thousands….who were NOT sexually abused in a rehab ,sober living or AA meeting , simply because they are female.
    Prescott is a literal hell of AA cult doctrine with its origins based in the Pacific Group of Alcoholics Anonymous in Southern California , who’s aging despot Clancy…. has sexually assaulted more women than Bill Cosby over the course of the last three decades.
    AA is a 80 year old dogma whos founder Bill Wilson , claimed to hear the voice of God and abused his wife Lois Wilson ,
    In the Big Book of AA , BIll Wilson calls ALL WOMEN ” wet blankets” and “nags” if they so much as spoke out against any kind of sexual impropriety. Bill WIlson was known for his sexual harassment of women all over the world.
    If you are anyone you know has been the victim of violence . Please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/ ,
    AA does not care about you .

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