AB 1779 Establishes First-Ever Standards for Sober Homes in California
Sacramento – Legislation by Assemblymember Tom Daly (D – Anaheim) establishing California’s first-ever standards for recovery residences passed the Assembly Health Committee, April 23.
Daly’s Assembly Bill (AB) 1779 requires the state’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to adopt best practices for recovery residences, also known as “sober living homes.” The best practices will include minimum standards for operators of residences seeking funding from state or local sources.
Sober homes are residential dwellings for individuals seeking cooperative living arrangements that are supportive of personal recovery from substance use disorders. Sober homes do not require licensure by DHCS.
“Recovery residences are one stop along a lengthy process for people emerging from drug or alcohol addiction,” Assemblymember Daly said. “Unlike unlicensed treatment facilities, recovery residences are private apartments or houses that are not regulated. Despite the growing death toll from opioid and alcohol abuse and addiction, our state lacks uniform standards. By adopting best practices, California will increase the number of residences that are safe for people in recovery, as well as for the communities where they are located.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
The CDC also estimated that more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids – a two-fold increase in a decade. About two-thirds involved opioids. According to the CDC, more than 5,000 Californians died from overdoses in 2017.
Daly’s bill is supported by the Association of California Cities – Orange County, along with the cities of Anaheim and Garden Grove.
Following yesterday’s vote, the bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further review.
Assemblymember Tom Daly represents California’s 69th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange and Santa Ana.