The House of Representatives today voted unanimously to pass H.R. 4684, the Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act. Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), H.R. 4684 will authorize the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop best practices for recovery residences that promote sustained recovery from substance use disorders. Recovery residences, often known as sober living homes, are family-like, shared living environments that are free from alcohol and illicit drug use, and centered on peer support and connection to services that help individuals recently out of treatment continue their journey to recovery. Rep. Chu authored this legislation after meeting with a constituent, Ryan Hampton, whose friend Tyler died in a sober living home when staff were unable to recognize the signs of an overdose. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
“I’m so pleased the House voted unanimously to pass our bipartisan bill that creates best practices for sober living homes. When properly staffed and resourced, sober homes can be an instrumental option for people suffering from addiction to transition back into a life of sobriety. But a lack of regulations around these facilities have put some in recovery at greater risk. Under this bill, HHS will work with stakeholders including recovery advocates and recovery residence groups to create best practices for sober homes and provide technical support for states that wish to encourage the adoptions of these practices. Individuals and families will be able to find the right facilities when selecting a residence to transition to after treatment, and differentiate the good actors from the bad.
“I particularly would like to thank my constituent, Ryan Hampton, for working with me on this legislation. In his own recovery and his advocacy for others, he has demonstrated incredible strength, resilience, and insight on how we can ensure the best possible recovery for those working to overcome addiction. It was moving to watch him testify on behalf of this legislation in front of Congress this spring. I am extremely proud today that the House unanimously passed the product of Ryan’s efforts and I look forward to when it becomes law so those struggling to overcome addiction can stay on the path of recovery.”