Delaware Vote Tracker

House Bill Would Establish Standards for Addiction Recovery Homes

Lawmakers filed a bill Friday that would establish standards for recovery houses to become certified, which would carry additional privileges for such homes. House Bill 421 would codify standards for recovery houses to become “certified recovery houses” either through the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health or through a division approved certifying entity.

Under the bill, a non-certified recovery house could continue to operate and provide an alcohol and drug free residence to persons recovering from substance use disorders. However, a non-certified recovery house would not be able to receive referrals from a state entity or state court; obtain state or local funding; receive state referrals for individuals; or advertise as a certified house.

HB 421 also would establish a Certified Recovery House Registry and a recovery house fund. The certification fees would be used for training and enforcement of recovery home regulations.

The bill would take effect when final rules and regulations are promulgated or within six months after the measure is signed into law, whichever comes first.

HB 421 has been assigned to the House Health & Human Development Committee.

House Bill 421 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Longhurst, K.Johnson, Griffith, Morrison, K.Williams, Briggs King
Pinkney, McBride
Current Status: House Health & Human Development 5/13/22

“Residents who enter recovery houses are extremely vulnerable and need to receive top-quality care that assists them with their treatment and recovery from addiction. However, many in those situations are not in a position to fully assess the homes’ services,” said Rep. Valerie Longhurst, the bill’s lead sponsor. “Establishing a standard of care through a certification process will give us confidence that residents will receive good, safe treatment.”

“Our state desperately needs more alcohol and drug treatment programs to help our neighbors escape from the nightmares of substance abuse,” said Sen. Marie Pinkney, the Senate prime sponsor of HB 421. “But people suffering from addiction and the family members who love them also deserve to know that programs where they seek treatment are legitimate, safe and effective. I want to thank Rep. Valerie Longhurst for advancing legislation that will help provide vulnerable residents with some measure of reassurance that they are in good hands.”

“When someone is in a recovery program for substance abuse, there is a certain expectation by the client, as well as their family, that a pathway out of addiction would be offered,” said Rep. Ruth Briggs King. “What we’re trying to do with this bill is to ensure these recovery houses meet certain standards in order to provide safeguards to their clients and families that, ultimately, a viable treatment plan would be followed.”

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