December 20, 2017
Contact: T.W. Arrighi
Rep. Mimi Walters Cosponsors Bill to Improve Sober Living Facilities and Protect Those Suffering from Addiction
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-California) released the following statement regarding H.R. 4684, the Access to Quality Sober Living Act. Rep. Walters is an original cosponsor of this bill, which Rep. Judy Chu (D-California) introduced yesterday. The Access to Quality Sober Living Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish best practices for operating recovery residences, or sober living facilities, to ensure patients receive high quality care. This legislation follows a December 12th Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on patient brokering and other scams that plague sober living facilities and harm those in need of help. At the hearing, Rep. Walters questioned the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals about oversight of these facilities.
Said Rep. Walters, “Opioid abuse is an epidemic in Orange County as addiction statistics continue to increase at an alarming rate. Since 2005, opioid-related emergency room visits are up by 140%. Drug overdose deaths due to accidental prescription drug overdoses rose 88% between 2000 and 2015. In 2015 alone, 1.7 million opioid prescriptions, totaling 122 million pills, were dispensed in Orange County.
“The rapid rise in addiction has drawn attention to recovery housing centers in our community and the methods they use to help patients achieve sobriety, and rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, many sober living facilities have engaged in fraudulent behavior and unethical practices that hurt the people that need help the most.
“The Access to Quality Sober Living Act will develop best practices for recovery facilities to ensure patients receive quality care that puts them on the road to recovery. I appreciate my colleagues joining together to address important issue. I will continue to work to end this growing epidemic.”
Walters represents California’s 45th District and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.