Addiction Policy News

NJSAM Comments on Legislation to Regulate Sober Homes

May 26, 2020

 

On May 26, the New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine (NJSAM) provided comments on NJ A4084, which would clarify that the New Jersey Department of Human Services has licensing and regulatory authority over residential aftercare facilities and would also classify residential aftercare facilities into two distinct classes. The bill would additionally require that facilities treating individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders have a licensed mental health care professional on-site or on-call, at all times, among other things.

 

NJSAM’s comments focused on the importance of avoiding stigmatizing language while creating and summarizing legislation. Words like “addict” or “alcoholic” can set back the progress of recent years by identifying those suffering from addiction solely by their disease. It is vitally important that those in a position to affect change do so while using the appropriate language. The letter also notes that there has been significant effort on the part of states and federal agencies to create model regulations for sober homes, and it urged the bill sponsors to research those efforts to better inform any legislative or regulatory efforts in New Jersey. 

 

Read the letter here

 

Read the bill here