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Atlantic City Addiction Treatment Advocates Push for Sober Living Policy Changes
Advocates from Atlantic City have been pushing state policymakers to change laws related to local sober living and recovery homes.
By: Addiction Now
Members of these organizations have expressed that they wish the policymakers in New Jersey and local officials would aim to support individuals in recovery.
The representatives of the organizations said they believe that a system needs to be implemented to allow sober living facilities and recovery homes to operate within the models they choose and deem best.
When it comes to housing laws and regulations, sober living homes currently operate in a legislative gray area, the addiction treatment advocates stated.
That's because the Department of Consumer Affairs and the N.J. state regulations do not recognize sober living and/or recovery facilities.
Thus, the organizations that are looking to establish a sober living facility or recovery home are forced to categorize their business as a boarding house or an Oxford house.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law the creation of a Class F License for Cooperative Sober Living Residences.
However, the license he created sets limitations on the capacity of the sober living homes to a maximum of 10 people, disregarding the size of the place, explained Jennifer Hansen, who founded the Hansen Foundation (http://hansenfoundationnj.org/
Hansen had recovered from a substance use disorder herself just a few years before establishing the Hansen Foundation and she has spent the past five years battling against the state of New Jersey.
The state ordered her to pay more than 500,000 in violations and penalties for the sober living houses that she had been running in Atlantic City.
She explained that her organization currently has more than 100 people in recovery who are at risk of being homeless if the state does not change its regulations fast.