Rejected Boynton drug detox calls for sober home regulation

The lucrative drug recovery industry is now joining the growing din calling for more regulation of sober homes.

Novus Medical Detox Center released a statement Monday released to the media calling for increased oversight of sober homes.

Novus echoes a growing number of politicians, as well as residents who live near sober homes, also called halfway houses. Addicts often go to sober homes after completing a 30-day treatment stint at a recovery center such as Novus.

The growing concerns about proliferation of sober homes in single-dwelling neighborhoods throughout Palm Beach County could be hurting the bottom line of recovery centers, such as Novus.

Boynton Beach Commission last November rejected a proposed for an in-patient treatment facility by Novus after numerous residents of the suburb said they feared increased crime, traffic and patients wandering into nearby communities.


Novus Medical Detox, a New Port Richey company specializing in treating addicts, sent out a news release Monday calling for sober homes to be regulated. (Photo: Courtesy of Creative Commons).

The New Port Richey company in its statement Monday said increased sober home regulation would play a key role in an individual’s successful recovery. Such measures would also address concerns of neighboring homeowners, the release stated.

“Novus is a strong proponent of sober home regulations, and we truly believe they are in the best interests of those struggling to overcome alcoholism and addiction,” said Bryn Wesch, CFO of Novus Medical Detox Center.

He said while detox and rehab facilities are regulated and accredited, sober homes are not. “There is no way to tell if individuals with substance abuse disorders are receiving the support they need for a successful recovery or if lax oversight may put them at risk for a relapse,” he said.

Under a law passed by the Florida Legislature in 2015, Sober homes can volunteer for certification as of July 1. But it is unclear if the Florida Association of Recovery Residences, which would perform the certification, is receiving the necessary money from the state to enforce the requirements, Novus noted.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel last month took to the House floor during debate on a sweeping drug abuse and overdose bill to push her mission to regulate sober homes.

“We are seeing thousands, thousands of sober homes in South Florida disrupting services and the health and safety of neighborhoods,” the former West Palm Beach mayor said.

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