A Senate committee last week unanimously approved a bill that would regulate group homes for recovering addicts. Cities like Delray Beach and Lake Park need help to begin controlling the proliferation of these residences. Already, though, the bill is undergoing changes that may blunt its effectiveness.
Senate Bill 738 would require the Florida Department of Children and Families to license so-called “sober houses.” Regulations in other states, however, have been struck down as discriminatory because addicts are considered disabled under federal law. Sober houses are not certified or supervised by the state, and can open in any neighborhood. They provide only housing. Treatment services, which the state does regulate, are not offered.
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