Philly councilwoman urges regulations for city’s recovery houses

City Councilwoman Cindy Bass wants Philadelphia to set standards for recovery houses. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

City Councilwoman Cindy Bass wants Philadelphia to set standards for recovery houses. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A Philadelphia city councilwoman has called for a review of recovery centers in the city.

Many facilities are billed as “recovery centers” but do not really help people break the cycle of addiction, said Councilwoman Cindy Bass.

Residents of the commercially run recovery houses, also known as sobriety houses, support one another in their recovery from addiction. They pay rent, attend support group meetings, and follow curfews and other house rules to keep them accountable to a sober lifestyle.

But the homes are mostly unregulated, and some in the Philadelphia region have taken advantage of vulnerable residents. At the same time, some communities are unwilling to have the residences.

“They are unregulated, they are unlicensed, and we hear our constituents loud and clear,” Bass said. “One of the things that we heard about recovery houses is that they did not provide the level of professional services people were expecting.”

Bass, who said she wants to set standards as part of new city regulation, said that will help operators provide the most effective treatment.

“The more we are able to standardize what that level of service is, how it’s going to be impactful in someone’s life, what are the level of tools being used in the profession,” she said,” the more successful we are going to be.”

A hearing on the idea is expected this fall.

 

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