New Kentucky law cracks down on failing addiction recovery programs

An estimated six Kentuckians lose their lives every day due to an overdose.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - An estimated six Kentuckians lose their lives every day due to an overdose. It’s an epidemic that has plagued the Bluegrass, and now a new law is helping to weed out those who are making the problem worse.

House Bill 248 was signed into law Friday by Governor Andy Beshear in an effort to crack down on irresponsible sober living homes and addiction recovery housing and businesses.

“I think there’s an accountability portion that I think is important. It raises the standard,” Addiction Recovery Care Market President John Wilson. “I think we’re all aware no matter where you are; you recognize that there’s bad actors in this field.”

Wilson helped to craft that legislation and worked on various parts of the bill, which now requires certification, establishes regulations, and permits local governments to inspect facilities and recovery residences.

“A lot of times, these bad actors will pop up outside of legitimate treatment centers for people who are being discharged or for behavioral issues or for drug use, and so they’ll pop up, and they’re warehousing folks with very little supervision, and people are using drugs in these homes and actually overdosing and dying,” Wilson said.

Wilson says it makes the work more difficult for legitimate establishments.

Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy praised the measure saying it will help save countless lives.

“We have to get it right. As Dr. Brenzel said, ‘when the clock strikes midnight, six more Kentuckians will lose their life.’ We have to keep fighting this fight every day,” said Office of Drug Control Policy executive director Van Ingram.

Steps like regular drug testing, adequate medical staff and filing reports with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services could weed out those in the business for the wrong reasons.

Recovery residences must submit proof of certification by July 1 of next year to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and annually thereafter. Without certification, the business could be shut down by the local government or the Cabinet.