Prescott House & NARA’s Influence on Sober Living Bill

Establishing Requirements for Sober Living Homes

Until 2016 no standards or requirements existed for recovery home managers of unlicensed homes located in Prescott, AZ. In fact, sober living was mostly unregulated. This led to an overabundance of sober living homes, 150+ at its peak, many of which did not provide the quality nor safety needed for occupants who were recovering from various life-altering addictions. It was around this time that the Northern Arizona Recovery Association (NARA) was determined to assist in developing local requirements and qualifications for sober housing live-in staff members in the Prescott area.

Taking Action

The Summer of 2016 saw Yavapai College assisting by providing a four-day certification course that was available from September through November 2016. This went hand-in-hand with the group home bill, backed by State Representative N. Campbell from Prescott. The Prescott City Council House Bill regulates county and city sober living homes to meet the standards established by NARA (Northern Arizona Recovery Association) and enacted as of 01/2017. As of this article, fifty-five sober living homes are currently licensed and permitted, this not only benefits the local community but also the individuals staying in these homes.

I want to thank the Northern Arizona Recovery Association as the impetus behind the proposed training course for recovery home managers. In addition, NARA has provided outstanding professional expertise and advice to me and our city staff as we educate and inform our citizenry about recovery group homes. Their input has been invaluable.

~ Harry B. Oberg | Mayor of the City of Prescott.

State Bill Modeled After City Ordinance

Last week, Legislature’s House Health Committee pushed forward a bill that sober living licensing would be required through the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Similar to the current Prescott ordinance, the state bill would require inspections, background checks on managers, drug/alcohol screening, along with a policy to protect neighboring communities. The attorney for the City of Prescott, Jon Paladini understood the state bill to be similar to the current city ordinance and was quoted, “My take is (the state) used the Prescott ordinance as somewhat of a model and addressed all of the same issues.”

Prescott House | Member of NARA

Meeting twice monthly, NARA brings together addiction treatment center and sober living facility leaders to discuss current ongoings in the recovery community. Prescott House’s involvement along with Compass, Blueprints, Decision Point, Steps to Recovery Homes, Triple Point and others was paramount to the development of the current legislature. The future of addiction recovery and treatment continues to adapt and flourish as NARA’s mission statement rings true; Giving Back to the Community.

Northern Arizona Recovery Association Text with Mountain and Sun in the Background
Northern Arizona Recovery Association | NARA

Sober living homes: Prescott’s count is down 77%; Prescott Valley is up about 33% | 2/18/2018
GROUP HOMES: House-manager course to start at Yavapai College | 7/31/2016
Column: Improving the quality of care in recovery group homes | 3/24/2016

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