State legislator pushes for sober house regulations

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TORRINGTON -- There's a new focus on homes that are meant to help people on the path to recovery.

Regardless of their addiction, sober homes around the state are a place where many people are living and seeking recovery, but none of these homes are regulated, and that's left some people who are running these homes frustrated and law makers ready to take action.

Key Recovery is a sober home where people can work on their path to recover from drug addiction or alcohol addiction.

"These are working houses these are people that are getting life back on track, they're getting jobs, they're seeing their kids, they're taking care of the wreckage of their past," said Charles Oscar, general manager at Key Recovery.

State Representative Michelle Cook is working to make sober homes regulated. She represents Torrington, and said there are over two dozen sober homes in the city.

"If somebody is going to a sober home that is unregulated, that might not come with any protections and guidelines," Representative Cook said.

Representative Cook is working on a bill to get these houses regulated, which would mean registering as a business, in the municipality but also with the department of public health. That in turn could make sure these homes are prepared to provide the best care. Regulation could require having treatment like Narcan on hand.

"To have people that are trained and know how to use it, and have it on premises because sometimes first responders can't get where they need to fast enough," Cook said. "It's not about taking the rights away from people who are trying to move forward towards clean living, but it is about having people represent themselves the right way."

The bill concerning sober living homes is on the agenda for the Human Services Committee on Thursday.