LETTER: Time to regulate recovery houses in York County

Paul Gunning

There are currently about 80 to 100 recovery houses in York County, primarily in York City but more are opening in surrounding areas. These houses, which may have anywhere from five to 30 residents, serve individuals with drug or alcohol addictions.

These facilities are unlicensed and unsupervised. Many of the residents are mandated by the court system. Most are from out of the county. Clients referred seldom have any say. Payment for a bed is made by York County. The client pays all other costs including meals. No other service is provided.

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An addict prepares heroin on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in New York.

Few clients stay any length of time and frequently travel from one facility to another and add to the homeless population in York. They seldom utilize counselling or social service on a consistent basis. Frequently, they are in and out of prison from probation violations.

I have been in the addictions field for 50-plus years. I see it now at a crucial phase. I make the following recommendations, the same I've preached for 30 years:

  • All residential facilities should be licensed,
  • establish a case management system for all recovery houses,
  • referrals to recovery houses should be made by addiction certified staff,
  • and develop an ongoing evaluation system.