Drug detox centers and rehabs offering addiction treatment programs in Phoenix, Arizona, might become more regulated and receive more legislative oversight, local lawmakers have announced this month.
Members of the Health Committee were in agreement with members of the House Health Committee in affirming that they would be moving toward advancing a bill that aims to expand monitoring practices within the Phoenix drug rehab industry.
The representatives explained that with the bill they would be paying special attention to new drug detox centers in Phoenix while also looking to license new addiction treatment facilities in the rest of the state. For the last couple of years, local policymakers have been pushing against the imposition of control by the state over Arizona’s drug detox centers. Thus, until now, drug detox centers across the state have been registered by representatives of the counties or the cities in which they are located.
The new bill, dubbed Senate Bill 1451, would prohibit rehabilitation clinics and drug detox centers from giving or suggesting any type of monetary fee, rebate, commission or bonus to individuals who have provided a referral to a patient entering a treatment facility.
The bill would also include new regulations that make it illegal for people to accept any type of payment from a drug rehab, sober living home or drug detox center for delivering or soliciting patients.
Those who violate the law would receive tickets and be required to pay fines that are planned to start at a $50,000 value but could go up to $250,000 — depending on the number of patients receiving addiction treatment at the drug detox center involved. The bill states that those charges would be representative of civil penalties.
The present version of the bill does not include criminal penalties for individuals or facilities that are caught engaging in such activities. However, the goal of some of the lawmakers voting for increased regulations for Arizona’s drug detox centers is to include criminal penalties to an updated version of the bill.
The current version of the bill has already received six unanimous votes in Senate, but two additional bills — one Senate bill and one House bill — are also aiming to tighten monitoring practices over drug detox centers as well as sober homes in Arizona.
If made effective, both additional bills will mandate that individuals employed by drug detox centers and sober homes in the state go through criminal background checks. These facilities will also be ordered to become licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Some state representatives have suggested that Arizona… (continue reading)