Advocacy Alert: Recovery Housing, Prescription Forms, and an Addiction Caucus

January 10, 2019

Pennsylvania Recovery Housing

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is working with the administration to finalize regulations for recovery houses. The DDAP will make a draft of these regulations available to the public soon, and members of the public will be able to comment through the DDAP's listserv by emailing [email protected].

These regulations are a result of Act 59 of 2017, which requires DDAP to adopt final recovery house regulations on or before December 20, 2019. It also requires houses that receive government funding or referrals to be licensed or certified by June 17, 2020. The DDAP will be licensing recovery houses between January and June of 2020.

The full language of the Act can be found on the Pennsylvania General Assembly's website. It's important that the recovery houses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

California Controlled Substance Prescription Forms

The California Medical Board issued a notice regarding a new law (AB 1753) that went into effect January 1, 2019. The new law states that:

  1. Each controlled substance security prescription form used for prescribing on or after that date to include a unique serialized number in a format approved by the Department of Justice. See Health & Safety Code § 11162.1(a)(5).
  2. No person shall prescribe a controlled substance on or after January 1, 2019, nor fill, compound, or dispense a prescription for a controlled substance written substance written on or after that date, without this security feature. See Health & Safety Code § 11164(a).

Per this client alert from Nelson Hardiman, LLC, there is no transition or grandfathering period to allow the continued use of the old controlled substance prescription forms. The new forms are the exclusive means to write paper prescriptions for controlled substances, and any prescription written on a form that doesn't bear the necessary security features will be presumptively invalid.

Facing Addiction's Petition for Addiction Caucus

Major legislation has been passed regarding addiction, most recently HR 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. While this is definitely progress, there is still much left to be done.

Facing Addiction is circulating a petition to the US Senate to form an addiction caucus similar to the one that exists in the House of Representatives. If you feel more needs to be done in the government regarding addiction, let your voice be heard.

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