April 9, 2021 – Missy Owen started the Davis Direction Foundation to support recovery after her son, Davis, died of a heroin overdose in 2014. She said the problem is that anyone can open a sober living house. There is no permit or certification required … Desperate parents paid for the chance to help their loved ones heal from active addiction, but finding an affordable sober living facility does not guarantee access to therapy or even regular drug screening.

Often, a person with as little as two months sobriety becomes the house manager. 

In 2018, a men’s sober living facility allowed women in because they could pay $200 a week, Owen said. But they were actively buying and selling drugs in the house.

“So that’s how the two women got in there with the man who was running the house, who was also using (drugs) who had a felony and a firearm, which is a huge no-no,” Owen said. “And he held them at gunpoint for over 24 hours.”

Advocates including Missy Owen asked for legislation like Florida’s to crack down on patient brokering. 

Kirkpatrick said SB 4 is aimed at making recovery residence homes less attractive for operators who are only after the money. First, it makes illegal the practice of paying people for bringing in new patient tenants. Think of these like finder’s fees. 



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