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Ryan Hampton, Constituent in Recovery, Testifies on Rep. Chu Sober Living Homes Bill at House Hearing on Opioid

March 22, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, as part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Hearing on “Combating the Opioid Crisis,” Ryan Hampton, a Pasadena resident in recovery for addiction, testified about his experiences in a sober living home, how lack of training and resources led to the death of his friend in a sober home, and the legislation he worked on with Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) to address the problem. Sober living homes can be an important option as people suffering from addiction transition back into society. But due to a lack of standards, many of these homes lack the training and resources necessary to handle individuals in recovery. In his testimony, Ryan talked about Tyler, a friend who died because staff at his sober living facility were unable to recognize the signs of an overdose. Following that incident, Ryan asked for a meeting with Rep. Chu where he described his experiences and his frustration that nothing was being done to prevent deaths like Tyler’s. The result of that meeting was H.R. 4684, the Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act. This bill would authorize the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop, for the first time ever, best practices for sober living facilities and provide technical assistance and support to states so that families can have confidence in the facilities that are looking after their loved ones. Rep. Chu and Ryan Hampton released the following statements:

“I’m so grateful for a constituent like Ryan. He has demonstrated incredible strength and resilience, not only in fighting his own addiction disorder, but in the way he has emerged from it to fight for people like Tyler and to ensure nobody suffers a similar fate,” said Rep. Chu. “Sober living homes are a crucial part of recovery, but without proper resources and training, they can leave the people in need vulnerable to unethical operators who take their money but do not offer adequate help. Ryan came to me with clarity and passion about a path forward and the result was H.R. 4684. I’m please this bill received a hearing today, and I sincerely hope it is brought to the floor for a vote soon so that we can ensure everybody is getting the care they deserve.”

"Today's hearing represents a hopeful turning point in our battle to save lives and stop the suffering from addiction," said Hampton. "Lawmakers have to deeply engage the recovery community which will result in better more effective policy - and people like Tyler will not have to die from indifference and lack of accountability."