Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Fix: California Law Attacks Rehab Facilities

Mod: The following is an article that deals with the sober house issue from an entirely different perspective than what you might have been reading here lately. According to The Fix rehab facilities such as the one found on W. Carter Avenue in Sierra Madre are actually an endangered species. Under assault from some California Assemblymen dead set on legislating their destruction. Go figure.

California Law Attacks Rehab Facilities - Despite a nationwide drug epidemic, California lawmakers have come up with draconian legislation that will result in the loss of thousands of treatment beds. Earlier this year, a small handful of state legislators began what can only be described as an all-out assault on California’s behavioral and mental health care industry.

They introduced four separate bills on February 19th that, each in its own technical way, take immediate aim at different facets of the continuum of substance abuse treatment. Though these bills serve only the self-interest of a few affluent, coastal communities, they are being pushed at a state level, which makes their potential impact widespread.

In the late ‘80s, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was expanded to protect people from discrimination based on disabilities, including those who have substance use disorders. Then in 1990, these protections were further enforced under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upon signing the act into law, President H.W. Bush called it a historic opportunity, signaling “the end to the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life.”

25 years ago, whether you were a Democrat or Republican, it was deemed socially unacceptable to deny people a decent standard of living based on one’s history of substance use or other disability. But these four bills—AB 2403, SB 1283, AB 2772, and AB 2255—aim to unravel this progress. For the first time since the ‘80s, there is bipartisan effort to not only restrict the expansion of treatment centers and sober living facilities, but to shut many of them down altogether. They’re attempting to turn back the clocks to a time when it was okay to exclude people based on differences.

(Mod: You can read the rest of this surprising article by clicking here.)

Preserve Sierra Madre: The Threat From Group Homes

(Mod: The following email went out to the PSM mailing list yesterday. It hits some of the big issues facing this community.)

Preserve Sierra Madre's mission has always been to preserve the small-town village-like character of our town.  The primary threat to that mission has come from the pernicious consequences of over-development.  However, there is a new concern that a simple google search reveals is happening in cities across America - it comes from "group" homes that are moving into residential neighborhoods.  Group homes can be occupied by recovering addicts who have had problems with drugs or alcohol.

Please understand that this is not about "whether" there should be group homes, but "where" they should be located.  Because they are essentially for-profit businesses with multiple unrelated residents living in the property, we believe that these facilities are not suitable for single family R-1 zoned neighborhoods.

It has recently been in the news that a facility is located in a large home on One Carter near Baldwin. We do not know how many group homes are located in Sierra Madre because there seems to be minimal, if non-existent, notice requirements to the city or surrounding neighbors. Don't think it can't happen to you.

If your immediate neighbor's home goes up for sale or lease, you will face that possibility. The consequence to you is not only concerns about having such a facility as your next door neighbor, but if you were ever to sell your home, you would have to disclose the existence of the facility as a material fact to any potential buyers resulting in your home either becoming unsaleable or, in the unlikely event you are able to sell your home, it will be at a vastly reduced value.

The City Council will be addressing this issue tonight. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.

Preserve Sierra Madre is as compassionate as anyone else, But residential single-family neighborhoods with R-1 zoning are not the appropriate place for sober living facilities as it would not be for any other type of business.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. Ok, I didn't read the rest of the article, but it seems as if the author is claiming that substance abuse is a disorder, and therefore not fixable, and so these folks who abuse drugs are disabled. ( I guess that means no one has to take any responsibility for one's actions/decisions in life. ) so, if they can't be fixed, why spend. $15k a month to try to rehabilitate them in residential homes? It obviously will never work, according to the article writer's premise. Sounds like the perfect scam to me.

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    1. It is a perfect scam. Supported by the government.

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    2. Privately run rehab houses take a lot of pressure off the government to provide care for addicts. It saves them a lot of money they need for other things. Like pensions.

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  2. It is well known that President Bush was addicted to alcohol. He seems to have turned his life around for the better. So, treatment does work. I think this was a very responsible decision/action for him and all other addicts who seek to turn their life around. In fact, it would be irresponsible to deny this to anyone who seeks help.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/11/bush.alcohol/

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    1. The time he spent on Carter did him a world of good.

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    2. So let's provide that treatment "it would be irresponsible to deny" in a house next door to yours, 6:45. You should be excited to help.

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    3. 6:45 might want to look into getting steel security doors and barred windows.

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    4. Sorry, I can't share your paranoia. I rather have an addict seeking treatment next to my door than one who does not. There are plenty of those in our neighborhoods.

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    5. I think you must number amongst them.

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    6. Anyone who is willing to have their neighbors be a drug rehab business ought to submit their address on a city hall list. Then if all the neighbors around a property feel the same way, put those addresses in a "rehab friendly" availability list. Just like with filming - you have to get the permission of the affected homes.

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    7. A time there is a request for a zoning variance in town all homes within a certain radius have to be notified so that they can come to a planning commission and/or council meeting and let their thoughts be heard. With these rehab homes, no one gets to say nothing about nothing.

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  3. How about having the SMPD to get out of their fancy patrol cars and do walking patrols in that immediate area.

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    1. Some of the new ones aren't old enough to go into the Buc.

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    2. Think of all the money they save on razor blades

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  4. I am a recovering drug addict/alcoholic. I have been clean and sober for many years now. I have a job, I vote, I volunteer at my son's baseball games, I am a former PTA President. I go to church and I pay my taxes. In other words I have a normal life.

    I live with my addictions on a daily basis. I attend 12 step meetings (free) and I read, journal and pray. I went through a rehab facility that my insurance paid for and then got on with my life.

    I have never felt comfortable with sober living facilities due to the fact that I truly believe that in order to stay clean and sober you must want to stay clean and sober ... and no hospital/rehab/living arrangement will do that unless you truly want to change.

    I had my kids taken away from me so in order to get them back I had to stay clean and sober. The BEST rehab sober living facility is Impact House which is located in Pasadena. It is run by former junkies and it has a very high success rate.

    Unless you are an addict its hard to understand the mind of an addict. Therefore to be living in a house where there is no medical doctor, group therapy, meetings, jobs, etc... is simply a waste of time and money and is a scam.

    Again - I am one of you. I live in your community and I live a normal life... it can be done ... you just have to want it.

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    1. Thanks for posting, 8:27.
      I come from a family with alcoholics and addicts, and some, like you, have maintained sobriety; some haven't.
      I couldn't agree more that the individual has to decide to live. That's the only thing that will work in the long run.
      Rehabs are places to dry out or kick, not get better.

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  5. The city, city council, the state, the feds is the government. We can clearly agree it is a broken system

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    1. How much better can the world get? Child predators get to live near schools and houses filled with drug addicts get to move into quiet residential neighborhoods. Aren't you happy to live in a world where everything is so fair?

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    2. It's a grim situation, 10:43, but we're not done yet. I am glad to see those Assembly bills that were put forward last spring. 3 out of 4 passed. It's not enough, but it is a start.

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  6. I don't think the average resident knows how easily their neighborhood can become a business district.

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    1. There's a strong illusion about the protections of zoning.

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    2. Planning is where the money is for developers. They have lots of paid for allies in Sacramento.

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  7. The libertarian Mises Institute has some insightful thoughts on zoning...

    https://mises.org/library/zoning-theft

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    1. It is funny how the deeply this unthinking bias goes. Being against development is theft. Being for resident planning control over the town where they live and pay taxes is Nimbyism. Of course all of the powers that be want control over planning because that is where the big money is. Be they Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians, they all want to get the long time property owners out of the way so they and their political campaign donors can feast.

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    2. The funny thing, long time property owners think they have more rights than others

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    3. The funnier thing is out of town developers believe they have more rights than longtime property owners. 10 years of no building at One Carter is the punch line.

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    4. I have wondered how the development at One Carter will adjust to the friendly local drug rehab being in sight of their MacMansions.
      The problems arise when some addicts get clean at places like the one at 22 West Carter, go back out, get re-addicted, and try to remember good places to rob.

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    5. That's why wealthy people invest in proper security systems... Even the poorer neighbors do this nowadays.

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  8. Meeting has started. KGEM works!
    Looks like a full house.

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    1. Spoke too soon, 6:36......

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  9. John Capoccia is in favor of a sales tax hike. I'm shocked. Well, maybe not.

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  10. Rah Rah the library. Rah Rah PCC.
    Can't we get to the business part of city business?

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  11. 7:13 & they are starting the real meeting.

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    1. Count yourself lucky, 7:13. In the John Buchanan Rob Stockly days, meetings could last past midnight - with developers' lawyers speaking when all the residents had left.

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    2. Capoccia said something that might not be true. Measure R money could go to help fund the 710 Tunnel. According to the No On 710 people that may be wrong.

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  12. Wait a minute - when Dedicato made an appearance at the Planning Commission, we heard that the place was "supportive housing." But the Director of development just said supportive housing was for low income people. The head of Dedicato has bragged to people that his clients are from very wealthy families.
    Huh?

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  13. Goss is talking about local government and state government. Stop making excuses.

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    1. It is the lay of the land. Surely he's figured that out by now, and can find ways to work with it and around it.

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  14. "I wish we could do a lot more." Mayor Goss, work on it! Do more!

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  15. Arizmendi said this is a first step. Hope she means it.

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  16. I haven't watched a meeting in a while - it's refreshing to have Harabedian be on the quiet side.

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  17. My condolences to anyone who lives by those places.
    Guess you can hope that Barbara Leigh was right, and they'll make money, then close and head out to some other suckerville.

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  18. "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
    Plato

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