SENATE, No. 200

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH M. KYRILLOS, JR.

District 13 (Monmouth)

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies DHS authority to license and regulate sober living homes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning drug and alcohol treatment centers, supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.1970, c.334 and P.L.1975, c.305.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1975, c.305 (C.26:2B-8) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    The following words as used in this act shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

     "Administrator" means the person in charge of the operation of a facility, or his designee.

     "Admitted" means accepted for treatment at a facility.

     "Alcoholic" means any person who chronically, habitually or periodically consumes alcoholic beverages to the extent that:  a. such use substantially injures his health or substantially interferes with his social or economic functioning in the community on a continuing basis, or b. he has lost the power of self-control with respect to the use of such beverages.

     "Authorized persons" means persons who serve as volunteer first aid or ambulance squad members, para-professional medical personnel and rehabilitated alcoholics.

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of [Health] Human Services.

     "Department" means the State Department of [Health] Human Services.

     "Director" means the Director of the Division of [Alcoholism] Mental Health and Addiction Services.

     "Division" means the Division of [Alcoholism] Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services.

     "Facility" means any public, private place, or portion thereof providing services especially designed for the treatment of intoxicated persons or alcoholics; including, but not limited to intoxication treatment centers, inpatient treatment facilities, outpatient facilities, and residential aftercare or transitional sober living facilities.

     "Incapacitated" means the condition of a person who is:  a. as a result of  the use of alcohol, unconscious or has his judgment so impaired that he is incapable of realizing and making a rational decision with respect to his need for treatment, b. in need of substantial medical attention, or c. likely to suffer substantial physical harm.

     "Independent physician" means a physician other than one holding an office or appointment in any department, board or agency of the State of New Jersey or in any public facility.

     "Intoxicated person" means a person whose mental or physical functioning is substantially impaired as a result of the use of alcoholic beverages.

     "Patient" means any person admitted to a facility.

     "Private facility" means a facility other than one operated by the Federal Government, the State of New Jersey or any political subdivision thereof.

     "Public facility" means a facility operated by the State of New Jersey or any political subdivision thereof.

     "Treatment" means services and programs for the care or rehabilitation of intoxicated persons and alcoholics, including, but not limited to, medical, psychiatric, psychological, vocational, educational, recreational, and social services and programs.

(cf:  P.L.1975, c.305, s.2)

 

     2.    Section 6 of P.l.1975, c.305 (C.26:2B-12) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    The department shall take cognizance of all matters affecting alcoholism in the State and shall establish and conduct a program for the treatment of intoxicated persons and alcoholics.

     The program may encourage regionalization of services and, if not otherwise available, provide for the following facilities, which need not be separately located:

     a.     Intoxication treatment centers, which centers shall render emergency medical care, including detoxification, shall be open 24 hours every day, and shall be located conveniently near population centers.  Services shall be provided for the immediate physical and social needs, including the needs for medication and shelter, of intoxicated persons, and shall also provide for initial examination, diagnosis and referral.  To the extent possible, such treatment centers shall be affiliated with a general or other hospital.

     b.    Inpatient facilities, for treatment of alcoholics, which shall, to the extent possible, be affiliated with the medical service of a general hospital, mental hospital, community mental health center, or other hospital.

     c.     Outpatient facilities.

     d.    Residential aftercare facilities, such as halfway houses or transitional sober living homes .

     The department shall maintain, supervise and control all facilities operated by it pursuant to this act and all such facilities shall be staffed with an adequate number of qualified and trained personnel.  The department shall prohibit a transitional sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility, which is located within a half mile of any school, from admitting any patient who has a criminal background that includes a violent crime or a crime involving a minor.  It shall further require a transitional sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility, which is located within one mile of a school, to have on duty, during the hour that precedes, and the three hours that follow, the normal school day, at least one extra supervising staff person, in addition to the supervising staff that is normally required by the department to be present at the facility during business hours. 

     The administrator of each [such] facility shall make an annual report of its activities to the director in such manner and form as the director may deem appropriate.  All appropriate resources, particularly community mental health centers, shall whenever possible be utilized in and coordinated with the program.

     Services delivered by the department pursuant to this act may be administered on the premises of institutions operated in whole or in part by the department of institutions and agencies.  Such services shall be administered as such services are administered in the other facilities of the department and shall in all respects be therapeutic in nature rather than penal or correctional.

     The department shall annually prepare [and] , publish [annually] , and post at a publicly accessible location on its Internet website, a list of all [services] facilities and service-providing entities operating in accordance with [this act] P.L.1975, c.305 (C.26:2B-7 et seq.), which remain in good standing with the department, and shall make a hard copy of the list available , upon request , to members of the public.  The department shall notify all law enforcement agencies and judges in the State of the location and capacity of intoxication treatment centers and other [services] service-providing entities operating in accordance with [this act] P.L.1975, c.305 (C.26:2B-7 et seq.), which are situated in or near their jurisdictions.

(cf:  P.L.1975, c.305, s.6)

 

     3.    Section 2 of P.L.1970, c.334 (C.26:2G-22) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in this act:

     [(a)]  “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Human Services.

     “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

     “Narcotic drug” means any narcotic, drug, or dangerous controlled substance, as defined in any law of the State of New Jersey or of the United States.

     "Narcotic and drug abuse treatment center" means any establishment, facility or institution, public or private, whether operated for profit or not, which primarily offers, or purports to offer, maintain, or operate facilities  for the residential or outpatient diagnosis, care, treatment, [or] rehabilitation , or transitional sober living of two or more nonrelated individuals, who are patients as defined herein, excluding, however, any hospital or mental hospital otherwise licensed by Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

     [(b)]  "Patient" means a person who is addicted to, or otherwise suffering physically or mentally from the use, or abuse of, narcotic drugs , or who is in the process of recovering from such addiction or physical or mental suffering, and who requires the continuing care of a narcotic and drug abuse treatment center.

     [(c) "Narcotic drug" means any narcotic, drug, or dangerous controlled substance, as defined in any law of the State of New Jersey or of the United States.

     (d)   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the State Department of Health of New Jersey.]

(cf:  P.L.1970, c.334, s.2)

 

     4.    Section 4 of P.L.1970, c. 334 (C.26:2G-24) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a.  Upon receipt of an application for a certificate of approval, the commissioner shall cause an investigation to be made of the applicant and the facilities, and shall issue a certificate of approval if it is found that the applicant is of good moral character and that the facilities comply with the provisions of this act and with the regulations and standards required by the commissioner pursuant hereto.  The certificate of approval shall not be transferable or assignable or applicable to any premises or proprietor other than those specified therein.  The certificate shall be conspicuously displayed within the narcotic and drug abuse treatment center at all times.

     b.    The department shall annually prepare, publish, and post at a publicly accessible location on its Internet website, a list of all narcotic and drug abuse treatment centers and other service-providing entities operating in accordance with P.L.1970, c.334 (C.26:2G-21 et seq.), which remain in good standing with the department, and shall make a hard copy of the list available, upon request, to members of the public.

(cf:  P.L.1970, c.334, s.4)

 

     5.    Section 5 of P.L.1970, c.334 (C.26:2G-25) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    The commissioner shall adopt, amend, promulgate and enforce such rules, regulations and minimum standards [of] for the treatment of patients of narcotic and drug abuse treatment centers as may be reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes of this act.  Such narcotic and drug abuse treatment centers may be classified into two or more classes with appropriate rules, regulations and minimum standards for each such class.  The department’s classification system shall account for all types of narcotic and drug abuse treatment centers, including, but not limited to: (1) facilities that provide patients with detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, or other intensive or emergency-level drug abuse treatment on an inpatient basis; (2) facilities that provide patients with detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, or other drug abuse treatment, on an outpatient basis; and (3) residential aftercare facilities, such as halfway houses and transitional sober living homes, which help recovering drug addicts and abusers make a successful and sober transition back into the community-at-large.

     The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall, at a minimum:  (1) prohibit a transitional sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility, which is located within a half mile of any school, from admitting any patient who has a criminal background that includes a violent crime or a crime involving a minor; and (2) require a transitional sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility, which is located within one mile of a school, to have on duty, during the hour that precedes, and the three hours that follow, the normal school day, at least one extra supervising staff person, in addition to the supervising staff that is normally required by the department to be present at the facility during business hours.

(cf:  P.L.1970, c.334, s.5)

 

     6.    Section 1 of P.L.1982, c.149 (C.26:2H-11.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    In the case of an application for a certificate of need or initial licensure, as applicable, for a narcotic and drug abuse treatment center to be located within 500 feet from any building in this State used for the instruction of children between the ages of five and 18 years, the applicant shall notify the governing body of the municipality within which the applicant proposes to locate the treatment center of the applicant's intention to apply for the certificate of need or licensure and the proposed location of the center. Documentation of the notice shall be filed with the certificate of need or license application.  The Commissioner of Health is hereby authorized to adopt reasonable rules and regulations, in accordance with the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this act.  For the purposes of this act, the definition of "narcotic and drug abuse treatment center" shall be identical to the definition in [subsection (a) of] section 2 of P.L.1970, c.334 (C.26:2G-22).  This act shall not apply to any narcotic and drug abuse treatment center for which an application was filed prior to the effective date of this act.

(cf:  P.L.2012, c.17, s.177).

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the 60th day after the date of enactment, but the Department of Human Services may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would make various statutory changes to clarify and strengthen the law pertaining to alcohol treatment facilities and narcotic and drug abuse treatment centers (collectively referred to in this statement as “substance abuse treatment facilities”).  In particular, the bill would:

     (1)   expressly clarify that the Department of Human Services (DHS) has licensing and regulatory authority over residential substance abuse aftercare facilities, including transitional sober living homes and halfway houses, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A.26:2B-7 et seq. and N.J.S.A.26:2G-21 et seq.; and

     (2)   expressly authorize DHS to adopt rules and regulations in association with its authority over residential aftercare facilities, and require such rules and regulations, at a minimum, to (a) prohibit  a sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility from admitting any patient who has a criminal background that includes a violent crime or crime involving a minor, if the residential aftercare facility is located within a half mile of any school; and (b) require a sober living home, halfway house, or other residential aftercare facility, which is located within one mile of a school, to have on duty, during the hour that precedes, and the three hours that follow, the normal school day, at least one extra supervising staff person, in addition to the supervising staff that is normally required by the department to be present at the facility during business hours. 

     These requirements would be in addition to the existing statutory requirement which provides that a narcotic and drug abuse treatment center must notify the host municipality if it will be sited within 500 feet of a school located therein.

     The bill would also require DHS to annually publish and post on its Internet website, a list of all substance abuse treatment facilities that remain in good standing, and to provide a hard copy of such list to members of the public, upon request.

     Finally, the bill would update the language used in existing statutory provisions to make it consistent with current terminology and rules of statutory drafting.