6/9/04 House Appropriations Committee click link below:



Also Learn more about Oxford House concepts
included a segment aired on "60 Minutes"

Get Addiction FACTS

High Risk for Alcohol Problems.
Family History &

The development of alcohol use problems, including alcoholism, is influenced by multiple genes (i.e., what we inherit), the environment (i.e., where and how we live), and interactions between the two.
NIAAA Alcohol Alert NO.48, 7/2000




Recovery is a way of life, and those wanting to live in recovery from alcoholism and other drug addictions should not be discriminated against  or  face  "not in my back yard" issues preventing them from certain communities to work, pay taxes, and recover in.

Oxford House
is a concept in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. In its simplest form, an Oxford House describes a democratically run, self-supporting and drug free home .www.OxfordHouse.org

Its About Living Sober and Healing people and our communities
  The Louisiana Oxford Houses provide 221 recovering addicts and alcoholics in Louisiana with a recovery focused living environment, greatly supporting the recovering community and the need for Recovery Housing (12step oriented).

National Umbrella organization
( www.oxfordhose.org )has also helped to facilitate more than 1000 Oxford House's start across the country and in other countries.  In Louisiana these homes greatly support improved outcomes that promote Recovery and use of the dollars we invest in treatment, or that offer direct savings to the state's spending  when recovery rather than active alcoholism and addiction becomes possible.  Dr. Loren Scott, reported in 2003 that for each $1 spent for Recovery yields a $5 dollar savings to the state in direct spending.

The first Oxford House was started in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975. Thousands upon thousands have found a environment for living free from alcohol and other drug use, greatly supporting recovery on a daily basis.

All Oxford Houses have in common these characteristics:
The House must be democratically self-run.
The House membership is responsible for all household expenses. The House must immediately expel any member who uses alcohol or drugs. Which each house must fulfill in order to obtain and retain its Oxford House Charter.

Recovering Community stands with Oxford House to support Recovery Homes across Louisiana.
Imagine if an upscale neighborhood decided that they did not want African Americans living in their neighborhood.  They approach their legislators, and ask for legislation, banning such residents.  Seem unreal?  We think so.

We have a great deal of work to do to educate policy makers and communities on the disease of addiction, and reality of recovery. 

The stigma of addiction should be realized today, it is alive and well in our state.

 As recovering people, we believe we are responsible citizens, and for that reason are  organizing and educating legislative members on the value of the Oxford House Model in our state.  We hope to bring clarity to the Senate Committee on legislation that would prevent Louisiana from contracting with Oxford House. 

Legally- Oxford House, recovering alcoholics, and addicts have a right to fair housing.August, 1995 -- In City of Edmonds v. Oxford House, a case handled by the ACLU of Washington, the high court ruled that the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires "reasonable accommodation" in zoning rules that affect the rights of disabled people to live in communities of their choosing. The ruling supports the rights of disabled persons to live together in single-family zones.

WeRecover Foundation, loosely organized,  rapidly growing national grass-roots organization founded in Louisiana,   supports sober living environments, and recovery centered homes.  One of  the greatest assets to Louisiana citizens and taxpayers are Oxford House's.  Housing that meets the needs of recovering persons is a vital component in sustaining long term recovery.  The Oxford House model is supported by WeRecover,  in Louisiana,  and nationally, we will work to educate and support their mission and purpose where necessary, we are not allied or affiliated with Oxford House, however the spirit and fellowship of Recovery recognizes the value and assets provided by this International Network of Homes founded on Recovery, Responsibility and Replication and our efforts to support their growth and expansion as recovering citizens in policy matters we believe will allow thousands more to find hope for long term Recovery

Addiction is a disease, people recover, and the Fair Housing Act considers recovering alcoholics and addicts a protected class more on  Addiction Science

Learn more on issues related to recovery-
and join others in taking actions to support Recovery!  www.werecover.org



2004 Rep Scalise actions--See Alert!
against recovery housing opposed by Governor Blanco b/c of legality and  protections provided by the  Federal Fair Housing Act  related to  Oxford House

See Zoning  and See News Articles
 Facts Protections and Fair Housing

Louisiana during 2004 Legislative Session:

1.  HB 1645 is filed by Rep Steve Scalise
from Metairie LA -we become aware of the bill pushed ahead as a non-controversial local zoning/contracting issue.  The Senate Committee hearing was the first opportunity to organize support for what we soon learned was an issue of his district and desire to remove Oxford Houses from his district.  The House Appropriations Committee's hearing prompted Rep Scalise to say that he thought the Fair Housing Protection for Alcoholics in recovery, was a "loophole" he would change if elected to Congress.

See the Alert for the Senate Hearing Here

Bill was passed out of Senate Governmental Affairs, and then the fiscal note sent it to the Senate Finance Committee--and there are no further meetings of this committee this year, basically ending the life of this bill, and spurring and attempt to attach an amendment to another bill focused on the profession of substance abuse in the state.

2.  Rep Scalise attaches a proposed amendment to SB 875, this bill important to those in the treatment field and the state, as it supports workforce development, and growth of the field of substance abuse professionals adequate to meet the need in the state.

The trade association www.lasact.org  opposed the amendment, and of course the Governor's office was previously opposed to such efforts that had failed in  HB 1645

No further Amendments. on 875, prevents passage of Scalise's efforts Friday afternoon while HB 875 is discussed on the House floor.
Watch the Video
Leg Day 48- Part2

SB 875  was finally heard free from the Scalise amendments to end Oxford House, and passed the House floor going to the Governor for signature once the Senate concurs on the amendments that are technical in nature.

Rep Broome should be thanked, as she handled HB 875 that was essentially "hi jacked" with Rep Scalises amendment,  along with many members of the House who opposed this effort once they became aware of the protections and true intent of this legislation.  The fiscal note and litigation costs related to this effort were also factors supporting opposition.

People in Recovery believe that Oxford Houses restore individuals and communities by providing a sober living environment, the stigma alcoholics and addicts face in recovery has in the past lead to discriminatory actions to limit the number of "non related residents" in a residential property, with the intent of keeping recovering alcoholics from living together in Oxford Houses.

We hope to educate those interested in working together  the gifts recovery bring to communities, and that take place every day in more than 900 Oxford Houses across the country, including 33 Oxford Houses in Louisiana.

Oxford Houses  are not commercial institutions and should be treated as single families for purposes of zoning.  Oxford Houses assure an alcohol and drug-free living environment, this greatly increases the opportunity for long term recovery.

What is an Oxford House?
An Idea Based On a Sound System For Recovering Alcoholics and Drug Addicts to Help Themselves.

Oxford House is a self-run, self-supported recovery house program for individuals recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Oxford Houses assure an alcohol and drug-free living environment. The first Oxford House was started in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975.

How it works, is pretty simple,  recovering persons gather under one roof for the purpose of living in recovery.  Fellowship and support is a principle of recovery!

What is so interesting about Oxford Houses is the nature of these homes and their operation are modeled much like the 12step groups AA and NA.

Restoring Lives and Individual Responsibility
to live together under one roof, while maintaining individual personal responsibilities of their recovery while contributing to the efforts necessary together to run the household (much like a family with designated chores!) in a democratic manner.

Rep. Scalise's bill  would end Oxford House contracts that provide "start-up" funds in the form of loans,  for Oxford Houses in Louisiana.  When you consider the savings to states when an alcoholic or addict get appropriate treatment and recovery support, it greatly reduces state's spending related to untreated addiction and social ills.

Great Need to Support Recovery
More than 300,000 people in our state meet the needs for substance abuse recovery, and clearly a great portion are living in all areas and neighborhoods abusing alcohol and other drugs.  Recovering persons should be welcomed in their efforts to become productive, self supporting members of our communities. 

Fear and stereotypes of alcoholics and addicts have created this legislation.
Those who support this legislation do not have knowledge about this disease, the stigma of addiction is driving their fears into efforts to push Oxford House out of their neighborhood.  Testimony in the house speaks to the nature of these efforts, to allow other "disabilities" to use the Fair Housing Act protections, but not alcoholics and addicts living in recovery.

Louisiana DHH Office for Addictive Disorders (OAD)  from Contracting with Oxford House in Louisiana for those recovering from alcohol and other drug addictions by creating a law that would disqualify Oxford House from contracting with OAD. 


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