Funds sought for substance abuse treatment housing

The Appropriations Committee heard testimony March 17 on a bill intended to increase access to residential treatment for people recovering from substance abuse disorders.

LB381, introduced by Omaha Sen. Tanya Cook, would state the intent of the Legislature to appropriate $200,000 to the state Department of Health and Human Services to provide housing services to support people recovering from substance abuse disorders.

Cook said the funds would be used to support evidence-based practices that conform to nationally recognized standards for residential treatment and increase access to residential treatment in geographic areas of the state with demonstrable need.

“LB381 will expand this transformational treatment by supporting expansion and administration of the programs that work the best,” she said.

Kristin Hallberg, Nebraska outreach services staff for Oxford House, Inc., testified in support of the bill. She said research shows that the kind of residential treatment environment that Oxford House provides—housing that is self-supporting and self-governed by the individuals recovering from substance abuse who live there—achieves superior success rates.

“Last year, only 16.7 percent of residents were expelled for relapse nationwide,” Hallberg said, adding that LB381 would allow the program to expand the number of houses in Nebraska.

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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