Governor Brown Signs Bill Setting Treatment Standards for Alcohol and Drug Rehab Facilities

September 26, 2018

For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404,

Governor Brown Signs Legislation by Senator Jerry Hill to Require Alcohol and Drug Rehab Facilities to Use Evidence-Based Standards for Treatment in Order to Be Licensed in California

Governor Also Signs Hill Bill to Give the CPUC More Muscle to Impound Unlicensed Limos and Other Charter-Party Vehicles

SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed legislation Wednesday by state Senator Jerry Hill to set an evidence-based standard for the treatment provided by drug and alcohol rehab facilities that are licensed in California.

Senate Bill 823 is aimed at increasing oversight of a burgeoning addiction recovery industry with widely divergent methods of treatment and no current requirement for licensed facilities to use a uniform, evidence-based standard of care. The legislation addresses problems exposed by a 2017 investigative series by the Orange County Register.

“Patients, families and insurers who use and pay for services from these facilities need to know that the state has ensured that the facilities are providing fact-based, evidence-proven treatment,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

SB 823 requires the Department of Health Care Services to adopt by January 1, 2023, the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s treatment criteria, or an equivalent evidence-based standard, as the minimum standard of care for licensed adult alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facilities. Under SB 823, the facilities must meet the standard in order to obtain a license or renew it.

“By requiring nationally recognized evidence-based treatment criteria, like that of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, for licensure of these facilities, we will ensure that their clients receive the best care available and not be subject to expensive anecdotal treatment options with no proven efficacy,” Senate Hill said.

SB 1474 enables the California Public Utilities Commission to better pursue enforcement actions against unlicensed transportation carriers. The bill allows the CPUC to contract with the CHP or sheriff’s departments to assist in impounding vehicles -- such as limos, chartered buses and other charter-party vehicles -- that are under the CPUC’s jurisdiction.

“The CPUC has repeatedly said current statutes are insufficient to properly enforce carriers,” said Senator Hill. “SB 1474 helps ensure that illegal carriers no longer flout the law.”

SB 1474 takes effect January 1, 2019.


Updated: 10:45 a.m. September 27, 2018. Reporters please connect with media contact about any questions.