DWS Press Release
April 11, 2018

Nation’s drug czar visits Utah to see Sober Living program

SALT LAKE CITY (April 11, 2018) - The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Acting Director Jim Carroll visited a First Step House Sober Living home in Salt Lake City today to learn more about the program. 

The nation’s “drug czar” met with Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and representatives from the Department of Workforce Services, the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety, as well as clients who have gone through the addiction recovery program as part of Operation Rio Grande.  

“We thought there were lessons to be learned that I could take away and talk about with other folks across the country,” said Carroll. “It was really important for me to come at the beginning of my tenure, specifically to hear about what you’re doing. I really appreciate the opportunity to come and learn from you all.”

The goal of the Sober Living pilot program is to provide safe, affordable housing for people in addiction recovery and help them transition back into the community when they are clinically ready. By shifting individuals from more costly residential treatment centers to more affordable sober living homes at the right time, the program reduces costs and can ultimately treat more people. 

The pilot program started in January, and in that time, 54 participants have been housed, with an 84 percent success rate (individuals are still in good housing situations). More than $127,000 has already saved by transitioning clients from residential treatment to sober living facilities.

Today’s conversation also included Utah’s law enforcement efforts related to Operation Rio Grande, drug courts and other drug treatment supports. When Hughes talked about state legislators donating clothes, ties and shoes for people going through drug court and looking for jobs, Carroll pulled off his necktie right then to donate as well.