City councilors will be looking towards regulations that would stamp out alleged sober homes whose operators prey on residents, rather than help them recover.
Councilor Kim Janey (Roxbury), said she was "appalled and outraged" by the recent arrest of the owner of a Roxbury sober house on charges he gave residents drugs in exchange for sex. She added the facility, built as townhouses, had turned into a "hell house" that was "an example of a bad player who is preying on the most vulnerable in our community."
Some sober houses voluntarily submit to state oversight, but many do not, she said.
Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, who co-sponsored the proposal, said it's time to figure out how to ensure sober houses are actually safe for people who are trying to break away from drugs or alcohol.
Their fellow counselors agreed to let them hold a hearing with city and state officials to try to figure out an answer.