Licenses and Regulations for Sober Living Homes

licenses and regulations at sober living homesWhen choosing a sober living home for your loved one, take a moment to make sure that they have the appropriate accreditation and licenses necessary to legally run a drug and alcohol addiction treatment establishment. It may not seem that they need licensing in order to be in line with city and state ordinances, but legal businesses that offer rehab services to patients in recovery should have a fair amount of paperwork to demonstrate their legitimacy. Here’s what you need to know.

What Sober Living Homes Need a License?

According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), licensure is required for any residential facility that offers any of the following non-medical services in order to help those who are in recovery for drug and alcohol abuse:

  • Detox for physical dependence upon any substance
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Personal therapy sessions
  • Educational workshops to aid in a better understanding of addiction, recovery, and drug-related issues
  • Treatment planning for ongoing recovery from dependence upon drugs and alcohol

The ADP is the only authority that has the power to provide these licenses in California. Each state has its own governing agency for the purpose of licensure and, in each state, the rules may vary. Additionally, each city and county may have its own unique list of requirements in terms of licensure, permits and clearances.

It is important to note, however, that other drug and alcohol treatment facilities that provide residential care to patients may require licensing from other organizations like group homes, which may require licensure by the Department of Social Services, and chemical dependency hospitals that must be licensed by the Department of Public Health.

What Sober Living Homes Do Not Require Licensing?

Any home or estate that simply asks that residents avoid using drugs and alcohol but provides none of the services listed above is not required by law to secure licensing. These often confusingly go by the same name as sober living estates that require licensure, including:

  • Sober living home
  • Transitional housing
  • Cooperative living
  • Alcohol-free housing
  • Drug-free housing
  • Sober living environment

If these homes are a business, however, they may require certain permits and clearances in order to pay local and state taxes.

How Do You Find Out If a Sober Living Home Is Appropriately Licensed?

Ask. It’s always a good idea to talk to the counselors at any addiction treatment or rehab facility before you enroll, and one of the questions you should ask during that conversation should center on the steps they have taken and continue to take in order to be in compliance with state and local laws. In some cases, you may be able to call local state agencies and find out if the sober living home you are considering is current on their licensing regulations.

What Does It Mean if a Sober Living Home Does or Does Not Have All Their Licenses?

If a sober living home does not have all the licenses necessary to practice business within the law then it’s not the right establishment for your loved one. Cutting corners is not an acceptable practice, and finding a sober living home that has all their licenses up to date and in place is one of many indicators that they are operating a business that will be able facilitate your loved one’s launch into an independent sober life.

If you’d like help finding a licensed sober living home for you or your loved one, contact us today.