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Addiction Treatment Center Resources - New Jersey
Frequently Asked Questions

Addiction Treatment Centers

  1. What types of chemical dependency services are offered in New Jersey?

  2. In New Jersey, there are licensed residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment services, in addition to licensed general hospitals that may provide acute chemical dependency services. Read More

  3. What does it mean to be "licensed," "certified," or "accredited" in this industry?

  4. A license means that a facility or professional may operate or may deliver services with the advance and continuous authorization of a designated government agency, which is done to ensure protection of public health, safety, and welfare. Read More

    Licensing & Certification
  5. What kind of licensure and certifications are required to operate a substance abuse treatment program in New Jersey?

  6. Facilities must be licensed to operate programs that provide substance abuse treatment services. In New Jersey, licenses must be obtained from the Department of Human Services, Offices of Licensing (the "Department") to operate a substance abuse treatment program. Read More

  7. How can the licensing agency for substance abuse treatment facilities in New Jersey be reached?

  8. The Department is located at the following address: Read More

  9. What is the process for substance abuse treatment facility to obtain a license?

  10. Any person, organization, or corporation planning to operate a residential or outpatient substance use disorders treatment facility must submit completed application forms with the appropriate fees... Read More

  11. Under what circumstances will the Department issue a conditional license?

  12. The Department issues conditional licenses in the following circumstances: Read More

  13. How does a treatment facility renew, amend, or terminate its license?

  14. Once issued, a license will be granted for a period of one year (12 consecutive months). The license is eligible for annual renewal on and up to 30 days following the license anniversary date upon submission of the appropriate licensing and inspection fees. Read More

  15. What kinds of inspections and surveys might there be for licensure determination?

  16. The Department's agents may visit at any time with or without prior notice and inspect the facility, its staff, activities, and records to determine compliance with the licensing regulations and applicable state and federal laws. Read More

  17. How can a facility prepare for inspections, on-site reviews, and surveys?

  18. Facilities must ensure that staff are well-trained and ready to answer questions that may be asked of them by the Department, reflecting knowledge of compliance and operational requirements. Read More

  19. What happens if the Department identifies problems during an inspection or survey?

  20. Following an inspection or survey, the Department will provide findings of any deficiency observed. Read More

  21. Under what circumstances will the Department deny, suspend, reduce, revoke, or terminate licensure?

  22. If a facility does not comply with the licensure process, licensing regulations, or other applicable laws, an initial license may be denied, an existing license may be suspended, revoked, or terminated, and/or a facility may face financial penalties. Read More

  23. Under what circumstances will the Department seek an injunction against a facility?

  24. The Department may seek an injunction against the operation of a treatment facility or a component of the facility upon a finding of violations pertaining to the care of clients or hazardous or unsafe conditions of the physical structure... Read More

  25. Under what circumstances will the Department issue financial penalties to a facility?

  26. Financial penalties may be assessed for certain licensing violations. The Department may assess a penalty for violation of licensure rules according to the following standards: Read More

    Operational Requirements
  27. What kinds of information must a licensed facility submit to the Department?

  28. As a general rule, licensed facilities must submit any documentation or information requested by the Department. Facilities must also report monthly to all client admissions and discharges from the facility... Read More

  29. What personnel policies must a licensed substance abuse facility maintain?

  30. New Jersey licensing regulations set forth specific requirements related to personnel requirements. Read More

  31. What kinds of internal policies and procedures must a licensed substance abuse facility have?

  32. Licensed facilities must have a set of written policies and procedures made available to staff, clients, Department inspectors, and the public. Read More

  33. What special policies and procedures must be in place to address medical care provided by licensed facilities?

  34. Both residential and outpatient facilities must have medical staff bylaws, along with written medical policies developed by the medical director in conjunction with the medical staff. Read More

  35. What emergency protocols must be in place?

  36. Residential and outpatient facilities must maintain written emergency plans, policies, and procedures to be followed in case of hazards that necessitate an evacuation, ensuring that clients receive necessary services during the evacuation or other emergency. Read More

  37. What notices must a licensed substance abuse treatment facility post?

  38. Facilities must conspicuously post a public notice that the following information is available in the facility during its normal business hours for clients and the public: Read More

  39. What are the requirements for client records for licensed substance abuse facilities?

  40. Facilities must maintain separate records for each client in a secure and confidential manner, which is discussed in further detail in the Privacy Section below. Read More

  41. What kind of governance must a licensed substance abuse facility have?

  42. Licensed facilities must have a governing body that is responsible for the policies and activities of the service. The governing body should consist of persons with expertise in management, finance, and substance abuse treatment. Read More

  43. What are the requirements for a treatment facility's quality assurance program?

  44. Residential and outpatient facilities must establish and implement an integrated comprehensive quality assurance program for client care, review the program at least annually, and revise the program as necessary. Read More

  45. How must a licensed facility handle client transportation?

  46. Facilities must develop a method of client transportation for services provided outside of the facility. Facilities must ensure the security of the client and his or her personal possessions, as well as transfer of client information to and from the provider of the services. Read More

  47. How must a licensed facility handle infection prevention and control?

  48. Facility administrators must develop and implement an infection prevention and control program. Read More

    Zoning and Land Use
  49. What are the protections afforded to facilities and homes used for the purpose of substance abuse treatment?

  50. The regulation of land use and zoning is traditionally reserved to state and local governments, except to the extent that it conflicts with requirements imposed by the Fair Housing Act, the protections of the ADA, or other federal laws. Read More

  51. Are there any proximity restrictions regulating how close treatment centers may be to each other? Can an operator open a residential treatment center right next to one that is already there?

  52. There is no statewide rule or regulation preventing multiple facilities from operating in close proximity. Notwithstanding the lack of legal or regulatory prohibitions for other types of treatment facilities... Read More

  53. What are the physical plant requirements for treatment facilities?

  54. New Jersey licensing regulations set forth specific plant requirements for substance abuse treatment facilities.

    Please note, the rules described below concern the physical plant and functional requirements for licensure purposes, and do not constitute all environmental requirements. Read More

  55. What are the basic sanitation and safety requirements for treatment facilities?

  56. Please note, these regulations concern the sanitation and safety requirements for licensure purposes, and do not constitute all environmental requirements. Read More

    Care, Treatment, and Services

  57. What procedures and standards must a facility develop for preadmission and admission?

  58. There must be a preadmission or admission interview, which is documented in the client record. Facility staff must conduct a preadmission interview with all clients and, in the case of an adolescent, his or her family, guardian or legally authorized representative. Read More

  59. What information must be disclosed to the client during intake and what must a licensed facility put in its admissions agreement?

  60. Prior to admission, or in the case of an intoxicated client, as soon as stabilization occurs, basic information about treatment services and client rights must be provided, in simple, non-technical terms and in the client's primary language. Read More

  61. How does a facility decide whether a client meets criteria for placement in a particular level of care?

  62. To make a determination on whether the services offered by the facility are appropriate to meet the client's treatment needs, the facility must carry out an assessment of the client's treatment and rehabilitation needs and goals. Read More

    Staffing Requirements
  63. What staffing must be offered at each level of care?

  64. Substance abuse treatment facilities must meet the needs of admitted clients, as identified during the admission assessment process. Each facility type has unique requirements pertaining to the intensity and frequency of services provided. Read More

  65. What are the requirements related to each type of staff member's qualifications and responsibilities?

  66. Facilities that are required to have the following types of staff members must ensure that they have the required qualifications and responsibilities set forth in the licensing regulations, as follows: Read More

  67. What training requirements are required for staff?

  68. Facilities must develop and implement a staff orientation plan and a staff education plan, which includes written plans for each service and designation of person(s) responsible for training. Read More

  69. What rules apply to volunteers at facilities?

  70. Facilities that use volunteers must provide education and training, limit the functions that volunteers serve, and establish written policies and procedures applicable to the use of volunteers. Read More

    Requirements by Program Type
  71. What services must be offered by residential programs?

  72. Residential treatment facilities must provide or arrange for the following types of services: (1) medical and nursing services (including assessment, diagnostic services, and treatment); (2) counseling; (3) case management; and (4) vocational, educational, and other supportive services. Read More

  • What services must be offered by outpatient programs?

  • Outpatient treatment facilities must provide or arrange for the following types of services: (1) medical and nursing services (including assessment, diagnostic services, and treatment); (2) counseling; and (3) vocational, educational, and other supportive services. Read More

    Treatment Planning
  • What are the requirements of a client assessment?

  • Both residential and outpatient facilities must perform a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment of all clients, as described below. In addition, at the time of assessment, all clients must be screened for co-occurring disorders... Read More

  • What must be included in an individual treatment plan?

  • For each client admitted, licensed facilities must complete an individual treatment plan based on the client's treatment, medical, psychiatric, and social histories. Read More

  • What must be considered in continuum of care planning?

  • Both residential and outpatient treatment facilities must initiate continuum of care planning for each client upon admission. This plan should incorporate goals for discharge and address problems identified at admission and during treatment. Read More

    Client Rights
  • What rights are guaranteed to clients?

  • Facilities must protect the legal and civil rights of each client at all times during treatment and discharge. Each licensed facility must adopt and maintain an updated set of rules, which set forth the responsibilities and the rights of clients regarding treatment and discharge. Read More

  • What policies and procedures must be in place to address client care at residential treatment facilities?

  • Every residential facility must develop, establish, and ensure the implementation and maintenance of client care policies and procedures. All client care policies and procedures must be sensitive to cultural, religious, ethnic, age, and gender issues. Read More

  • What policies and procedures must be in place to address behavior management?

  • Facilities must establish and maintain written policies and procedures for managing disruptive behavior, including aggression, harm or threats of harm to self or others, destruction of property, and refusal to comply with program policies. Read More

  • What termination and discharge policies need to be in place?

  • Licensed facilities must have written termination and discharge policies and procedures and make these available to prospective clients at the time of admission. Policies related to involuntary discharges should be provided to clients and signed by the client at intake. Read More

  • What grounds are needed in order to dismiss a client from a program?

  • Generally, there are four types of discharge. First, successful completion of the program means that the client has met the goals of his or her recovery plan. Read More

  • If a facility needs to discharge a client that relapsed, is the facility at risk if the client overdoses tonight? If so, how can the facility protect itself?

  • The discharge of a client must be handled carefully given the risks if a client suffers negative health consequences in the aftermath of discharge. Read More

  • What needs to be done if a client dies while in treatment?

  • The facility must develop procedures to be followed in the event of the death of a client. These procedures must conform with laws governing the report of death to local authorities and the Department. Read More

  • How must clients' privacy be protected?

  • Client confidentiality is an important issue covered by both federal and state laws. These laws set forth specific requirements regarding how and when client information may be shared and the protections that must be in place to safeguard confidentiality. Read More

    Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • What rules govern medically-monitored detoxification programs in residential facilities?

  • In addition to the required policies, procedures, and services related to medication and medical services in residential facilities, which are described above, there are special rules that apply to medically monitored detoxification services in residential facilities. Read More

  • What rules govern medical services in outpatient facilities?

  • Medical services must be provided in outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs as follows: Read More

  • What are the requirements to operate an opioid treatment facility?

  • Opioid programs are subject to extensive regulations under federal and state law. Operators considering opioid treatment programs may wish to consult with experienced legal counsel to review the applicable rules and make sure their program is in compliance with all relevant requirements. Read More

  • What special policies and procedures must be in place at an opioid treatment program?

  • In addition to the policy and procedure requirements for outpatient facilities generally, opioid treatment programs must also establish special written policies and procedures. Opioid treatment programs' policies and procedures must include the following: Read More

  • What assessments must be done for a client in an opioid treatment program?

  • All persons admitted to an opioid treatment program must meet the admission criteria outlined in the federal standards set by accrediting agencies and be diagnosed with opioid dependence consistent with DSM-5. Read More

  • What services must be provided to clients of opioid treatment programs?

  • All opioid treatment programs must provide counseling services, drug screenings, and education. Read More

  • What rules apply to take-home medication for opioid treatment program clients?

  • As an initial matter, in determining eligibility for take-home medication, programs must refer to federal standards set by accrediting agencies... Read More

  • How can an opioid treatment facility discharge a client?

  • Discharge depends on the circumstances. Clients who are undergoing medically supervised withdrawal as a planned goal in a maintenance program may request a blind dosage reduction... Read More

  • What payment policies must be in place at licensed facilities?

  • As described above, New Jersey licensing regulations sets forth specific requirements related to the payment policies of substance abuse treatment facilities. Read More

  • How can a facility respond to clients who are unable to pay the required deductibles? Can the facility waive a program participant's financial responsibility?

  • Clients seeking drug and alcohol rehabilitative services often face financial difficulties, whether because of the consequences of their addiction or the expense of multiple, prior failed treatment programs. Read More

  • What are the key issues insurers raise to demand recoupment of fees from chemical dependency treatment programs?

  • Insurers may demand recoupment of fees based on any defect in the billing claim or supporting documentation and/or based on any noncompliance with federal or state laws. Read More

  • What marketing practices are prohibited?

  • In the addiction treatment industry in general, the most widespread prohibited marketing practices appear to revolve around inappropriate inducements and inaccurate marketing claims. Read More

  • What are the limits of gift giving to potential referral sources?

  • Federal and state laws prohibit the exchange of items of value to induce referrals for health-related services. As a result, the exchange of any item of value, whether it is cash or in kind, must be carefully monitored. Read More

  • What kind of benefits can a facility offer existing or new clients?

  • Providers must avoid giving a patient or prospective client anything of value or benefit. For example, facilities must avoid giving gifts to clients or referral sources because these may violate anti-kickback laws and rules against inducements and patient brokering. Read More

    Recovery Residences

  • What are recovery residences?

  • Recovery residences, also known as sober living facilities, are transitional alcohol and drug free residential settings with rules, peer-led groups, activities and/or other structured operations. Read More

  • Is license or certification required to open recovery residences?

  • Recovery residences are not licensed substance abuse treatment facilities. Recovery residences can offer sober housing with rules, peer-led groups, staff activities, and/or other structured operations, and are for persons in early recovery... Read More

  • How can recovery residences demonstrate their commitment to meeting minimum quality standards?

  • Sober homes may devise their own quality standards. The National Association of Recovery Residences ("NARR") provides a Code of Ethics that is used by sober homes in many states and is available here: Read More

  • What kind of services can recovery residences offer?

  • Recovery residences provide a structured alcohol and drug free environment for congregate living that may offer regularly scheduled peer-led or community gatherings (house meetings and self-help groups, etc.). Read More

    Zoning and Land Use
  • What are the protections afforded by federal law to small group homes used for the purpose of sustained recovery?

  • Federal law, including the ADA and Fair Housing Act, provide protections for recovery residences to operate in residential communities. Read More

  • Can local governments put special restrictions on recovery residences?

  • This area of law is complex and evolving, especially in the State of New Jersey. It is well settled that state and federal law prohibit local governments from discriminating against or treating the residents of sober living homes... Read More

  • What other aspects should an operator consider before choosing a location for a recovery residence?

  • In siting recovery residences, attention should be paid to potential hostility from neighbors. While federal and state law generally protect the right to operate sober living residences of six or fewer people in any residential community... Read More

    Residents' Rights and Responsibilities
  • What are the obligations to residents for operators of recovery residences?

  • In general, operators of sober living houses should agree to the following: (1) to enforce that the premises remain safe and free of intoxicant use; (2)... Read More

  • What kind of agreement should recovery residences ask residents to sign?

  • As a general matter, the housing agreement should include: (1) a pledge from the client to live by the house rules, including to abstain from drug and alcohol use... Read More

  • Can a recovery insist on drug tests and searches?

  • Recovery residences do not have the right to impose testing or searches without consent. Read More

  • Can recovery residences bill insurance for required and/or random drug testing?

  • Recovery residences sometimes rely on the drug screening that takes place when the resident attends outpatient services, although they may make use of drug testing equipment that can be used on-site. Read More

  • Can recovery residences make clients' obligations contractually enforceable?

  • Yes, as long as the obligations are enforceable under New Jersey law in general and any applicable laws relating to landlord and tenants. Operators should consult legal counsel regarding specific obligations and whether those obligations are legally enforceable under applicable laws. Read More

    Governance and Staffing
  • What kind of ownership and staffing structures are common with recovery residences?

  • Recovery residences are traditionally structured as a nonprofit corporation, a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or a sole owner arrangement. Recovery residences may also consist of individuals... Read More

  • Are there any other organizations from which recovery residences operators could find more information?

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    http://www.samhsa.gov/ Read More

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