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Sober Living / Recovery Residence 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

    Recovery Residences

  15. What are recovery residences?

  16. 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

  17. Is license or certification required to open recovery residences?

  18. 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

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

  20. 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

  21. What kind of services can recovery residences offer?

  22. 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
  23. What are the protections afforded by federal law to small group homes used for the purpose of sustained recovery?

  24. Federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Fair Housing Act, provide protections for recovery residences to operate in residential communities. Read More

  25. Can local governments put special restrictions on recovery residences?

  26. 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

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

  28. 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
  29. What are the obligations to residents for operators of recovery residences?

  30. 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

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

  32. 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

  33. Can a recovery insist on drug tests and searches?

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

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

  36. 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

  37. Can recovery residences make clients' obligations contractually enforceable?

  38. 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
  39. What kind of ownership and staffing structures are common with recovery residences?

  40. 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

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

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

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