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Sober/Transitional Living Facility Resources - Washington
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What types of chemical dependency services are offered in Washington?

  2. Treatment services can be offered through residential and outpatient treatment facilities, which provide evaluation and either treatment or referrals for individuals with chemical dependency disorders.
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  3. What does it mean to be "licensed," "certified," or "accredited" in this industry?

  4. Licensing means that a particular type of facility or professional may only operate with the advance and continuous authorization ("license") of a designated government agency ...
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    Licensing & Certification
  5. What kind of licensure and certifications are required to operate a chemical dependency treatment program in Washington?

  6. Facilities must be licensed to operate. Facilities must be licensed to operate. Programs must also be certified to provide specific treatment services. As of July 1, 2018, ...
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  7. How can the licensing and credentialing agencies in Washington be reached?

  8. As of July 1, 2018, oversight will be handled by the Department....
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  9. How does a residential treatment facility obtain a license?

  10. A completed application for RTF licensure must be submitted to the Department 60 days or more before ...
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  11. How does a residential treatment facility renew or amend its license?

  12. The Department mails the "Notice to Renew" about 45 days before the due date, which is 30 days before license expiration. At least 30 days before the expiration date ...
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  13. What responsibilities does a residential treatment facility have to maintain its license?

  14. The RTF must ensure it is in compliance with all relevant state and federal rules and regulations.
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  15. Under what circumstances will the Department of Health deny, suspend, modify, or revoke licensure for a residential treatment facility?

  16. The Department may deny, suspend, modify, or revoke an RTF license if the applicant or licensee has:
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  17. What is the process for obtaining certification for a chemical dependency facility?

  18. Chemical dependency facilities must apply for an initial license to operate as ...
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  19. What might cause the Department to deny, suspend, or revoke a certification for a program offered by a chemical dependency facility?

  20. The Department may deny a program’s certification if any of the following occurs:
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    Recovery Houses & Drug and Alcohol Free Housing
  21. What is a recovery house and what is drug and alcohol free housing?

  22. Recovery houses and other sober living facilities (including drug and alcohol free housing) are ...
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  23. Do we need a license or certification to open a recovery house or drug and alcohol free housing?

  24. Recovery houses are currently not licensed by the Department as residential treatment facilities, but ...
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  25. How can drug and alcohol free housing demonstrate their commitment to meeting minimum quality standards?

  26. Sober homes may devise their own quality standards.
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  27. What kinds of services can a drug and alcohol free housing offer?

  28. Drug and alcohol free housing provide a structured alcohol and drug free environment for congregate living that offers regularly scheduled peer-led or community gatherings (self-help groups, etc.).
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    Zoning and Land Use
  29. What are the protections afforded by federal law to small group homes used for the purpose of sustained recovery?

  30. A drug and alcohol free house or sober living with six or fewer people is generally ...
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  31. Can local governments put special restrictions on drug and alcohol free housing?

  32. This area of law is complex and evolving.
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  33. What other aspects should an operator consider before choosing a location for a drug and alcohol free house?

  34. In siting a drug and alcohol free house or sober living, attention should be paid to ...
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    Residents' Rights and Responsibilities
  35. What would our obligations to residents be?

  36. In general, recovery and sober living houses should agree to the following:
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  37. What kind of agreement must we ask our residents to sign?

  38. Any agreement residents sign must comply with landlord and tenant laws of Washington.
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  39. Can we insist on drug tests and searches?

  40. As a general matter, sober living facilities do not have the right to ...
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  41. Can recovery houses or drug and alcohol free housing bill insurance for required and/or random drug testing?

  42. Recovery houses or drug and alcohol free housing sometimes rely on the drug screening ...
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  43. Can we make clients' obligations contractually enforceable?

  44. Yes, as long as the obligations are enforceable under Washington law in general and the laws relating to landlord and tenants.
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    Governance and Staffing
  45. What kind of ownership and staffing structures are common with these types of residential arrangements?

  46. A recovery house or drug and alcohol free house may be structured as ...
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  47. Are there any other organizations from which we could find more information?

  48. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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