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Recovery House Licensing

Upcoming Licensure Program for Recovery Houses

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is developing a licensure program for drug and alcohol recovery houses. DDAP is working to get this new program up and running.

Which recovery houses will need a license?

Once the new licensing program is in place, recovery houses will be required to get a license if they:

  1. Want to receive referrals from state agencies or state-funded facilities, or
  2. Want to receive federal or state funding to deliver recovery house services.

How can I prepare my recovery house for licensure before the commonwealth makes new regulations?

While the commonwealth does not yet have final regulatory requirements, the law provides some information on what recovery houses can expect.
For example, licensed recovery houses must comply will the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can find guidance on the ADA website
In addition, the law outlines the types of policies you can expect to see in the upcoming regulations, including policies related to:

  • Informing residents about recovery house rules and requirements
  • Managing resident funds
  • Conducting employee criminal background checks
  • Accepting no commissions or items of value in exchange for services
  • Addressing the safety of residents
  • Requiring resident participation in treatment and recovery supports
  • Requiring abstinence from alcohol and illicit drugs
  • Maintaining the property
  • Managing complaints
  • Notifying emergency contacts of emergency situations
Finally, if you are opening a recovery house for the first time, DDAP recommends that you get connected with your local Single County Authority (SCA). The SCA is the agency that administers drug and alcohol activities in your area. You can look up your SCA on the PA Get Help Now website.

How to stay informed:

If you would like to be kept up to date on the commonwealth’s progress toward developing the new regulations, please complete this form and email the completed form to You will receive a periodic email with updates on DDAP’s work.  

Filling out the form will allow DDAP to keep you up to date on key information related to the upcoming regulatory action on recovery houses. It does not bind individuals to a course of action, nor does it start the application process for licensure or certification.