The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced today that 312 recovery houses are now licensed throughout the commonwealth.
Since the licensure program began, DDAP has provided hands-on technical assistance to recovery house owners and continues to work individually with applicants to ensure accurate submissions when applying. DDAP developed and now offers a new provider workshop that has helped to increase accuracy of applications, which further streamlines and expedites the licensure process.
The purpose of DDAP’s recovery house licensure program is to help empower sustained recovery for individuals with substance use disorder by ensuring a network of safe drug and alcohol recovery houses across Pennsylvania.
A listing of licensed recovery houses as well as information regarding the licensing application process can be found on the DDAP website.
Act 59 of 2017 gave the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) the power and duty to license drug and alcohol recovery houses that receive referrals from state agencies or state-funded facilities or federal or state funding and to impose fines on unlicensed recovery houses that receive funds from federal, state, or county agencies. On December 11, 2021, DDAP published recovery house licensure regulations in 28 Pa. Code Ch. 717. The regulations took effect immediately upon publication, except for 28 Pa. Code § 717.14, regarding fines for unlicensed recovery houses, which took effect on June 9, 2022. On June 9, DDAP gave notice that, effective July 1, 2022, to minimize disruption to residents during the application and licensure process, single county authorities (SCAs) could continue to act on existing contracts with recovery houses that were making timely and good faith efforts to obtain licensure. DDAP also expressed its position that it would not penalize recovery houses while they were actively working through the licensure process.
Beginning January 1, 2023, SCAs may only fund recovery houses that have obtained licenses from DDAP. SCAs should plan to transition individuals who remain in unlicensed recovery houses to another licensed recovery home or arrange for other suitable housing as of January 1, 2023.
The SCAs are subject to the provisions of all requirements as outlined in the 2020–2025 Grant Agreement. Any state or federal funding used to make payments to unlicensed recovery homes is a violation of Act 59 of 2017 and the terms outlined in Appendix D Program Specific Provisions, Paragraph VI Compliance/Termination/Reduction of the 2020–2025 Grant Agreement.
In addition, as of January 1, 2023, DDAP will exercise its enforcement authority to impose fines of up to $1,000 per day on persons who have not obtained licenses but who operate recovery houses that receive funds from a federal, state, or county agency, in accordance with the requirements of Act 59 of 2017 and 28 Pa. Code § 717.14. Recovery house operators who have started but not completed the licensure process must either obtain their license or stop accepting federal, state, and county funds by January 1, 2023 in order to avoid this fine.
Act 59 of 2017, 71 P.S. § 613.16(a), relating to Violations, provides:
(a) Penalties — A person operating a drug and alcohol recovery house that is funded, in whole or in part, by the department or a Federal, other State, or county agency, that has failed to attain or maintain licensure or certification of a drug and alcohol recovery house and has not been licensed or certified by the department, shall pay a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation.
28 Pa. Code § 717.14(b), relating to Fines, provides, “Each day of operating a drug and alcohol recovery house that requires a license without a current license shall constitute a separate violation.”
Please submit all questions regarding this communication to the Bureau of Program Licensure.
In 2017, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 446 into law as Act 59, which gave the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) the power and duty to license drug and alcohol recovery houses that receive referrals from state agencies or state-funded facilities or receive federal or state funding. That legislation gave DDAP the authority to take enforcement action and issue fines against operators of unlicensed recovery houses that receive public funding. Last December, DDAP announced that it had published regulations for the licensure program for drug and alcohol recovery houses was accepting applications. Those regulations stated that the provision for issuance of fines would not take effect until 180 days after they were published.
Thursday, June 9, marked 180 days after publication of the regulations. View Information Bulletin 01-22 for requirements for recovery house licensure.
DDAP’s goal is to continue working with recovery houses to attain licensure and will not be looking to penalize houses that are actively working through that process. DDAP and the Single County Authorities (SCAs) share a common goal of causing the least amount of disruption to the lives of individuals in recovery and are hopeful that more houses will continue to submit applications and increase the capacity of licensed recovery houses in Pennsylvania.
To that point, SCAs may continue to act on existing contracts with recovery houses regardless of licensure status through June 30, 2022. Beginning July 1, 2022, SCAs may not execute new contracts with unlicensed houses. For existing contracts that run beyond July 1, SCAs can no longer pay unlicensed houses and should be looking to transition residents to licensed houses and other living arrangements unless the house shows a timely, good faith effort to apply for licensure.
More information on the recovery house application process can be found on the DDAP website. DDAP is also offering a free one-day training workshop designed to answer the various questions associated with the application process. Participation in the workshop results in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to approve applications, resulting in the license being issued sooner to those applicants who participate. To register for the workshop, please email or call 717-783-8675.
Beginning June 9, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) will have the authority to impose fines on operators of unlicensed recovery houses that receive public funding.
View the Recovery House Licensure Information Bulletin here.
DDAP’s recovery house licensure program is live as of December 11, 2021. You can learn more about recovery house licensing and how to apply on the DDAP licensing web page. This message is to remind all recovery houses in Pennsylvania, as well as entities who refer individuals to recovery houses, of several requirements of the Recovery House Law (Act 59 of 2017), including the approaching June 9 deadline.
Requirements to Obtain a License:
Recovery houses must obtain a license from DDAP if:
*Recovery houses that are not required to obtain a license may still choose to do so.
Names, locations, and additional details about each DDAP-licensed recovery house in Pennsylvania are regularly updated on DDAP’s Facility Locator. Select “Recovery House” under the Facility Type Search drop-down on the left-hand panel, and narrow your search by location if desired. A searchable map will also be made available on the DDAP website in the coming weeks.
Fines for Unlicensed Recovery Houses That Receive Public Funds:
Furthermore, the recovery house law requires that DDAP impose fines (up to $1,000 for each violation) on unlicensed recovery houses that are “funded, in whole or in part, by a department or a Federal, other State, or county agency.” This requirement was incorporated in the regulations at 28 Pa. Code § 717.14. As detailed in the Preamble to the regulations, this section will become effective 180 days after publication of the regulations in the Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin on December 11, 2021. Beginning June 9, 2022, DDAP will have the authority to impose fines up to $1,000 per day on operators of unlicensed recovery houses that receive public funding.
To further assist recovery home operators in the application process, the Bureau of Program Licensure offers a free one-day training workshop designed to answer the various questions associated with the application process. Participation in the workshop results in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to approve applications, resulting in the license being issued sooner to those applicants who participate. The workshop is offered a minimum of once every month. Additional sessions are scheduled based upon interest or need. Requests to register for the training should be sent via email. Call 717-783-8675 with questions.