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Sober/Transitional Living Facility Resources - Texas

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Which addiction treatment facilities are required to be licensed and what kind of services can they provide?

Any substance abuse facility which offers treatment services for chemical dependency requires a license, unless an exception applies. View More

2. Which facilities are exempt from licensure requirements?


Type of Provider


Faith-Based Chemical Dependency Programs.

These programs offer only nonmedical treatment and recovery methods such as prayer, moral guidance, spiritual counseling, and scriptural study. View More


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

Licensing means that a particular type of facility or professional may only operate, or may only deliver services with the advance and continuous authorization (“license”) of a designated government agency to ensure protection of public health, safety, and welfare.  View More


4. Which body licenses drug rehabilitation facilities in the State of Texas?

The Texas Department of State Health Services Substance Abuse Facility Licensing Group licenses facilities in addition to providing registration procedures for faith-based programs. View More

5. What information must be provided in my initial application for licensure?

A written application must be submitted to the Department of State Health Services on the following form: View More

6.  How long does a licensing application usually take?

The Department will notify the applicant that the application is materially complete or specify the additional information required within 45 days of receipt of the application. View More

7. Does a license have to be renewed?

The license must be renewed using forms provided by the Department of State Health Services every two years from the date it was issued. View More

Sober Living Environments


8.  What is a sober home?

A recovery residence is an alcohol and drug-free environment inhabited by individuals who are attempting to maintain their recovery from substance abuse disorders. View More

9. Do we need a license to open a sober home?

Licenses are not required to operate sober-living homes, so long as they provide... View More

10.  Are there any consequences to being ‘unlicensed’?

Because there is no regulatory oversight, some have complained that many sober living homes are maintained in poor,... View More

11. What kinds of services can a sober home offer?

Alcohol and drug-free houses (sober-living environments) typically provide a living environment to enable residents to organize activities... View More


12. How can we demonstrate to our clients that we are offering a high quality living environment?

A Sober home can elect to demonstrate voluntarily that it meets minimum quality standards. Several states (including Texas) have formally adopted an optional certification process for sober living facilities. View More

13. Does a sober home have to obtain certification in order to operate?

The law protects small groups of individuals who choose to live together in peer-supportive environments... View More

14.   How do I apply for certification and what is the process?

An online application is made to the Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network. The cost of certification is $200 + $10 per bed capacity, plus $50 for an onsite inspection. View More

15.  What should I do in preparation for the on-site compliance review?

Prior to the on-site visit, Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network will supply an inspection packet, this should be reviewed along with the certification standards. View More

16.   How often must I renew certification?

Certification is for one year, at which point it terminates automatically if it has not been renewed. View More

Zoning and Land Use

17. What are the protections afforded by federal law to small group homes used for the purpose of residential drug rehabilitation?

A facility with six or fewer people is exempt from zoning and land use regulations based on federal and state law, ... View More

18.  Can local governments put special restrictions on sober living residences?

Sober homes in some communities have found growing efforts to regulate them by local ordinance, including registration requirements, concentration (spacing) limits, and other requirements.  View More

19.  What other aspects should I consider before choosing a location for our sober home?

In siting a sober home, attention should be paid to potential hostility from neighbors.  View More

Resident’s Rights and Responsibilities

20.   What would our obligations to residents be?

The sober living home operation must ensure that the premises remain safe...  View More

21.   What kind of agreement should we ask our residents to sign?

The agreement should include a pledge from the tenant to live by the house rules... View More

22.  Can we insist on drug tests and searches?

No, sober homes do not have the right to impose testing... View More

23.  Can a sober home bill insurance for required and/or random drug testing?

Sober homes sometimes rely on the drug screening which takes place... View More

24.  Can we make residents’ obligations contractually enforceable?

If the rules are contained in the tenancy agreement as conditions of residence, and the resident agrees to them upon accepting the tenancy, then they are enforceable. View More

Governance and Staffing

25.  What kind of ownership and staffing structures are common with these types of residential arrangements?

A sober housing facility may be structured as a nonprofit corporation, a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or a sole owner arrangement. View More

26.  Are there any other organizations which could help us?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

http://www.samhsa.gov/  View More

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