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Sober/Transitional Living Facility Resources - Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What kinds of facilities require a license?

Alcohol and other drug abuse treatment facilities are licensed according to the level of care and services they are capable of providing to their patients. Any behavioral health facility that offers treatment services for substance abuse requires a license. There are two types of services. Read More

2. What kinds of facilities provide addiction services in Illinois and what are the levels of care?

In Illinois, services include Medically Managed Detoxification, Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient, Medically Monitored Detoxification, Inpatient Subacute/Residential care, Intensive Outpatient/Partial Hospitalization, Read more

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

Licensing means that the facility has been granted the right to operate, including a written notice conveying to the public that the Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has issued its permission to operate authorized services. These services may only be delivered…read more.

Recovery Residences


4. What is a recovery home?

Recovery homes are alcohol and drug free housing with rules, peer-led groups, staff activities and/or other structured operations which are directed toward maintenance of sobriety for persons who exhibit treatment resistance, relapse potential and/or lack of suitable recovery living environments or who recently have completed substance abuse treatment services or who may be receiving such treatment services at another licensed facility. Read More

5. Do we need a license to open a recovery home?

In Illinois, recovery homes must obtain an intervention license from Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA). Read More

6. When can a recovery home make referrals to other service providers?

The recovery home must establish a referral network to be utilized by residents for any necessary medical, mental health, substance abuse, vocational or employment resources. Read More

7. How long does the licensing process usually take?

Licensure applications are deemed received by Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) on the postmarked date. Following this, Read More


8. Does a license have to be renewed?

Each license issued by Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) is effective for Read More

On-site Review

9. What kinds of inspections might there be for licensure determination?

Submission of an application carries implied consent to permit inquiry into the data furnished. This will likely be triggered when Read More.

10. How can a recovery home prepare for inspections, on-site reviews and audits?

While the criteria are periodically updated, key subjects of review may include: (i) policies and procedures detailing compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality and non-discrimination; (ii) program description, detailing program mission, philosophy, objectives and evaluation plan; (iii) Read More.

11. What kinds of changes could affect licensing once granted?

IDHS/DASA requires notification of the following changes: Read More

12. What kinds of services can a recovery home offer?

Recovery homes provide a structured alcohol and drug free environment for congregate living that offers regularly scheduled peer-led or community gatherings (self-help groups, etc.) that are held a minimum of five days per week and provide recovery education groups weekly. Recovery homes must have Read More

Zoning and Land Use

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

A recovery home with six or fewer people is exempt from zoning and land use regulations based on federal and state law, and need not seek municipal approval to operate. Homes with Read More

14. What plant safety requirements affect recovery homes?

Recovery homes must comply with all applicable zoning and local building ordinances and maintain appropriate fire, hazard, liability and other insurance coverages, including: Read More

15. Can local governments put special restrictions on recovery homes?

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

16. What other aspects should I consider before choosing a location for our recovery home?

In siting a recovery home, attention should be paid to potential hostility from neighbors. While federal and state law protect the right to operate recovery homes of six or fewer in any residential community, operators should be prepared to deal with the stress and expense of combating hostile neighbors and potentially hostile cities in litigation. Read More

Resident’s Rights and Responsibilities

17. What would our obligations to patients be?

To enforce that the premises remain safe and free of intoxicant use; to maintain the premises in a habitable manner; to Read More

18. What kind of agreement should we ask our patients to sign?

The agreement should include a pledge from the tenant to live by the house rules including to abstain from drug and alcohol use and (usually) to attend a weekly patients’ meeting and any other rules the landlord wishes to make (guests, pets); Read More

19. Can we insist on drug tests and searches?

No, recovery homes do not have the right to impose testing or searches without consent. Read More

20. Can a recovery home bill insurance for required and/or random drug testing?

Recovery homes sometimes rely on the drug screening which takes place when the patient attends outpatient services, although they may Read More

21. Can we make patients’ obligations contractually enforceable?

If the rules are contained in the tenancy agreement as conditions of homes, and the patient agrees to them upon accepting the tenancy, then they are enforceable. In addition, Read More

Governance and Staffing

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

A recovery home may be structured as a nonprofit corporation, a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, Read More

23. Are there any other organizations where we could find more information?

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

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