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Sober/Transitional Living Facility Resources - Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What kinds of facilities provide addiction services in Arizona?

Types of Facilities

Behavioral Health Inpatient Facilities

A health care institution that provides continuous treatment to a patient experiencing a View More

2. Which facilities are exempt from licensure requirements?

The following facilities are exempt from licensure requirements: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 a certain set of services may only be delivered with the advance and continuous authorization (“license”) of a designated government agency to ensure protection of public health, safety, and welfare. View More

4. What is a sober home?

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

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

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

6. 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, overcrowded condition with... View More

7. 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 and participate in self-help initiatives which promote their goal to live without drugs or alcohol. View More


8. 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 Arizona) have developed an optional certification process for sober living facilities. View More

9. 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 and therefore does...View More

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

In order to become certified by the Arizona Recovery Housing Alliance (AzHRA), it is necessary to join the association by paying the application fee of $50. View More

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

The Arizona Recovery Housing Association (AzRHA) makes its criteria for site inspection available here: http://www.myazrha.org/sites/default/files/Inspection-Form-2015-2016.pdf. This should be reviewed alongside...View More

12. How often must I renew certification?

The Arizona Recovery Housing Association conducts annual inspections. View 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 facility with six or fewer people is exempt from zoning and land use regulations based on federal and state law, and need...View More

14. 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

15. 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

16. What would our obligations to residents be?

To enforce that the premises remain safe and free of intoxicant use; to maintain...View More

17. 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 including to abstain from drug and alcohol use and (usually) to attend a weekly residents’ meeting and any other rules the landlord wishes to make (guests, pets)...View More

18. Can we insist on drug tests and searches?

No, sober homes do not have the right to impose testing or searches without consent. Consent can be...View More

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

Sober homes sometimes rely on the drug screening that takes place when the resident attends outpatient services, although they may make use of drug testing equipment which can be used onsite.View More

20. 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...View More

Governance and Staffing

21. 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

22. Are there any other organizations that could help us?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  View More

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