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Facility Licensing  

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has sole authority to license facilities providing 24-hour residential nonmedical services to eligible adults who are recovering from problems related to alcohol or other drug (AOD) misuse or abuse. Licensure is required when at least one of the following services is provided: detoxification, group sessions, individual sessions, educational sessions, or alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment planning.  Additionally, facilities may be subject to other types of permits, clearances, business taxes or local fees that may be required by the cities or counties in which the facilities are located. You may also want to check with your county alcohol and drug program office to ensure compliance with any requirements they might have. 

Many facilities licensed by DHCS are also certified.  Certification by DHCS identifies those facilities which exceed minimum levels of service quality and are in substantial compliance with State program standards, specifically the Alcohol and/or Other Drug Certification Standards.  Additional information on Facility Certification is available on this website at the Providers & Partners tab above. 

Free technical assistance

  Assistance in completing the intial licensing application (DHCS 5051) is available free of charge to eligible providers. Please contact the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy Institute (ADPI) on the web at www.aodpolicy.org  or by email at tcta@aodpolicy.org for more information.

Not quite ready to operate a licensed facility? 

There are some residential facilities that do not provide AOD services and do not require licensure by DHCS. These include cooperative living arrangements with a commitment or requirement to be free from alcohol and other drugs. These cooperative living arrangements may be referred to as sober living environments, sober living homes, transitional housing, or alcohol and drug free housing. It is important to note that while sober living environments or alcohol and drug free housing are not required to be licensed by DHCS, operators are required to comply only with local zoning and occupancy ordinances.  For more information please contact the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources on the web at http://www.caarr.org/ or by telephone at (916) 338-9460.

Residential facilities licensed by other State departments such as the Department of Social Services (DSS) or the Department of Public Health (DPH) do not require a residential AOD license by DHCS. 

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Last modified on: 7/21/2014 1:53 PM