Medication Policy: OTC Drugs, Supplements and Medical Cannabis

Creating a Medication Policy for Recovery Housing > Medication Policy: OTC Drugs, Supplements and Medical Cannabis


What about over-the-counter drugs, supplements and medical cannabis?

OTC drugs, medical cannabis or supplements are NOT considered medication prescriptions. So residents who use them do not have the same legal rights as residents who have a medication prescription from a medical doctor.  Be clear in your policies if you do not allow specific OTC drugs, supplements or medical (or recreational) cannabis.  


Ohio is a state that allows medical cannabis through a medical recommendation process.

But cannabis is considered illegal at the federal level.  If your program uses federal funds, you are not permitted to allow use of medical cannabis.  Additionally, if your home has requested reasonable accommodations from your local government on behalf of your residents as persons with disabilities, allowing use of medical cannabis may jeopardize their status as a protected class and the associated protections.

Ohio Recovery Housing does certify recovery homes that allow for medical cannabis use in accordance with the guidance produced by NARR.  But recovery houses are not required to allow medical cannabis, but if you do choose to do so, you must follow specific guidelines.

LEARN MORE from NARR’s Policy Guide for Medical Cannabis HERE.

LEARN MORE about Medical Cannabis from the Mayo Clinic HERE.


Recovery homes may be concerned about supplements, which are sold over the counter with no prescription or medical recommendation. It is not recommended to simply ban all supplements, because that would impact things like multivitamins, Vitamin D or calcium, or other supplements that residents might be taking for a legitimate reason under the direction of their doctor.

Over the Counter Medication

Recovery homes have wide discretion over their policies regarding over-the-counter medications.  Be clear in your policy which over-the-counter medicines are not allowed in the home, how they must be stored, and that they should only be taken according to the package directions.  Common items to consider are medications that may contain alcohol, and supplements such as CBD.

The following information pertains to medications that are considered scheduled by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.