Medication Policy: NARR Standards

Creating a Medication Policy for Recovery Housing > Medication Policy: NARR Standards


The National Alliance of Recovery Residences states that recovery homes must have “Policies and procedures that address residents’ prescription medication usage and storage consistent with the residence’s level and with relevant state law”(F.16.D).

In order to meet this standard, recovery homes’ medication policies should recognize that a person who is taking their own prescription medication as it is prescribed is not taking an illicit substance.   The home should also take reasonable steps to ensure that medications are not used by those to whom they are not prescribed and that residents are taking their medications as they have been prescribed.

Remember, recovery housing is a housing setting – and not a treatment setting.  Residents may be engaged in appropriate treatment services in community that help them manage medications, but this must be separate from the housing services.

A recovery house medication policies and practices should be clear that residents are responsible for their own medications, and that staff, leaders, volunteers and others should not handle the medication of residents.

For residents who need to bring their medications home with them, they must be able to store, track and manage their own medications appropriately with support from the organization.  Just because the ultimate responsibility relies with residents does not mean that home does not support them and provide reasonable precautions against the diversion or misuse of medications.  Appropriate supports can and should be provided based on your Level of Support.