Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

General Notice
DRAFT for Public Comment: Certification of Recovery Residences (New Regulation Per HB2045)
Date Posted: 4/9/2019
Expiration Date: 5/9/2019
Submitted to Registrar for publication: NO
30 Day Comment Forum closed. Began on 4/9/2019 and ended 5/9/2019   [6 comments]

DBHDS is seeking public comment on the following DRAFT language for a new regulation developed in accordance with Chapter 220 of the 2019 General Assembly, which provides for the promulgation of regulations for the certification of recovery residences  DBHDS accepts written comments via  this pubilc comment forum, or by email, fax, and postal mail by the last day of the comment period. All information received is part of the public record.  To comment in this public forum, you must be a registered user on Town Hall.  You can register by going to this link

To comment by email, fax, or postal mail or for more information, contact: Emily Lowrie, Director, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, 1220 East Bank Street, P.O. Box 1797, Richmond, VA 23218-1797, telephone (804) 774-2277, FAX (804) 804-371-6638, or email




12VAC35-270-10. Definitions.

“Certification list” means the list of certified recovery residences maintained by DBHDS.

"Certified recovery residence" means a recovery residence that has been certified by a credentialing entity and is on the certification list maintained by DBHDS.

"DBHDS" means the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

"Recovery residence" means a housing facility that provides alcohol-free and illicit-drug-free housing to individuals with substance abuse disorders and individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that does not include clinical treatment services.

12VAC35-270-20. Recovery residence.

Any person, nonprofit organization, or business entity seeking to operate a certified recovery residence under this chapter shall for each location (i) meet the qualifications, policies, and practices established by a professional certification program according to nationally recognized recovery housing standards, and (ii) hold a certification in good standing from or membership in in good standing from:

  1. The Virginia Association of Recovery Residences (VARR); or
  2. Oxford House.

12VAC35-270-30. List of certified recovery residences.

A. A certified recovery residence seeking to be on the certification list shall submit a completed application on a form provided by DBHDS.

B. A certified recovery residence seeking to be on the certification list shall provide evidence of certification from, membership in, or a charter of a credentialing entity.

C. DBHDS shall maintain a list of certified recovery residences on its website.

12VAC35-270-40. Restrictions and violations.

A. No person shall advertise, represent, or otherwise imply to the public that a recovery residence or other housing facility is a certified recovery residence unless such recovery residence or other housing facility has been placed on the certification list by DBHDS in accordance this chapter.

B. Any recovery residence that fails to maintain certification shall be removed from the certification list.

C. DBHDS may institute civil proceedings in the name of the Commonwealth to enjoin any person from violating the provisions of this section and to recover a civil penalty of at least $200 but no more than $1,000 for each violation. Such proceedings shall be brought in the general district or circuit court for the county or city in which the violation occurred or where the defendant resides. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Trust Fund established in § 37.2-318.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Ruth Anne Walker  / Director of Regulatory Affairs
Address: Jefferson Bldg.
1220 Bank St., 11th Floor
Richmond, 23219
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)225-2252    FAX: (804)786-8623    TDD: (804)371-8977