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NARR: And the evolution of the "Halfway House"

June 27, 2011
by Beth Fisher
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There are literally thousands of different types of recovery residences in the United States, and a myriad of names to describe them, i.e. halfway houses, sober homes, extended care, ¾ house. These names lack common definition and clarity, not to mention clear professional identity in the field of recovery services. The term recovery residence has been increasingly used as an umbrella description for all forms of residential care, from the treatment provider to the simple sober house. It is preferred in its simple, non-pejorative description, specific to addiction recovery services.

In November of 2010, a group formed with the vision of creating a National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR). Heretofore, there have been pockets of recovery residence associations around the country, though not many. A few that are more commonly known (and are now a part of NARR) are California’s Sober Living Network, Georgia Association of Recovery Residences (GARR), AHHAP (The Association of Halfway House Alcoholism Programs), CCAR/ (Connecticut), Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) and AzRHA (Arizona Recovery Housing Association).

Last month, 40 residential service providers and advocates representing 13 states and 9 associations convened in Atlanta, GA for a critical developmental conference. Three key objectives were achieved in this meeting: 1. Creation of proposed standards for recovery residences 2. Proposed definition and nomenclature for recovery residences and 3. Organizational structure for a National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR).

NARR is growing rapidly and seeks to provide a national platform for all levels of recovery residences along the continuum of care. Residential service operators would benefit greatly from the collective knowledge and advocacy a national association can provide. We invite all providers and associations to join us in developing common ground and voice for our field.

I am thrilled to begin blogging for Addiction Professional regarding recovery residences and NARR , and invite you to join me in this dialogue. In the coming weeks I will be posting on standards, creating and developing residential associations, ongoing legal issues around the country affecting homes, and proposed new terms for recovery residences, to name a few topics. I welcome your input and interest and can be reached at , and the NARR website is .



NARR is a great idea! The CT Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) has been involved in NARR since the beginning and is behind it 100%.

Beth Fisher Sanders

CEO/Executive Director, Hope Homes Recovery

Beth Fisher Sanders


Beth Fisher Sanders has been working in the field of addictions recovery since 1987. In long-...

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