NARR Levels Of Care For Addiction Recovery Residences

Recovery residences are a beneficial tool for people in recovery who are transitioning out of a rehab environment. A recovery residence is a broad term that describes safe and sober living environments that promote recovery from substance use disorders. These residences may also be referred to as halfway houses, three-quarter houses, transitional living facilities, or sober living homes. Since this is a broad term, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) distinguishes these environments based on the levels of care that they provide. There are four different levels of care according to NARR.

In this article, we’ll learn more about what NARR is and discuss the different levels of care that the organization identifies.

What is NARR?

NARR is the National Alliance for Recovery Residences. NARR is a 501-c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the availability of well-operated, ethical and supportive recovery housing. The organization has developed the most widely referenced national standard for the operation of recovery residences.

NARR was founded in 2011 by a group of recovery housing experts with the goal of developing and promoting best practices in the operation of recovery residences. Today, the organization works with and supports 30 state affiliate organizations. Partnered with these organizations,  NARR collectively supports over 25,000 persons in addiction recovery who are living in over 2,500 certified recovery residences throughout the United States.

NARR levels of care

To help categorize recovery residences into more specific groups, NARR distinguishes these residences based on their levels of care. There are four levels of care for recovery residences, according to NARR.

The levels of care are:

  1. Peer-Run
  2. Monitored
  3. Supervised
  4. Service Provider

We’ll explore the different characteristics of each level of care below.

Level 1 – Peer-Run

A Peer-Run recovery residence is a home operated by the residents themselves. In this type of residence, there is no external management or oversight from outside sources (such as an administrative director). The tenants in these residences must be willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities. Tasks such as house cleaning, grocery shopping, and yard maintenance are all duties that tenants may be expected to fulfill.


The administration of these facilities is done democratically by the residents. There may be a manual or a document containing policies and procedures that are used to manage the residence.


The services at a residence like this may include house meetings for accountability, drug screenings, and self-help meetings.


Environments are generally set up in single-family residences like a house.


There are no paid positions within these residences. However, the house may have an overseeing officer.

Level 2 – Monitored

A monitored recovery residence is one that has an external management structure (usually in the form of an administrative director). In these residences, tenants are expected to abide by certain rules as well as complete tasks such as housekeeping and community participation. An administrative director oversees operations, provides guidance and support, and ensures that all tenants are following rules.


Level 2 recovery residences are managed by a house manager or senior resident. These facilities will also have documented policies and procedures.


One service that these residences provide is structure via the house rules. Additionally, these residences may offer peer-run groups, house meetings, drug screenings, and involvement in self-help treatment.


These facilities are primarily single-family residences, but they may also be apartments or other dwelling types.


A defining characteristic of level 2 residences is that there is at least one paid position on staff.

Level 3 – Supervised

Supervised recovery residences have more intense levels of oversight than monitored residences. There is typically an on-site staff member who provides 24/7 support to residents. These staff members may provide counseling services or facilitate group activities. Residents are also expected to adhere to a strict set of rules and guidelines while living in this type of residence.


Level 3 residences have an organizational hierarchy. There is administrative oversight for service providers, and documented policies and procedures are used.


This type of residence has an emphasis on life skill development. On top of that, clinical services may be utilized in the outside community while service hours may be provided in-house.


The type of dwelling for this level of residence varies. It may include all types of residential settings.


The staff at a level 3 residence includes a facility manager and certified staff or case managers.

Level 4 – Service Provider

Service provider recovery residences are typically operated by organizations or corporations. These residences offer a wide range of services and activities for their residents. The staff levels in these facilities are higher than levels 1-3, and the environments may feel more structured and institutionalized.


Level 4 residences have an overseen organizational hierarchy. There is both clinical and administrative supervision at the residences.


Clinical services and programming are provided in-house at level 4 residences. These residences may also offer life skill development.


This residence may be a more institutionalized environment. However, all types of residence may be included as a client moves through the care continuum of a treatment center.


Level 4 recovery residences employee credentialed staff.

Isaiah House is a NARR partner organization

Kentucky Recovery Housing Network (KRHN) is the NARR affiliate for our state. KRHN exists to evaluate and improve standards and measures of quality for all levels of recovery residences. Isaiah House is listed in the KRHN’s Directory of Certified Residences.

Addiction recovery at Isaiah House

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, contact us today. We want to walk with you through every step of your recovery journey. We’ve helped thousands of men and women break free from the grip of addiction, so we know that recovery is possible!

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