1.A.2.e. Ethical marketing


Operator attests that claims made in marketing materials and advertising will be honest and substantiated and that it does not employ any of the following:

• False or misleading statements or unfounded claims or exaggerations;

• Testimonials that do not reflect the real opinion of the involved individual;

• Price claims that are misleading;

• Therapeutic strategies for which licensure and/or counseling certifications are required but not applicable at the site; or

• Misleading representation of outcomes






This rule applies to all recovery residence levels of support.


Whereas marketing in compliance with the law is addressed in rule 1.A.2.d, this rule focuses on marketing in a manner that is ethical. Some behavior may be legal, but not ethical. Ethics is about what is right and wrong according to a culture or profession. Ethical behavior reflects values, such as “rigorous honesty”, “transparency” and “person-centered”. Not only has NARR established a Code of Ethics for recovery residences, it has codified ethical marketing in this Standard rule. While the rule specifically references marketing materials and advertising, the spirit of the rule would also include any other form of marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an example of a “False or misleading statements or unfounded claims or exaggerations”? When a recovery residence makes statements like:

    • “We are the best”; “We are the cheapest”

    • “We guarantee ____ (an outcome) or your money back”

    • “Residents have access to gym equipment” when in reality there is a gym in the neighborhood

    • “Residents have access to financial coaching” when in reality there are free budgeting classes offered by the local church

  • What is an example of “Testimonials that do not reflect the real opinion of the involved individual”? When the marketer makes up a quote or uses a quote about a different service.

  • What is an example of “Price claims that are misleading”? When a recovery residence has hidden fees, fines and costs.

  • What is an example of “Therapeutic strategies for which licensure and/or counseling certifications are required but not applicable at the site”? When a nonclinical recovery residence (e.g. Level I, II, or III) or one of its representatives:

    • Markets their services using clinical language: “treatment”, “therapy”, “diagnosing”, “addressing the disease”

    • Markets themselves as a “Rehab”, “treatment center” or “unlicensed treatment center”.

    • Markets staff’s clinical or medical credentials in a way that the average person may interpret as them providing clinical or medical services

  • What is an example of “Misleading representation of outcomes”? When a recovery residence uses another organization’s outcomes as their own or when they market the outcomes of a subsection of residents in a way that sounds like the expected outcomes of all residents.


  • Was an Ethical Marketing Self Assessment completed?

  • Does the recovery residence attest that claims made in marketing materials and advertising are honest and substantiated? Note: “attest” means to declare that something exists, as in an affidavit or signed statement?

  • Were any ethical or legal marketing concerns discovered while reviewing the recovery residence’s marketing: e.g. brochures, website and social media?

  • Do the marketing claims align with the services outlined in the resident agreement?

  • Do the marketing claims align with the service offering?

  • Do the marketing claims align with the staffing plan?

  • Does the staffing plan designate a person who is responsible for ensuring compliance to ethical marketing?


  • Policy and procedure

  • Ethical Marketing Self Assessment

  • Affidavit of ethical marketing – A signed statement in which the administrator attests to only using honest and substantiated marketing claims. A self assessment may be included.

  • Marketing materials (brochures) and website and/or social media links

  • Resident agreement

  • Service plan

  • Staffing plan


Course Syllabus

Not Enrolled
1.A. Operate with Integrity
1.A.1. Use mission and vision as guides for decision making
1.A.1.a. Mission
1.A.1.b. Vision
1.A.2. Adhere to legal and ethical codes and use best business practices
1.A.2.a. Business entity
1.A.2.b. Insurance
1.A.2.c. Property permission
1.A.2.d. Legal compliance
1.A.2.e. Ethical marketing
1.A.2.f. Background checks
1.A.2.g. Paying residents
1.A.2.h. Financial boundaries
1.A.2.i. Code of Ethics
1.A.3. Financial accounting
1.A.3.a. Fee transparency
1.A.3.b. Accounting system
1.A.3.c. Refund policies
1.A.3.d. 3rd party payments
1.A.4. Data collection
1.A.4.a. Resident information
1.B. Uphold Residents’ Rights
1.B.5. Rights and Requirements
1.B.5.a. Applicant orientation
1.B.6. Resident information
1.B.6.a. Secured records
1.B.6.b. Confidentiality
1.B.6.c. Social media policy
1.C. Culture of Empowerment
1.C.7. Peer governance
1.C.7.a. Resident driven
1.C.7.b. Grievance policy
1.C.7.c. Community posts
1.C.7.d. Length of stay
1.C.7.e. Resident voice
1.C.8. Resident involvement
1.C.8.a. Reciprocal responsibility
1.C.8.b. Leadership roles
1.C.8.c. Recovery process
1.D. Develop Staff Abilities
1.D.9. Role modeling
1.D.9.a. Self-care
1.D.9.b. Boundaries
1.D.9.c. Staff support
1.D.9.d. Positive regard
1.D.10. Staff qualifications
1.D.10.a. Social model skills
1.D.10.b. Credentials
1.D.10.c. Staff development
1.D.11. Culturally responsive
1.D.11.a. Priority population
1.D.11.b. Cultural training
1.D.12. Job descriptions
1.D.12.a. Roles and qualifications
1.D.12.b. Resource linkage
1.D.12.c. KSA
1.D.13. Staff supervision
1.D.13.a. Performance development
1.D.13.b. Acknowledgements
1.D.13.c. Work environment
2.E. Home-like Environment
2.E.14. Individual needs
2.E.14.a. Clean and maintained
2.E.14.b. Home-like furnishings
2.E.14.c. Entrances and exits
2.E.14.d. 50+ sq. ft. per bed
2.E.14.e. Sink-toilet-shower
2.E.14.f. Personal storage
2.E.14.g. Food Storage
2.E.14.h. Laundry
2.E.14.i. Appliances
2.E.15. Community building
2.E.15.a. Meeting space
2.E.15.b. Group space
2.E.15.c. Dining area
2.E.15.d. Recreational area
2.F. Safe Healthy Environment
2.F.16. Sober living
2.F.16.a. Prohibited substances
2.F.16.b. Prohibited items
2.F.16.c. Drug screening
2.F.16.d. Medication storage
2.F.16.e. Peer accountability
2.F.17. Home safety
2.F.17.a. Functional and hazard free
2.F.17.b. Health & safety codes
2.F.17.c. Inspections & drills
2.F.18. Promote health
2.F.18.a. Smoking
2.F.18.b. Universal precautions
2.F.19. Emergency plan
2.F.19.a. Procedures & postings
2.F.19.b. Emergency contacts
2.F.19.c. Emergency orientation
2.F.19.d. Overdose readiness
3.G. Facilitate Recovery
3.G.20. Promote purpose
3.G.20.a. Meaningful activities
3.G.21. Recovery planning
3.G.21.a. Person-centered plan
3.G.21.b. Recovery capital
3.G.21.c. Peer roles
3.G.22. Community supports
3.G.22.a. Resource directory
3.G.22.b. Resource linkage
3.G.23. Mutual support
3.G.23.a. Weekly schedule
3.G.23.b. Mutual aid
3.G.24. Recovery support services
3.G.24.a. RSS
3.G.24.b. RSS Staff
3.G.25. Clinical services
3.G.25.a. Clinical services
3.H. Model Prosocial Behaviors
3.H.26. Respectful environment
3.H.26.a. Model recovery
3.H.26.b. Trauma informed
3.H.26.c. Resident input
3.I. Sense of Community
3.I.27. Family-like
3.I.27.a. Food preparation
3.I.27.b. Housing choice
3.I.27.c. Chores
3.I.27.d. Household expenses
3.I.27.e. Household meetings
3.I.27.f. Common areas
3.I.28. Internal community
3.I.28.a. Informal activities
3.I.28.b. Formal activities
3.I.28.c. Social activities
3.I.28.d. Milestone rituals
3.I.29. External community
3.I.29.a. Recovery linkage
3.I.29.b. Recovery mentor
3.I.29.c. Mutual aid meetings
3.I.29.d. Resource linkage
3.I.29.e. Multi-membership
3.I.29.f. Social bonds
4.J. Be a Good Neighbor
4.J.30. Responsive neighbor
4.J.30.a. Contact information
4.J.30.b. Complaint response
4.J.30.c. Neighbor interaction
4.J.31. Courtesy rules
4.J.31.a. Preemptive policies
4.J.31.b. Parking