Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill that gives the state's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs authority to license drug recovery houses that get public money or referrals from government agencies.
Until now, recovery houses were unregulated in Pennsylvania except for local ordinances.
The lack of oversight allowed some unscrupulous operators to set up houses.
Under the new law, only certified homes will get state or federal money, and courts must give consideration to certified homes in deciding where to place drug defendants.
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will create regulations in cooperation with recovery homes to ensure a safe environment for residents, following the guidelines of the Minnesota-based National Alliance for Recovery Residences.