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Sober Living Homes

Sober living home is a place to live in a guaranteed sober environment

Published: October 1, 2023

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is an immensely beneficial service many people with substance use disorders can access during early recovery. The journey toward addiction recovery can be challenging and slow at times, but the myriad of benefits are well worth the work.

After completing formal treatment, your treatment provider may give you a referral to aftercare. A popular aftercare choice is sober living housing.

Sober living can be a wonderful transition for people who have recently undergone addiction treatment. Keep reading to learn all about sober living homes, what they require, how much they cost, and more.

How Sober Living Homes Lend to Lasting Recovery

Sober living homes can play a big role in creating lasting recovery and decreased risk of relapse. These living facilities offer designated housing for people who have completed rehab treatment and are looking for aftercare or a transition between treatment and their day-to-day life.

People who have finished inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment may find it jarring to go from a regimented, structured schedule during treatment back to their daily life. This is why a lot of individuals will move into a sober living home after a rehab program.

Sober living homes, as the name may suggest, are completely alcohol and drug-free environments. These housing environments can lead to lasting recovery as they can help individuals build a support system, get sobriety tips from others, and learn how to cope without addictive substances.

How Does Sober Housing Work?

Sober housing is not a treatment service, but rather a place for people to live in a guaranteed sober environment. People may use sober housing for some weeks or months while they adjust to living without drugs, alcohol, or other addictive substances or behaviors.

They may be in a step-down addiction treatment program, be attending counseling or therapy, or simply be focusing on getting a job and re-entering their community.

To achieve sobriety, staying the path of recovery is key — and sober living provides the environment for people to remain on track.

That being said, there are typically some house rules in sober living homes.

As mentioned above, sober housing is often a fantastic opportunity for people to find a support system. Having people to lean on when you are struggling can be immensely helpful.

Additionally, many people find themselves less likely to relapse while living in sober housing considering the lack of addictive substances in the environment. Lasting friendships and communities can be built through sober housing.

Requirements of Sober Homes

Most sober living facilities have rules and requirements while you live in the facility. This can vary from home to home, but you can expect some rules at any one of them.

Requirements can include:

  • No drugs or alcohol on the premises
  • Randomized drug and alcohol screening
  • A nightly curfew
  • Helping out with household chores
  • Participating in an outpatient program
  • Participating in 12-step meetings/12-step programs or support groups
  • No overnight guests or guests must be approved
  • No pets
  • Attending house meetings
  • Participating in counseling or therapy
  • Quiet hours
  • Limited travel/travel must be approved

When looking for a sober living home, you should be able to find information about the rules of that specific facility. You are also encouraged to ask any questions as well. You may need to find a few options before you find a housing arrangement that is best for you.

Eligibility for Sober Recovery Housing

In order to be eligible for sober recovery housing, you will have to meet certain qualifications. Most of the time, anyone who has just completed an inpatient program, intensive outpatient program (IOP), or partial hospitalization program (PHP) is eligible to live in sober housing.

Another example of someone who may be eligible is an individual who has relapsed and needs a sober environment again.

Some sober housing will require that you have gone through a detoxification (detox) service in addition to the above requirements.

Types of Sober Living Homes

There are several kinds of sober living homes, each of which differ a bit. Scroll on to learn a bit about each type of sober housing.

Sober Living Facilities

Sober living facilities are a sober housing option that is a bit less regimented than other kinds of sober housing. Most people who live in sober living facilities have been in recovery for a decent amount of time.

These facilities will require you to pay rent, attend meetings, stay sober, and participate in chores. They tend to be less structured.

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are a type of sober living home that is licensed by the government. Halfway houses often provide amenities such as educational and mental health services.

For example, you may find education about certain life skills such as job interviewing and budgeting offered at a halfway house.

These facilities are often utilized for people who have finished court-ordered rehab programs or have just left jail or incarceration.

Transitional Living Facilities

Transitional living facilities are a different kind of sober housing in that they are usually occupied by people who are enrolled in partial hospitalization programs (PHP) or intensive outpatient programs (IOP) at a treatment center.

In other words, transitional living facilities are often offered in conjunction with active addiction treatment unlike other sober housing that may require treatment to be complete prior to move-in.

Recovery Homes

Recovery homes are similar to sober living facilities, but usually occupied by people who are in early recovery.

Recovery homes are a bit more structured and have set rules and guidelines such as curfews, drug and alcohol testing, and signing in and out for travel with a house manager.

What to Expect at a Sober Living Home

What you can expect when living at a sober living home will vary based on where you choose to live, but there are some general expectations most sober housing will fulfill.

First and foremost, you can expect that you may have a roommate or your own room, this will depend on the facility. Even if you have your own room, you can expect to share certain living spaces like the kitchen with other housemates.

You can also expect to follow certain rules as mentioned previously. All sober housing will require that there are no drugs or alcohol on the property and that you maintain your sobriety. Some may require you to be in the house by certain times and for a set amount of days each week.

Another important thing to expect when moving into a sober living home is the opportunity to bond with your peers in a supportive environment. You may find it beneficial to confide in people who have been on similar recovery journeys.

Moving into sober living can be overwhelming at first for some people, but it can be a life-changing experience and improve many parts of your life.

How Long Do People Stay in Sober Living Houses?

The length of stay in sober housing will range from individual to individual as it is contingent on many factors.

Your individual needs are one of the most important factors in how long you stay in sober housing.

While it is recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that people stay in sober housing for 90 days, it is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Most people stay between 166 and 254 days, while most have moved out after 12 to 18 months.

Other factors that can affect your length of stay include the funding available to the housing facility, policies of the facility, and even availability. You may not be able to stay for as long as you feel necessary if availability is limited. On the other hand, some facilities may require you to stay longer than you originally intended.

Cost of Sober Living Homes

The cost of sober living homes is contingent on many factors. These can include how long you plan to stay, the state you choose sober housing in, the specific facility, and more.

Unfortunately, sober living homes are not typically covered by healthcare plans, so most people can expect to pay out of pocket. Some individuals may be able to receive government assistance or take out loans to pay for sober housing.

Keeping all of this in mind, the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics found the average cost of a therapeutic community to be $32,523.

Benefits of Sober Living Homes for People in Recovery

The benefits of sober living homes are numerous. Staying in sober housing can impact many different areas of your life.

Some benefits of sober living houses may include:

  • Reduced risk of relapse
  • Longer-lasting recovery
  • New friendships and support systems
  • Improved social life
  • Improved academic and professional life
  • Improved mental/behavioral health and physical health

How Effective Are Sober Living Homes?

Research has found sober living homes to be very effective. Specifically, they can help encourage long-lasting recovery/sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse.

A study done in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that abstinence rates among individuals living in sober housing improved from 11% to 68% and from 20% to 45% at two sober living homes at move-in and 12 months, respectively.

Evidence has also found sober living homes to decrease incarceration rates, increase employment rates, and improve mental health.

Find Sober Living Options Near You

Sober living homes are a great option when it comes to addiction treatment aftercare. They can help foster long-term recovery, decreased risk of relapse, and the development of a new social community.

If you or your loved one is seeking sober housing near you, give our helpline a call today.

Sober Living Homes FAQs

What is the meaning of sober living?

Sober living means living in housing that has a guaranteed sober environment, with other people who have completed addiction rehab treatment.

How long do most people stay in sober living?

The NIDA recommends individuals stay in sober living for at least 90 days. However, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that the average length of stay was between 166 and 254 days and most people have moved out after 12 to 18 months.

What are the names for sober living homes?

There are many different names for sober living homes that you might come across.

Sober living home names can include:

  • Sober living house
  • Sober housing
  • Halfway houses
  • Transitional living facilities
  • Recovery homes
  • Therapeutic community

How do I live sober?

First and foremost, it is important to seek professional help and enroll in a recovery program at a treatment facility. After you have completed your treatment program, you may move to step-down treatment or aftercare such as a sober living home.

The path to sobriety looks different for everyone, so there is no cookie cutter answer to becoming and staying sober. Reach out to now to learn about top rehab program choices near you.

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