What is a Sober Living Home?

When recovering, choosing a safe living environment is very important. Sober living homes are one of the options that allow you to recover in a safe place with others in similar situations. They help you return to society after extensive inpatient services and learn how to live independently without the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

What is a sober living house?

Sober Living Homes are alcohol- and drug-free group homes for recovering individuals. They work like a co-op, paying the costs and maintaining the house by contributing to the upkeep of the home through rent and chores.

There are all kinds of sober living homes. Some are owned by corporations or religious groups, but the majority of homes are run privately, most often by groups of sober people who form an informal agreement to have sober living arrangements. These privately run the homes allow you to invest in your own recovery.

Every sober living home works differently. Some have a resident manager who oversees and enforces house rules, while other homes have a social model approach in which each resident has decision-making power. Everyone must follow house rules in order to stay at home, regardless of management style.

How does the sober life work?

There are many options for discreet homes that work in a variety of ways, so it is important to find a suitable home based on your individual needs. Sober living can occur at the same time as outpatient addiction treatment programs, or it can occur after completion of a treatment program. The National Recovery Housing Association defines four different categories of sober living environments, including:

Level 1 Peer Operation: These are often democratically managed single family homes, usually with a senior resident holding other residents accountable. Drug check-ups and home meetings are common, but there are no paid medical jobs inside the home.

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Level 2 Monitored: These are single-family homes or apartments. It can be managed by a senior resident or home manager with at least one compensating position. Medication presentations and home meetings are typical as well as peer-run groups and house rules.

Level 3 Supervised: This type of dwelling varies, but the facility is usually licensed and there is an organizational hierarchy, management oversight, and policies and procedures. Life skills development is emphasized, and clinical services are provided outside sober living services. The staff is certified, and medication checks are standard.

Level 4 Integrated: The Services tend to be provided in a more institutional setting and are often the transitional services for those who complete the addiction treatment program. Clinical services are provided within the institution with a strong focus on life skills development. Staff is certified, and drug screening is standard.

How are the Sober Living Homes different from other residential programs?

Sober living homes differ from other residential programmers, such as residential treatment centers, in that they are more structured to facilitate employment and other external obligations. Random drug testing may be required in some of the homes.

As a resident, you are free to come and go as necessary for business, family, work or leisure activity as long as you adhere to the house rules. You are independent and also responsible for your own recovery and well-being. If someone does not adhere to the home and/or is not prepared to recover, this can hinder the recovery process for the entire home; that’s why most homes require that you have already completed a treatment and/or detox program.

In addition, many homes will require you to agree to sign a contract stating your commitment to the recovery. All this: to protect the healing process for everyone else in the house.

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How do sober living homes help?

Having a stable living environment is important to everyone’s well-being. It is especially the important if you are in recovery. Studies have shown that dysfunctional home environments can impede recovery efforts and even contribute to alcohol or drug abuse. A sober living home is a form of safe living arrangement that allows for the recovery of all residents.

You will be strongly encouraged and supported by your fellow residents to attend treatment outside the home through our outpatient treatment options and/or a 12-step programmer. Living sober only works if you really want to be there and commit to healing. Being surrounded by caring people on the same path, sharing meals, and having someone to talk to and go to meetings can be an important factor in whether or not you stay sober.

Who can live in a sober house?

Most sober living homes do not restrict who lives in them; however, many require that you have gone through some level of rehabilitation before living at home. Additionally, many group homes require you to continue to seek treatment or participate in a 12-step program to live there.

As a resident, it is important that you commit to living at home and healing. This responsibility for personal recovery is critical to the recovery process.

How much do they cost?

The cost of living in a sober living home can vary based on the location; however, the prices are usually similar to those of moderately priced rental apartments. In many homes, you will not be required to pay for utilities; however, utilities, such as electricity and water, are expected to be used conscientiously, and you can be reprimanded if you overuse the utilities.

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