What is a Sober Living House?

September 22, 2021 | addiction treatment

friends gathering for group intervention

How long will your inpatient treatment last? You may expect to stay from 30-60 days. Is that long enough, though? Unfortunately, it is not enough time for many. You may receive the initial care and treatment you need to get off a substance but may not have enough time to build the strength to resist relapse. 

On top of that, the home you return to may not provide the best environment to encourage staying clean. These are just two of the reasons sober living houses are put to use. So what is a sober living house? We’re here to help you find out.

What is a sober living house?

A sober house provides a safe and sober environment to help addicts stay clean for a temporary period. Think of it as an extension of inpatient rehabilitation, only one that allows you to interact with the world after the initial stages of recovery. How long you stay is dependent on your situation, but most guests live in sober homes for around 6 to 9 months.  

A good sober living facility will have strict rules and standards in place to enforce sober living. Those rules may include requiring you to continue your involvement in other recovery programs, having a job to pay rent, sticking to curfews, administering drug tests, and so on. That might sound intimidating, but it’s not an unwelcoming environment. These rules are simply in place to empower you on your road to sobriety.

Is a sober house a good idea?

Yes and no. It’s important to understand that not all sober houses are the same. Some are better than others. 

There are predatory sober living homes that do little for guests other than collect rent. These aren’t exceedingly common, but you need to be aware that they are out there before you check in to the first one you come across. 

Take the time to read into programs offered and reviews from former guests. If you can confirm the environment is structural and positive, staying in one after rehab is good. It is essentially a structural transition between inpatient treatment and returning to everyday life.

Who lives in the sober house?

The short answer is recovering addicts who’ve recently left an inpatient rehabilitation program. However, sober living can be much more specific. 

In some cases, you will find that sober living homes have a broad mix of people. In others, you’ll find the homes are reserved for individuals partaking in similar treatment programs throughout their stay. 

Who is staying there ultimately depends on the guidelines set forth by the owners and staff. That isn’t to say they are welcoming only to certain people, but they provide more structure to the living situations to promote recovery better.

Will it help me stay sober?

A good sober living home will help you stay clean. Again, it’s essential to pick a sober living home that works best for you to increase the chances that it will help you stay sober. There are a few out there that will do very little for you. So, you do want to take the time to sort through your options. 

That isn’t to say you’re on your own, though. During your stay at an inpatient recovery center, you can seek guidance on the subject. In most cases, counselors can help you pick a sober living home that will do the most for you based on your individual situation.

What else will it do for me?

Maintaining sobriety is the primary benefit of staying in a sober living home. There are a lot of benefactors, though. 

Sober living homes provide structure. Adding strict rules helps you to build a routine to adhere to. Even after your stay, you’ll remember the basic principles these regimens teach, helping you maintain the structure you need. 

On top of that, consequences for your actions help you build discipline that you can apply to other areas of your life. Also, positive reinforcement from fellow guests will help you to stay strong and achieve great things during your stay. 

Let’s not forget the detail about getting you back on your feet. Sober living homes may help you find work and encourage you to achieve the goals you set forth. They can help you with that fresh start you so desperately need.

So, is a sober living home right for you? That ultimately depends. If you know you’re returning to a positive environment that will help you remain sober, you might not need a sober living home. 

If you aren’t, then you will want to consider one. Also, maybe it’s worth thinking about changing your permanent living situation to ensure you are in a healthy environment afterward. 

We can’t say exactly what you need. Every situation is unique, and every individual needs different elements to maintain sobriety

If you’re unsure, we highly recommend discussing your concerns with a trained professional. They will gladly assess your situation and help you decide whether or not sober living homes are for you.