How to Decide on a Sober Living Home

Sober living is a place where substance abusers may choose live after they complete primary treatment for substance addiction. A sober living home offers a calm and secure living environment where residents can focus their energy on their sobriety and are surrounded by others who are doing so as well. Sober living differs from living independently because residences operate under firmly controlled procedures.

In doing so, they offer a living experience free from every day life stressors and potential pressures. On site staff members and house manager(s) oversee operations while providing support for recovering residents. They also ensure that everyone is abiding by house rules.

Sober living residences exist across the country and can be traditional houses, condos, or apartment units. They may exist in secluded country areas or be in big cities.  They vary by type and by the amenities they offer. Gender specific sober living may also be an option for specific recovery needs.

Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the country’s most pressing issues. By choosing sober living, people are taking the best route to break addiction for good.


Benefits of a Sober Living Home

Maintaining sobriety can be an uncertain journey, because addiction creates a serious dependency. After primary treatment and medical detoxification, clients are usually discharged after a minimum of thirty days of being substance free. However, this relatively short period of time does not eliminate lingering addiction urges.

Many people find that moving into a sober living home after drug rehab offers a great amount of benefits and helps to maintain long-lasting sobriety.

Sober living homes have high success rates proven by numerous outlets. Recovering substance abusers that chose to move into a sober living home have had higher rates of sobriety, with one study showing that “at the end of the 12-month period, 87 percent of the residents were still drug free.” Relapse rates are common for people who leave short-term primary treatment programs, but even more so if they return to their previous living environments or attempt to live independently.

Sober living is encouraged to make the ongoing phase of recovery less difficult. Here are a few benefits that you gain from moving into a sober living home.


1. Tools for Maintaining Sobriety

Sober living provides the necessary tools to succeed. They offer a regimented and calming atmosphere, which is helpful during the unpredictable stages of recovery. Additionally, random drug testing, twelve-step meetings, and strict house rules keep residents focused on their sobriety.

Frequent drug testing helps keep residents accountable for their sobriety. It is also one of the main components of what makes sober living work. If a resident relapses, they are usually not permitted to stay. Re-admittance varies by residence and comes at the discretion of the facility.

Additionally, sober living homes provide a controlled environment by having strict visitor policies. Sober living serves as a safe place for those in recovery, so outside influences are not permitted. There may be visitor or family days with allotted times, but residents are encouraged to stay focused on their therapy and healing before they return to the regular world.


2. Alternative Solutions

Sober living homes have higher chances of preventing relapse than other post-treatment options because they provide alternative solutions. While offerings vary, many sober living homes provide a wide array of activities and services.

Peaceful activities like meditation, mindfulness training, acupuncture, massage therapy, cooking, yoga, or outdoor excursions can make sober living enjoyable. These activities help residents replace their addiction with healthier, alternative solutions. During their stay, residents have the chance to find an outlet that they connect with and can pursue beyond sober living.

The hope is that they find an avenue that can assist in leaving their addiction behind for good.

Therapy options are often a part of sober living. The home usually has relationships with therapists that specialize in drug and alcohol counseling and addiction. There is often group counseling for house residents, individual therapy, and even family counseling services. Group therapy can help deal with anxiety, depression, grief, loss, and stress from new changes in life.

Family counseling can be helpful in recovery because it can help mend broken relationships. Through sober living, family members will see progress and a new version of what they can expect in the future. Also, family support can be crucial for life after sober living.

Residences strongly promote attendance at twelve-step meetings. Transportation may even be provided to meeting locations, because the support of peers and a sponsor are crucial to recovery. Working through the twelve-steps helps build long lasting sobriety. Meetings are easily available nationwide and will be a great tool even once the time at sober living is over.

Sober living homes provide specific integrated aftercare programs to foster sobriety in every way they possibly can. Psychotherapy, monitored development, life coaching, and goal setting are all components found in sober living, which are difficult to find independently.


3. Minimizes Obstacles

Relapse is often triggered by a lack of boundaries, solitude, memories of the past, or harmful influences. A recovering addict is exposed to that immediately upon leaving treatment and returning to their old world.

This is why transitional living is so important. Sober living minimizes the intrusion of those obstacles. It prevents those factors from finding a way in. Battling an addiction needs a steady transition, structure, boundaries, routines, and goals. Residential life, meetings, and therapy all find a way to prepare the individual for life in the outside world.

Research from the National Center of Biotechnology Information shows that choosing a living environment without boundaries can break even the most determined recovering addict. And the rapid growth of sober living homes is a result of the studies that show that transitional living is the best bet for sobriety. It provides built in support systems, which ensure that residents feel safe and motivated in their new living situation.

Sober living homes provide much more than a link to therapists and local twelve-step meetings; they help residents make the crucial changes in their thoughts, behaviors, routines, and lives so that they can live a happy and addiction-free life.


Chemical dependency can be difficult to break, but the attainment of lasting sobriety is not impossible. Rather, with help from sober living residences it is realistic and achievable. With their network of support (physicians, mental health clinicians, addiction specialists, wellness experts, and peers) they provide round the clock assistance to help prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.



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