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An Exhaustive Analysis of Sober Living Homes

"My Counselor is Telling Me to Find a Sober Living Near Me. But What Exactly is a Sober Living Home?"

Sober Living

Residents of sober living residences can develop or maintain their sobriety in an alcohol and drug-free environment. Residents may cement their sobriety and prepare to return home or live independently using peer support, established recovery principles, peer empowerment, and individual accountability.

Sober living houses, in general, are privately owned residences for those who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Members may relax and focus on their growth and rehabilitation in houses generally located in calm, beautiful surroundings.

Residents in a recovery housing concept provide and receive help from their peers and community leaders. According to studies, community living can assist reduce substance misuse and jail rates while also increasing employment rates. It can also help people improve their coping abilities, speak more effectively, and gain confidence in themselves.

Rehab Centers and Halfway Houses vs. Sober Living Houses

It's easy to mix up sober living houses with treatment facilities or halfway houses, yet the two have significant differences. Rehab institutions provide comprehensive rehabilitation programs in which participants obey tight rules and restrictions to conquer their addictions. Residents in halfway homes are typically required to complete a formal rehab treatment program and are allowed to live in the house for a maximum of 12 months.

There are fewer rules in a sober living community. It gives people more flexibility in coming and going as they choose. It frequently links recovery and equips individuals to live drug- and alcohol-free lives independently. Residents are not needed to have completed a recovery program before admission, but many have. Individuals develop strategies in intense recovery programs to help them achieve more long-term success in a sober living house.

Residents in the shared house are responsible for their expenses and may be expected to take on more responsibilities than they are asked to at a rehab clinic. Members, for example, are frequently required to pay rent and have stable work or attend school--essentially they want to make sure you're being productive. This will include expectations to contribute to the community by assisting with tasks, accepting responsibility for their conduct, and adhering to all home regulations.

A Quick Overview of Sober Housing

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in the 1930s and established the foundations for sober housing by mandating rigorous abstinence, community engagement, peer support, and adherence to a 12-step program. Jimmy K., or James Patrick Kinnon, is widely recognized for creating Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in Los Angeles, California, in 1953 to assist members in quitting using addictive narcotics. Making NA provided a place for addicts to connect due to feelings of judgment that some AA members displayed.

However, neither AA nor NA did anything to address their housing issues as individuals progressed through the program.

Some AA members chose to answer this urgent need in the late 1940s by obtaining low-cost homes that enforced rigorous sobriety and encouraged inhabitants to attend AA meetings. These became California's first sober houses, some of which are still in operation today.

California began dismantling its custodial care systems (e.g., local prisons and state psychiatric institutions) in the 1940s and 1950s, resulting in an even higher need for sober living residences. The current 12-step rehabilitation homes, on the other hand, frequently refused to admit inebriates. Instead, they demanded that candidates start their sobriety before coming to the sober house. By introducing abstinence and integrating detoxification, recovery programs filled the void.

Sober houses are becoming "stand-alone" businesses owned and run separately. They aren't always officially licensed and often don't provide licensed professional services on-site. At Serenity Falls we are licensed by CARR a nationwide program for recovery houses. Additionally, we are staffed with licensed nurses with experience in substance abuse.

What are the Sober Living Home's Rules and Regulations?

The most crucial guideline of sober life is, as one might expect, to stay sober. If someone drinks or does drugs in a sober home, they break the house's most essential rule and are asked to leave. They may be suspended and permitted to rejoin if they are genuinely committed to being clean and sober. Admitting to relapse and being upfront and honest about it may give a resident a second opportunity.

Here's a rundown of some of the most common sober living principles. Residents must comply with the following requirements:

  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol.

  • Follow a strict curfew schedule.

  • They must show respect towards their housemates as well as the home personnel.

  • Giving and receiving emotional support is essential.

  • Take part in activities (like support meetings and chores)

  • Not owning a pet (depending on the home)

  • Have no overnight visitors

  • At least five evenings every week, sleep at home.

  • Accept the possibility of being tested for drugs and alcohol at any time.

  • Attend local 12-Step meetings or peer-support groups regularly.

Cell phone and pet regulations differ from one residence to the next. In general, most modern, sober livings always allow cell phones. Cell phones and pets are permitted in certain houses if they are not disruptive. Others may restrict or prohibit mobile phone and internet use since they might trigger a relapse.

Who Should Think About Joining a Sober Living Facility?

A sober living community is a good option for anyone who wants to stop drinking or taking drugs. Many participants undergo a recovery program before entering a sober living home, but this is not required. This sort of facility may be a good choice for you if you've recently completed rehab but aren't quite ready to live independently.

While completing a drug abuse recovery program before moving in is not needed, it can help people stay sober. They've already mastered a few coping mechanisms. Residents should feel free to apply if they are prepared to stay sober, obey all house rules, and ensure medical stability.

Those who reside in a sober living home are committed to their recovery. They want to be held responsible and to have their housemates' backs. The objective is to live a self-sufficient life free of substance misuse and addiction.

If you or a loved one matches any of the following requirements, a sober living home may be beneficial:

  • You have mental health or physical problems and substance misuse or addiction.

  • At home, you don't have a solid support system.

  • You've already gone to rehab.

  • In the past, you've been resistant to therapy.

women's sober living

In a sober living home, what is the typical length of time residents stay?

Residents can stay in a sober living home as long as they wish to obey the house rules. The amount of time is determined by the individual's unique journey and the length of treatment and recovery. According to one research, the typical duration is between 166 and 254 days.

Residents in sober living houses can benefit from peer support, companionship, character development, and accountability. Positive physiological, behavioural, and relational improvements can occur due to living in such an environment.

Serenity Falls assessed residents who had resided in their neighbourhood for a year or more. The results were overwhelmingly favourable. They observed that living in a sober house reduces mental health symptoms such as sadness and anxiety that last. It's also associated with better relationships, functioning, and overall happiness.

The majority of those polled said they had made significant progress in the following areas:

  • Relationships with family

  • Happiness in life

  • Emotional well-being

  • Education

  • Employment

Another set of research discovered that those who were clean for less than a year relapsed two-thirds of the time. Those who had been clean for a year or more were less than half as likely to relapse. Those who refrained for five years stayed clean 85 percent of the time and avoided relapse.

Individuals should wait until they are ready to exit sober living. They have a far higher likelihood of relapsing if they depart too soon.

How much does it cost to live sober?

Residents must pay their rent to join a sober living house, which can run from $500 to $5,000 per month depending on the area and whether or not the house includes meals and other amenities. Residents may not be required to pay for utilities at all, resulting in meagre housing costs. In Colorado, the typical women's sober living runs between 800 dollars for a very cheap place all the way to 1700 for some of the nicest houses. The average for a good sober living is roughly $1,000.

Because it is not a mental health treatment institution, insurance is unlikely to pay for this sort of lodging. Because sober living homes are frequently financially self-sufficient, they seldom take insurance. Addiction therapies, such as counselling, may be covered by residents' insurance.

What Are the Various Types of Sober Living?

Sober Living in the Old Ways

Traditional sober living is a location where you may continue your addiction rehabilitation. The setting is organized, and recovery support services are available. This atmosphere gives more flexibility than the high responsibility option while regularly maintaining some structure and assistance.

Residents are required to do something productive--like work or attend school and participate in weekly meetings and house discussions. They are also regularly tested for drugs and alcohol to confirm that they are dedicated to long-term abstinence.

Sober Living with a High Level of Accountability

After residential therapy, high-accountability sober living is a considerably stricter and frequently crucial stage. With a daily schedule and activities coordinated by staff, high accountability sober living gives a significantly greater structure.

A high-accountability atmosphere is generally the best solution for someone who has undergone several treatment episodes followed by relapse.

How can I pick the best sober living home for me?

Individuals should search for drug-free, secure housing to support their recovery to have the best chance of successfully recovering from addiction or substance misuse and keeping sober long-term. Relapse can happen rapidly if you live in a harmful environment.

If you're seeking a sober living home, seek one with a good reputation. Visit the house first and see what the culture looks like and talk with some of the current residents.

Let's put our Smokey the Bear hat on and look for the following signs of fire (danger). These are warning signals that a facility is unsafe and poorly run:

  • There are no house rules.

  • There are no precautions for safety or privacy.

  • A building that is unsafe or dilapidated

  • If it claims to be free or wants to pay you to attend, you should be wary.

  • Doesn't cooperate with government inspections

  • Has employees that are untrained or uncertified

  • It is not necessary to test for drugs regularly.

  • It does not need abstinence.

  • There are no entrance criteria.

  • There are no records to retain.

Another consideration while choosing a property is the location. The institution should be located in a secure and tranquil area. It would also be advantageous if the residence were close to your place of employment or education, as well as a grocery shop, public transportation, a laundromat, and a healthcare provider.

Choosing a perfect sober living home outside of your hometown is also a good idea. Individuals can avoid relapse by moving away from the setting that first fuelled their addiction. Family and friends can be a roadblock to recovery or even a trigger for relapse. Having a change of scenery and being securely away from temptation, on the other hand, can help you recuperate faster.

  • According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 60.1 percent of people aged 12 and up use at least one substance (cigarettes, alcohol, or an illegal drug).

  • According to the same survey, 65.8 million of the 139.7 million alcohol consumers in the United States binge drink.

  • Substance misuse has far-reaching consequences for individuals, their families, communities, and society.

  • Individuals can obtain the treatment they need and aftercare to complete rehabilitation by living in recovery and sober living homes. Residents can grow and gain the responsibility to maintain sober by having a solid support system and a safe living environment.

We reveal the reality of sober living homes in this thorough guide, including what it's like to live in one and how it affects long-term recovery. Residents of SLHs improved in several areas, according to research published in the Journal of Substance Treatment in 2010.

They interviewed 245 people within one week of entering SLHs and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-ups to describe the outcomes of SLH residents. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and alcohol and substance use measures were among the outcomes. At least one follow-up interview was performed by 89% of respondents.

Improvements were found in ASI measures (alcohol, drug, and employment), psychiatric severity on the BSI, arrests, and alcohol and drug usage, regardless of a referral source. Almost all outcome indicators were predicted by substance use in the social network. Participation in 12-step programs was linked to fewer arrests and reduced alcohol and drug usage.


“Fueling Female Entrepreneurs.” The Boston Banner, vol. 56, no. 47, Bay State Banner, 17 June 2021, p. 20.

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