Understanding Sober Living

Authored by Pin Ng

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas

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Understanding Sober Living After Rehab

A sober living home can help individuals adjust to life after alcohol addiction treatment. Sober homes can provide you with the support you need to continue sobriety and to resist the urge to drink alcohol or take drugs.


Sometimes called a halfway house, a sober home provides a bridge to navigate the gap between inpatient alcohol treatment care and living at home once more. After leaving inpatient alcohol or drug addiction care, you may find it difficult to cope with the stresses of life once more.


You may choose to help you deal with life once more. For some people, living addiction treatment facilities can cause a shock to the system once returning home.


What is a sober living house?


A sober home is an alcohol and drug-free facility. Residents are able to establish and/or maintain sobriety while living in the home. It provides a bridge to residents after leaving inpatient alcohol addiction care and living on their own once more11.D. L. Polcin, R. Korcha, J. Bond and G. Galloway, What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/.


One of the best aspects of sober houses is the peer support that is provided by other guests. You will also have peer empowerment, responsibilities, and the chance to make your sobriety stronger. By having these tools and experiences, you are able to prepare for life at home once more.


Residents will offer and receive support from other guests. In addition, the sober house’s staff will also provide support to residents.

How does a sober house work?


For the most part, sober houses are owned privately, and the space is provided for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction. A halfway house is also available for individuals recovering from drug abuse. Some halfway houses will have residents recovering from alcohol addiction, drug abuse, or both.


You will often find sober houses in peaceful, quiet neighborhoods. This gives you the chance to relax and spend time in a quiet area that may not have the hustle and bustle that caused issues in the first place. Stress can create issues causing individuals to turn to drugs and/or alcohol.


Sober homes also provide individuals with the chance to continue their recovery journeys away from the stresses that created issues in the first place.


You will be able to replicate living at home while staying at the facility. Rather than going from alcohol treatment straight to independent living, you will have the chance to stay at a sober living facility to continue practicing healthy habits. Sober houses can decrease your chances of relapsing.


Why stay at a sober home?


Along with peer support and supportive staff members, you will be able to access tools to continue sobriety. According to research, communal living in a halfway house may help decrease drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, rates of incarceration may drop, while employment rates increase.


Sober houses and peer support also provide individuals with the chance to improve their coping skills22.D. L. Polcin and D. Henderson, A Clean and Sober Place to Live: Philosophy, Structure, and Purported Therapeutic Factors in Sober Living Houses – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2556949/. Communication skills can also improve. Residents may trust others more after staying at a sober living house.


A sober home facility is a tool that aids in a person’s recovery. Rather than going straight from an alcohol treatment facility to home, you have the option to stay at a sober house to hone skills to remain sober.


By staying at a sober home facility, you may improve your chances of:


  • Recovering relationships with friends and family
  • Finding and applying for a job
  • Searching for a permanent house after recovery
  • Living  sober in an unstructured environment


Healthy coping tactics can be created in a sober house. You can follow an aftercare plan and relapse prevention scheme that gives you the chance to identify triggers.


Sober Home Vs. Rehab


Inpatient rehab enables you to gain the care needed to end addiction. In rehab, you will have experts capable of helping you get clean and to learn about the reasons for addiction. You will receive intensive care 24 hours a day, seven days a week until being discharged.


A rehab has strict rules you must follow to remain in the facility. The program will provide you with a recovery program and medical care if needed.


Sober homes and facilities are different. The programs are not as strict as inpatient rehab. It is the perfect option for anyone needing extra help after rehab but before returning to normal life. Sober homes enable you to learn to live independently again. At a sober home, you don’t have to have completed an inpatient rehab program.


In some cases, true halfway houses and sober homes differ. Although the names are often interchangeable, many halfway houses require residents to complete an inpatient rehab program. The lessons learned in inpatient rehab that teach you to cope with stressors and triggers can improve your chances of staying clean in a sober accommodation facility.

Should you consider living in a sober home?


If drinking and drugs have taken over your life and you want to stop using these substances, then joining a sober living community may be the right decision for you. Most residents at a sober living house have completed inpatient rehab first. Of course, in some cases, it is not required.


Residents may find sober living helpful after finishing inpatient rehab. If you have not coped with independent living, you may want to access a sober living home. It could teach you to live without relying on drugs and alcohol to cope.


Individuals living in sober living facilities want to remain sober and recover from the substance abuse that tortured their lives. The support and skills provided by sober living homes can be immense in a recovering addict’s life.


The ultimate goal of sober living facilities is for an individual to transition from rehab to living independently. Although this sounds easy, it truly is not.


You may consider joining a sober home if you meet the following aspects:


  • You struggle with mental health, medical problems, addiction, substance abuse
  • You lack a strong support network at home
  • You have already been to inpatient rehab
  • You have resistant alcohol and/or drug treatment previously


A sober home can be the tool to keep you on the right path in your journey to sobriety. If you need a support network to transition to living independently, then a sober home could be perfect for you.


Standard Sober Living Vs Luxury Sober Living


Standard class sober homes tend to have rather basic amenities and basic living quarters. There will usually be a communal kitchen, and bathrooms may or may not be shared. Standard Class sober living is much like living in hostel or shared house. With standard class sober living, residents are encouraged to work or job-hunt during the day and to actively participate in a culture of recovery at all times, whether by taking part in therapeutic activities, overseeing the running of the house, attending 12-step program meetings or attending relapse prevention meetings.


Luxury sober accommodation presents a whole different level of amenities and facilities.. Many luxury rehabs have a continuing care process consisting of some calls and follow up sessions yet clients are left requiring more. Luxury Sober housing bridges this unique gap in continuing care with private, luxury living, on a monthly basis.


Luxury Sober Living will usually include a private live-in mentor, regular therapy from expert counselors as well as a complete health, fitness and nutrition program. Guests can expect an action packed time consisting of advanced holistic treatments, fine dining.


How Much Do Sober Homes Cost?


Standard sober homes are available from $550 a month, while Luxury Sober facilities in the same areas can cost upwards of $8,000 per month. The most expensive Luxury Sober Accommodation is with Remedy Wellbeing which costs $105,000 a month with guests living in an indulgent island paradise.


Do sober homes need to be licensed?


No, Sober Facilities are not required to be licensed because they are not providing acute primary care in the traditional sense. Living in a sober home is like choosing to live in a sober community of like-minded individuals.


Previous: Mindfulness in Recovery

Next: Fitness in Addiction Recovery

  • 1
    1.D. L. Polcin, R. Korcha, J. Bond and G. Galloway, What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/
  • 2
    2.D. L. Polcin and D. Henderson, A Clean and Sober Place to Live: Philosophy, Structure, and Purported Therapeutic Factors in Sober Living Houses – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2556949/
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