Once you’ve done the hard work of detox and inpatient care, it’s time to take the next step in your recovery journey. This next step may involve sober living. Continuing your recovery at a sober living home is a great way to give yourself even more support and strength. So what is a sober living home, and is it right for you? Take a look at some frequently asked questions about this potentially helpful resource.

Is Sober Living Right for Me?

If you have completed your inpatient or outpatient treatment, sober living may be the right choice for you. Sober living offers accountability, structure and support. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs shares a study that “found that social support was associated with drinking outcome. Clients who had social networks with a higher number of abstainers and recovering alcoholics had better outcome 3 years after treatment completion…A critically important aspect of one’s social network is their living environment.”1 When your environment supports your recovery, you have a much better chance of staying sober.

Young men having lunch

Where Can I Find a Sober Living Home?

No matter where you live or where you’d like to live, you can find sober living resources. For example AZ Family shares that there are at least 10,000 sober living homes in Arizona alone.2 Not all facilities are licensed or offer the specific support you need. However the number of homes available means you can work with your primary treatment team and get connected to the right one for you.

How Do I Get into a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes sometimes require an assessment before entry. They may ask for medical records to make sure you are healthy and ready for sober living. They may require that you first complete an inpatient or outpatient program or that you are currently enrolled in formal treatment. Most give drug screens before entry and during your stay. All of these questions and tests are for your health and safety. Sober living homes that do not require these may not offer the best support for your continued recovery.

How Do I Pay for Sober Living?

Sober living homes typically offer housing with very reasonable rent. This varies depending on location and services included, so look into pricing and determine what amenities you want and what you can afford. Unfortunately your insurance isn’t likely to cover sober living. However if the home is licensed or offers professional recovery resources, it is worth checking to make sure.

How Long Do I Stay in a Sober Living Home?

How long you stay depends on your individual recovery needs and the specific house rules. Some sober living homes limit how long you can live there. Others do not. Don’t rush any aspect of treatment. Find a sober living home that will let you stay as long as you want and need.

What Are the Rules for Sober Living Homes?

As with all aspects of sober living, rules vary from house to house. However all should require random drug screenings and continued participation in support group meetings or individual therapy. A sober living home should have a zero-tolerance policy–but a zero-tolerance policy that comes with encouragement and support for returning to treatment if a relapse should happen. Some homes may also have curfews or ask residents to participate in certain household chores.

Can I Have a Job and Vehicle?

Sober living homes encourage you to find a job. They may work with local businesses or have access to community resources that will help you get back on your feet. Most allow you to have a car if you have a valid license. If they do not, or if you do not have a license, your sober living home may be located near public transportation. You may also be able to carpool with other residents.

Can I Have Visitors?

Each home has a different visitor policy, but most allow visitors at some point during the day. Homes may have specific visiting hours, limit the number of visitors or limit the number of visits. You will have opportunities to form friendships with fellow residents and to be an active part of the larger recovery community. As you were in treatment, you’ll be encouraged to keep healthy, meaningful relationships and build new ones with friends who support your recovery.

What If I Have More Questions About Sober Living Homes?

If you have questions about how sober living homes can support your long-term recovery, give us a call. We can connect you to the treatment resources you, as an individual, need to find and maintain your sober life.

1 Polcin, Douglas, et al. “What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 15 Mar. 2011. Accessed 16 Jan. 2018.

1AZ Lawmaker Wants Sober Living Homes to Be Licensed.” AZcentral.com. 2 Mar. 2015. Accessed 16 Jan. 2018.