What Are Sober Living Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers?

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Andrew McKenna - Expert Content Editor

Updated: 08/07/2023


What Are Sober Living Drug Rehab Centers?

Sober living is a resource offered by some addiction treatment centers that allows patients to stay in safe, comfortable and stable housing during and sometimes after their clinical care. It provides a bridge to post-treatment living as patients rebuild their lives and address the fallout they experienced as a result of their substance abuse.

Addiction affects many aspects of your life, including your financial stability and family life. This often translates to your living situation, and you can very easily find yourself without a stable place to live in the wake of your immediate recovery.

Sober living provides a supportive and stable living environment as you or your loved one transition from treatment to long-term recovery. Sober living houses provide comfort, support, stability and accountability to help keep you or your loved one on track in recovery.

Sober living can either be offered as part of your treatment program or by an independent organization serving those who are new to addiction recovery. These resources are not subsidized by state or local governments and residents pay their own expenses either as part of their associated treatment or as an independent housing resource.

Advantages of Sober Living

A stable, consistent and supportive living situation is critical to the early and ongoing addiction recovery process. Without these resources and this peace of mind, the potential for relapse is exponentially higher.

Some of the primary advantages of sober living include, but are not limited to:

  • A clean, comfortable, safe and supportive living environment
  • The ability to gradually cultivate independence.
  • Accountability and structure when it’s needed most.
  • A supportive community of people in similar situations.
  • A “base of operations” to start rebuilding your life.
  • An address to receive critical correspondence for medical and legal issues.
  • A place for your family to visit you as you enter recovery.

Most of all, sober living provides a sense of insulation from some of the leading drivers of relapse, including homelessness, family dysfunction, diminished life skills, isolation, loneliness, and much more.

What Happens in Sober Living?

While each sober living residence will vary based on factors like available rooms, location, resources and other factors, the overall set-up is generally the same. Residents move in after their eligibility is determined and they stay with other individuals who are in addiction recovery for however long they need to or are able.

Some sober living residences impose stricter time restrictions than others, but it’s common for individuals to spend six months to a year in these residences. Some residences offer shared rooms, others have the space for residents to have their own rooms. Residents often clean, prepare meals and run errands together or spend time together in other ways to help them bond and build a sense of community. It’s not uncommon for residents to build strong and lasting bonds with one another while in sober living.

Residents are expected to comply with the rules of the facility, which are often administered by a monitor who lives at the residences as well. Sober living monitors are often in recovery themselves and understand the intense emotional journey that residents are facing. Failure to comply with house rules may result in expulsion from sober living.

Am I Eligible for Sober Living?

While the exact eligibility requirements of each sober living facility will vary, every residence will require residents to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs and, if applicable, comply with the ongoing requirements of their treatment facility. They will also require residents to pay monthly rent and other relevant expenses.

Some other requirements may include no history of violence or legal issues, age-related eligibility, and more. Monthly rent for sober living can range from an average of $500-$2500 per month. Sober living homes are completely voluntary, and residents can be asked to leave if they fail to comply with specific housing rules and requirements.

If you or your loved one need a fresh start and a transitional support system in recovery, sober living residences may be a great way to help you get back on your feet. Use our directory of sober living rehab centers to find the treatment you need.