Sober living homes are structured and supportive living environments for addicts and alcoholics in recovery. Typically, they provide a safe living situation for people who are just coming out of rehab or a recovery program and need additional support adjusting to sober life in the community.
Many sober living homes are structured around 12-step programs and practical recovery methodologies. They institute rules that facilitate responsibility, accountability, social intelligence, emotional stability, and independent living. They can be certified or governed by Sober Living Coalitions or other behavioral health organizations that oversee their operation. People who stay in sober living homes are often required to attend 12-step meetings, pass drug tests and clearly show that they are taking the necessary steps to achieve long-term sobriety.
Besides having to be abstinent from drugs and alcohol, eligibility requirements for sober living homes will vary. They are typically structured to ensure that similar demographics as far as age and gender are housed together. Some sober living homes are also intensive outpatient treatment centers. These types of homes are referred to as “Transitional Living” and provide treatment on-site. They are staffed by psychiatric nurses and licensed clinical social workers so that the residents can have 24 hour supervision and recovery/medical support whenever needed.
Although each sober living home determines its own requirements, here are some that are typical.
- No drugs, alcohol, violence, or overnight guests
- Active participation in a 12-Step Program
- Random drug & alcohol tests
- Involvement in either work, school, or an outpatient program
- General acceptance by peer group at the sober living home
- Chore schedules
- Pre-determined weekly or monthly rent
When used in conjunction with a 12 Step program or recovery support groups, sober living homes have shown to improve long-term sobriety rates. Many people who have utilized sober living homes report that their experience there was an important part of their recovery process. The environment of the sober living home provides the necessary support and understanding many addicts and alcoholics need to stay clean and sober.