Sober living homes are invaluable resources for people looking for a “middle step” between residential treatment and going home. These communities offer many advantages to recovering individuals. Each sober living house is distinct, so knowing the house rules when entering a sober living home will help sober living residents understand what to anticipate before arriving.
These residences are group homes for patients who are in addiction recovery. In most situations, sober living house residents must follow specific house rules and contribute their part by doing tasks. Most importantly, all residents must remain sober throughout their stay.
Living in this kind of atmosphere promotes continued recovery and helps people maintain their sobriety while they adjust to life during and after rehab. For many people, sober living facilities assist in the transition from substance abuse treatment to living independently without using substances.
What Are Sober Living Homes?
A sober living house is a group residence environment for individuals who are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. Most sober living homes are privately owned, although corporations and charity groups own some group residences. These recovery houses usually are located in quiet, residential neighborhoods to create a peaceful, sober environment for patients in early recovery, typically after formal treatment is complete.
These sober living homes are different from addiction treatment facilities. Substance abuse addiction treatment centers usually offer more intensive recovery programs, and residents have less of an opportunity to engage in independent living. Those who reside in sober living homes can generally come and go whenever they want as long as they follow the house rules.
For example, sober living homes might require residents to be back at home by a specific time or must find a job that requires early daytime hours. Sober living home residents might also be subjected to random drug tests to prove their sobriety.
People who live in these sorts of facilities are required to be responsible for themselves. This is a critical step in the recovery process because addiction causes individuals to act irresponsibly, and loved ones often enable them. Sober living home residents typically have to pay rent, buy their food, and keep up with household chores.
What Do Sober Living Homes Require?
Sober living home rules will vary from each facility, but some rules are universal to most. Residents will agree to all the rules upon moving in, and violating the rules will come with consequences. Depending on the misdeed, the residents could have to pay a fine, make amends to other residents, or compose an essay about their actions. In some instances, the resident may have to leave the facility if they violate any rules.
Generally, the following rules of sober living homes are relatively common and include:
- Drug testing: Residents must be completely clean and sober to reside in a sober living house, just like in a substance abuse rehab center. Those who violate this rule due to failing a drug test or having drugs in their possession will possibly lose privileges or be required to leave.
- House meetings: Regular house meetings are commonly mandatory in sober living homes. This allows a place for each resident to check in and work through complaints, delegate chores, and get questions answered.
- The Twelve Steps: Some homes offer in-house 12-Step meetings. Others expect the residents to attend meetings within the community and get a form signed, proving their attendance.
- Curfews: Being home by a precise time is obligatory, especially for all new residents. Over time though, if a resident commits to work or school, this rule can be waived under specific requirements.
- Bathroom schedule: With numerous residents living in one area, it becomes necessary to designate shower times to ensure that everyone can have a proper rotation.
- Cleaning: The cleaning of common areas is usually up to the residents. Chores typically are distributed on a rotating basis.
- Meal prep: If meals are shared amongst the community, then grocery shopping, planning, and meal prep might also be assigned to residents on rotation.
- Personal treatment plan goals: If the sober home insists residents develop a treatment plan and engage with in-house case managers. They’ll also be expected to work during the week and continue to progress toward therapy goals.
If all requirements are satisfied, residents may earn privileges that usually come in the form of additional freedom. These could include some or all of the following:
- Free time: Time off from obligatory house excursions or the ability to choose an activity can be one privilege.
- Group outings: Joining a group of residents on a unique excursion like shopping, visiting a museum or amusement park, going to the movies, etc.
- Personal outings: Being allowed to go for a stroll to a nearby shop or go into the neighborhood without a sober partner is also an earned privilege.
- Release from chores: Enjoying free time instead of taking part in community chores while the rest of the house is working is also a motivational privilege.
- Family visits: It’s not uncommon to have regular family visit days, but additional visits with family become possible on a case-by-case basis.
- Fewer restrictions: Enjoying fewer limitations overall is an earned privilege. This depends on the time spent in the house and a demonstrated track record of dependability.
Who’s Can Live in a Sober Living Environment?
Although most sober living houses don’t restrict who’s able to reside there, many residents have completed addiction treatment. This makes sense due to the residents committing to staying sober while living there. Those actively managing their recovery and spending time sober usually have learned tools and are more likely to succeed at sobriety.
Although the previous completion of a substance abuse rehab program is standard, it’s not always a necessity for living in a sober home. Several facilities still allow residents to stay there as long as they’re willing to remain abstinent and live by the house rules. When applicable, sober home residents should already have finished a medical detox to ensure stability and to prevent them from becoming ill and unable to work while residing in a sober living facility.
Get Help For Addiction Today
Anyone struggling with substance addiction can benefit from a sober living home. These programs are a beneficial component of treatment where residents move between levels of care as their recovery proceeds. It is often the final step before returning to everyday life. People usually go back to school, work, and get back into their daily lives while living in a sober home.
As with all recovery programs, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Again, sober living houses aren’t for everyone. However, they offer a supportive opportunity for people who are working through their recovery and towards a substance-free lifestyle.
If you or a loved one could benefit from sober transitional housing, contact Harmony Ridge Recovery Center today. Learn more about our stable housing option which can help you maintain abstinence from substance use.
We can also inform you of our other treatment options and programs. Perhaps you’d like to discover whether our residential treatment program can help you. Or maybe you’re wondering if our outpatient program for addiction is something you could consider.
We support recovery and freedom with a compassionate and comprehensive approach to rehab. So, if you are in need of recovery housing, treatment for substance abuse problems, or support for your struggling family members, allow our team of specialists to get you the answers you seek.