A sober living environment is also known as a sober living home or sober home. These are facilities that are used by people overcoming addiction who are in need of a safe place to stay where sobriety is encouraged. Most people who stay in a sober living environment are transitioning from rehab treatment to society, providing an environment conducive to early recovery. Not all people who stay in a sober living environment however, have recently attended rehab. A sober living environment provides a structured atmosphere to people who need support through the addiction recovery process.
A person’s living arrangement is a critical aspect of overcoming addiction. A sober living environment is beneficial to anyone overcoming addiction who needs structure while getting their life back together. They provide an environment free from drugs and alcohol with a focus on addiction recovery and sober living. A sober living environment can be particularly beneficial to those without support or a safe place to go while trying to maintain sobriety, the homeless, and those who have been recently incarcerated.
Sober living environments got started back in the 1800s and were run by organisations such as the Salvation Army and YMCA. While this is no longer the case, they were typically run by religious people and those who stayed in them were required to attend religious services. It was in during the 1970s that the need for sober living environments increased exponentially when drug and alcohol abuse began to be seen in record numbers. An increase in homelessness in the 1980s and 1990s saw yet another increase in the need for sober living environments.
When a person decides to move into a sober living home, they are ensuring they are surrounded by others serious about sustaining sobriety and avoiding relapse. A sober living environment immerses people in an atmosphere void of external temptation, which is tremendously beneficial in helping to avoid relapse. A sober living environment also helps to decrease the loneliness that is a common part of the recovery process. Being around others who have shared a similar experience can positively impact a person’s chances of sustained recovery.
While each sober living environment will have different requirements, there are some basics that are common amongst most sober living homes. These include:
The cost of a sober living environment varies, but typically costs about as much as it would to live in regular housing. Sober living environments require that residents pay rent on time each month.
No. Anyone who wishes to live in a supportive, sober environment that a sober living home offers is not required to go to rehab beforehand. However, sober living environments are often encouraged after a patient has completed rehab as part of their aftercare plan.
Generally, there are a strict set of rules to follow when living in a sober living home. These rules will vary with each facility and are enforced to ensure the safety and emotional wellbeing of each person who lives there. Rules a person follows may change the longer they stay as they transition to moving out and being on their own.
There is no specific time period a person must stay in a sober living environment. So long as rules are followed, a person can stay as long or as little as they want. A typical stay however, is around 6 months. This gives the individual time to adjust to sobriety and receive all the benefits a sober living home offers.
Find a Sober Living Transitional Home, American Addiction Centers
What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine