If you or a loved one is trying to recover from a substance misuse problem, whether drugs or alcohol, a sober living facility might be a good option for you. Sober living facilities are a helpful transition for many who struggle with substance misuse, enabling them to live independently again after treatment.

What Is a Sober Living Home?

A sober living home, also sometimes known as a “halfway house,” is a group home facility for those recovering from substance misuse disorders. Most of these facilities are privately owned, though some are owned by businesses or charity organizations as well. Sober living homes are usually located in quiet areas, where a calming environment free of external stressors can help promote a quicker recovery.

Sober living homes are different from rehab facilities in that rehab facilities are generally much more intensive and offer residents less personal freedom. By contrast, sober living home residents are generally free to enter and leave as they please. Most sober living homes have some house rules, including curfews at night and periodic drug testing, but in general, residents are expected to be relatively self-sufficient.

The idea of a sober living facility is to ease residents back into a normal life, free from addiction. Residents pay rent, buy and cook their own food, clean up after themselves, and have regular jobs and hobbies just as they would if they lived in a regular home. The only difference is that sober living homes come with slightly more oversight to help residents stay sober until they can manage their triggers and cravings on their own.

What Kind of Rules Do Sober Living Homes Enforce?

Rules for sober living facilities are different from facility to facility, but there are some rules that most homes have in common. Residents agree to the rules when they move in, and violations of the rules come with consequences like paying a fine, making amends to other residents, or writing an apologetic essay about what they did wrong.

The main rule shared by all sober living houses is that residents must remain sober during their entire tenure there. This means no drugs or alcohol, regardless of which substance the resident is trying to recover from. In some cases, homes restrict the use of substances like mouthwash or vanilla extract, which contain alcohol and can be abused or produce false positives on drug tests.

Residents are also encouraged to keep themselves busy. Some houses require that residents have a job or attend classes during the day, and most require that residents do chores to contribute to the house. Some houses also enforce curfews to help residents learn responsibility for themselves and their behavior.

Who Can Benefit From a Sober Living Home?

Although most sober living homes don’t restrict the people who can live there, the most common resident is someone who’s already completed a substance misuse rehabilitation program before moving in. The goal is to help recovering substance users transition back to a normal life free of substance misuse, so the house will be more useful for those who have already learned some tools to help them stay sober.

For a lot of people, substance misuse arises simply out of having nothing else to do — boredom leads to experimentation, which leads to overuse. Sober living homes help residents find healthy, productive ways to occupy their time, from household chores like cooking and cleaning to exercise to outdoor activities.

If you or a loved one is going through a substance misuse disorder and you think that a sober living home might be helpful, contact TreatmentGuru today. We’ll help you find a facility that fits your needs and gets you back on the right track toward health.