What to Look for When Choosing a Sober Living

how to choose a sober living home

Recovery from addiction does not end when you complete treatment. Lifelong recovery from addiction requires ongoing commitment and discovering new ways to stay engaged. Even after completing a high-quality treatment program, people are susceptible to relapsing–returning to substance abuse after a period of abstinence. Relapse is common, especially when people do not have adequate support or don’t have the resources they need to cope with challenges.

A significant obstacle to staying sober is a lack of stable housing after treatment.  Many people who enter treatment for substance abuse cannot afford safe or supportive housing. With few choices, they may end up living with people who do not support their recovery or end up in 

Sober living homes may provide the support people need in the early days of recovery. Understanding how to choose a sober living home–and what to avoid–may help you make informed decisions about your life in recovery. 

If you or someone you love require substance abuse treatment or support during recovery, reach out to the Moving Mountains Recovery specialists today. 

What is a Sober Living Home?

A sober living home is a residence or community where people in recovery live after completing a substance abuse treatment program. People in sober living live in a community with peers and staff and receive invaluable support and guidance as they navigate the early days of sobriety. 

 A sober living community usually consists of several people in recovery sharing a communal living space in a home or other facility. Residents often have a private bedroom but may share with another resident in some cases. The group may sometimes share meals and leisure time, but residents also have free time, space, and privacy. 

Residents in a sober living home have to follow house rules but have the freedom to come and go from the home to socialize, work, and attend appointments. Often, the sober living facility will have a designated staff member who can provide ongoing practical support to the residents. This staff member may assist with the residents’ search for housing or work, and they may help them apply for financial assistance as needed. 

How Sober Living Supports Addiction Recovery

Research shows that more time in treatment or active recovery results more positively than shorter treatment periods. Some benefits of structured sober living include:

  • Distance from triggers 
  • Safe, stable housing
  • The support of a peer community
  • Accountability
  • Help from trained addiction specialists

Research shows that spending time in sober living after rehab is an excellent way to continue the work of addiction treatment while slowly adjusting to your daily life. 

How to Choose the Right Sober Living

Your safety and comfort should be the most important factors when choosing a sober living facility. Since you will be living in the home, the sober living home must offer a supportive, calm environment.

Ask questions about how the staff runs the sober living facility. Find out what a typical day is like and what rules you will be expected to follow. Look for signs of a high-quality treatment program, including:

  • Admission criteria: These may include a negative drug test, participation in group or 12-step support meetings, and meeting financial requirements. 
  • Rules and requirements: Residents may be regularly tested for drugs, be required to follow a curfew and attend weekly meetings, or be required to follow other house rules.
  • Length of stay: Some homes allow you to stay as long as you’d like, and others have time limits of as little as three months.
  • Environment and location: Is the home clean and well-kept? Does the neighborhood seem safe? Will it be easy for you to get to work/school/treatment?

Ask questions, take a home tour, and speak to residents and staff before agreeing to move in, if possible. 

Things to Avoid When Choosing a Sober Living

Because of the growing need for addiction treatment and recovery services, many new facilities are popping up each day–and they are not all the same in quality. Some programs may be predatory or offer low-quality treatment or support. 

Here are some things to watch out for when choosing a sober living home:

  • A facility that claims to be free–or offers to pay you to live there
  • Unsafe or rundown facility
  • No admission requirements
  • No recordkeeping
  • Lack of privacy for residents
  • No house rules
  • Does not require abstinence or drug screening
  • A facility that is not regulated or regularly inspected

Staying in an unsafe or unregulated sober living home can harm your well-being or disrupt your recovery. It is essential to choose a high-quality, regulated sober living community that offers the support and structure you need to be successful in recovery. 

Get Help Now

Whether you are just beginning your recovery journey or you’re ready to find sober housing to support you after rehab, our team can help. We offer a variety of comprehensive outpatient treatment programs during which many of our patients choose to live in a local sober home. 

If you or someone you love needs substance abuse treatment or want more information about the Moving Mountains Recovery sober living program, reach out to our specialists today. 

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