Following treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, many recovering addicts are not yet ready to go back to their lives. Reasons may include the individual not feeling fully confident of his or her abilities to withstand temptation, that their former environment is not conducive to sobriety or that there is no support system in place for them. For these people, making the transition from treatment to a sober living house can be an important part of their recovery.
Sober living houses are facilities designed to provide a way for those coming out of rehab or involved in outpatient treatment programs to build self-esteem and accountability and put into practice routines and strategies that will enable them to live on their own, drug-free.
Residence in a sober living house is temporary, and stays can last from a month to over a year depending on the level of support needed. Sober living houses can be co-ed, men only, women only and some are exclusively for teens. Women-only sober living houses may allow children to reside with their mother, especially if the woman is the only provider and needs to keep her family together.
Costs vary by facility, ranging from minimal monthly cost to lavish luxury homes with greater amenities costing several thousand dollars each month.
In every type of sober living house, however, the individual lives alongside other addicts, shares in responsibilities and abides by the house rules and regulations. These usually include curfews and strict visiting hours. Random drug testing and a zero tolerance policy to alcohol and drugs are standard. Drug tests that come back positive usually result in immediate expulsion.
Resources to help recovering addicts find a sober living house include the The Sober Living Network (Southern California), Intervention America and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).