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Benefits of Sober Living Homes for Alcohol Recovery

Sober living homes are otherwise known as halfway houses. Residing in sober living homes can be highly effective for people who have suffered from severe alcohol addiction to remain abstinent long-term. Once someone has completed an inpatient addiction treatment program, they can gain access to residential aftercare.

Sober living homes help those suffering from addiction and the behavioral health problems that often come with it as there is no temptation for substance abuse. Alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription and over-the-counter medicines are banned from the premises. 

The days in a halfway house are structured to prevent relapse. There may be house rules and curfews in place to prevent residents from staying out late. Periodic drug tests may also be required. 

Additionally, sober living home residents are surrounded by peers for moral support during recovery. The whole group often meets periodically for housekeeping meetings and support groups. Generally, residents understand each other well and work as a support system together.

Everyone living in a sober environment wants to heal, so residents have mutual understandings. Most people know what it is like to lose control of their addictions, disappoint others, and struggle with cravings.

How Does a Sober Living Home Work? 

A sober living home environment is an ideal stepping stone between detoxification and a new start in the world. A sober living home is not just a place to live, but somewhere patients engage in therapy, regular exercise, and 12-step meetings.

Residential aftercare often involves staying in a sober living environment with a small number of people experiencing the same recovery process. 

As a treatment program, sober living homes immerses those battling addiction in recovery together healthily and positively. 

Patients often learn extra skills and methods to remain sober while living a normal and happy life. They may have access to nutritional advice and cooking classes, attend 12-step programs, and learn relapse prevention skills.

Residents are financially independent and must look for a job or enroll in an educational course. They may also receive help with shopping and planning healthy and delicious meals. Family or relational therapy sessions may also be available. 

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How Do I Live in a Sober Living Home?

Patients who have completed a rehab program are usually offered extended care in a sober living home.

You must have abstained from alcohol and drugs throughout your substance abuse or alcohol addiction treatment course and have shown a strong desire to reach long-term recovery.

Sober Living Homes vs. Residential Treatment: Which is Better?

Sober living homes usually have around five to six residents at one time. This means that the patients living there are not institutionalized. They learn important life skills, and the focus is on reaching long-term recovery and achieving personal goals.

Residential treatment involves providing those suffering from alcohol use disorder with a safe and monitored detoxification. This enables their bodies to clear dangerous substances. Then, a patient is likely to receive treatment in rehabilitation.

For people experiencing severe problems surrounding their alcohol and drug abuse disorders, residential treatment programs are necessary following medical detox. These programs are essential for a successful and early recovery and last for a few weeks to several months.

Sober living home residency is an outpatient treatment, helping people continue to build on the foundation of sobriety they discovered and developed at a residential treatment center.

Neither treatment program is better. Which one a patient attends depends on where they are in their journey to recovery. Typically, moving from residential treatment to an outpatient treatment like a sober living home helps prevent relapse.

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Who Benefits From Sober Living Homes? 

Sober living homes are ideal for people who may need additional support once they have completed their residential rehab program. For many people, going back to everyday life may lead to many triggers that could result in relapse. By attending residential follow-up aftercare, patients can gain extra resilience. Structured days and support therapy and meetings allow them to resist temptation and deal with triggers.

In many circumstances, people experiencing alcohol addiction find their lives have become empty of routine and structure. Those struggling with long-term substance use may have missed out on learning essential life skills. Sober living houses help bring back routine, including cooking, completing daily chores, and waking up and sleeping at healthy times.

Sober Living for Women 

Women have unique needs and concerns when it comes to recovery from alcohol use disorder. There are sober living homes dedicated to women only, providing a safe space for women to heal and grow. 

Houses may be led by a female recovery program director who helps each gain independence, balance, and recovery strength.

Sober Living for Men 

Men who are trying to abstain from alcohol experience all types of challenges, including emotional traumas. In some cases, men may prefer to follow recovery in a male-only sober living environment. Sober living houses dedicated to men help residents follow a healthy routine and build a new life in an alcohol and drug-free environment.

What Other Addictions Are Sober Houses Suitable For?

There is a misconception that sober living houses are only suitable for people suffering from alcoholism. However, they can be a successful method of secondary care for all types of addiction.

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Sober Living Homes Cost

The price of living in a sober living home varies significantly. The facilities are often located in quiet neighborhoods, although sometimes they may be in apartment buildings.

The cost of residing in a sober living home largely depends on the treatment facility's mortgage and the average rent in the area. Renting in a sober living home is similar to renting an apartment, except there is more focus on the community.

Some sober living houses have low rents, such as $450 a month. However, some facilities in popular areas have exceptionally high rents. 

A halfway house in West Los Angeles may list at around $10,000 per month. However, the residents attracted to more expensive locations typically expect a lot more space and amenities, including pools, massage therapists, live-in chefs, and more. 

Updated on March 29, 2022
5 sources cited
  1. Polcin, Douglas L et al., What did we learn from our study on sober living houses and where do we go from here?., Journal of psychoactive drugs vol. 42,4 : 425-33,
  2. Recovery Homes Help People in Early Recovery, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), April 2016, 
  3. Polcin, Douglas L, and Diane McAllister Henderson., A clean and sober place to live: philosophy, structure, and purported therapeutic factors in sober living houses., Journal of psychoactive drugs vol. 40,2 , 
  4. Melemis, Steven M., Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery., The Yale journal of biology and medicine vol. 88,3 325-32. 3 Sep. 2015, 
  5. Polcin, Douglas L et al., Perceptions of sober living houses among addiction counselors and mental health therapists: knowledge, views and perceived barriers.’ Journal of psychoactive drugs vol. 44,3 : 224-36,

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