What Are the Key Rules When Staying at a Sober Living?

Staying in a sober living home during recovery will give you the benefit of structure and continued support. Some people enter these facilities after having completed inpatient rehab. Others choose sober living as a way to supplement their intensive outpatient addiction treatment. No matter what your recovery plan is or why you’ve opted for sober living, it’s important to follow the rules of your chosen home. Each location has a clear, firm set of rules that all residents must abide by. These exist to help further everyone along in their journeys and to keep all residents protected from unnecessary challenges and temptations.

Although the rules of a sober living home can vary from one location to the next, the most important rule that all residents must honor while staying in these environments is to remain absolutely drug and alcohol-free. Drug and alcohol use are not tolerated in these spaces. In fact, most locations require residents to complete drug and alcohol testing one or more times each week. Moreover, given that the duration of each person’s stay is limited, all sober living homes also require residents to take part in life-planning and goal-setting activities on a regular basis.

Sober Living Requirements for Addiction Treatment

Some sober living homes cater to people at specific stages of the recovery process. This is done to ensure that people are not experiencing dramatically different challenges throughout their stays. It promotes a greater sense of camaraderie and ensures that each resident is surrounded by like-minded peers. For instance, you can look for sober living homes that solely or primarily allow people who are currently enrolled in intensive outpatient rehab. You can also find facilities that largely house people who’ve already finished one or more months in inpatient addiction treatment.

Before arriving at and settling into a sober living home, you must complete a supervised detox. You will need to be substance-free and over the hurdle of initial, physical withdrawal symptoms. If you are presently enrolled in outpatient rehab, you may need to provide proof of regular attendance. However, even if you’ve already finished a comprehensive inpatient program, many sober living facilities will require regular attendance at sober meetings or other involvement with post-treatment support groups. Sober living homes acknowledge addiction recovery as an ongoing process, and as one that has the highest likelihood of success when people are actively involved in treatment. Some facilities even host mandatory 12-step meetings in-house.

Preparing for What Lies Ahead

Sober living homes are designed to be a bridge between formal addiction treatment and the return to independent living. They are staffed by counselors and other professionals who are trained to assist recovering addicts in avoiding the most common barriers to long-term addiction recovery such as:

  • Financial distress
  • Homelessness
  • Legal troubles

During your stay, you’ll regularly meet with onsite staff to discuss your needs, establish plans for achieving your independence, and report your progress. You can receive referrals for transportation and housing assistance, job search assistance, legal assistance, and career training among other things. Although following up on every lead that you’re given may not be required, it’s important to show that you’re consistently taking steps to build a balanced, stable, and ultimately sustainable life.

Curfews, Meals, and Chores

Depending upon your schedule and the rules of your chosen location, you’ll likely have a strict nightly curfew. Curfews are set to ensure that the coming and going of household occupants are not disrupting other residents, and to minimize the likelihood of relapse. Unless you’re working a nighttime job or going to night school, it’s assumed that there are few low-risk activities that you can engage in after a specific hour. Regularly failing to meet curfew could jeopardize your ability to remain in a sober living home. Rule-breaking is considered both dangerous and disruptive for all residents. Due to this fact, many facilities have strict penalties for repeated infractions.

It’s additionally important to note that all residents are expected to contribute to the well-being of the household. This can include basic cleaning, meal preparation, and even grocery shopping. In most instances, meal preparation, household chores, and grocery shopping are assigned on a rotational basis. This way, no resident is held responsible for performing an unfair amount of work.

If you’re preparing to exit an inpatient program and aren’t quite ready to return home, sober living can offer the stability and structure that you need for gradually moving closer to your personal independence. Sober living facilities are also great for people in outpatient addiction treatment who need a safe, secure space and adequate support in life-planning. To find out more about sober living homes, give us call us at 833-285-1315.