Sober Living Housing: Is it Effective? (How it Works)
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Sober Living Housing:
Something to Consider

The return home after residential treatment can be difficult. For many, a sober living house is a logical interim step.

A sober living house (or halfway house) is a professionally managed place for those in early recovery to sleep, eat, get jobs, begin outpatient treatment and attend self-help groups. Individuals follow rules, earn privileges, must remain abstinent and become productive house members.

While halfway houses can be found throughout the country, most are located near drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Florida, California and the Northeast. These areas have vibrant recovery communities that provide additional peer support and the opportunity to participate in sober events.

The return home after residential treatment can be difficult.  For many, a sober living house is a logical interim step.

The Effectiveness

Having a well-considered plan for after inpatient treatment is critical. Sober living housing is usually recommended as part of that plan to increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. As the graph above shows, long-term success is possible if returning home, but nearly 80% of young adults (ages 18 to 30) who go to halfway houses are doing well six months after leaving residential treatment.

Most Find Halfway Housing Helpful Rehab Reviews Highest Rated
7.5K+ Clients Helped
Ambrosia Treatment Center
4.5 7500
Ambrosia Treatment Center
Leo J. <small>Father</small>
Treatment Center
I didn't know how the halfway houses worked but the more information I received, the more I was reassured. My son struggled to decide if he should be there. We just asked him to try it and he ended up liking it and he has been there for over four months now. Thank you Ambrosia for giving us the options and motivation to continue in the recovery process.
June 10
5 5
Ambrosia Treatment Center
4.5 7500
Ambrosia Treatment Center
Inma S. <small>Mother</small>
Treatment Center
I felt like my son wasn't ready to leave residential treatment and go back into society. A halfway house was a natural progression for his recovery. They are among their peers, other people that are learning in early recovery. It keeps them aware of what they have to work on every day and helps with boundaries. He is there to learn how to stand on his own two feet. At the same time, he is going to be looked after.
August 3
5 5
Ambrosia Treatment Center
4.5 7500
Ambrosia Treatment Center
Carl L.
Treatment Center
Go into a halfway house with a positive mindset. It's the best thing. It gives you a chance to get close to guys that are doing the right thing.
August 2
5 5

Questions to Ask When Selecting Sober Living
The quality of halfway houses varies greatly. To ensure you select an ideal option, consult your clinical team and weigh the considerations below.

  • Are there 12-step meetings on the property? Do you provide transportation to meetings? The grocery store? Is there public transportation within walking distance?
  • Are properties and vehicles that transport clients insured? Are clients allowed to drive vehicles?

  • What will happen if my loved one relapses?
    FARR recommends that sober homes devise individual relapse protocols that include contacts and alternative housing arrangements.
  • Is the residence Co-Ed?
    Experts agree that newly recovered addicts, especially women, are vulnerable. Dating and relationships in early sobriety can take the focus away from recovery.
  • How often do you drug test? Are tests random? What kind of tests? How much do they cost?
  • How much training, education and clean time do you require of employees, including house managers?
  • What are your policies regarding guests and leave of absence?
  • What is your cell phone policy?
  • What is the maximum occupancy? How many to a room? How many bathrooms?
  • Do you bill insurance?
    Sober homes are not licensed to offer medical care and cannot bill insurance for services, including rent.
  • How much is rent? How is it paid? What is included in rent? What is the refund policy? Are there rules about pocket change and money transfers?
    Experts warn insured residents to be leery of free rent, gift cards, cell phones, gym memberships and other inducements if linked to attendance at an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or the provision of urine samples.
  • Do you have an ownership interest or receive referral fees from an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or lab?
  • Is the facility certified by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences?
    FARR certifies sober homes that meet 38 standards for recovery, housing, administration, training, finance and good-neighbor practices.
  • Have there been any complaints filed against the sober home or its employees, including code violations?
  • Have there been any overdoses or deaths? Is staff trained in CPR?
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