Are you or a loved one looking for a sober living program? Give us a call! 424-327-4614

Are you or a loved one looking for a sober living program?  Give us a call!

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Structured Sober Living: An Effective Solution

Structured sober living homes are an extremely popular and effective choice of recovery residence programs for people in addiction recovery. They are useful for both men and women at various stages in the recovery process. 

These homes can be used effectively by those who are transitioning out of more intense treatment facilities. Instead of graduating and immediately jumping into the harsh realities of the “real world,” someone can enroll in a sober living home and continue to receive assistance in their recovery. 

Studies have shown that recovering individuals who take the time to remain in a recovery program for longer periods are less likely to relapse than those who limit the length of their stay. Living with other people who are also in recovery can be helpful for residents because they have a built-in social support system and can connect with others who understand their experience.

How Does Structured Sober Living Work?

Structured sober living homes offer a helpful transition from substance abuse treatment to everyday life and are a popular and effective method for maintaining sobriety. Once individuals who have recently completed inpatient treatment depart a rehab facility, it may be difficult for them to return to their old environment, where triggers for drug abuse or alcohol addiction exist. Structured sober living provides— as the name suggests— structure, which is a key factor for a successful recovery.

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Structured sober living offers a secure environment designed with recovery in mind. It involves routines, standards, and guidelines that give order and structure. Individuals re-establish a healthy behavioral pattern and consistent rhythm in their daily lives. As a result, their bodies adapt by re-learning how to eat, sleep, and exercise properly. 

Structured sober living homes also allow individuals to re-program and prepare for a more wholesome and healthier daily routine. This is a fantastic method to strengthen the skills people pick up in therapy and create self-discipline.

Different Sober Living Types

Traditional Sober Living

Traditional sober living is a place where individuals can continue their addiction recovery. The setting is often structured and offers services to support recovery. Traditional sober living environments usually offer more freedom compared to high accountability settings. Nonetheless, it still provides some structure and assistance daily.

Residents in traditional sober living must work or attend school and participate in weekly gatherings and house discussions. They are also regularly subjected to drug and alcohol testing to ensure their commitment to long-term sobriety.

High Accountability Sober Living

High accountability sober living is another recovery option that is significantly stricter than a traditional sober living home. With a daily schedule of activities managed by trained professionals, high-accountability sober living offers a far greater structure.

High accountability sober living is commonly the best option for someone who has undergone several rehab sessions followed by relapse.

Sober Living vs. Structured Sober Living

Residents can get care and support from sober living, but only to a certain extent. Sober living sometimes lacks the resources individuals leaving treatment need to sustain their recovery. Some sober living homes are also administered by peers, occasionally allowing too much freedom and lesser accountability.

On the other hand, structured sober living is structured differently because it is more disciplined. Everyone is required to adhere to a schedule and be responsible. House rules, guidelines, curfews, tasks, drug and alcohol tests, group meetings, and extracurricular recovery-related gatherings influence daily life. Individuals can also get career and academic advice in this setting. In structured sober living, every moment of the day is considered.

Importance of Structure in Sober Living Environment

Successful recovery from a substance use disorder requires structure and routine. Without those, it can be easy to revert to bad habits and a dysfunctional lifestyle. In structured sober living, residents are typically surrounded by others experiencing similar circumstances, so there is little dread or uneasiness about returning to old relationships and habits. The recovery process is the ideal time to restart these aspects of life.

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Moreover, structured sober living becomes necessary if individuals cannot obtain a structure in their family situations. Having these new, healthier behaviors might empower an individual as they work on their recovery.

What to Look For in Structured Sober Housing

  • Rules and Regulations– The best sober living home typically has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. These house rules will be established upon arrival and kept up during the stay. Any regulations breached are likely to result in repercussions.

  • Curfew– Nothing positive can result from being out past a certain time. Therefore, this is a component of being held accountable.

  • Chores– Even though chores may seem mundane, they contribute to the growth of positive habits and a sense of ownership in a person’s surroundings.

  • Group Sessions– Getting together with other residents experiencing the same struggles as you are a great way to share recovery’s positive and negative aspects. The more activities you undertake as a group within the home, the closer your relationship will become.

  • Drug and Alcohol Tests– This ensures that individuals maintain abstinence or stay sober and comply with a structured setting and certain rules.

  • Recovery-related Meetings– It can be necessary to regularly attend house meetings and 12-step or support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or others on a daily or weekly basis.

  • Accountability– Residents learn to be accountable in fulfilling program requirements, such as finding steady jobs or establishing healthy daily routines like sketching or meditation.

How Structured Sober Living Helps in Addiction Recovery

Sober living homes can also be used as a recovery option in and of themselves, not just as a helpful transition. This is because residents can pursue a program of recovery through 12-step meetings and other alternative methods. While these methods are available outside of a sober living home, residents have an advantage because they are away from the triggers that might typically lead to drug use.

It is often important for recovering individuals to remove themselves from their accustomed social milieus, especially in the early recovery period. Once a more stable foundation is established, it may be safer to reconnect with old friends. However, it is typically best to take some time to reassess the roles these relationships played in addiction before doing so.

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Recent research has shown that sober living homes’ social support system dramatically reduces people’s chances of relapsing over the long term. Because they provide people with immediate access to an alternative social support system, they are guaranteed to have people to talk to who understands their situation during those crucial early months of staying sober. Other benefits include:

  • Separation from people in recovery and their triggers

  • Safe, stable housing

  • New friends and community

  • Accountability

  • Access to trained addiction support staff

Benefits of Structured Sober Living Homes

While it can’t be denied that sober living homes provide several benefits to residents, they are often no more than places to spend the night. While they provide a sober environment, most do not provide the resources people need to tackle their substance use disorder. These resources must be sought out elsewhere, either through an outpatient program or through regular attendance of 12-step meetings.

A structured sober living house can often be the best option for young men seeking a comprehensive recovery program.

  • Meeting a set curfew

  • Periodic drug testing

  • Complete sobriety from drug and alcohol

  • No violence

  • No overnight guests

  • Involvement in work, school, or a drug treatment program

  • Active participation in recovery meetings and support groups

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The framework of sober living programs is meant to foster accountability and responsibility. This is important for long-term recovery since it encourages commitment and motivation to one’s goals. These principles help promote constructive behaviors that may eventually result in a successful recovery. Being responsible and accountable are crucial parts of the journey toward sobriety, and it’s important to prioritize and establish them right from the start.


Structure and routine are essential in assisting individuals in achieving long-term recovery. Sober living programs assist in creating a feeling of stability and purpose by including therapy sessions, support group meetings, and home duties as part of the routine. Engaging in these activities may teach one to value discipline and consistency, which is advantageous in the early recovery when a person feels overwhelmed by life changes. To build a solid basis for long-lasting recovery, sober living programs must include structure and routine.

Supportive Environment

Structured sober living homes offer a supportive environment that has many advantages. It gives those in recovery a chance to challenge themselves, learn new things, and put relapse prevention techniques into practice.

Sober living homes not only aid individuals in staying sober but also create a sense of community that can reduce feelings of loneliness.

Access to Resources

Those who participate in sober living programs can have access to vital resources, and support services that are be essential to their recovery journey. These may include peer support, counseling, aftercare, and relapse prevention. Moreover, they can offer the structure and accountability, learning opportunities, resume building, and job training important to sustaining recovery. Gaining long-term stability and well-being may depend heavily on access to these resources.

Peer Support

A major element of sober living programs is peer support. People in recovery can offer support and a sense of community. These programs can contribute to lowering the risk of relapse and raising the possibility of long-term success in sobriety by fostering a community of people striving to achieve a common goal.

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Common Elements of a Structured Sober Living Program

While every structured sober living home varies in its daily routine and expectations for residents, there are many common elements that one is likely to find among them all. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Drug and alcohol tests

  • Meditation Sessions

  • Mandatory daily attendance of a 12-step meeting like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous

  • Regular communal dinners

  • Networking events that bring together current and former members

  • Career and academic guidance (and sometimes job placement assistance)

  • Assistance with obtaining necessary behavior modifications

  • Legal aid, if necessary

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Living in a Structured Sober Living Community


A structured sober living home can assist residents in maintaining their sobriety and health by (1) prohibiting drug use, violence, alcohol drinking, and overnight guests and (2) administering random drug tests. Residents must also work or attend school and participate in outpatient treatment programs. With these activities, they have the responsibility and purpose of fulfilling each day, which is essential for building self-esteem and sustaining recovery.


A person can have difficulty maintaining sobriety on their own without any assistance. That being said, sober living demonstrates much greater sustained recovery when paired with a 12-step program. The best outcomes of maintaining sobriety are when a person transitions directly into sober living after leaving an addiction treatment program. 

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Residents develop nourishing connections with their peers, enhance life skills, discover ways to make a living, and feel a sense of belonging and community. Sober living environments call for letting go of old beliefs, discovering new ideas, and using coping strategies in real-world situations. Residents get strength and drive from their peers and the staff’s continued support. Sober living homes serve as a source of solace to the person who needs more time to recuperate.

Finding a Structured Sober Living Near Me

Maybe you’re looking into structured sober living as part of an aftercare plan after finishing a residential treatment program. Or maybe it is the best initial option for recovering from your substance abuse problem. No matter what your circumstances, Design for Recovery is happy to tailor its program to your recovery needs. 

At Design for Recovery, we understand that dealing with a substance use disorder isn’t merely about abstinence — it’s about recovering the complete person and giving them a new design for living that works. Doing so is often the first step, not just to long-term sobriety, but to a new approach to career, personal health, and even relationships with family members.

If you want to learn more about what a day in our structured sober living life looks like, call us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

A structured sober living home can help young adults take the initial steps toward living independently while getting structure and support throughout their recovery. With each resident working toward the same objectives and dealing with similar challenges, these sober living homes offer a sense of community. Residents may benefit from character development, peer support, companionship, and accountability. Living in sober homes may have a favorable impact on relationships, behavior, and health.

You may need to ask your treatment provider to find the best sober living homes for your loved one or family member. You can also ask treatment centers if they have any recommendations, or you can research more about the program, feedback, and testimonials of sober living.

You should opt for sober living with reputable and skilled personnel, a safe environment, and a positive culture. The recovery residences should also be in a secure, peaceful neighborhood.

The structure is essential for a successful recovery from substance use disorders or alcohol abuse. Due to addiction’s hold on brain function, the individual’s behaviors, ideas, and priorities are frequently irrepressible. People must re-discover the value of structure and order and re-establish a behavioral pattern to adapt to a healthier daily routine and a meaningful life. 

As someone follows a schedule, their brain also begins to anticipate the routines and activities that will occur during the day. This can be comforting for individuals previously affected by addiction and the symptoms of mental health issues. Giving them structured, drug-free living environments and a fulfilling schedule to look forward to daily can help them feel less stressed and anxious. This benefits the person’s emotional and mental health and overall well-being.

Generally, staying in a structured sober living home for at least 90 days is advised. Yet, as recovery is extremely individualized and particular to the person’s needs and recovery goals, there is no fixed number of days. One individual could be prepared to rejoin society after three months, while another would profit from a lengthier stay. In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the average stay in sober living facilities ranged from 166 to 254 days.

Residents in halfway houses are often expected to have finished or be currently engaged in a formal rehabilitation program. Government funds are typically used to support halfway homes. There is also a maximum stay period, which is 12 months.

Meanwhile, those who have not completed a formal treatment program but only want help abstaining from addictive urges may attend sober living. Unlike halfway houses, sober living does not require residents with a maximum stay period or time limit. If necessary, individuals can remain in sober living for longer as long as they pay rent and assist with household duties.

Structured sober living cost varies based on where they are located and whether they offer meals and other services. Sober living houses typically cost less than conventional treatment centers or inpatient programs. This is because sober living facilities do not offer 24-hour monitoring or medical treatment. The cost also depends on your preference, whether you want a modest apartment or prefer a large house in a high-cost neighborhood.

Sober living homes’ features, such as private rooms or additional services like employment counseling or therapy, will also affect the price. Most sober living facilities are not insured, and the resident is responsible for any fees involved with their stay.

Design for Recovery sober living allows you to be prepared for life once you return to a normal routine. We want you to leave rehabilitation confident in your ability to manage day-to-day life. We can provide you access to certain programs to ensure that your recovery process is set on a solid foundation.

Contact Design for Recovery right away for more information about our services. Our skilled professionals are ready to answer your queries.

Reach out to us today.

Design For Recovery is committed to helping you or your loved one live a fulfilling life free from alcohol and drug addiction. Below you can find out what to expect when you contact us for help.

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