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

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How to Create a Sober Living Environment at Home

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

If you or a loved one is in recovery from addiction, you know how crucial it is to have a supportive and sober environment. For many people in recovery, transitioning from a structured treatment program to everyday life can be challenging without a safe and positive living environment to fall back on after or during substance abuse treatment.

But what if you don’t have access to a sober living facility or prefer to stay in your home? How can you create a sober living environment at home that works for you?

What is a Healthy Sober Living Environment?

A sober living environment is healthy, drug- and alcohol-free, supportive of your sobriety, clean, and safe.

It can be your home, a transitional living home, or a sober living house. The main goal of sober living environments is to provide you with a stable and comfortable place to live while you continue to work on your recovery.

This is crucial for patients recovering from addiction because it helps them maintain sobriety and prevents relapse. Research suggests that your environment is one of the biggest contributing factors to the development of an addiction, so this is something that substance abuse rehabilitation places a strong emphasis on.

Without a supportive and positive living environment, it can be difficult for individuals in recovery to stay on track and overcome the challenges of their addiction.

looking for a healthy sober living environment To help you achieve lasting recovery? Design for Recovery is the right choice for you. Call us today at (3424) 327-4614 and let us help you find your new home.

Why You Need a Sober Living Environment When Recovering From Addiction

Recovering from addiction can be challenging. It takes a lot of courage, commitment, and support to overcome the physical and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol. But recovery is not just about quitting the substance. It is also about rebuilding your life and finding a new purpose and meaning.

A stable living environment is one of the most important factors to help you recover. It is a place where you can feel at home, relax and heal, and find peace and stability.

A stable living environment can provide you with many benefits, such as:

Reducing stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are common triggers for drug abuse and relapse. Studies suggest that experiencing stress or being in a stressful environment can make you crave the substance to cope.

A stable living environment can help you reduce stress and anxiety by providing a sense of security, order, and routine. You can also easily practice healthy coping skills and activities, such as meditation, exercise, or hobbies, in a calm and positive atmosphere.

Increasing social support

Social support is essential for recovering from any mental illness, particularly for substance use disorder. A powerful social network can help you feel less isolated and lonely and more connected and valued.

A stable living environment can help you increase social support by allowing you to interact with people who care about you and share your goals and values.

Enhancing self-esteem and confidence

Self-esteem and confidence are also crucial components of substance abuse recovery. These can help you overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk and empower you to make positive changes in your life.

A stable living environment with the right social support and substance abuse treatment can help you enhance your self-esteem and confidence by giving you a sense of accomplishment, responsibility, and belonging.

Promoting physical health

sober living environment promoting physical health Design for Recovery

While substance use disorder is a mental illness, physical health also plays an important role in recovering from this disease. In fact, improved physical health is considered a positive indicator of recovery.

Drug abuse and alcohol abuse also affect you physically and often cause a host of health problems. Living in a place with access to basic needs, such as food, water, hygiene, and medical care, is crucial in helping you achieve complete freedom from addiction.

If you are ready to take the first step towards staying sober, Design for Recovery has all you need. Contact us at (424)327-4614 to learn more.

What are the Characteristics of a Healthy Sober Living Environment?

A healthy, sober living environment is more than just a place to stay. It is a place where you can be safe and comfortable while working on your recovery goals. But what exactly makes a sober living home different from a regular home?

Here are some of the characteristics of healthy sober living environments that you should watch out for:


A healthy sober living environment provides you with a network of peers committed to sobriety and can offer you encouragement, feedback, and advice. It should also give you easy access to an addiction treatment facility where you can go for regular outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or partial hospitalization programs if you need one.

At the same time, you may also have access to professional staff who can help you with practical issues, such as finding a job, managing your finances, or accessing health care.

Support can also come from attending regular meetings, such as 12-step groups, alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, or other recovery groups, where you can share your experiences and learn from others.


Research shows that structure and routine are keys to sober living – they are crucial for a successful recovery from a substance use disorder. Without a healthy routine, it can be quite easy to fall back into substance abuse and other unhealthy habits.

Healthy sober homes help you establish a routine that supports your recovery. It helps to establish certain rules, such as abstaining from drugs and alcohol, respecting curfews, completing chores, and participating in house activities. The structure can help you avoid boredom, stress, and temptation and give you a sense of purpose and responsibility.


A healthy, sober living environment holds you accountable for your actions and choices. This is crucial because having accountability helps you stay on track with your goals and avoid relapse.

When you are accountable to someone else, such as a sponsor, a therapist, or a peer group, you must face the consequences of your actions and choices. Accountability also helps you build trust and honesty with yourself and others. This is essential for healing and growth.

Research shows that having a “therapeutic alliance” of mutual accountability helps sponsors and sponsees of mutual-help organizations achieve positive outcomes in their substance abuse treatment.

A sober living environment is where you can practice accountability in a supportive and structured way. Living in sober homes may help you learn how to be responsible for your own recovery and well-being while also being part of a community that cares about you.


sober living environment safety Design for Recovery

Sober living houses protect you from the risks and triggers that may lead you back to substance use. It is a drug-free and alcohol-free space where you can feel comfortable and secure. It is also a place where you can find emotional safety, meaning you can express your feelings and needs without fear of judgment or rejection.

When you feel safe, you can focus on healing and growth without worrying about relapsing or facing harmful situations.

The Key Components of a Sober Living Environment

A sober living home has to provide you with the support, structure, and stability you need to avoid relapse and integrate into society. To achieve this, certain components are necessary.

Here are some of the most important ones:

Positive Social Connections

Positive social connections can include your housemates, your friends, co-workers, or classmates. Essentially, these are people who share your interests, values, and goals and who can provide you with fun and meaningful activities.

Having positive social connections can help you enjoy life without substance use. It can also help you develop new skills, expand your horizons, and find your purpose.

A Substance-Free Home

Having a substance-free home is vital for a sober living environment. This means that alcohol and drugs are not allowed in the house and that everyone living there agrees to abide by this rule. Keeping this rule can help you avoid exposure to substances that could trigger a relapse. It can also help you create a safe and comfortable space to relax and focus on your recovery.

Temptation-Free Surroundings

Aside from keeping drugs and alcohol at bay, sober living homes must have temptation-free surroundings. This means that the neighborhood where the house is located has no places or activities that could tempt you to use substances, such as bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, or drug dealers.

Living in a temptation-free neighborhood can help you avoid situations that could put your sobriety at risk. It can also help you find alternative ways of having fun and socializing that do not involve substance use. And believe us; there are tons of sober activities that you can try!

Accessibility to Everyday Amenities

sober living environment accessability to everyday amenities Design for Recovery

Aside from avoiding triggering substances and places, another key component of a healthy, sober home is having access to everyday amenities. Recovering from substance use disorder is a long process, and you want to be close to places that support your recovery, such as 12-step meetings, the gym, the grocery store, the library, or the bus stop.

These everyday amenities close at hand can help you maintain your daily routine and responsibilities without sabotaging your progress. It can also help you access resources and services to enhance your well-being and recovery.

5 Ways to Create a Sober Living Environment at Home

Now that you know what characteristics and components a sober living environment has, you’re ready to make changes to prepare your home for your or your loved one’s recovery journey.

Here are some ways you can turn your home into a safe and healthy sober living environment:

  1. Get rid of any alcohol and drugs in your house. This may seem obvious, but it is important to eliminate any temptations or triggers that could lead you or your loved one to relapse. You may also want to avoid keeping any paraphernalia or reminders of substance use, such as bottles, pipes, needles, etc.

  2. Surround yourself with supportive people. A strong support network can help you stay motivated and accountable in your recovery. You may want to invite friends or family members who support you and your sobriety to visit you at home or join a support group or online community where you can connect with other people in recovery.

  3. Create a daily routine. A structured schedule can help you avoid common relapse triggers such as boredom and stress. You may want to plan your day ahead of time and include meaningful activities that are enjoyable to you, such as work, hobbies, exercise, meditation, etc.

  4. Decorate your home with positive messages and reminders. You may want to hang up motivational quotes, pictures, or artwork that inspire you and remind you of your goals and achievements. This can help remind you of your motivations and reasons for going through substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment. You may also want to create a vision board or a gratitude journal where you can write down your hopes and dreams for the future and what you are thankful for in the present.

  5. Make your home comfortable and cozy. Make some changes to your home environment that make it more inviting and relaxing. You can add some plants, candles, pillows, blankets, or other items that create a soothing atmosphere. You may also want to play music, read a book, watch a movie, or do anything else that makes you happy and calm.

Ready to find a sober living perfect for you? Contact us at (424)327-4614 to learn more.

What It Is Like Living in a Sober House

With a few changes, you can create a sober living environment in your own home to support your or your loved one’s recovery. However, we understand that doing these adjustments may not always be easy or even possible for some.

We also believe that your environment should not hinder you from healing and recovering from your mental health condition or addiction. Fortunately, even if you can’t turn your home into a sober living environment or simply do not have access to the best resources currently, there are other options.

You can try living in a sober house or a sober living facility. This is a place where you can live with other people committed to staying sober and healthy. These facilities can provide support, structure, and accountability as you transition back to your normal life.

A sober house is not a treatment center but a home where you can practice the skills and habits you learned in a drug rehab or an inpatient treatment center.

You will have to follow some rules, such as no drugs or alcohol, attending house meetings, taking drug tests, and paying rent. You will also have to participate in household chores and activities while respecting the curfew and the privacy of others.

Living in a sober house can help you avoid the triggers and temptations that might lead to relapse. You will also have the opportunity to make new friends who share your goals and values. A sober house can be a safe and supportive environment where you can grow and heal.

If this sounds ideal for you, you might want to consider Design for Recovery, a sober living program for men in Los Angeles, CA. Design for Recovery offers more than just a place to stay. It is a supportive community where you can learn new skills, pursue your goals, and overcome challenges. Design for Recovery provides:

  • One-on-one mentoring

  • Semi-private rooms

  • Medication monitoring

  • Money management

  • Employment support

  • Group meals

  • Transportation

  • Urinalysis

  • On-site staff

  • Family services

Design for Recovery also helps you address any underlying issues that may contribute to your addiction, such as mental health problems or impulse control behaviors. You will have access to 12-step programs, support groups, and community service activities. Additionally, you’ll get to experience the perks of residing in a vibrant and diverse city like Los Angeles.

Living in a sober house can be a rewarding and life-changing experience. If you are ready to take the first step towards staying sober, Design for Recovery has all you need. Contact us at (424)327-4614 to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creating a Sober Environment

To create a healthy sober living home, you may want to implement the following changes:

  • Remove any alcohol or drugs from your home, including prescription medications that are not yours or that you no longer need.

  • Avoid keeping items that remind you of your substance use, such as paraphernalia, posters, or clothing.

  • Create a comfortable and relaxing space for yourself with positive affirmations, soothing music, or hobbies you enjoy.

  • Set boundaries with visitors and guests, and let them know that you do not allow alcohol or drugs in your home.

  • If possible, avoid living with people who are still using substances or do not support your addiction recovery.

A safe space is supportive, respectful, and non-judgmental of yourself or your loved one in recovery. To ensure that your home is a safe space for yourself or your loved one in recovering from addiction, make sure to:

  • Respect privacy and personal space. Do not snoop around their belongings or question their every move.

  • Communicate openly and honestly with each other, and express your feelings and needs in a respectful way.

  • Offer support and encouragement, but do not pressure or nag them to do things they are not ready for.

  • Be patient and understanding, and recognize that recovering from substance use disorder is a process that takes time and effort.

  • Seek help from professionals or support groups if you or your loved one are struggling or need additional guidance.

  • Be compassionate and empathetic towards yourself or your loved one in recovery by listening, validating, encouraging, and praising their efforts and achievements.

  • Avoid criticism, blame, guilt, shame, or pressure on yourself or your loved one in recovery by refraining from making comparisons, accusations, threats, or ultimatums.

Supporting your loved one’s recovery means being there for them when they need you but also giving them space when they want it.

Some things you can do to support your loved one’s recovery include:

  • Educating yourself about addiction and recovery. This might involve reading books, articles, and blogs or attending workshops or support groups to learn more about the addiction’s causes, effects, and treatments.

  • Encouraging your loved one to seek professional help if they haven’t already. This might involve helping them find a therapist, counselor, doctor, or rehab program that suits their needs and preferences.

  • Joining your loved one in healthy activities that promote their well-being. This might involve exercising, meditating, cooking, gardening, playing games, watching movies, or anything else that you both enjoy and that helps them cope with stress and cravings.

Triggers are anything that reminds you of your past substance use and makes you crave drugs or alcohol. Temptations are situations or opportunities that make it easy or appealing to use substances again. To address triggers and temptations at home, you can:

  • Remove any alcohol, psychoactive drugs, prescription drugs, or other drugs and drug paraphernalia from your home, and ask your family or housemates to respect your sobriety by not bringing or using them around you.

  • Avoid places, people, or things associated with your substance use, such as bars, old friends, or certain music. If you can’t avoid them completely, have a plan to cope with them, such as calling a sponsor, attending a meeting, or practicing relaxation techniques.

  • Identify and manage your emotions, stressors, and triggers that may lead you to use substances. You can use healthy coping skills such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or therapy to deal with them.

  • Seek support from sober friends, family members, peers, mentors, or professionals who can help you stay on track and encourage you when you face challenges.

Therapy and support groups can provide valuable resources and strategies for maintaining sobriety. They can also provide a sense of community and accountability for individuals recovering from addiction or receiving substance abuse treatment.

Maintaining a positive and supportive attitude while setting appropriate boundaries is a delicate balance that requires communication, respect, and honesty. You can:

  • Express your appreciation and gratitude for the support you receive from your family or housemates

  • Acknowledge their feelings and concerns and listen to their feedback

  • Share your goals, expectations, and needs with them and ask them to do the same

  • Respect their choices and preferences and ask them to respect yours

  • Be honest about your struggles and successes and ask for help when you need it

  • Avoid blaming, criticizing, or judging them or yourself

  • Set clear and realistic boundaries about what you are comfortable with and what you are not

  • Communicate calmly and assertively when someone crosses your boundaries or when you cross theirs

  • Be flexible and willing to compromise when possible

Relapse is a common occurrence in recovery that does not mean failure or the end of the road. If your loved one relapses while living at home, stay calm and compassionate and avoid reacting with anger, guilt, or shame. You may also want to remind them that you love and support them no matter what and encourage them to seek professional help as soon as possible.

We also recommend helping them help them identify what triggered the relapse and how to prevent it in the future. Reinforce their strengths and achievements and remind them of their reasons for recovery.

Beyond all this, take care of yourself and seek support for yourself too.

You can communicate effectively using active listening skills, offering support and encouragement, and establishing clear and consistent boundaries.
You can ensure your well-being by setting boundaries and seeking emotional support, such as therapy or a support group. It’s important to prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy balance between supporting your loved one and caring for yourself.

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Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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