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!

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

What is a Sober Living House?

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Sober Living   »   What is a Sober Living House? (Benefits & When to Join)

What is a Sober Living Home?

Sober Living Homes (SLHs), often called sober living houses, sober living environments, and halfway houses, are specialized residences designed to support individuals recovering from substance abuse, providing an intermediary environment between rehabilitation centers and mainstream living.

Scientifically, numerous studies have underscored the efficacy of sober living houses in promoting long-term sobriety. Physically, residents experience benefits like detoxification, improved health, and reduced cravings. Psychologically, the structured and supportive environment of a sober living home fosters emotional healing, resilience, and enhanced self-esteem.

A supportive and structured environment is a cornerstone of the success of sober living houses. While some sober living homes may incorporate evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches, the primary emphasis is fostering a community prioritizing healing and well-being. 

The main goal of sober living is to provide residents with the tools, guidance, and peer support crucial for a successful transition back into society.

NCBI research consistently shows higher sobriety rates among those who choose sober living homes, especially for longer stays.

The “Benefits of staying longer in sober living homes” include deeper community connection, mastering coping techniques, and strengthening sobriety foundations. Moreover, the “Benefits of sober living homes for long-term recovery” are clear. Residents are given strategies to prevent relapse, fostering a lasting commitment to staying sober.

The “Impacts of sober living homes on the broader community” are varied. Not only do they lessen the societal impact of addiction, but they also help the community understand and support those recovering.

How Does Sober Living Work?

Sober living homes work by offering a structured and supportive environment for individuals transitioning from intensive recovery programs back into regular life. With clear guidelines such as curfews and mandatory meetings, residents are held accountable and encouraged to maintain their focus on recovery.

A pivotal aspect of sober living houses is the sense of community and peer support, where residents rally around each other, providing mutual encouragement. As they adjust to daily routines, these homes allow residents to slowly reintegrate into society, handling work, school, and other responsibilities.

While not all homes offer direct therapeutic services, they often connect residents to essential local resources like counseling or job placements.

The absence of drugs and alcohol ensures a safe environment, reducing the chance of relapse. The time an individual spends in a sober living environment can vary, ranging from a few months to over a year, depending on their unique recovery journey.

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What's a typical day at a sober living?

Watch the video to see what it is like living in a sober house and residents of a sober house engage in fun activities.

Sober Living House For Extended Stays

When considering the journey to sobriety, the path doesn’t simply end once an initial treatment or rehab program is completed. It’s a continuous process that often requires longer-term support to solidify and maintain the skills and mindsets learned during recovery. This is where a sober living house for extended stays can make a significant difference.

Extended stay at a sober living cater to individuals who recognize the value of a prolonged supportive environment in their recovery journey. Here’s how they stand out:

  • Gradual Transition: Extended stays allow individuals more time to adjust to normal life in stages. It’s a buffer that provides an opportunity to practice sobriety skills in a less intensive yet still structured environment before facing the broader challenges of the outside world.
  • Deepened Peer Support: Longer stays enable deeper connections with fellow residents. These relationships often develop into lifelong bonds of friendship and support, vital for maintaining sobriety in the long run.
  • Strengthened Habits: Like any lifestyle change, Sobriety requires developing new habits and routines. An extended stay offers the time and repetition needed to solidify these habits until they become a natural part of daily life.
  • Access to Continued Resources: While residents may have completed formal treatment, extended stays in SLHs allow continuous access to resources like counseling sessions, group therapy, or job training programs. This ensures that residents have ongoing support as they work towards total independence.
  • Enhanced Accountability: A more extended period in an SLH means more time under a system of checks and balances. This consistent accountability is key for many in avoiding potential relapses.
  • Safety and Security: For some, the outside world presents too many triggers too soon. An extended stay provides a prolonged period of safety from external pressures and temptations, allowing individuals to fortify their resilience.

What To Expect In A Sober Living Home?

Upon entering a Sober Living Home, you’ll first notice the structured environment, designed to maintain a supportive and substance-free ambiance. These homes uphold specific rules, including curfews, mandatory house meetings, and routine drug tests. Breaching these guidelines can have repercussions, which, in severe instances, can lead to eviction.

Within the confines of the house, communal living is the norm. Spaces like living rooms and kitchens are shared, and sometimes bedrooms might also be communal. While this fosters a sense of camaraderie and offers invaluable peer support, it also requires individuals to be respectful, cooperative, and understanding of one another’s boundaries.


Residents are often expected to engage in daily tasks such as seeking employment, attending educational programs, preparing meals, or handling chores. Residents must attend 12-step meetings like alcoholics anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and similar or other group activities. Most sober living homes require residents to pay rent, but it’s typically more affordable than many alternative housing options.

The duration of stay in a sober living home needs to be fixed. Depending on personal recovery milestones and individual needs, some might find a few months sufficient, whereas others might opt for a more extended period. 

As residents move closer to the conclusion of their stay, many sober living either offer or point residents in the direction of reintegration resources. These can range from job placement services to educational pathways or counseling services, all aimed at ensuring a smooth transition back into society.

What are the Resident Requirements at a Sober Living

At a sober living home, the 6 major expectations for residents include:

  1. Commitment to Sobriety
  2. Participation in Recovery Programs
  3. Financial Responsibility
  4. Active Effort Towards Self-sufficiency
  5. No Violence
  6. Regular Drug and Alcohol Testing


What are the common Rules at a sober Living home?

Rules differ from house to house, but below are the most common sober living house rules listed

  • Respect Curfew
  • Do daily and weekly Chores
  • Join mandatory Meetings
  • Respect Visitor Policies
  • No Drugs or alcohol
  • Respect for Others
  • Report Relapses

What are the Benefits of Moving To Sober Living?

Sober living homes can provide a range of benefits for individuals in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Here are the 7 major benefits of moving to a sober living home:

  1. Safe and supportive environment: Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive place to live, away from outside pressures.
  2. Meaningful, sober relationships: Sober living homes provide an opportunity to form bonds with others in recovery who understand the challenges of addiction and can provide support.
  3. Newfound independence: Sober living homes can provide newfound independence to go out and find a job, establish meaningful friendships, and take life back into your own hands.
  4. Opportunity to create meaningful relationships: Sober living homes provide an opportunity to create meaningful relationships with others in recovery, which can help to build a strong support network.
  5. Mitigating the risk of relapse: Sober living homes can help mitigate the risk of relapse by eliminating the presence of any alcohol and other drugs and providing a supportive place for residents to heal away from the pressures of everyday reality.
  6. Guidance and support on-demand: Sober living homes provide guidance and support on-demand, which can be valuable in the early stages of recovery.
  7. Streamline your transition to normal life: Sober living homes can help to streamline the transition back into everyday life after completing rehab or treatment.

What are the Results Shown by Sober Living House?

Research studies consistently demonstrate that sober living homes offer residents valuable benefits in maintaining sobriety and acquiring the necessary skills to sustain it over a prolonged duration.A study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that residents of sober living homes showed significant improvements in measures of alcohol and drug use, employment, arrests, and psychiatric symptoms. 

Another study published in the same journal suggested that sober living homes can provide a supportive environment that helps individuals in recovery maintain sobriety and improve their overall quality of life.

A review published in Psychiatric Services evaluated research articles and reviews specific to recovery housing and found that consumers can benefit from increased access to sober living opportunities

Are You Looking for a Safe and Structured Place?

Join us at Design for Recovery sober living homes in Los Angeles, California.

What are the Types of Sober Living Houses?

There are different types of sober living homes that can work in a variety of ways, and finding a good fit based on individual needs is important. Here are some of the types of sober living homes:

  • Traditional sober living homes: In this kind of house, you simply pay a monthly fee for rent, maintain attendance in recovery groups, stay sober, and participate in household duties.
  • Sober re-entry program: Also known as halfway houses, this is a form of sober residence that is often recommended for formerly incarcerated individuals transitioning back into society. These programs offer support as they transition back into society.
  • Transitional housing programs: These function as facilities where individuals who were previously homeless can live as they begin to find stability and move towards securing independent housing. Some transitional housing programs require proof of sobriety.

It is important to understand that these facilities are much more than a place for sober people to sleep. Addiction experts recommend that anyone in a sober living work actively to address their addiction issues. To that end, many sober living home residents are enrolled in outpatient programs where they receive counseling, medication monitoring, and other services.

Many sober living homes in Los Angeles offer some or all of these services and require residents to follow an intensive schedule geared toward recovery. These more hands-on facilities are known as structured sober livings.

Sober Living Houses vs. Halfway Houses

Sober living and Halfway houses are transitional housing options for individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between the two. The below table shows some of the major differences between halfway houses and sober living homes:

Halfway House Sober Living
Often owned or sponsored by the state Owned privately or by treatment facilities
Residents may be court mandated to live there, and may be coming from a correctional facility Voluntary for residents, often in the middle of an ongoing recovery process
Residents may not be engaged in recovery programs Residents attend Twelve Step meetings and other outpatient programs for their substance use
Set up more like dorms with shared living spaces More like independent homes, apartments, or condos
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What is the History of Sober Living Houses?

Sober living homes have a rich history dating back to the early 19th century, initiated by religious landlords who made sobriety a rental condition, aligning with the principles of the Temperance Movement. 

Early advocators included Christian groups like the YMCA and Salvation Army, not primarily to aid substance abuse recovery but fueled by the belief that alcohol and drugs were detrimental societal evils.

Housing scarcity became prominent post-World War II, shedding light on addiction and challenges such as rapid urbanization and the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric institutions. This led members of Alcoholics Anonymous in Los Angeles to develop “twelfth step houses” in the 1960s, emphasizing a supportive, substance-free environment. 

Oxford Houses emerged in the 1970s, favoring a communal, democratic model with sobriety as the chief requirement. Today, many sober living homes have adopted the Oxford Houses’ peer support framework, integrating managerial guidance to foster residents’ paths to lasting sobriety.

How Much Does Sober Living Cost?

The cost of staying in a sober living home can vary significantly depending on various factors, including location, amenities, and the level of support. Typically, residents of sober living homes must pay rent from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month. Some sober living homes may have lower rents, starting from around $500 per month, while luxury homes in affluent areas may have rents as high as $6,000 to $15,000 per month.

How Can I Pay for Sober Living?

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A Negotiated Payment Plan

Managers of sober living homes are aware of the financial struggles that individuals with addiction often face. As a result, many of these managers offer flexible pricing options, such as sliding scale rates, and help residents secure employment in order to pay for their stay on a deferred basis. This helps to make sober living more accessible to those who may not have the financial means to afford it upfront.

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Financial Help From Family or Friends

Websites like Go Fund Me can be useful in reaching out to a large number of people for support. By sharing your story and your goals for the future on the site, you can ask for help from your loved ones and encourage them to share your message with their social networks. While it may not completely cover your expenses, every little bit helps and can help you move closer to your goals.

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Instead of viewing the cost of a sober living home as going into debt, it may be helpful to think of it as an investment in yourself. By getting the help you need to overcome your addiction, you will likely be able to increase your earning potential and ultimately recoup any money you spend on treatment. In this way, the costs associated with sober living can be seen as a worthwhile investment in your future.

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How Long Do You Need to Stay in a SoberLiving House?

The duration of your stay in a sober living house primarily depends on individual needs. While some residents might feel ready to move on after a few months, others may require over a year to rebuild their lives and solidify their sobriety. 

Though recovery rates vary, longer stints in treatment facilities are generally linked with decreased relapse risks. Remember, your journey and comfort should be the guiding factor in determining the length of your stay.


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Do you need to find a sober living in your home state or elsewhere?

Choosing a sober living home away from where your addiction began can often be beneficial, minimizing relapse triggers and promoting a faster recovery. Several sober living facilities, like DesignForRecovery, welcome residents from all over the U.S., highlighting the importance of a conducive environment over geographical familiarity.

Did You Know?

Research conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abusw ( NIDA ) Indicates a staggering 40-60% replase rate for drug and alcohol addiction.

How to Find the Perfect Sober Living Home

While sober living homes vary widely, quality facilities share a few commonalities. These include:
  • Well-trained and experienced managers
  • House rules and expectations
  • Readily accessible staff on duty 24/7
  • Daily schedules as opposed to a free-for-all
  • Regular drug-testing to ensure the sobriety of all residents
  • Safe and clean facilities
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Design for Recovery Sober Living

The Sober Living Network, an organization that sets standards for sober living homes, maintains a list of approved facilities. Facilities that are members of their Sober Living Coalition are guaranteed to be safe, well-managed, and ethical. If you are interested in researching sober living homes near you, you can consult their directory via their free search tool. For residents of Los Angeles, Design for Recovery offers a structured facility for young men struggling with addiction. Their 12-step based program is based on principles of honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, and service. Design for Recovery Sober Living understands that recovery from a substance use disorder is about more than physical abstinence, but rebuilding lives from the ground up. If you are ready to make a change, check out some of our testimonials or contact Design for Recovery today. Need Immediate Help?

Frequently Asked Questions on Sober Living

To convince your son to go to sober living, it’s important to approach the conversation with empathy, understanding, and factual information about the benefits of sober living homes. Share success stories, tour a facility together, and emphasize the supportive community aspect of sober living. Seeking advice from addiction professionals can also guide effective communication techniques.

If your son struggles with alcoholism, he can apply for sober living. Sober living caters to individuals battling various substance addictions, including alcohol. Ensure you research homes specializing in alcohol recovery to provide him with the most tailored support.

Sober living homes can be a good option for individuals struggling with addiction who are looking for a safe and supportive place to heal. These homes provide a supportive community and a strong support network to help individuals safely navigate the tough spots and triggers they may encounter. 

However, the decision to live in a sober living home will depend on individual needs and preferences.

Addiction specialists stress that residents actively address their addiction challenges. Many homes advocate for structured schedules, focusing on recovery, and may provide counseling or medication monitoring services.

Here are some examples of why someone might need a sober living home:

  • Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug-free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence.
  • Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive place to heal, away from outside pressures.
  • Sober living homes can ease the transition back into everyday life after completing rehab or treatment.
  • Sober living homes can provide a strong support network and community to help individuals safely navigate the tough spots and triggers they may encounter.
  • Sober living homes can provide ongoing structure and support to help individuals maintain their recovery.
  • Sober living homes can provide a sense of what a real sober life is like, beyond the walls of rehab

According to a research study conducted by NCBI, the average stay at a sober living home is between 166 days to 254 days.

However, the length of time you stay in a sober living home depends on many factors. These can include your recovery goals, your progress in recovery, the state of your support system, and your financial situation. Most importantly, the decision of how long to stay in a sober living environment should be made in consultation with sober living staff members as well as your family.

Staying sober can be a challenge, but there are many tips and strategies that can help individuals maintain their sobriety while living in a sober living home. Here are some tips  to improve your chances of staying sober:

  • Identify and avoid triggers that may lead to relapse.
  • Attend 12-step meetings and other recovery programs to help maintain sobriety.
  • Create structure and accountability by following the rules of the sober living home.
  • Make amends with friends and family members affected by your substance abuse.
  • Find employment to establish a sense of purpose and routine.
  • Create positive friendships that reinforce the desire to abstain from drugs and alcohol.
  • Avoid risky situations and people that may trigger a relapse.
  • Build a support network of close friends and family members, and consider counseling or family therapy to help with personal issues.
  • Discover new activities that are enjoyable without the use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly.
  • Seek support from nature, creative outlets, and other healthy coping mechanisms

To join a sober living home while working full-time, you can communicate your job commitments during admission to ensure the house accommodates your needs. Many homes offer flexible schedules and understand the importance of maintaining employment. Additionally, sober living homes often support residents in balancing work, recovery meetings, and house commitments.


To join a sober living home as a full-time student, you should look at a facility near your educational institution or with good transportation links. Some homes may also have study areas or partnerships with local colleges that provide counseling and academic support.

After completing a sober living program, you are encouraged to continue your professional or academic pursuits. The program aims to equip residents with the skills and mindset necessary to integrate back into society and lead productive lives, whether re-entering the workforce or continuing education.

Apply For Our Sober Living Program

If you or a loved one have struggled with addiction, our Sober Living Program can help provide a safe and supportive environment for recovery. Our program offers a structured and holistic approach that focuses on individual growth and community support. With a focus on accountability and life skills development, our program is designed to help individuals transition to a sober and fulfilling life. Our experienced and compassionate team will work closely with each participant to develop a personalized plan for recovery and success. Apply for our Sober Living Program today and take the first step towards a brighter future.

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