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A Day in the Life of a Sober Living Home

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

Playa Del Rey Sober Living - Design for Recovery

Daily Life in Sober Livings

Recovering from a substance use disorder takes time. Attending a sober living home can be a great way to develop the foundation of sober tools a person needs in order to stay sober long term. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they are essential tools during early sobriety. At a sober living home, residents work to address underlying issues, develop new coping skills, and build new lives for themselves.

Sober living homes offer long term support that individuals need in order to avoid returning to the vicious cycle of substance abuse. But what is sober living and daily life in a sober living home actually like?

What is a Sober Living Home?

At the most basic level, a sober living home is essentially a group house where people who are trying to stay sober live. However, quality sober living homes are more than just places to live. A sober living home can be an important recovery option for individuals who want long term support. While sober livings do not offer clinical addiction treatment, they have many benefits. They offer structure, community, and regular routines that are designed to help people in early recovery re-enter the real world.

Sober living homes offer individuals who are trying to stay sober a long term support system. It is common for residents to stay at a sober living home for many months, or even over a year. Recovering addicts benefit from this kind of long term care. In fact, studies show that spending more time in a recovery program can reduce the risk of relapse significantly.

This makes sober living homes excellent recovery options for individuals who have finished treatment at an inpatient facility or other rehabilitation centers. While treatment programs for alcohol or drug addiction are important, it is often dangerous to re-enter the outside world too abruptly after finishing ones. At a sober living home, residents can develop new coping skills for living life without drugs and alcohol. For clients living in the safe and trigger-free environment of a sober living home, staying sober does not feel like a struggle.

How Do Sober Living Homes Work?

Living in sober living homes is a bit different from living in regular homes. During active addiction, many people found it difficult to wake up in the morning, take care of basic hygiene tasks, or even get to work. Sober livings are designed to help people live healthy and productive new lives. As such, they have significantly more structure than traditional houses.

Structured Life

Clients generally have a set of rules that they agree to follow. The most important rule is that they stay away from drugs and alcohol. This ensures that other residents have a safe and trigger-free environment. Other rules at a sober living home may include a curfew, a requirement that clients attend regular house meetings, random drug tests, and support groups like 12-step meetings. It is common for sober living homes, especially structured sober living homes, to have a set schedule for the day.

Tools for Sobriety

Residents work daily to develop a stronger foundation of sober tools. They do so by actively working to rebuild their lives. For many this means, healing broken relationships with friends and families, getting out of debt, dealing with legal issues, and addressing mental health issues. It also involves taking positive steps, such as seeking employment or returning to school. The routines people follow while living in a sober living home are designed to help people accomplish these goals.

Peer Support

Research shows that the most important aspect of a sober living home is the community. One study on sober living houses demonstrated that individuals who develop strong relationships in a sober living home are less likely to relapse even years after graduating. It is ultimately the support community of a sober living home that people benefit from the most. Other residents and staff members offer their experience, strength, and hope, allowing people to feel supported as they face the challenges of early recovery.

Sober Living Daily Life

Admission Process

During the intake process, individuals are generally expected to provide information about their current state of addiction. The house manager and sober living staff will ask important questions about your mental health condition, general health, and history of substance abuse. If you have a history of relapse, it is often a good idea to let staff know. These evaluations are nonjudgmental and are simply designed to assess your current state.

Daily Routine

Life in sober living facilities is generally characterized by a great deal of routine. The morning often begins with a number of chores that involve maintaining the house. This can include making your bed, cleaning a shared bathroom, or helping make breakfast. After this residents often attend a house meeting or take part in a group activity. The rest of the day is often devoted to goal-directed action, such as seeking a job.

Residents who are employed go to work outside of the house. In the evening, residents frequently attend support groups, such as 12-step meetings. When these routines are over, residents often share a group meal. In the evening, residents are free to relax, call friends or family, or joke around in front of the tv.

Building a Future

Sober livings are transitional living arrangements. They offer a great deal of structure, including house rules, drug screening, and recovery activities. However, the structure that a sober living home provides is designed to help house members develop a sense of autonomy. By building their lives up, residents can learn to live independently for years into the future. Sober living housing is structured to help addicts learn to live joyfully, productively, and healthily without drugs or alcohol.

Many of the activities and routines of a sober living are designed to help ensure that residents are prepared for the years ahead. By repairing relationships with friends and family members and addressing underlying issues, clients can let go of their pasts and look toward the future. Recovery involves taking positive steps forward. Residents not only build strong relationships in the house, they also develop support systems in the larger recovery community.

Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery

Design for Recovery is a sober living house for men located in West Los Angeles. At Design for Recovery, recovering addicts work together and support one another as they progress in their recovery journeys. In our structured facilities, residents take part in community activities, house meetings, and support groups. A sober living residence like Design for Recovery can be an important part of an aftercare plan or relapse prevention plan. However, at Design for Recovery, we believe that abstaining from substances is only the foundation of recovery. Physical sobriety is just the beginning.

Day-to-day life at Design for Recovery is designed to offer young men the tools they need to achieve freedom from substance use disorders and succeed in the outside world. Residents work to develop new careers, new relationships, and new sources of joy and meaning. No matter where an addict has been, freedom from addiction is possible. In our sober living programs, residents pursue sobriety on the basis of strong principles, including honesty, accountability, and integrity. The routine and structure that residents have at Design for Recovery’s sober living house help them thrive in everyday life.

Few people get sober with the intention of living life the same way as before. If you are ready to make a change, contact us today.

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David moved to California from his hometown in North Carolina after multiple failed attempts to get sober. While living in an all-male sober living, David started to excel as a leader and mentor. These skills and tools ended up being the catalyst for his recovery and ultimately the foundation he has today. David has a passion for helping young men and sharing his experience. After working in the treatment industry he noticed a serious need for ethical sober living facilities. This prior work experience brought about David’s idea and drive to open Design For Recovery. He’s ambitious to promote growth and change within each individual client that enters the house. David has a strong presence in the house and continues to be part of mentoring young men on a daily basis.


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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