Get help today 888-319-2606 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Sober Living House

If you’re familiar with the disease of addiction, it’s safe to assume that you’re also aware of the struggles men and women face on the road to recovery. Drug abuse is a one-way street and, when left untreated, it leads millions of people to a destination that’s nothing short of a nightmare. When you decide to get clean and sober, setting yourself up for success should be at the top of your priority list. And for many, that plan for success includes transitioning from an inpatient rehab facility into a sober living house.

Finding the Right Sober Living House

Sober living facilities specialize in the art of healthy transition, allowing you to leave the safety of rehab and enter a less-restrictive living environment while maintaining a focus on recovery. Residents enjoy a less structured atmosphere while developing the proper skills and tools to maintain sobriety in the “real world.”

While there are thousands of sober living homes across the nation, you’ll want to make sure the home you choose offers qualities and features that ultimately support your recovery success.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five qualities you’ll want from a sober living house:

#1 Structure

What scares many people, especially those who are fresh out of prison, is the overwhelming amount of decisions to have to make each and every day. Without someone there to tell you what to do or when to do it, many end up faltering or turning to drugs or alcohol.

That’s why it’s so important to find a sober living home that implements more than just a daily routine…it should also implement rules and regulations, such as mandated curfews and a zero-tolerance drug-free environment.

#2 Safety

The last thing you want to stress about is whether your living situation is going to jeopardize your physical safety. Check out the people currently living in a sober living facility, then inquire about the technology and safety measures used by the facility.

The neighborhood where the sober living house is located is something to take into consideration, as well. No one in recovery needs to be living in an area where there are people hitting up outside your front door.

#3 Social Network

No matter how you slice it, the mood or energy you pick up from a sober living house and its current residents is extremely important.

If you’re made to feel like an imposition or your questions go unanswered after a tour of the home, pay attention to your gut feelings. Do you get a good vibe from the people currently living there? Is there a sense of camaraderie? Does it appear to be a positive environment or one radiating negativity? Finding social support and a sense of belonging is crucial in maintaining long-term sobriety.

#4 Strong Staff and Support Team

A solid support system is crucial for anyone in recovery. When evaluating a sober living support team, it’s important to find a staff that truly cares about you and your success…but you also want a staff that’s unafraid to lay down the law.

Individualized recovery plans are essential for staying sober, but having professionals that care enough to keep you in line is equally important. Some great examples of a firm support system can be seen in policies that enforce regular drug testing or encouraging residents to attend 12-Step meetings – both of which can make or break your early recovery.

#5 Personal Responsibility

At the end of the day, your success in maintaining sobriety is going to come down to whether you are willing to put in the hard work.

A sober living house that recognizes this, yet helps you take the first steps to total independence is a keeper.
Additional Reading: Is Long-Term Management the Key to Lasting Sobriety?

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.