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Choosing a Sober Living Situation


A proper situation can help the transition after treatment

Not many have said that the road to recovery from addiction is easy, but many struggling with addiction will express the value of a successful stay in a sober living situation. A sober living situation helps those in recovery transition back to normal life after completing an addiction treatment program and is often referred to as a sobriety house, halfway house, or transitional living arrangement.

Why Choose a Sober Living Situation?

Addiction is more than a dependence on a substance. It’s also an existence of habits that contribute to that dependence. Oftentimes there are various triggers, or things that stimulate feelings or reminders of trauma and can cause flashbacks that lead to feelings of anxiety or sadness. These triggers can lead an individual to relapse. Sober living situations provide an environment that eliminates risks of relapse, reduces loneliness, and helps individuals apply the skills and tools they’ve learned to remain alcohol or drug free.

A stay in a sober living situation is often the last step an individual takes before integrating back to normal life, the workplace, or school. Sober living situations help reduce temptations and create a safe and supportive environment to allow for healing, both mentally and physically.

Choosing a Sober Living Situation

Choosing a sober living situation is an important step in recovery, and it is even more important to know what things to look for when doing so. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:


Curfew, maintaining a drug-free environment, required meeting attendance, limitations to telephone use, and drug testing are all examples of rules many sober living situations implement. Rules provide structure and support to residents. Viewing a copy of a facility’s rules is recommended before deciding upon any one sober living situation so you are aware of what is expected, what their regulations are if you relapse, and can make sure the rules are attainable.

Supportive Staff

One of the most vital things to look for in a sober living situation is a supportive team and staff. It is important to find a living situation that is staffed with a caring, educated, and experienced team—a team that genuinely cares about you and your success in recovery but stands firm in their rules. Ask about the certifications, training, and degrees of the staff as well as the staff ratio and if there are managers and staff members on site at all hours of every day.

Comfort and Safety

Take time to physically tour your options. A living situation that is stable, calm, and comfortable will greatly attribute to the success of your recovery and help you transition. It is important to find a sober living situation that will also protect your physical safety. Before deciding on a living situation, research the neighborhood. You don’t want to be surrounded by an unhealthy and unsupportive environment. Tour the facility and observe the individuals who are currently residing there and ask the staff about what safety and technology measures are in place.


Find a sober living situation that is conveniently located to therapy, counseling, and meeting locations and is accessible to family.

Services and Cost

Make sure to ask about what services are available and what costs are required. Aside from paying rent, there could be additional fees for food, drug testing, fines when rules are broken, or separate utilities. You’ll want to find a location that is within your budget, so asking for a breakdown of costs can make it easier to eliminate options from your list. Keep in mind that higher the NARR (National Association of Recovery Residencies) level of the facility, the higher the cost might be.


Look for a sober living situation that has successful graduates as well as a wide range of individuals who have remained abstinent for more than 30, 60, and even 90 days. Reach out to the alumni and ask about their experience while staying in a particular sober living situation. Most facilities have alumni groups and will be happy to help get you in touch with an alumni member.

Personal Responsibility

The purpose of a sober living situation is to help individuals transition to being on their own again while maintaining sobriety. However, when all is said and done, it is up to you achieve that victory for your future. You must be willing to put in the effort necessary to maintain a sober and successful lifestyle.