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When you’re in the market for a sober living home, questions will naturally come up  – how long will I stay? How do I even get started? What will I gain by going? It’s important to ask these questions and more so you know that you’re getting the best treatment available.

What is a sober living home?

You may have heard them called halfway houses or recovery homes. A sober living home is a residential home to support treatment for problematic substance use, and residents are required to abstain from drugs and alcohol while living in the facility.

Numerous people live in the house at once, and educational and occupational programming is typically offered or required during a stay, but not always occurring at the house. Oftentimes a person will enter a sober living house after a stay in a hospital or crisis stabilization unit as a supportive and transitional living situation before re-entering society.

A sober living home capitalizes on the communal aspect of a group home since you’ll receive social support from other housemates, and likely create strong bonds as you work towards sobriety together.

Think a sober living home is what you need to be successful in recovery? Before you pack your bags it’s important to know all about the home you’re going to. Whether you ask a sober living facility these questions or your own, know that your comfort in the home will make recovery smoother. 

Here are the top questions you’ll want to ask when you’re looking for the best sober living home.

1. Is there a daily schedule?

Sober living homes are intended to offer a structured environment, and therefore employ a schedule to keep participants involved and engaged in their recovery. After work or school, the schedule often includes time for house chores, recreation, an educational component (like resume writing or cooking lessons) and a therapeutic component (like counseling or a 12 step meeting).

2. How long will I stay?

The duration of a stay in a sober living home varies widely. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the average stay is between 166 and 254 days. Check in to see what the typical stay is, and how you’ll know when you’re ready to leave.

3. What are the rules and requirements I’ll have to follow at the sober living home?

When you’re in a sober living home, you’re expected to act respectfully and comply with all the home’s rules. Often a home will indicate a curfew, at which time you’ll need to be back at the house for the night. You’ll also need to contribute to house chores, attend house meetings and continue with individual treatment.

And, of course, no drugs or alcohol are allowed to be in the house or consumed during the duration of your stay. Check to learn about other rules during your stay so you’re not surprised when you get there.

4. Will I be able to contact family and friends or have visitors?

Often, sober living homes have explicit rules about phone and computer usage to minimize drug and alcohol use triggers. Policies will vary widely, so it’s important to check with the home before you arrive. Typically, visits are allowed but overnight guests are rarely permitted.

5. How does it get paid for?

Sober living homes are independently run facilities, where residents pay for their stay or it is covered in some other way (through insurance, grants, government funding or paid for by a charity). Individuals are also able to take out a loan to invest in their sobriety. 

Check with a sober living house to find out how expenses are covered, and what is included in the cost.

6. Will I get therapy as part of my stay?

Again, this varies for each halfway house. Usually, you must continue treatment while living in a recovery home, but treatment generally occurs elsewhere. Addiction counseling and 12 step programs are the most common forms of treatment for residents of sober living homes.

7. Do I have to do drug testing while I’m there?

Yes. Most sober living homes require drug testing. The frequency of testing is at the discretion of each home and typically occurs randomly, but you can ask to find out more.

How to get started

When you’ve decided a sober living home is the best thing for your recovery, it’s important to ask questions so you feel confident in the support you’re getting.


Get started on your journey towards freedom with Real Recovery Sober Living. Real Recovery has homes for both men and women and is accepting admissions now. Call 1-855-363-7325 to take the first step.