Sober Living Explained: 5 Things to Know

What is Sober Living?

Sober Living is a sober environment following recovery treatment.

Sober Living is recognized by the National Institutes of Health as those organizations that provide an environment for anyone looking to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs. While achieving a sober lifestyle can be incredibly hard, maintaining abstinence can be even more difficult without a stable, sober environment following treatment. That’s why Sober Living Homes were created as safe and supportive places for individuals to live during recovery.

Sober Living & Mental Wellness

Sober Living is shown to improve mental wellbeing.

Rather than using a “behavioral modification” model common in many rehabilitation programs, Sober Living revolves around building lasting, sober social networks. This allows participants to ease into Sober Living with close support, recovering through both organized and informal exercises. In all, Sober Living does more than just extend time spent sober - it also improves a person’s psychiatric symptoms and employment while reducing the likelihood of relapse. According to The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Sober Living can also help reduce depression and anxiety.

Sober Living & Rehabilitation

Rehab is not always a prerequisite to joining a Sober Living environment.

It is not always necessary for a person to have recently completed a rehab program to join a Sober Living Home, as Sober Living can also be an important resource for those seeking help via an alternative to formal treatment or in less severe circumstances. In most Sober Living Programs, residents will need to demonstrate a strong willingness to participate in their community in addition to undergoing evaluations prior to acceptance.

The History of Sober Living

Sober Living has been around for a long time.

Early Sober Living models first emerged in the 1830s and were usually run by religious institutions, such as the YMCA and the Salvation Army. “Twelfth step” houses later emerged in Los Angeles after World War II to assist with widespread alcohol-related problems, according to National Institutes of Health.

Sober Living Retention

Retention among Sober Living residents is very high.

Residents of Sober Living Homes build lasting connections, proving a worthwhile experience. A recent National Institutes of Health study found that retention of residents in Sober Living Homes was excellent. Average lengths of stay surpassed the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommendation of at least 90-days to obtain maximum benefits.  

Understanding what sober living is.
John Bowden