Four Common Misconceptions of Sober Living Homes


Choosing a good sober living house is an important step for those that are in early addiction recovery.  Many of the individuals/families we speak with come to us with many misconceptions regarding sober living homes and the services they provide.  Finding the correct level of care can be a challenge with the staggering number of companies out there to choose from.  Our desire with this document is to clarify the top four areas of misunderstanding that we regularly deal with during the selection process.  Here are four common misconceptions regarding sober living homes:

  1. Sober Living Homes Are Just Like Rehabs

Rehabilitation centers perform a very specific service for their patients.  They are generally staffed by treatment professionals, which include doctors and therapists.  Rehabs generally provide 24 hour care with the patients remaining onsite for most of their stay.  By having doctors on staff, they are able to prescribe and modify medications for their patients.  Many rehabs also have the ability to medically detox patients from the substances that have been abused.

Sober Living Homes are designed to provide transitional care once an individual has been detoxed and received some of the treatments available at a rehab if possible.  The main purpose of sober living is to be that next logical step in an individual’s recovery process.  The home should provide a safe and structured environment for its residents to be able to do the work needed to maintain their sobriety.  This could include returning to their jobs, going to school, doing outpatient therapy or volunteering their services with a worthy organization.  Good sober living homes require that their residents attend 12 Step meeting daily and work with a sponsor.  The combination of these activities will help to build a strong foundation for long-term recovery.

  1. Coed Sober Living Homes Are A Better Option For Residents

Early recovery can be a very confusing time for individuals trying to stay sober.  These first few months can be filled with both anxiety and a range of raw emotions which can make for some uncomfortable moments.  Recovery is work and some people struggle with the amount that is required each day.  Having individuals of the opposite sex living in the same house can quickly become an unnecessary distraction from early recovery work.  Getting caught up in any type of relationship with the opposite sex during this time will usually have disastrous results for both parties.  A good sober living home will provide a gender-specific environment for the safety of their residents.  There is plenty of time in the future for new relationships.  Gender-specific sober living homes care enough to protect their residents from these types of relationships in the early stages of recovery.

  1. Sober Living Residents Should Prepare Their Own Meals

During addiction, nutrition was not an area of concern for most addicts.  Unhealthy eating habits were established and maintained during this time.  Recovery is a time to start learning new healthy habits that will benefit the individual.  Many sober living residents do not have the knowledge or skills to be able to buy and prepare nutritious meals.  Most will simply return to a daily diet of fast food.  Quality sober living homes not only provide meals for their residents, but are very aware of the nutritional benefit of the food that is prepared.  Recovery requires that old habits be broken and healthier ones put in their place.

  1. Living In A Sober Living Home Is Like Living In A Sober Hotel

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The objective of a quality sober living house should not be to do everything for its residents similar to a hotel.  Individuals come to a sober living community to do the work required to support their recovery.  The key word is ‘work.’  Addicts have spent their time in addiction being accountable to no one.  Real recovery is all about acceptance and accountability.  The best way to teach an individual to be accountable is place them in a structured environment where they have a schedule and tasks to complete.  This is no different than what the outside world is going to expect from them.  Each day should start with something as simple as being up at a certain time and making sure your bed is made.  Becoming a responsible adult has to start somewhere, why not with making your bed each day?  Sober living homes should strive to prepare their residents to become self-sufficient during their stay.  Homes that claim to pamper their residents are really doing their clients a disservice.  Structure and accountability are key building blocks to long-term recovery.