While specific policies vary in individual sober living homes, the majority of them follow the same basic rules as a template for program and structure. Traditionally, clients are required to wake up at a reasonable hour, make their beds, do chores around the house, and then start their day as a productive member of the greater society they are a part of, being encouraged to find jobs or continue with aftercare from treatment they received. Weekly 12 step meeting requirements along with random drug testing and breathalyzers sustain accountability for sobriety and encourage residents to actively participate in their own recovery. Curfews are in place to ensure safety and break patterns of old behaviors of staying out all night and sleeping all day, along with nightly check ins to promote the idea of community and connection amongst house mates and fellow AAs.
Especially coming out of treatment, some people may think, “Why do I need to put myself in another institution of following rules and being told what to do? Am I not ready to get back to real life?” Sober Living is not inpatient or lockdown. While weekly and daily rules are implemented, there still is a high level of independence and autonomy. It becomes the client’s responsibility to fulfill their own duties and obligations, but they are given support and structure that is usually needed to develop healthier patterns and more order to their days. The level of accountability holds clients to standards which ultimately promote the ideals and principles of healthy living which might not seem as important to people if they just jump back into mainstream flow of society.
Coming out of treatment, we are vulnerable. Providing ourselves with a safe transition from one place to another creates a smoother adjustment for when we are needing to get back to what is required of us to succeed in the world. When a group of people can come together, they can offer support and guidance to one another with common goals of maintaining recovery and healthy living. Community and fellowship are strong forces, and sober living reinforces the ideas of peer support, accountability with supervision, and balance.