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» What is a Sober Home

Sober Home is a broad term describing a sober, safe and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems. They are sober living environments, meaning that residents are expected to abstain from alcohol and illegal drug use.

 All Sober Homes are not alike

At a minimum, Sober Homes offer peer-to-peer recovery support. Some are not very structured and more appropriate for those who have an established recovery program and simply desire to live in an alcohol/drug free environment with other sober people to help support their recovery efforts.

Other Sober Homes have greater structure with more rules, perhaps a curfew,  one or more weekly in-house meetings, encourage referrals to outpatient substance abuse/mental health providers in the local community, etc.

Before considering a Sober Home it is important to think about what you need from a Sober Home.  Some suggested questions you may wish to ask are listed below.

It is always a good idea to visit the Sober Home before committing to live there.

 Things to think about when you are selecting a Sober Home:

  • Is the Sober Home certified by MASH?
  • Are you a professional, single parent, college student, etc? Does the home support your current situation?
  • What is the reputation of the Sober Home you are considering?
  • Does the Sober Home only accept people coming out of a successful residential treatment stay or do they accept people off the street who may have used recently?
  • What is the protocol if a resident relapses?
  • How is the Sober Home set up? Is it apartments? Duplex? Co-ed? Single family residence?
  • How long has the residence been in existence?
  • What are the qualifications of the owner or owners and staff overseeing the residence?
  • What experience does the owner or owners have in running a sober living residence?
  • Is there 24/7 support available?
  • What type of recovery programs or support groups are available to the residents?
  • How does the house go about supporting the recovery of its residents?
  • What are the house rules?
  • Can you be faxed brochures, rules, and entry materials?
  • How often are residents drug tested?
  • Is drug testing mandatory? Is drug testing random or only performed when there is suspicion of drug use?
  • Does the house require that you attend mandatory house meetings?
  • Does the house require that you attend a certain number of local AA/NA meetings?
  • Is the house located in a safe location?
  • Is the sober home convenient to your school/work?
  • Is public transportation available?
  • Is there an on-site manager, what type of supervision is offered?
  • What are the upfront costs?
  • Rent payments are how much? What is the refund policy?
  • Do residents have to agree to scheduled and random drug and alcohol screenings? What days and times must I be available for urine screens?
  • Is there a policy regarding medications?
  • Do I need health insurance?
  • Is there a curfew?
  • Are overnight absences allowed?
  • Can I have a guest stay overnight?
  • Is parking for registered and insured vehicles available?

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