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5 Things to Look for in a Sober Living Home

Following detox and inpatient treatment, some people choose to continue their recovery at the outpatient level and move into a sober living home or halfway house.

Sober Home Environments

Sober living homes could be either be a traditional house or apartment-style living residence. What sober homes and oxford houses have in common is providing a safe, sober environment to live, some structure and accountability. This type of housing can be a good segue from inpatient rehab to independent living, as it bridges the gap between the highly structured, but sheltered, environment of the inpatient setting and the “real world.” Depending on the facility, you may be required to participate in an outpatient program, like IOP or OP, to live at a sober house.

The frequency and length of IOP will also vary by program. Usually, outpatient programs run for weeks at a time, or there are longer outpatient programs that require less frequent outpatient services. If you’re new to recovery and have never lived in a sober house or halfway home, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when beginning your search.


You want to choose a sober home that is going to hold you accountable for your sobriety. A strictly enforced “no drugs and alcohol” policy, mandated curfews and chores, and regular, required meetings are good signs and will help keep you on track in recovery. You should hopefully be able to get a feel for this when you tour the house.

Relapse Prevention in Early Recovery

Relapse is sometimes a part of recovery, so it’s important that the sober living/halfway facility that you choose has a plan in place in the event of relapse. Will they send you to stabilization or require that you complete an inpatient or PHP stay after detox, or is detox on its own the standard? What happens when you return to the house? You should ask these questions before you commit to a program because you’ll want to know exactly what will happen, and that you’ll have needed support, if you do relapse. Alternatively, if one of your housemates relapses, you need to know that there will be a plan of action in place to protect your safety and sobriety.

Sober Living Location

When choosing the location of your new halfway house or sober home, it’s important to keep both your support network and your triggers in mind. It may be best for you to have family and friends near by, or you might find that staying in your hometown for recovery is too much because you are surrounded by triggers. If triggers are a potential issue, or you lack a strong support network at home, you may want to expand your search to include facilities that are located in another part of the state or another state entirely. If you are enrolled in an outpatient program for treatment, your outpatient program can help you become acquainted with the area by providing resources and support.

When it comes to choosing a sober living home, there are several things you should consider to make sure that you are making the right decision for you. If something does not feel right, don’t force it— your comfort in recovery is of utmost importance.

If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, we hope you’ll reach out to us for help today. Royal Life Centers at Sound is an outpatient treatment facility located in Lacey, Washington. We offer aftercare at the PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living level and treat dependence on alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids. Please contact us at (877)-RECOVER with any questions or concerns that you have about our programs.

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