How do You Know You’re Choosing a Quality Sober Living Home?

Quality Sober Living Home

One issue that people commonly face when leaving treatment is housing. For some, the best choice is to move into a sober living home.

There are a number of reasons you might choose a sober living home. It could be that you simply need someplace to live temporarily while you rebuild your life. Perhaps you are in the process of family reunification and it may take time before you return to your previous residence. In many cases, your former home may not be a clean and sober living environment, and you feel it isn’t safe for you to go back.

Whatever the reason, a sober living home is an ideal situation for the person who is looking for a supportive clean and sober environment after treatment. But how do you choose the right one?

Not all sober living homes are created equal, and in some cases, they can be unpleasant and unsafe environments. This is because anyone can slap a “clean and sober” label on a private home and rent out rooms. Sometimes, there is little reinforcement on the clean and sober part, and sometimes, people aren’t held to acceptable behavior standards, making the living environment feel unsafe.

What Makes A Quality Sober Living Home?

Drug Testing

One of the primary goals of sober living is to provide an environment that is free of drugs, alcohol and people who are under the influence. In order to create this atmosphere, precautions must be taken to insure that everyone in the home complies with this.

Drug testing is often part of a successful, quality sober living home. This may be done randomly, or in situations where drug use is suspected. In some cases, sober living homes may reserve the right to search rooms and personal belongings to ensure that drugs and paraphernalia are not present.


A sober living home shouldn’t just be free of drugs and alcohol, it should also actively promote and support recovery for its residents. This may mean holding 12 step meetings in the home and requiring that residents get a sponsor. It should be encouraged that residents attend outside 12 step meetings and that the principles of recovery are a part of daily life in the home.

Behavior Standards

Everyone wants to feel safe in their home. You want to know that you can be in your space and not deal with things like verbal abuse or harassment, that you will be treated with respect and that your privacy and belongings will be safe and respected.

This is why a quality sober living home will have strict codes of conduct. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at home, or feel relaxed. The rules are in place to make sure that you can relax without fear, and feel comfortable. Rules include refraining from speech that is racist, sexist, violent, abusive or intimidating. It also includes observation of privacy and respect for people’s personal property.

Cleanliness And Safety

A quality sober living environment is a clean, safe space. This is best achieved when all members of the household pitch in. It should never be one person’s responsibility to keep the household running smoothly.

In order for this to happen, a quality sober living home will require that residents share household chores and responsibilities. Each resident will be responsible for keeping their own space clean, and will also share in the larger job of keeping the home clean and in good repair.

When issues arise that require repair, these things will be reported and addressed in a timely manner.

A quality sober living home is built on communication. This is why residents will often hold regular house meetings to keep the lines of communication open. House meetings offer an opportunity for residents to share their thoughts and offer feedback to each other as well as to any staff or house managers. This may be in regards to issues with the house itself or issues among the residents.

If there is a house manager or staff, they should be available and receptive to communication from residents.

Finding A Sober Living Home After Treatment

Overcoming addiction means changing your lifestyle. This sounds challenging, and it can be. In treatment, you spend a lot of time learning new skills and strategies for coping with life. You change your thinking and habits and behaviors to help you overcome destructive patterns that lead to using. When you leave treatment, it is equally important that you change your previous environment.

It isn’t easy to stay clean and sober in an environment where drugs and alcohol are present, no matter how much you might want to. This is why a clean and sober living home is so important.

Rosanne Landes