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Sober Living: Temporary and Permanent Housing Options

Sober Living: Temporary and Permanent Housing Options

Every person is unique, and everyone’s substance abuse and/ or addiction recovery journey is distinct. Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (e.g., abusing drugs and/ or alcohol) without regard for consequence. An individual that struggles with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else. The development of substance use disorder does not occur immediately, nor will recovering from addiction be achieved instantaneously. 

Treatment from substance abuse and/ or addiction can be a long-term process. Although completing a formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs can be highly advantageous, it is not uncommon for individuals to require additional support upon the completion of a program. An individual in recovery must prioritize his or her sobriety above all else, and in some cases that requires moving into a transitional living facility prior to returning home. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of time an individual spends in substance abuse treatment (including sober living) can directly increase his or her outcome in recovery.

Sober Livings

Sober living facilities are group homes that offer drug and alcohol-free transitional residence to individuals that have completed a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. Residing in a sober living home inherently removes many of the potential trigger’s individuals may have that could threaten their sobriety and provides additional opportunities to navigate triggers in a semi-controlled environment. Sober living homes each hold distinct characteristics, are in different geographical areas, offer a variety of wide-ranging amenities, and many specialize in accommodating individual’s nuanced needs. Most sober living facilities are privately owned, and as such will have a distinct set of house rules and regulations as well as corresponding consequences for violations. Most sober living facilities do not impose a time limit for its residents, enabling them to stay for as long as they need, provided they are able to pay for their stay and adhere to the rules and regulations of the facility. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that the average stay in a sober living facility ranges between 166 to 254 days. 

Sober living homes are intended to be a temporary housing solution, after which an individual is expected to move into a permanent residence. For those that are unable to return to the home they knew prior to entering treatment, the Fair Housing Act ensures applicants with a criminal history are not rejected from renting or purchasing housing due to a former substance abuse disorder. Taking the step to move into permanent housing, when the time is right, is perfectly achievable for an individual in recovery.

For Information and Support 

Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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