The Setting is the Service: How the Architecture of Sober Living Residences Supports Community Based Recovery PMC

Two additional measures were included as covariates because they assess factors emphasized by as important to recovery in SLHs. To assess current psychiatric severity we used the Brief Symptom Inventory (Derogatis & Melisaratos, 1983). This 53-item measure assesses severity of psychiatric symptoms on nine clinical scales as well as three global indices. Items are rated on a 5-point scale and ask about symptoms over the past 7 days. We used the Global Severity Index as an overall measure of psychiatric severity.

These structured living environments can help recovering addicts re-enter the community following outpatient or residential treatment. To live there, you must pay monthly fees , which support the cost of maintaining the home. Additionally, many sober living homes have resident councils, which help govern daily life, enforce house rules, and offer peer support. Other sober living homes are more like boarding houses, except that there are strict abstinence requirements, and residents do not get the final say about rule-making.

How To Find a Sober Living Home

Peak Density is the number of days of any substance use (i.e., any alcohol or drug) during the month of highest use over the past 6 months (coded 0-31). Six-month abstinence was a dichotomous yes/no regarding any use of alcohol of drugs over the past 6 months. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help. Think about the environment that will inspire you most in recovery – one that will keep you going and set you up for success. Do you have a safe space to reflect and meditate, or a creative place to let go? Do you have access to a peaceful, outdoor environment when you need a breath of fresh air, or to local amenities, like a grocery store or quiet café?


Our purpose here is to summarize the most salient and relevant findings for SLHs as a community based recovery option. We then expand on the findings by considering potential implications of SLHs for treatment and criminal justice systems. We also include a discussion of our plans to study the community context of SLHs, which will depict how stakeholder influences support and hinder their operations and potential for expansion. The study design used repeated measures analyses to test how study measures varied over time. Because the two types of houses served residents with different demographic characteristics, we conducted disaggregated longitudinal analyses for each. For a more complete description of the study design and collection of data see Polcin et al. , Polcin et al. and Polcin, Korcha, Bond, Galloway and Lapp .

Finding Your Initial Care at FHE Health

House managers are trained to take action immediately when problems occur, including relapse. Relapsing residents know they are expected to vacate the SLH residence at once under terms of their lease. Fellow residents quickly notice changes in behavior and residents cannot hide drinking/drug use. The policy of providing a separate bedroom for each resident is the cornerstone of CSTL’s support for residents’ development of a personal recovery program. The individual bedroom encourages the resident to build a mature adult life as an autonomous individual, creating a distinct personal life-style.


This is particularly concerning because our analysis of criminal justice offenders in SLHs showed alcohol and drug outcomes that were similar to residents who entered the houses voluntarily. Local governments often try to restrict the establishment or operation of sober houses through zoning and housing codes, but federal law limits their ability to do so. People in recovery from substance abuse disorders are considered disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Fair Housing Act, particularly its 1988 amendments. The latter law specifically prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap.


Or maybe you’re going to start an sober home program, but living at home isn’t a sober, supportive environment for you. A sober living home acts as a supplement to an individual’s recovery. It is an alternative to going from an immersive care environment straight to a totally unstructured environment at home. Because sober living homes replicate normal, everyday life situations while instilling healthy habits, they help to reduce the chance of relapse. In an inpatient treatment center, patients are totally immersed in their rehab programs and generally don’t have much dependence. The differences between inpatient and outpatient care are a combination of personal attention, access to resources, and community.

Where do the most sober people live?

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the city with the most interest in the sober lifestyle, according to our research. There are now more than 12 bars in the Twin Cities which serve creative alcohol-free drinks and cocktails on their menu, including Martina and Colita.

While it may not completely cover your expenses, every little bit helps and can help you move closer to your goals. Moos R, Igra A. Determinants of the social environments of sheltered care settings. Borkman TJ, Kaskutas LA, Room J, Bryan K, Barrows D. An historical and developmental analysis of social model programs. House managers set the tone for helping residents comply with house rules and for recognizing infractions and violations. Phase II houses often provide double refrigerators and high-capacity micro-wave capability.

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