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What is a Sober House?

Life after leaving rehab or inpatient treatment can be challenging. Many people need help to transition back to their communities and lives, making a sober living house a great option to help make the move smoother. If you’re wondering what a sober house in Los Angeles is like, read on to find out how it works and if it’s the right step for you.

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What is a Sober House?

A sober house is a residence specially designed to host individuals discharged from substance use disorder inpatient treatment. These houses belong to individuals or private addiction treatment centers, which means they are not impacted by federal or state budget cuts. The houses are typically modern and in popular neighborhoods, and a wide range of services are offered to the residents. Prices for sober house living range from modest amounts for the budget-minded to luxury housing with many amenities.

When a person checks into a sober house, an intake counselor gathers information about their physical health, mental health conditions, substance use history, and goals for treatment. The counselors determine specific needs the program can meet and help explain the routine of the household so residents know what is expected of them. Regular drug and alcohol testing may be done in order to ensure everyone in the house remains sober. Some sober houses allow residents to attend school, work, or perform volunteer work while residing there. 

Sober Houses vs. Halfway houses 

The terms sober house and halfway house are often used interchangeably, and though the two share many commonalities, they are different. Both types of transitional housing have the goal of helping people integrate back into their everyday lives smoothly as they navigate the early stages of sobriety. However, each offers features that are best-suited for individuals of differing circumstances.

Halfway Houses

Halfway Houses are typically government funded and require that residents are in some type of treatment program. These facilities usually house a larger number of people at a time, many of which are often under probation or are getting out of jail. This type of housing is cheaper than sober living homes, but provides less structure and fewer amenities. 

Sober Houses

Sober houses often have an affiliation with a rehab facility or recovery program in the same area. Residents are often coming out of treatment or are enrolled in an outpatient treatment program. Though they are pricier than halfway houses, the private spaces, high-end amenities, and plentiful resources and services make them desirable to many of those in recovery. Overall, the type of housing that is best suited for an individual depends on their personal needs and preferences.

What Is a Sober House Daily Life Like?

One of the biggest questions when it comes to a sober living house is what daily life in one is like. Sober houses employ daily and weekly routines to help the residents live as a family unit moving towards common goals. Cooking and housekeeping chores are divided up so that everyone contributes to the sober house running smoothly. Many people who have spent a long time lost in addiction to drugs and alcohol have lacked a routine and benefit from the stability of having one again. As a resident of the house, they learn to take responsibility, how to compromise, and be accountable for themselves.

Sober houses usually offer access to therapy, support groups, and 12-step meetings, either in-house or outside the home. Part of daily life in a sober house includes attending these sessions, as well as any experiential therapies that are offered. These can include yoga, meditation, and other holistic activities that promote mental wellness and sobriety. Outside social activities are often offered, allowing residents the chance to get out and enjoy their new sober lives in social situations. Most residences have a strict visitor policy and a curfew which the residents must abide by. 

Benefits of Staying in a Sober House

Stepping down to a sober house before returning home from residential treatment allows a person time to test their abilities to live without drugs and alcohol while still in a safe environment. It also gives them the opportunity to form strongs bonds with individuals who are also trying to stay sober. Further benefits of spending time in a sober living home include:

  • Away from outside influences/potential triggers
  • Career services and sobriety resources
  • Compassionate staff
  • Group meetings
  • Transportation service
  • Fun outings and activities
  • High level of accountability
  • Time to adjust and focus on self-care

Types of Support Available 

Many residences have a full staff ready to assist the residents at any time. They have an overnight staff or resident managers who offer support to residents when they face cravings, feel emotionally overwhelmed, and need that extra boost of support. The staff should be trained in addiction and recovery. 

Peer support offers a great deal to the residents because they all understand what everyone in the house is going through. Residents don’t need to explain what addiction feels like or be embarrassed to talk about their experiences and emotions with each other. Many relationships that form in a sober house continue after the residents leave, allowing options for support from understanding friends once they return home.

Levels of Care in Sober Houses

Sober houses offer different levels of care based on how the houses are run and who they are run by. Typically, individuals are most successful when spending time in a Level 3 or 4 house as they provide more robust structure and require their staff to have specific qualifications. 

  • Level 1. These homes are run by fellow sober individuals and may have the lowest level of rules and regulations.
  • Level 2. Paid staff members monitor residents. Support groups and therapy are a must at this level and onward.
  • Level 3: Staff members in this level of house are certified to supervise residents.
  • Level 4: This level of home provides in-house services with qualified staff members. At this level, integration with clinical facilities is also common.

How Much Do Sober Houses Cost?

Staying in a sober house is more affordable than most people think. The overall cost depends on the level of care you are looking for. Level 1 or 2 sober houses tend to be less expensive than level 3 or 4. This is because they provide less structure and fewer services. Some homes might even offer payment plans based off need and circumstance.

It is important to also keep in mind that the fees you are paying are crucial to maintaining your sobriety. They not only cover your rent, but all of the services and resources that the sober house of your choice provides. Additionally, the career services offered through sober living homes can help you to get a job – or provide skill building to boost your resume. This way you can find financial stability during recovery. 

Where to Look For and What to Look For in Sober Houses

Many treatment facilities and rehab centers will have sober living homes that they partner with. If you are in an outpatient treatment program, are about to enter one, or are leaving an inpatient program, ask your care team to see if they have affiliations or recommendations. Most of the time, they will have already laid these options out for you. Here are some additional things to consider when looking for a sober living home:

  • Safety. You should look for sober living homes in neighborhoods that are safe and that you will feel comfortable walking about in. 
  • Convenience. Finding a sober house that is close to your school, job, and/or loved ones will make it easy for you to maintain personal and professional responsibilities. However, if you are not ready to be around your family and friends, then find one that is conveniently far from possible triggers and negative influences. 
  • Access. Look at areas with a high-concentration of 12-step meetings and other support groups as typically, sober living homes are close by. You want to live somewhere that offers you quick access to resources that will help you stay sober. 
  • Transportation. If you are going to be in an outpatient program at a rehab facility, look for sober living homes that are close enough to provide transportation to and from said program.
  • Services. Look for a sober living home that offers the services and resources that are important to you. Also keep in mind the level of structure and general environment you are looking for.
  • Staff. You want to be on the lookout for compassionate and professional staff members as this will make your overall experience go as smoothly as possible.

What Is a Sober House Success Rate?

People who stay in sober houses tend to have higher success rates of staying in recovery once they return home. In addition, the longer they stay in a sober house, the better the chances are of staying sober. Most people spend three to six months in a sober house, but it’s often beneficial to stay longer. It takes time to learn to become comfortable living daily life sober and allowing your mind and emotions time to reset themselves. 

About half of all people with substance use disorders also deal with at least one mental health diagnosis. Staying in a sober house allows the residents more time to use services for their mental health and learn to manage their symptoms before returning home. 

Riviera Recovery Offers Los Angeles Sober Living Houses

Riviera Recovery in Los Angeles offers two sober houses designed to meet the needs of those wanting to learn to make the transition from residential treatment to going back to their homes. Both sober houses are located in West Los Angeles near Santa Monica, providing ample opportunities for outdoor and cultural activities.

Barrington House

Our men’s sober living house allows residents to take part in sober activities such as yoga and meditation while they work on career and school goals. We offer our residents multiple treatment modalities and support in developing healthy, sober lives.

Mclaughlin House

Mclaughlin House provides housing for female-identifying clients who want to work on living sober and managing their mental health. Residents can take part in extracurricular activities and hobbies while also attending school or working.

Sober Houses in Los Angeles

Riviera Recovery offers two gender-specific sober living houses in Los Angeles for young adults. We offer options for outpatient services, social activities, 12-step meetings, and more. We help treat addiction and mental health issues, preparing our residents to return home able to stay sober.

Contact Riviera Recovery today to get started on learning to live a strong, sober life. Call 855-207-9708 now.