Choices for a sober living home in Orange County, California are numerous and can be confusing. There may be a wide variety of options and choices, and this can add to the difficulty of selecting one that is right for you or your loved one. While most will provide the same basic options or services, you should always ask questions and take a tour of the facilities before making any choices. 

The best sober living facility in Orange County will be the one that best meets you or your loved one’s individual needs. In order to determine the best fit, begin by asking the following questions to obtain basic information. Make notes about the answers from each facility you visit. This will make it easier to compare pluses and minuses after visiting several different places throughout Newport Beach and the surrounding areas. 



What Services/Amenities are Offered in a Sober Living Home? 


Different sober living facilities will be able to provide various services and amenities, and this can vary by cost and location. There are many to choose from here in Orange County. You should ask more questions based on the response to this first question. 


  1. What type of building are residents housed in? 
  2. Where is it located? 
  3. Who maintains the residence building? 
  4. Are meals provided? 
  5. How many people share a bedroom or living space? 
  6. How many share a bathroom?
  7. Are pets allowed? 


Many sober living homes also offer transportation to nearby leisure, fitness, or recreational facilities, and to rehab treatment centers. Other sober living facilities in Orange County may offer educational groups or support, on-site recreational activities, employment assistance, peer counseling, and connections to other community-based resources. 

Look for or ask to see a resident calendar that will list opportunities for social groups, events, outings, and other activities. If meals are provided, they may also be listed in advance on the calendar. 



What Structure/Support is Offered in a Sober Living Home? 


In addition to living, social, and environmental amenities, a sober living home should provide vital structure and support to assist with residents’ needs while continuing their recovery. These may fall into categories of services, such as: 



Ask about the background, levels of training and experience, and schedule for the facility staff. What are their roles? Do they have medical training or other certifications? What are their responsibilities concerning the residents? To whom should you go if you have questions, needs, or problems? 



The best sober living facility will enforce certain sensible rules for the safety, security, and well-being of all residents. These should include screening all guests, enforcing a curfew, and seeking to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free environment on the entire premises. 

There are also usually rules that govern the length of stay for residents, depending on their situation. Some sober living homes may only allow a 30-day stay, period, while others could allow longer residencies according to needs or recommendations by a therapist. 

Many will also have rules to handle the event of a resident suffering a relapse. These will often require the resident to move out of the facility immediately to preserve the safe and supportive environment for others. 

Some may require that residents be enrolled in some form of school or educational training, or have a job while staying at the facility. Others may encourage this, and even seek to facilitate it, but not add it as an actual condition of residency. 



Many sober living homes in Orange County will require residents to adopt some responsibilities while living there. This can include cooking or cleaning duties, meeting your own pet’s needs for food and care, minor maintenance needs, or participation in group therapy or peer counseling sessions. 


Professional Services 

Some sober living homes will offer professional counseling or other rehabilitation services on-site, especially if the sober living facility is part of a larger rehabilitation center that offers inpatient or outpatient rehab. You should ask about any services like these, especially if you or your loved one will require ongoing medical or professional treatment. 



What are the Costs of Staying in a Sober Living Home? 


As a general rule, sober living homes that offer a higher level of professional services and/or amenities will cost more. Besides the basic rent fees, residents may be expected to cover other costs, such as: 


  • Counseling 
  • Food
  • Laundry/Linens
  • Rental/usage fees for some amenities 
  • Utilities
  • Drug testing
  • Fines 
  • Parking/transportation fees 


You should also ask the following questions about costs and fees: 


  1. How are fees to be paid? 
  2. Are fees (including rental) reimbursable for any reason? 
  3. Are there any programs where work at the facility can be used to offset fees? 
  4. What about late fees or other penalties? 


In most cases, health insurance does not provide coverage for any costs of a sober living home, only for rehabilitative treatments. Some facilities in Orange County provide payment assistance options to help residents find possible funding sources to help underwrite the costs of their stay. 



Are Sober Living Homes or Staff Required to Have Certifications? 


There are no current federal laws that directly govern sober living homes. In California and Orange County, the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) requires licensure (which they provide) for any residential facility that offers any of the following non-medical services to help those recovering from substance abuse: 


  • Detox support 
  • Group therapy 
  • Personal therapy 
  • Educational workshops concerning addiction, recovery, and drug-related issues
  • Treatment planning for ongoing recovery


Any sober living home or facility that simply asks residents to avoid using drugs and alcohol, but provides none of the services listed above, is not required by law to secure licensing.

However, in the interest of serving residents with a higher standard of care, many sober living homes apply for and receive accreditation through independent or non-profit organizations that seek to promote regulation and excellence. Some facilities may also require staff to have some medical or addiction recovery-related training in order to better serve residents. 



How Do I Know Which Orange County Sober Living Home Is Right for Me? 


This is perhaps the most important question of all. After touring, reviewing, asking dozens of questions, and some conversations with loved ones, determining the best sober living facility for you is the final step. Do not take it lightly. The best Orange County sober living home will be the one that best meets your unique needs and circumstances. 

After all, just as everyone’s path to addiction and recovery is different, so are the circumstances surrounding where you are right now on that journey. Single young adults, married professionals, single mothers with children, and those with co-occurring dependencies all have varying factors that will weigh heavily on the choices they make for a sober living community. 

Sunset Shores Sober Living Home in Orange County is glad to help you answer any questions in your journey for the best sober living facility to meet your needs. Give us a call or send a message online with your questions or concerns. One of our talented staff is happy to assist you.