Sober living homes are a vital part of making a successful transition out of inpatient rehab. A good one will equip you with the skills and support that you need to take the next steps on the road to a whole, fulfilling sober life. But not every sober living home is a good one. So, how do you choose a sober living home? 


Fortunately, choosing a sober living home is less about individualized treatment and more about building a support network, maintaining healthy habits and routines, and finding ways to make changes for a lasting recovery. When you’re considering a sober living home, you have more freedom with your choice because it’s an optional step between rehab and going back to your normal life.



Sober living might be an optional step, but if you ask us, it’s worth it. Research shows that residence in a sober living home led to fewer problems with alcohol and drugs, higher employment rates, lower arrest rates, and more stable housing arrangements for addicts in recovery.


That’s also why it’s important to choose a sober living home you can easily commit to. It should be in a neighborhood you like, a place you can afford, with meetings you’ll like to attend. Then, you’ll have to find one that fits your lifestyle.


How do you choose a sober living home?



When you choose a rehab facility, you had to make sure that your specific alcohol or drug addiction treatment was covered, that it took your insurance, and that it had all the amenities you needed for your best chance at success. Sober living homes have varying amenities, programs, and levels of schedule structure, but they aren’t usually covered by insurance or funded by the government. 


That means that as long as you can afford the monthly rent or take out a loan for it, you’re free to choose a luxurious environment with all-inclusive amenities, or you can choose a place that has only necessary amenities and with rent similar to what you plan to pay for your own place after rehab.



The best part about sober living is that you’re free to come and go whenever you’d like within certain hours, continue to work or attend school, and still benefit from a support group and 12-step support meetings. So, when you choose a sober living home, you’ll want to keep in mind how close your sober living residence is to your work and other activities. When choosing a home, ask yourself:


  • Is it close to work, school, or in a neighborhood you’d like to stay?
  • Are there nearby activities to help keep you clean and sober?
  • Is it close to tempting places that will make it hard for you to remain clean and sober?
  • Are your supportive friends and family close by?
  • Is it within driving or walking distance to your doctor, pharmacy, and a grocery store?
  • Does it offer transportation?
  • How many people will live there, and are you comfortable with that?
  • What chores and rules are there, and can you commit to them?



  • Patients who had a social network with a higher number of sober friends and recovering alcoholics had a better outcome three years after treatment completion, a study found.
  • Sober living programs increased the likelihood that recovering addicts would remain sober with few or no relapses, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
  • People in sober living homes experienced significant improvements to their mental health, reported reduced depression and anxiety, and had lower scores on personality disorder tests, according to a study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.


Different types of sober living homes



Sober living homes are owned and operated by independent companies, corporations, or churches. Some homes provide residents with beds, sheets, personal items, meals and equipment for the activity. Others allow you to cook when you want to and expect you to bring your own belongings. Every home has specific rules that everyone has to follow, or you won’t be admitted or allowed to stay. 


Some common rules include: 


  • Mandatory group meetings
  • Minimum 30-day stay
  • Be home by curfew
  • No drugs or alcohol
  • Stay clean and sober



Some houses are considered structured sober living homes, which have rules such as:


  • Mandatory 12-step support meetings
  • Be willing to get in shape
  • Be willing to eating healthy
  • Participate in mandatory activities
  • Minimum 90-day stay


How do I get accepted into a sober living home? 



When you choose a sober living home you’re interested in, you can visit their website or give them a call to see if they have admission guidelines, including age and gender. You can email or call the home to schedule an admissions call, or you can have a professional or a family member make a referral for you.


If you or a loved one can afford the monthly rent, and the home thinks that you would be a good fit, then you may be admitted into the home. 





When you do your research on sober living homes, it will pay for itself. It’s important to have a step after rehab before you return to your normal life. Sober living homes will give you the best chance to succeed in recovery. Staying at a sober living home can help you implement healthy routines and build your support network. It will also prepare you for financial independence and a life of sobriety. Make sure to choose a sober living home that sets you up with success from the start.

Choose a neighborhood close to places you need to go, or where you wish to start your new life. Decide if it’s more important to have a luxurious environment or an experience similar to living in a new apartment. If you’re in Orange County California, take a look at what we offer here at Sunset Shores Sober Living—it may just be the place for you!