Rules & Regulations of a Sober Living House

Residents in a sober living house are held to a higher standard after they complete a rehabilitation program. They have the guarantee of a substance-free environment, support from other residents to find employment and go to support group meetings, and increasing freedom and responsibilities that help them build a new routine for themselves after overcoming addiction.Residents need to adhere to certain rules and regulations to continue living in the sober living house. While specific rules vary from facility to facility, there are some general guidelines that most sober living homes use.

rules to live byIf a person in early recovery doesn’t have a stable home environment, it’s recommended that they live in a sober living home as they adjust to life without substance use.

Increased Freedom

Sober living houses offer an important form of support in the ongoing recovery process.

While detox and rehabilitation create a strong foundation to feel good being substance-free, behavioral change can take months to integrate completely. Rehabilitation programs offer group therapy, and often individual therapy, to begin the process of behavioral change, which reduces the risk of relapse.

A sober living house allows residents to continue practicing abstinence while creating a daily routine with more freedom. If you are involved in outpatient rehab, there is a specific treatment schedule you must follow. Sober living homes don’t usually have this regimented schedule. Learning to live with this increased freedom can be an especially important step for people who have completed a more structured rehabilitation program.

If you are exiting a residential treatment program, a sober living home is a good transitional step before you return back home. The massive difference between living in a rehab center around the clock and life at home can be too much in early recovery. This transitional living situation can be critical to finding solid footing in life outside the treatment center.


24/7 Staff Support
Planned Activities
Peer & Community Led Support Groups
Life Skills Counseling
Comfortable Apartment Style Living
Transportation to Clinical Programing

FTR Recovery Home

Elgin, Illinois

The Rules & Regulations for Living in a Sober Living House

Because sober living houses are intended to support the recovery process, they have rules that are designed to keep residents safe while they learn to build a sober lifestyle. Sober living houses are managed by homeowners, on-site managers, or via a democratic, social approach. Again, each house can have slightly different rules.

There are some core rules that can be found in most sober homes.

  • No drugs or alcohol are allowed on the premises. Some exceptions may be made for specific prescriptions, like antidepressants.
  • Anyone who wants to live in a sober living house must be able to pay their own expenses.
  • Residents must participate in household activities like once-weekly meetings and regular chores.
  • Potential residents must have completed detox and rehabilitation, and they should have a plan to go to therapy or 12-step meetings at least once per week.
  • Residents must sleep at the sober living house at least five nights per week, with very few exceptions for travel.
  • There will be random drug and alcohol screenings for all residents to ensure safety and sobriety.
  • Residents must be accountable for their whereabouts when they are not on the property, and they must adhere to the house’s curfew.

Specifics of these rules, like curfew times, are determined by the company running the sober home, the manager or homeowner, or the residents themselves through a residential council. As long as rules are followed, a person can generally live at a sober living house for as long as they want.

Residency in this type of environment can keep you accountable for your actions and your recovery process while providing a supportive environment to remain abstinent.

Additional Rules at Sober Living Houses

There may be other rules associated with the sober living house. Ask prospective homes about their specific rules. Here are some examples:

Are residents allowed to have a job while living in the house?

Are there restriction on phone or internet use?

Can residents bring a car?

Can residents have guests over?

Are group meetings offered?

What type of supervision is there?

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