• Kelly Rhone

Transitional Sober Living

Hi friend! So after skimming through the net, I’ve realized that while I have discussed both Sober Living Housings and Transitional Living to you before, I’ve never really covered what and how exactly does “Transitional Sober Living” works.

Starting off, I’ll give you a short recap on what we had mentioned Sober Living Housings are!

In accordance to our past article, sober living houses are mostly for people recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. It serves as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the “real world”! As such, this is a place where the residents agree to remain sober to drug-testing requests while living in the house. Be that as it may, sober living houses are still NOT treatment centers and hence still can’t replace them.

Now let’s move on to Transitional Living which will technically be serving as the “base” for today’s topic.

As worded and previously discussed, Transitional Living is any living situation that is transitional with the facilities for it offering low-cost housings that come with professional support, education, and a stable living environment. This is a place that aids those in need in adjusting to the pressures of the outside world.

For more details, feel free to read back on our previous articles!

Henceforth, let’s start tackling the questions we want to ask and be answered!

What exactly is Sober Living? Is it just a simple activity?

Well, the answer to it would be a no as it is more of a program rather than just an activity, basing on what I’ve stumbled upon so far that is.

Just as stated above, transitional living serves to aid those “transitioning” or “adjusting” while sober living is a bridge between an inpatient facility and the “real world”. Put two together and you’d get the idea right away as to who this program is meant for.

According to, sober living is designed for the following:

  • Need more accountability in their journey to sobriety.

  • Are stepping down from an intensive inpatient or outpatient program.

  • Are stepping up into a more structured but independent home.

  • Do not have drugs or alcohol currently in their system.

As you’ve seen from the list, it targets not only those who are involved with drugs and alcohol, but also those from inpatient or outpatient programs, as well as people who are trying to reach the goal of being sober and giving up addictions.

So how does this work? Are there things to be taken note of?

Just like every other program, there are things we have to watch out for in sober living programs, such being the house’s basic rules which are as provided by once again:

  • For acceptance, applicants must detox and work towards long-term sobriety.

  • To continue staying, each resident has to fulfill all household duties, including rent.

  • Attendance is required for all house meetings and support group meetings.

  • Program intensity usually begins high and adjusts dynamically as residents progress.

  • Recommended length of stay is a minimum of 90 days. However, most residents stay 6-9 months before leaving for full independence. Some may even stay a year or more.

It was said that despite the aforementioned, there are many other variables that may affect the program’s quality, effectiveness, and fit.

Meanwhile, in these programs, the same source mentioned the eligibility requirements one has to abide to as these rules exist to keep residents on-track in their journey towards sobriety whilst protecting the other residents in the same home at the same time in which failure to follow the rules may result in restricted living or even eviction.

The common requirements are said to be:

  • No drugs, alcohol, violence, or overnight guests

  • Random drug and alcohol screenings

  • Active participation in support group meetings

  • Engaged in either work, school, or an outpatient program

  • General acceptance by SLH peer group

  • Must complete household duties (chores, etc.)

  • Timely payment of guest dues

  • Sexual contact between residents is prohibited

Aside from becoming sober, what else can I get from Sober Living?

Well, when people go through programs, they’re bound to gain either new knowledge, a more profound understanding of something, or new skills, right?

The same goes for sober living programs where the residents are made to gain and apply life skills as those could help with their transitioning.

Such core skills include living with others, budgeting, time management, accountability, behavioral control, and life purpose.

Meanwhile, one should keep in mind that sober living programs aren’t for the locals only. Heck, aside from the skills gained, there were said to even be additional benefits for those who aren’t locals, non-local sober living to be exact, which includes the following as listed in

  • Removal from environments and peers that trigger addictive habits.

  • Availability of services not found near you, such as equine therapy.

  • Location may have lower cost of living or other beneficial features.

  • Exposure to a more recovery-friendly community, such as Asheville, NC.

  • Changes in scenery may have a positive impact on mental health.

Though out-of-state programs aren’t exactly suitable for everyone, it’s still an option to be considered!

Do you know?

Recovery doesn’t exactly end when treatment is over, and that’s why transitional living exists. With so many triggers around us, imagine how many people would easily fall prey to those temptations and end up putting their “treatment” to waste by reverting back to how they were in one go after succumbing once.

So if you or someone is wondering whether they should avail of this type of program, here are some tips from to help you make a decision!

  • Speak to your case manager and/or therapy to get their opinion about whether sober living would benefit you.

  • Research homes that are convenient to you, and ask for a tour.

  • Ask yourself whether you’re committed to your recovery and would like to be supported by other people who are too.

  • Understand the cost by speaking with the staff at a recovery home.

  • Talk to any friends or family who have lived in recovery homes to see what their experiences were like.

What happens after sober living? What will I be doing then?

Now this is one question I’m pretty sure a lot of people worry about as one may end up being reliant towards the program, which makes sense, but we’ll tackle it now to lessen some of your worries, shall we?

As mentioned above, sober living programs tend to teach essential life skills which serves as a preparation for when residents obtain their own housing. By then, the residents may opt to live with their other sober roommates, return to their family, or live alone.

Nevertheless, it is advisable for one to stay connected with their recovery community while being on the look out for the risk of relapse as addiction is said to fester in isolation.

Going through all of the things I’ve shared with you so far, what do you think? Are you starting to see Sober Living in a comfortable light?

Afterall, we can’t really deny that adjusting takes time and may even need aid, especially when it comes to cases with risks of relapse. Moreover, not only does one receive the aid they need, one is also face with opportunities that can be found only when one chooses to avail a sober living program, especially with how there are other residents within the housings for you to help each other out as well.

Overall, the program itself really just aims to provide one with a safe and comfortable space for the residents to gradually learn how to adapt and transition into the real world at their own pace whilst being kept away from possible triggers.

To end today’s article, here are some tips from once again when choosing a sober living program:

“A few important things you should look for:

  • Certification by sober living coalitions/networks, CARF, NARR, or another credible agency.

  • Level of support in the SLH offer 24-hour supervision by clinically certified staff. High structure allows for a better chance at long-term sobriety. Best fit often comes down to the individual.

  • Services offered should fit the applicant. Medical access, complementary therapies like adventure therapy, and other services should be considered.

  • Specialized sober living if the applicant is of a specific or vulnerable population. This is especially important for groups like LGBTQ, young adults, veterans, and others.

  • Licensed clinical staff are a crucial component to a healthy support network. Ideally, you choose a program that offers a low resident-to-clinical-staff ratio.

  • Phases of restriction may be ideal to get a strong reset after chronic exposure to addiction triggers.

  • Mandatory support group attendance supports sobriety after sober living.

  • Program size may be important if the applicant needs a small group for individual focus.”

See you in our next article friend!

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