What Does a Day in a Sober House Look Like?

Sober living houses have a lot to offer, and if you are researching them you have probably decided that a sober house could be something that would improve your chances of succeeding in treatment and/or recovery. What you might be a little uncertain of is how these houses function. What would it be like to live in one? Hopefully, this will give you a better idea.

If you are ready to go into sober housing or just looking into it, SoberHouse.com is a great resource. You can connect with sober houses, ask questions and get linked to resources that can assist you. Simply call 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?) today.

Sober Housing

What are sober houses? As the name implies, they are alcohol and drug-free homes created for people who are sober or attempting to be so. They are not treatment centers and that is important to remember. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reminds readers that sober living houses are “important resources for individuals completing residential treatment, attending outpatient programs, leaving incarceration or seeking alternatives to formal treatment.”

Day in a Sober House

Chores are usually done after work or school.

Sober houses are subsidized by fees paid by residents, and residents are invited to stay as long as they please—provided they keep up to date with rents and fees and follow the house rules. Residents may be strongly urged or obligated to be active in a 12 step community. This means attending meetings as well as acting as a sponsor, maintaining your own sponsor, and volunteering in service roles.

The residence is more like a dorm than like a home or apartment. You will be required to contribute to running the home and keeping it clean.

A Day at the House

It is important to keep in mind that each home is different. What follows is a generalization and may differ from the sober house you choose to reside in.

  • An early wake-up (around 7) is generally a rule of sober houses. You may also be required to make your bed and there may be a morning meditation or quiet time that all residents participate in before breakfast.
  • You will attend breakfast together. In some homes, it is prepared by residents; other homes have cooking staff.
  • During the work week, most residents will have school and/or work to attend. Some homes have a van that can transport residents to work or school.
  • After then end of the work or school day, residents return to the house and are responsible for assigned chores. Chores are typically routine housework like cleaning the toilet or vacuuming.
  • Near the close of the day, a house manager or the house council may call for a meeting. Both good and bad issues will be hashed out. Should there be disputes among residents (or residents and staff) the house meeting is the time to address this.
  • The evening meal is also taken together, as with breakfast.
  • After dinner, many residents will attend a 12 step meeting together. This may happen as little as once a week or as frequently as nightly.
  • After the meetings, residents can enjoy free time for homework, letter writing, television, chatting with others, or another activity, like homework. Many houses reward exceptional residents with additional free time.
  • Many houses have a lights out or curfew time agreed upon and enforced.

A Day in the Life of a Sober House Resident


There will be a set of rules that are individual to each sober living house. You must be comfortable with the rules and abide by them.

In most sober houses, the rules are decided and enforced by a council made up of residents. Although, homes still exist with a single person in a management position and that person enforces the rules they have drawn up.

Examples of rules include:

  • You must pay rent on time and in full.
  • You must perform assigned chores.
  • You must not engage in a romantic relationship with other residents.
  • You must not bring drug or alcohol on the premises.
  • You must not steal.
  • You must not physically engage with other residents.
  • You must be willing to submit to an ordered urine test upon request.

If you like the sound of sober housing and are interested in learning more, contact Our helpline at 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?) and speak with someone today.

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