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What is Sober Living in California?

When most people hear the term sober living, they assume that it refers to a person who has decided to completely abstain from alcohol and drugs.

The truth is that sober living is actually a program that’s designed to help addicts start the long road to recovery.

Sober living in California involves an addict moving into a facility where they will not only be able to avoid temptation but will also be provided with the tools needed to rebuild their lives and learn how to live without drugs/alcohol. In the past, many of the facilities that currently identify as sober living facilities were called halfway houses.

Most of the residents at sober living facilities are individuals who have been recently released from jail for drug charges. Many have just completed a lengthy sentence. The idea behind sending them to a sober living facility is that it provides them with a place to stay and the resources needed to ease their transition back into reality. While many of the people enrolled in one of California’s sober living facilities have been recently released from jail, some are individuals who don’t necessarily have a criminal record but were actually residents of a long-term rehab program who want to reenter life outside of rehab at a slower pace.

The great thing about sober living facilities in California is that they do more than provide residents with a place to stay. They are no longer run like mini-jails that some halfway houses became. While the residents do have rules they have to follow while they are residing at the sober living facility, they also have access to tools and resources that would have been difficult for them to find had they simply returned to their homes.

One of the things sober living residents learn is how to embrace a sober lifestyle and resist the temptation to give into their addiction once they are reunited with their loved ones. This education can include recognizing which people aid in their addiction. What habits triggered their addiction. How to replace illegal substances with healthier, less addictive options.

Each sober living facility has different rules, policies, and approaches to helping the residents establish the foundation for a sober future, but most have a few common rules, which include:

  • Zero-tolerance for addictive substances
  • Frequent alcohol and drug tests
  • Mandatory chores
  • Curfews
  • Employment requirements
  • Mandatory attendance at sobriety support groups and rehabilitation programs

While each person’s experiences are different, many of the people who have gone through one of California’s sober living programs credit the program with giving them the confidence and tools needed to enjoy a sober lifestyle even after they’ve graduated from the sober living program.