Where to Live After Rehab Ends: Rehab Aftercare Options
Depending on your situation and home environment, you might return to your residence, or you may need to find a different living situation to best support your recovery. Transitional housing options—sober living homes and community-living environments—offer safe, substance-free housing and may be good option for some.
Where to Go After Rehab
Finishing a rehab program can come with lots of different feelings—excitement, fear, anxiety, and more. Yes, individuals get to apply all the skills they’ve developed in treatment to real-world situations. However, leaving the structure of formal treatment and entering the unpredictability of real life can be unnerving, too.
Healthcare professionals encourage ongoing treatment to keep individuals engaged following a formal treatment program.1 Aftercare programs may include 12-Step programs or models, sober living homes, and ongoing therapy to help individuals continue to build relapse prevention skills and stay focused on sobriety.1
It’s important to remember that recovery from addiction is a long-term process.1 Thus, living in an environment that continues to foster and support individuals in their ongoing recovery can help reduce their risk of relapse.1 Returning to the home and people that potentially contributed an individual’s addiction can make it substantially more difficult for them to remain in recovery.
Luckily, there are after-rehab housing options, including:
- Returning home.
- Moving to a new home or apartment.
- Moving into a sober living home or community-living environment.
Sober Living Homes and Communities
A sober living home provides a safe, supportive, drug- and alcohol-free living environment, where individuals can maintain abstinence and continue to develop a recovery-oriented lifestyle as they transition back into everyday life following rehab.2 Residing in a sober living home means individuals adhere to a set of rules, pay rent, and attend mutual-help groups. Requirements typically also include community involvement and employment. Research shows that individuals who enter sober living after treatment typically have decreased rates of substance use and incarceration as compared to those who return directly to their community following treatment.3
Pros and Cons of Sober Living
Living in a sober home after an inpatient rehab facility or during outpatient addiction treatment can be very beneficial. Of course, as with anything, living in a sober living environment isn’t without it’s disadvantages, too.
Benefits of Sober Living
- A drug- and alcohol-free environment, which supports their early recovery.
- Resources, such as help finding employment and other recovery aids.
- Relationships with others who are on similar recovery journeys.
- No time limit. Individuals can typically stay in a sober living environment as long as they want, providing they adhere to the rules and meet their financial obligations.
Disadvantages of Sober Living
- Cost. Besides rent, residents may be expected to share the cost of water, trash, electricity, internet, and transportation services (if the facility offers it).
- A lack of structure.
- Little privacy or personal space.
- Limited availability.
Living at Home After Rehab
Living at home after rehab may be an option. The biggest advantage of returning home after substance use treatment is being with your loved ones and having their support and encouragement every day. A solid support system can help you remain in recovery as you learn to navigate life without drugs or alcohol.1
Familiarity can be another benefit of going home after rehab. Being back in your environment—sleeping in your own bed and making meals in your kitchen, for instance—brings a sense of comfort that can make tackling the unfamiliar aspects of your new sober life easier.
However, if your home environment isn’t stable, returning can potentially result in a big setback in your recovery journey. If your home still holds the people and things that trigger your substance use, returning could cause you to relapse.1 Sometimes it helps to separate from the people and places contributing to your addiction.
If you return to your home environment—whether it’s stable and supportive or not—it’s crucial for you to follow your aftercare plan to ensure you continue to get the support and help you need.
Things to Consider When Deciding Where to Live After Rehab
There are several factors that you should consider before deciding where to live after completing a treatment program for a substance use disorder.
First, think about your specific needs and where you are in your recovery journey. For example, if you’ve relapsed after returning home from treatment in the past, you might consider trying another living environment, like a sober living home.
The level of support you need should also impact your decision. As previously mentioned, returning to a supportive and encouraging home environment may be the best place to help you maintain your abstinence and continue to develop your coping skills.
If, on the other hand, you lack a supportive network or a stable home life, becoming a resident in a sober living home—with peers, who are also in recovery—may provide the encouragement and support you need to help you remain in recovery.
Cost will likely play a role in the decision as well. If you don’t have the means to cover rent, the U.S. Department of Housing’s Recovery Housing Program provides eligible individuals in recovery from substance use disorder with stable, transitional housing for up to 2 years.
Where you live after completing a treatment program for substance use disorder can be an instrumental step in supporting your recovery. American Addiction Centers (AAC) can help. Our knowledgeable admissions navigators can answer your questions about treatment and recovery. Additionally, some of our facilities offer sober living environments. Both Desert Hope Treatment Center near Las Vegas and Greenhouse Treatment Center in the Dallas/Fort Worth area have sober living homes. Reach out at to better understand your sober living options.