Length of Stay at a Sober Living Home
Sober living homes are transitional residences that individuals may move into after completing a substance abuse treatment program and before returning home.
Sober living homes can provide a supportive network for those not quite ready to face the stress of everyday life and people who can use more time honing the coping mechanisms, communication, and self-reliance skills taught in rehab.
As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports, the length of time a person spends in substance abuse treatment can directly influence their outcome in recovery. Generally speaking, at least 90 days in treatment is recommended. There is no “magic” number however, as treatment and recovery are highly individual. While one person may be ready to reenter society after three months, another may benefit from a longer stay.
The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reported on a few different types of sober living homes and found that the average stay was between 166 and 254 days. Residence in a sober living home led to fewer problems with alcohol and drugs, lower arrest rates, higher employment rates, and more stable housing arrangements that were maintained as much as a year and a half later. In general, individuals may stay in sober living homes as long as they want to if they continue to follow the house rules. Substance abuse treatment programs may follow a continuum of care that provides for a step-down approach as individuals progress during recovery. Psych Central postulates that a year or more is an ideal length of time to spend in long-term drug treatment. Sober living homes are often the last transition before returning home, and staying in residence for a longer period of time may improve the foundation for long-term recovery.