Sober Homes

Why Live in a Sober Home?

sober-home-handsAddiction is a very tenacious disease!  After detox and even after treatment, the brain still hasn’t returned to its normal, pre-using state. The mind is still raw and wants to use in response to stress and other triggers. Those stresses – job, relationships, money, household chores and many others – create temptation to self-medicate and make painful or uncomfortable situations disappear. Even when stress is low, there can be triggers such as memories of using drugs in one’s home or neighborhood; memories of arguments with family members – just about anything from the old environment could be a trigger. That’s why COA recommends that recoverees move into a good Sober Home.

Sober Homes (also called Recovery Homes) are houses or townhouses that are set up as clean living environments for people in recovery. Each Sober Home accommodates 6 to 10 or more men or women. Residents rent a room in the Sober Home, giving them a private or shared bedroom, with access to a bathroom, kitchen, living and dining areas. Life in a Sober Home is structured so the recoveree has the best chance of staying in recovery. He or she will be drug tested regularly; expected to attend regular 12 Step and House meetings; expected to hold a steady job; required to do chores; and held responsible to House rules. Residents who do not comply with those requirements – or who otherwise aren’t able to live successfully in the Sober Home – will be asked to leave. It’s a strict environment designed to make sure that everyone who lives in the Home is responsible and contributing to the Home’s success. Rent is typically $125 – $150 per week, on average, and includes living accommodations and utilities but not food. It may also include an initial, non-refundable application fee.

So why should a recoveree subject himself or herself to those tough living conditions? Because the men and women in the Sober Home will teach newcomers by example how to stay clean and live well in recovery. For all their good intentions, friends and family who’ve never been addicted can’t do that.


The following Sober Homes have been vetted by COA. Please feel free to contact them directly to check if they have vacancies.

Oxford Houses – many locations across in the U.S.

Step by Step Houses – 9 locations in PA

AFAR – A Future After Rehab – Burlington and Central NJ

 This list is updated regularly. For questions or comments, please contact