Do You Have To Be In AA To Be In Sober Living?

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Alcoholics Anonymous, also referred to as A.A., is an international fellowship of men and women who self-identify as having a drinking problem. According to Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. it is “nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.” Bill W. and Dr. Bob founded A.A. in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. The Alcoholics Anonymous program is divided into twelve steps. Each of the twelve steps build upon each other and are intended to independently and collectively help individuals foster and cultivate the ability to lead a satisfying life without alcohol. The A.A. program is carried out through support group meetings (A.A. meetings) and individual peer-mentorship (sponsors). 

Sober Living

Although transitioning from a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program into a sober living facility is optional, it has become increasingly popular as it is widely viewed as an essential part of the continuum of care following a rehab program. They serve as a transitional residence for individuals to continue implementing the information learned during treatment, prior to returning to their home environment. They offer individuals a drug and alcohol-free residence that is a slightly less structured than in an inpatient substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, but more structured and controlled than simply returning home. 

There is a plethora of different options when it comes to sober living facilities. Sober living homes each hold distinct characteristics, are in different geographical areas, offer a variety of wide-ranging amenities, and many specialize in accommodating individual’s nuanced needs. Most sober living facilities are privately owned, and as such will have a distinct set of house rules and regulations as well as corresponding consequences for violations. Every person is unique and the various treatment methods and support group options will resonate with everyone differently. For example, not all individuals in recovery align with the principals of A.A. and integrate a different option (e.g., SMART Recovery) into their recovery process. Provided a resident can abide by the rules of the house, most sober living homes do not dictate which type of support group meetings its tenants must attend. The path of recovery is different for every person. Therefore, no, you do not have to be in A.A. to reside in a sober living facility. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact us anytime via email at

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