Should You Go To A Sober Living Or Rehab?

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Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (e.g. abusing drugs) without regard for negative consequence. Individuals that struggles with addiction, and many that struggle with substance abuse, will prioritize satisfying drug cravings above all else, which can wreak havoc in every area of one’s life. Each individual’s recovery process is unique as each individual is different, and will therefore have nuanced needs when it comes to substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment. Typically, the treatment process includes detox, some type of formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, and aftercare. There are a variety of options within each component of the treatment process. In order to make an informed decision regarding your next moves on your journey of recovery, it is important to understand the intended and distinct purposes of sober living facilities and rehab programs.

Sober Living

Sober living residences are generally considered an option in the aftercare component of one’s treatment process. The purpose of sober living homes is to provide an individual with a transitional residence after completing a formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, prior to returning home. They offer residents an environment that is slightly less structured than a residential substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, while also continuing to provide a somewhat sheltered reintroduction into society. Sober living facilities prohibit the use and possession of drugs and alcohol on the premises, have clear expectations of their residents and require residents to continue to take positive steps to further integrate the information learned in treatment so as to amply prepare them for the subsequent step of returning home. Most sober living homes allow residents to stay as long as they need provided they are able to adhere to the facility’s rules and regulations.  

Residential Rehab

Residential rehab programs, also known as inpatient substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs, are according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), formal programs “intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use.” An individual that attends an inpatient rehab program will be fully immersed in the treatment program, as they will reside at the facility for the duration of treatment. Residential rehab enables individuals to focus solely on their recovery process, as the controlled environment is innately free of many potential triggers. The duration of inpatient rehab varies and can last anywhere from twenty-one days long to three months long, and in some cases longer. 

Though both are considered components in the continuum of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment, sober living facilities and rehab programs are vastly different. Ultimately, the decision as to whether transitioning into a sober living facility or into a rehab program is left to the individual in need. When making the choice, it is imperative to consider which option may provide you with the greatest opportunity for continued and prolonged success on your path of recovery.  

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to 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 anytime us via email at

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