Sober Living: A Place of Safety and Comfort

Leaving the security of a treatment center can cause stress and anxiety. There are so many questions about what to expect once you are back in your familiar environment, from if you can maintain your sobriety or if you are ready to go home. Everything you learned while you were in treatment can help you answer these questions and cope with obstacles that can block your path. If you don’t think you are ready to face these obstacles or your environment after finishing your treatment program, you have an option: a sober living house.

Environmental Triggers

Environmental triggers are often reasons you can hesitate to move back home after residential rehab. Environmental triggers can include:

  • Destructive behaviors: You learned some of your harmful habits from your family or peers. Recognizing your destructive behaviors and replacing those negative patterns with healthy habits is essential when returning home. Sober living is a nurturing environment that allows you to use your skills while being guided by those who support your sobriety.
  • Access to alcohol or drugs: When you return home, you may go back into an environment where alcohol or drugs, like prescription painkillers, are readily available. Transitioning to sober living gives you time to plan to avoid relapse because substances are available, even if a loved one didn’t intentionally mean for you to access them.
  • Friends: Your peers play an essential role in your life. If you return to the same social group that you drank or used drugs with, maintaining your sobriety will likely be difficult. While you are in sober living, you can strengthen relationships formed through meetings, sober groups or sober communities.

While you are in therapy, you can discuss triggers with your therapist or group. You can also incorporate coping skills learned through activities like art, sports or your chosen form of spirituality. However, social factors can cause stress, anxiety or depression. These feelings raised by environmental factors are a reason to consider sober living.

Why Choose Sober Living?

Social factors can affect how you respond to family, friends or work. Some people can feel unsure of their sobriety as they reach the end of their treatment program. Instead of returning to a potentially harmful setting, you can transition from residential rehab to sober living. Before you leave your residential rehab, discuss potential triggers and the skills you learned while in treatment. While you are talking about these obstacles, review your home environment with your therapist. Relationships with friends or family can trigger feelings or responses that are harmful to your well-being. 

Instead of placing yourself back into those relationships or the environment they exist in, consider transitioning to sober living. Once you are in a sober living environment, use the resources available to you. In some cases, you will work with your residential advisor to decide whether you can change your social connections to include those supporting your journey. A supportive surrounding can increase your likelihood to maintain your sobriety. The safety and comfort you can find in sober living allow you to focus more on building a secure living habitat once you leave. 

Houses dedicated to your recovery nurture your strength and ability to use the skills learned in treatment. Residential staff trained to guide you as you build a stable home environment can assist you when you reach an obstacle or have a question. When you return home, you deserve to feel confident in your habitat. You are worthy of people who love and support you in your journey.  

While you continue to learn about yourself, build a stable social network or remove yourself from a toxic environment, you shouldn’t worry about how long you can stay where you are living. The benefit of sober living houses versus halfway houses is they don’t have limits to how long you can stay. You leave when you are ready to re-enter your home. Leaving the support of a sober living house means you took the time to either include your friends or family in your sobriety journey or you decided to change your social circle. 

Sober living houses also provide the proper tools to give you extra support. If you recognize you are falling back into old habits, you can seek help through individual or group therapy sessions while living in a sober living house’s safety and comfort. During your stay, you can reconnect with the skills you learned while in residential treatment. You can also learn new skills that can aid you in retaining your sobriety. 

Researchers found that residents of sober living houses maintained their sobriety over long periods. Specific findings included:

  • Abstinence over a prolonged period
  • Improvements in mental health well-being and employment
  • Sober living houses can play a role in:
    • Maintenance of sobriety
    • Attending individual or group therapy
    • Seeking healthy lifestyle choices

The opportunity to live in an environment with people who are understanding and passionate about your health is integral to your physical or mental well-being and invaluable to your recovery journey.

Benefits of Sober Living Houses

Features of sober living houses include:

  • An alcohol- and drug-free living environment for those who are trying to maintain their sobriety.
  • Standard treatment is not required, and group sessions, individual therapy or meetings like AA or NA are encouraged.
  • Compliance with house rules is required. Rules may be: maintain your sobriety; pay a fee for living there; attend in-house meetings; complete household assignments, etc.
  • Residents are welcome to stay for as long as they need all the while abiding by the rules.

The goal of sober living houses is to provide the support and care you may not have in your home environment.


Treatment for addiction doesn’t stop once you leave residential rehab. For some, transitioning to a sober living house can give them the comfort and support they need to successfully maintain their sobriety. Not everyone has a stable, supportive or safe environment to return to after they finish treatment. You can continue your recovery journey with the knowledge you have with the support of the house’s staff and your therapist. While you are in sober living, you can go back to work, engage in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and work on finding a positive support system. Cliffside Malibu’s sober living house has residential advisors on staff. While you seek to find what you need to have a successful recovery, the advisors provide support and guidance. Cliffside Malibu’s sober living house believes your focus should be on your recovery.