SpringBoard Recovery is a drug and alcohol rehab center in Arizona. We offer sober recovery housing to help our clients successfully recover from addiction.
We have earned many years of full accreditation from the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission expects the highest national standards for addiction treatment. We are committed to continually improving patient care.
We accept most major health insurance coverage. Clients travel from all over the U.S. to receive their personalized treatment at our facility. Many people stay in our on-site, substance-free “Recovery Housing” accommodation.
In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about sober living. We will provide you with information on our Recovery Housing option.
What is Sober Living?
Sober Living is a type of home for people in addiction recovery who want to live in a substance-free place.
A sober living home is an option for recovering addicts who have finished an inpatient program. It helps them to avoid the possible relapse triggers they may find in their previous home.
A sober living home is a “stepping stone” for those in recovery.
For many people, staying in a sober living home after addiction treatment makes a difference. It helps them learn how to live a sober life without the relapse triggers present.
But, it should be noted that a sober living home is only one type of recovery housing.
There are other types of recovery housing listed by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR).
Sober Living: The Legal Requirement
In some U.S. states, sober living homes are to be licensed by state authorities. This is not the case in every state.
In Arizona, the owner of a Sober Living Home has to apply for Special Licensing from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ASDHS). They create the standards and requirements for the property.
Legal Definition of a Sober Living Home under Arizona State Law:
In Arizona, the relevant state regulation – A.R.S. §36-2061(3) – legally defines a sober living home as:
Any premises, place, or building that provides alcohol-free or drug-free housing and that:
- a) Promotes independent living and life skills development.
- b) May provide activities directed toward recovery from substance use disorders.
- c) Provides a supervised setting to a group of unrelated individuals who are recovering from substance use disorders.
- d) Does not provide any medical or clinical services or medication administration on-site. With the exception for verification of abstinence.
“Any premises, place or building that provides alcohol-free or drug-free housing.”
In this way, a sober living home acts as a “stepping stone” for those in recovery.
For many people in recovery, living in a sober living home after their addiction treatment has ended can make a huge difference for them – between staying on this new, sober path or returning to the exact same environment where they were addicted.
However, it should be noted that “Sober Living” is only one option in a range of options for all types of “Recovery Housing” – a term that encompasses all types of recovery residences.
This follows the creation of a U.S. national standard in the U.S. for these properties by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR) [more detail on this later].
Sober Living: Safe, Structured and Substance-Free
People who are starting their journey to a substance-free life face many challenges. Staying at a sober living home has a positive effect on recovery.
Sober living homes are a healthy addition to professional treatment already received. People can also continue with therapy sessions while living there.
For many, it is an important step after a residential rehab. Going from that structured place to no structure at home can lead to a relapse.
Many medical studies have shown sober living homes reduce the chance of a relapse. They allow people to transition back to a normal life with help if needed.
Residents can take positive steps forward toward their new life by:
- Adjusting to sober living in a less structured environment than treatment
- Locating suitable housing after treatment
- Finding a job
- Making amends with friends and family members affected by their substance abuse
What Should I Expect Living in a Sober Living Home?
Like all places to live, there are advantages and disadvantages to a sober living home.
Let’s look at the benefits of choosing a sober living home after your treatment has finished:
When people receive addiction treatment in an inpatient setting, they are occupied by their rehab program. There are strong restrictions on what they can do and where they can go.
In a sober living home, a recovering addict’s independence is not fully returned, but it is increased. They are not bound to the limits of the property, and they are free to come and go as they please, within reason.
If they want to, they can return to their previous work or study, apply for a new job or enroll in a new course.
In this way, recovering addicts can slowly return to normal life – free of drug or alcohol use.
But, there are house rules and regulations that must be followed.
Sober living homes do have structure. Their primary purpose is to act as “transitional housing” post-treatment.
For example, many sober living environments follow the 12-Step program. Residents are encouraged to attend local meetings together. This attendance may even be a set rule of living in the home.
Each sober living home has its own set of rules and regulations to help its residents stay on track. One is regular drug testing, a condition of being able to continue to live in the home.
Living in a sober living home also provides continued accountability. Both on a personal and communal level. Following the rules and regulations of the sober living home encourages this accountability.
Residents’ Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations are there to:
- Support each resident’s recovery process
- Keep residents safe
- Help residents develop sober habits and build sober lifestyles
Here are some common house rules that most sober living homes have, in one form or another:
- No drugs or alcohol are allowed on the premises. Exceptions may be made for specific prescription medications, such as antidepressants.
- Residents must pay their appropriate expenses. Rent and management fee to live in the home.
- Residents must take part in compulsory household activities, eg. weekly 12-Step meetings, and regular chores.
- Residents must have completed detox and rehabilitation. They should have a plan to go to therapy or 12-Step meetings at least once per week.
- Residents must sleep at the sober living house at least 5 nights per week. There could be a few exceptions for extended travel.
- Residents must take part in randomized drug and alcohol screenings.
- Residents are accountable for their whereabouts when they are not on the property.
- Residents must adhere to the house’s set curfew time.
- Residents are not allowed to have overnight guests.
- Residents must respect other housemates and home staff.
- Residents are usually not allowed to have pets. But, they may be allowed with the prior permission of the home’s management.
As long as a resident follows all the rules they usually may live in the home for as long as they want.
The Potential Disadvantages of Sober Living
For many, the advantages of sober living are enough to choose this option. But, it should be noted there are some disadvantages to choosing sober living.
For example, the cost of recovery housing can be a significant factor for many in early recovery. Sometimes sober living can be more expensive than independent living.
Sober living fees do include:
- House management
- Regular drug/alcohol testing
- Other costs associated with operating a sober, substance-free environment
Sober Living, Recovery Housing and Halfway Houses
There are many different casual phrases and terms used to describe the concept of “Sober Living,” such as “Recovery Housing” and “Halfway Houses.”
In fact, it is the term “Recovery Housing” that is clinically used to describe all properties that promote and assist with sober lifestyles, including those that refer to themselves as Sober Living because they have been approved for a state license to operate such a home.
According to an official national housing resource supplied by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the term Recovery Housing “can range along a continuum of four non-linear levels described by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR).”
In 2011, the NARR established a U.S. national standard for recovery residences, which was last updated in 2018.
Prior to this, the term “halfway house” had been commonly used to describe these types of recovery housing.
When the NARR established its national standards, it drew on various existing intelligence sources, including the Association of Halfway House & Alcoholism Programs, which was founded way back in the 1960s.
The distinct levels (meaning “levels of support”) established by NARR are:
- Level I
Peer-run establishments, eg. an Oxford House*
- Level II
Monitored sober living homes
- Level III
Supervised recovery housing
- Level IV
*An Oxford House is a democratically run, self-supporting drug-free home. This is like the organizational structure of Oxford House, Inc. – a publicly supported, non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
For each type of housing, all programs normally require attendance at NA or AA meetings.
Each of these “levels” is described in the table below:
|Recovery Housing: NARR Best Practices and Suggested Guidelines|
|NARR Level||Typical Resident||On-Site Staffing||Governance||On-Site Support|
Example – Oxford House
|Self-identifies as in recovery, with peer community accountability||
No on-site paid staffing
Peer to peer support only
|Democratically run by residents||
On-site peer to peer support
Off-site support groups
Outside clinical services if needed
Example – Sober Living Homes
|In stable recovery but looking for more structured and supportive home||Resident house managers who may be compensated by free or reduced fees||Residents participate with staff/recovery residence operator||
Community house meetings
Peer recovery support, buddy system
Outside support groups and clinical services
|Level III||People looking for a moderately structured daily schedule and life skills support||
Paid house manager
Certified peer recovery support service provider
Peer recovery support staff are supervised
Senior residents may participate in residence management decisions
Community house meetings
Peer recovery support buddy systems
Linked with support groups and clinical services in the community
Peer or professional life skills training on site
Example – Therapeutic community
|Those that need clinical oversight or monitoring||Paid licensed/ credentialed staff and administrative support||
On-site clinical services and support groups
Life skills training
Peer recovery support services
Source: “Recovery Housing: Best Practices & Suggested Guidelines” SAMHSA (2018)
Recovery housing is needed in Arizona, there is still a serious addiction problem.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Arizona: Facts and Stats
The stay-at-home orders issued by Arizona’s city mayors to limit the spread of COVID-19 may have saved many lives. Including Tucson Mayor Romero’s Proclamation at the end of March 2020.
Yet, for the residents of Arizona, it did little to protect them from the coming drug overdose crisis. It swept across the state, just like the rest of the U.S.
The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns brought new issues.
- Social isolation
- Job losses
- School closures
- Severe disruption to substance addiction treatment and support groups
Arizona patients stopped attending their addiction treatment facilities. Not all people in treatment made the transition to telehealth.
Even recovery support groups, like AA and NA, were forced to stop their in-person meetings.
The result? An undeniable surge in drug use, experimentation, addiction, relapse, and accidental death. It happened in the cities of Arizona and their suburbs. Even throughout the Navajo Nation, other reservations, and beyond.
And all this in a worsening border landscape of illicit drug trafficking.
Arizona Drug Overdoses Linked to Fentanyl
In Arizona drug overdose data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, showed over 2,700 overdose deaths. The time frame was March 2020 to March 2021. At the same time as the stay-at-home orders because of the pandemic.
That means on average, 7 Arizona residents died every day. They did not die from the coronavirus, but a drug overdose.
Many of those deaths were because of new synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.
Fake pills containing fentanyl have been a critical issue for many people. Including parents, teachers, local authorities, and emergency services in the state of Arizona.
A recent announcement said the leading cause of accidental death in Tucson and Pima County teenagers changed. It went from motor vehicle accidents to fentanyl overdose, caused by these fake pills.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently published a national public health alert. “One Pill Can Kill”. It is about the risks and dangers of counterfeit tablets. Including fake versions of OxyContin, Xanax, and Adderall.
Other drugs like meth, cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana are still abused. Creating their cases of addiction and accidental death here in Arizona.
According to the “Arizona 2018, Statewide Substance Use Prevention Needs Assessment”:
- The worst results of substance use in Arizona are in Gila, Navajo, Mohave, and Pima Counties.
- Normalizing marijuana use may be leading to an increase in other substance use.
- State-wide efforts to fight the opioid crisis are increasing street drug use.
- LGBTQ individuals experience more problems with substance use than non-LGBTQ individuals.
- More Arizonans from all demographics are suffering from untreated mental health issues. This is a primary cause of substance use and/or misuse.
Additionally, among Arizonans aged 12 and older:
- 50.9% reported they currently use alcohol regularly
- 22.6% reported regular episodes of binge-drinking
- 12.2% reported using any type of illicit drug
- 7.4% reported using recreational marijuana
- 2.1% reported using cocaine within the last year
- 0.5% reported using heroin at least once within the last year
Sober Living and Other Recovery Housing in Arizona
The SAMHSA’s drug and alcohol treatment locator tool, shows 26 facilities in Arizona that offer one of these options:
- Transitional housing
- Halfway house
- Sober home
These 26 facilities include SpringBoard Recovery. We have on-site Recovery Housing.
Most of the 26 facilities are around the cities of Phoenix and Tucson.
As we mentioned, the state of Arizona has a licensing program for official Sober Living homes. But, sober living homes are just one type of Recovery Housing.
Finding a Sober Living Home
Many people in recovery find it helpful to move into an environment with a set-up support system.
To find other Recovery Housing use the Arizona Recovery Housing Association website: https://myazrha.org/. Or you can speak directly with an addiction treatment provider.
The Arizona Recovery Housing Association (AzRHA) is a statewide organization. It includes Sober Home and Halfway House providers. These providers have proved to provide quality residential recovery services.
AzRHA has Sober Homes represented in cities from Yuma to Flagstaff. With the majority centered in metropolitan centers such as Phoenix and Tucson.
Many state-run and private rehab treatment facilities in Arizona, work closely with AzRHA. This also includes the Department of Corrections and the Parole Office.
Finding A Sober Living Home
Many people in recovery find it helpful to their sobriety to move into an environment with a readily available support system.
To find more providers of Recovery Housing, you need to either access the Arizona Recovery Housing Association website: https://myazrha.org/ or speak directly with an addiction treatment provider.
The Arizona Recovery Housing Association (AzRHA) is a statewide organization of Sober Home and Halfway House providers that have proved to provide quality residential recovery services.
AzRHA has members and certified Sober Homes represented in cities from Yuma to Flagstaff, with the majority centered in metropolitan centers such as Phoenix and Tucson.
Many state-run and private treatment facilities for substance addiction in Arizona, along with the Department of Corrections and the Parole Office for recently released offenders, work closely with AzRHA.
Your health insurance plan may cover your recovery at SpringBoard. Verifying your insurance is quick and easy!
Clinical Proof: Does Sober Living Really Work?
The research study “What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?” shows positive results. It was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in December 2010. The study shows people who enter recovery housing typically have:
- Decreased rates of substance use
- Decreased rates of incarceration
- Increased rates of employment.
The study compared those who went to recovery housing with those who went home after their addiction treatment program.
Another report “Recovery Housing in the State of Ohio: Findings and Recommendations from an Environmental Scan,” found similar results.
Using other existing research studies, the Ohio report also found:
- Positive Effects of Recovery Housing on Children & Families.
- One study of the Oxford House model found that 87% of women living in Oxford Houses had children. But 50% had lost custody as a result of their substance use. Two years after entering the home, over 30% had regained custody of their children. Only 12.8% of women in the control group regained custody.
- Another study looked at recovery housing where children were allowed to live in the house. A positive effect was reported for residents on recovery measures. Child residents had a positive impact on recovery for all women residing in the homes.
- A study of men living in peer-run residences where children were present had the highest rates of long-term recovery. Compared to men in peer-run homes without children.
Experience Recovery Housing with SpringBoard Recovery
At SpringBoard Recovery, we value the benefits of Recovery Housing. There are many for someone in the early stages of recovery from substance addiction.
People in the early stages of recovery can struggle to follow through on the actions needed. This is why we built our own Recovery Housing option.
Our Recovery Housing provides support through:
- Scheduled programming
- Morning meditation
- 12-Step meetings
- Daily responsibilities
- Individual and group accountability
- Professional house manager
- Personal goal setting and weekly progress meetings
- Excellent on-site amenities, and
- House rules and regulations, including random drug screening
At SpringBoard Recovery, we believe that your home is your sanctuary.
We provide our guests with an interior design centered on comfort and peace.
From luxury linens to the state of the art entertainment, we leave no detail unaddressed.
Additionally, our facilities and amenities include:
- Swimming Pool
- Yoga Studio
- Gourmet Kitchen
- Coffee Service
- Deluxe Outdoor Grill
- Extensive Programming
- Professional House Manager
- Spacious, Upscale Residence
The Purpose of Our Recovery Housing at SpringBoard Recovery
In the early stages of rehab, it can be very difficult for many people to fully commit to their recovery. Especially while living in their regular home environment.
At SpringBoard Recovery, we offer a unique model. It combines our intensive outpatient treatment program and Recovery Housing. Our Recovery Housing option provides a structured, supportive, and stable environment. It is free from the usual stressors, triggers, and temptations that can lead to relapse.
We believe a personalized approach to recovery is important. As each individual is different and what may work for one person might not work for another.
This is why an individualized treatment plan is created for each patient.
The 12-Step program is used at our treatment facility as it is a system that has been proven to work.
A combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy, group therapy, and treatment of any underlying issues, is used. This creates the best course of action for a person trying to overcome their addiction.
What Happens After Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
Some of the most important steps of recovery are taken after treatment is completed. At SpringBoard Recovery, we strive to provide our patients with the tools to remain sober long term.
For some people, going back to their previous life could be detrimental to their sobriety. Or it may simply not be possible depending on their circumstances.
Sober living homes can then provide the perfect solution.
Sober Living and Recovery Housing Works
At SpringBoard Recovery, we have found that a sober living home after rehab is often the best choice.
A home without substances can help recovering addicts return to living more responsibly.
After finishing an intensive outpatient treatment program the next step is critical. Those that return to an unsupportive environment put their sobriety at severe risk.
This can make their future recovery difficult or simply not possible.
Recovering addicts supporting each other has some of the greatest benefits. Especially when it comes to achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety.
Sober Living & Recovery Housing Works
At SpringBoard Recovery, we have found that recovery housing, such as a sober living home, after leaving rehab is often the best choice for some people in early recovery.
A home with a permanent drug-and-alcohol-free environment can help recovering addicts return to living more responsibly.
After completing an intensive outpatient treatment program at SpringBoard Recovery, recovering drug or alcohol addicts that have to return to live in an unsafe or unsupportive environment put their sobriety at severe risk.
This can make their future recovery difficult or simply not possible.
Additionally, the value of recovering addicts supporting each other has long been recognized as having some of the greatest benefits when it comes to achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety.
At SpringBoard Recovery, we truly believe that one of the ways to ensure that rehab treatment is successful is to ensure a person has a sober living-type environment to move on to once they leave our facility.
Sober Living: FAQs
1. What is Sober Living?
Sober Living homes are a type of Recovery Housing, designed for people who are in early recovery. To ensure they live in a substance-free environment. This means there are no drugs or alcohol.
Recovery Housing is subject to national standards established by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR).
2. Who Benefits From Living in a Sober Living Home?
Before entering a sober living home, it is highly recommended for you to go through a rehab program first. Once that is completed, you may want to consider sober living if you:
- Have a long history of relapsing.
- Currently live with people who drink alcohol or use drugs.
- Fear of going back to using if you continue to stay in the same living situation.
- Are working on finding a new place to live, but you need something in the interim.
- Have legal issues that require you to stay clean and sober.
- Are homeless and need a healthy place to restart your life.
Sober living is an excellent way to transition back into normal lives.
3. Can You Bring Someone to Live With You at a Sober Living Home?
A great question and there is no one right answer to it. When most people go to sober living homes, they normally go on their own.
This is mainly to protect the privacy of the other residents. And to maintain a culture of recovery within the home.
Some sober living homes do allow single parents to live there with their children. These types of homes can be a great option for parents who need extra support as they care for their families.
4. How Do You Know If Sober Living is Right for You?
A sober living home may be the best option for you if you:
- Have already gone through rehab and detox.
- Have already spent some time being sober before moving into the home.
- No longer have any withdrawal symptoms.
- Are willing to follow the rules of the house.
- Have a way to support yourself, including paying your bills.
So many people have sober living homes to thank for their success in addiction recovery. It is a wonderful option for those who need it because it can set them up for long-term success.
5. What Happens After Sober Living?
Once a person’s sober living homestay is coming to a close, they need to remain recovery-minded. By that time, they will have learned what it means to stay clean and sober. And what is required for them to reach their recovery goals.
After staying in sober living homes, many people go on to rent their own apartments or even buy houses. They are encouraged not to return to their former homes if people who used drugs and alcohol lived there.
Instead, they can get help to find new places to live where they can continue to live drug and alcohol-free.
As far as treatment goes, ongoing therapy or a support group is an absolute must. Participating in AA or NA meetings is always encouraged.
6. Can Sober Living Homes Offer On-Site Addiction Treatment?
No. Many people will still go do outpatient therapy sessions while living in a sober living home. But they are responsible for securing their treatment.
7. Is Living in a Sober Living Home More Expensive?
There is no set cost to live in a sober living home. Residents do have to pay rent and a house management fee to live there.
Most states allow a maximum of 10 residents to live in a sober living home. This would affect the rent each of them pays.
8. Does Health Insurance Cover the Cost of Sober Living?
No. Health insurance only covers the cost of addiction treatment. Residents of sober living homes are expected to be financially independent.
9. Do People Have to Attend Rehab Before Moving into a Sober Living Home?
No. Most sober living homes do not put restrictions on who can apply to live in their houses. But most residents have gone through a substance abuse rehab program. This makes the most sense because the biggest rule for a sober living house is staying sober.
10. How Long Can a Person Stay at a Sober Living Home?
Someone who is a resident of a sober living home can normally stay as long as they need to. The goal is to help them feel like they can live on their own without going back to their addiction.
There is no required length of stay, but it is recommended that they stay for at least 30 days. The longer a person stays, the less likely they are to relapse.
11. What Happens If Someone Relapses While Staying at a Sober Living Home?
Every Arizona sober living home has its own consequences if the rules are broken.
Some of them may have a process in place that will allow a relapsing individual to stay if they get back on track.
They may need to increase how much time they spend in treatment. Or have drug testing done more often. But other homes may not be quite as lenient.
Some sober living homes may have a zero-tolerance policy for any drug and alcohol use. The relapsing individual may be forced to leave the home and find a different place to live.
- National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR). Homepage. 2021. Available at NARROnline.org.
- Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS). Sober Living Homes – Licensing Factsheet. June 2019. Available at AzDHS.gov.
- Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS). Special Licensing – Sober Living Homes. 2021. Available at AzDHS.gov.
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Affording House Models & Recovery. October 2021. Available at SAMHSA.gov.
- National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR). Recovery Residence Quality Standards. *Updated. Available at NARROnline.org.
- Oxford House, Inc. The Purpose & Structure of Oxford House. 2021. Available at OxfordHouse.org.
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Recovery Housing: Best Practices & Suggested Guidelines. October 2021. Available at SAMHSA.gov.
- Tucson, Arizona: Mayor’s Office: Mayor Regina Romero. Proclamation – March, 27, 2020. March 2020. Available at TucsonAz.gov.
- U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. 2021. Available at CDC.gov.
- Arizona Health Core Cost Containment System. Arizona 2018 Statewide Substance Use Prevention Needs Assessment. September 2018. Available at AzCCCS.gov.
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Find Treatment. 2021. Available at SAMHSA.gov.
- Arizona Recovery Housing Association (AzRHA). Homepage. 2021. Available at MyAzRHA.org/
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses, and Where Do We Go from Here? March 2011. Available at NLM.NIH.gov.
- Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS). Recovery Housing in the State of Ohio: Findings and Recommendations from an Environmental Scan. June 2013. Available at NEOMed.edu.
- Arizona Department of Health Services. Sober Living Homes Licensing Fact Sheet. July 1, 2019. Available at azdhs.gov.