sober living house rules

Everyday House Rules in Sober Living

How House Rules Keep Sober Living Homes Safe… and Sober 

Sober Living House Rules

By the time an individual has developed a drug or alcohol dependency chances are they have also lost all manner of self-discipline.  Those who decide to get clean and sober may chafe at the rules and regulations they encounter in addiction recovery programs.  But professionals in the addiction and recovery field understand that self-regulation, healthy habits and routines, and solid deterrents are absolutely necessary for the recovering addict.  These provide the stepping stones to re-entering the real world as a sober adult.

The same concept is also true in sober living homes.  Everyday sober living house rules allow the housemates to maintain order and safety within a drug and alcohol-free living environment.  The reasons for house rules in sober living are self-evident:  Without them all hell would break out.  The rules allow a sense of normalcy and peace in the recovery residence, while promoting accountability between the residents and the house manager.

Typical Sober Living House Rules

Most sober living establishments operate with two types of house rules.  One set of rules pertains to the enforcement of a drug and alcohol-free zone, and the other group of rules pertains to managing the daily living tasks and responsibilities of the housemates.  This duality is important because they both contribute to a well-run, effective home environment for adults new in recovery.  

The clearly stated rules on prohibiting the presence, use, production, or sale of drugs and alcohol—and the consequences if these rules are broken—set up a strong deterrent that helps the newly sober residents avoid the temptation to use.  House managers often utilize breathalyzers and urine tests to screen residents on a periodic basis, as well as depend on residents to report any drug or alcohol use witnessed among the housemates.  Most sober living homes have a zero tolerance policy and remove the resident who fails to remain sober.  This muscular approach to ensuring a substance free living space is needed so that other residents don’t fall down in their recovery as well.  

The rules regarding daily house duties and responsibilities serve several purposes.  First, it provides structure to the newly sober individual, something they most likely have abandoned while in active addiction.  Sober living house rules are clearly designed for residents to get up early and spend the day productively.  They share household chores, cooking duties, and attend 12-step meetings and house meetings on a regular basis.  This ensures that the sober home will be kept clean and that the residents are actively working their recovery, preparing to return to regular life at some point.

Examples of Sober Living House Rules

Generally, most sober living house rules and regulations are similar to these:

  • Zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use, possession, and distribution.  
  • Residents must submit to drug or alcohol testing.  Any modifying or cheating on a test will be considered a violation of the above rule and is basis for removal from the sober living home.
  • Stealing of anything (including food) is strictly prohibited.
  • Physical or verbal confrontations or threats are prohibited.
  • No weapons of any type are permitted.
  • Unauthorized absence from the sober home is prohibited.
  • Any malicious or destructive behavior of property is prohibited.
  • Curfew is 11pm on weekdays and 1am on weekends (example).
  • No loitering is allowed in front of the property.
  • No lewd or sexual behavior is permitted at the residence.
  • Residents are required to attend regular 12-step meetings and have a sponsor.
  • Residents are required to participate in a weekly house meeting.
  • Residents must comply with the daily chores that have been designated to them.
  • Residents are required to keep their bedroom clean and orderly.
  • Valuables and medications are to be locked up securely.
  • Residents must allow for occasional room searches by house manager.

Beit Hillel Sober Homes are Safe and Structured

At Beit Hillel Sobriety in Los Angeles, California, sober living encompasses much more than just providing a drug and alcohol-free living space for the newly sober.  Taking a much more comprehensive approach, Beit Hillel not only holds residents accountable to the house rules, but also assists them in many ways towards reclaiming a self-sufficient and productive life.  This is achieved by encouraging residents to set goals and create a life plan, to continue with academics and/or employment, and to actively work their recovery by accessing therapy, life coaching, and outpatient programs that help them reach these goals.  For more information on our two sober living homes, please call us today at (866) 818-0321.

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