What is a Sober Living Home (SLH)?
The term sober living home is used to describe a drug-free environment where an individual lives after a drug rehabilitation stay. Adults going through rehab will typically live in a group home with six or less adults while transitioning back into an everyday routine. Most participants will go to school and/or work, and then return to the SLH at the end of the day for a meal and to sleep.
It is mandated that the resident must also remain sober. If this condition is violated, the resident may be asked to leave the home. Most homes will have an administrator available to ensure that house rules are followed.
Perception and Protection of Sober Living Homes
If there is a negative public opinion regarding the presence of an SLH in a neighborhood, it can lead to some liability issues for public officials and public entities. However, there are laws that protect individuals recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism. For example, these individuals are deemed disabled under both the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Federal courts have also found that halfway houses, group homes and sober living homes used as residences are considered "dwellings," granting them further protection under the Fair Housing Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a substantially limiting impairment. In this case, impairment could describe recovery from a substance use disorder.
How Effective and Prevalent Are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes can help the participants in their recovery process by integrating them back into a school/work life program to a higher degree. There are plenty of publications available that discuss the statistics around this type of treatment. Seeing as the number of sober living homes are on the rise, it would not be surprising if a person that has not yet seen one in their community happens across one in the near future.