Items Prohibited in a Sober House

Items prohibited in a sober house

No Alcoholic Beverages Permitted


A sober house, or halfway house, is an alcohol and drug free living environment for people in recovery. Sober houses provide an environment that is often essential to the recovery of a drug addict or alcoholic. A sober house promotes recovery by requiring residents to attend 12-step meetings, submit to random drug and alcohol screening, and become an active participant in his or her recovery from addiction.

A sober house provides structure for the recovering alcoholic or drug addict. Most sober houses have a set of rules that must be followed in order for individuals to remain in residence. Every sober house is different, but the majority of them have a zero tolerance rule for certain items. Here are some items prohibited in a sober house:

  1. Alcohol- While no sober house allows the presence of beer or liquor, some are even stricter and will not allow things like cooking sherry, vanilla extract, mouthwash, Nyquil, or even perfume on the premises, as these items also contain alcohol.
  2. Drugs and drug paraphernalia – Obviously, the list of items prohibited in a sober house includes all illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia. This usually includes any and all pipes or hookahs, even if you are only using them to smoke tobacco. However, some sober houses may also prohibit the presence of nonprescription medications and meds prescribed to you by a doctor. Usually, if it is something you need to take and you are not able to keep it in the house; they will have a house manager hold the medication for you and dispense it at the proper time.   
  3. Weapons – Third on the list of items prohibited in a sober house is weapons or any items that could be used as weapons. Which items are considered weapons is a decision that is made by your house manager or owner, but, if in doubt; don’t bring it to the sober house.

Some sober houses have more items that are prohibited, some are less strict. Make sure you ask about prohibited items before you move in.

Besides the items prohibited in a sober house, there are usually some certain house rules you must follow in a sober house. Often, sober houses enforce curfews; require a resident to be involved in school, work, or outpatient treatment; and do not allow overnight guests. The punishment for breaking rules can range from a financial penalty to expulsion from the sober house, depending on the offense. This structure can be essential for long term sobriety.

The benefits of living in a sober house in early recovery can be invaluable. Sober houses provide a safe, drug-free environment for the new in recovery. Living in a sober house with other people in recovery allows you to make friends with the same goals and issues as yourself. Your housemates provide you with support and understanding, which is crucial to success in recovery.

Sober houses also provide accountability. Residents are less likely to end up in situations that may lead to relapse because of the strict enforcement of rules. Many people find that when returning home or to living on their own after inpatient treatment can be very dangerous. It is easy to slip back into behaviors and habits that they practiced while using or drinking. This can be a step down the road to relapse for many addicts and alcoholics. Sober houses provide a nice interim step between inpatient treatment and independent living.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

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