Recovery houses are a common solution for those struggling with addiction. However, a question that may come to mind is: are they safe?

While there may be some sober living homes that are not safe residences, most are very secure and helpful places that want to see their residents move forward. Each has the goal of helping others to stay sober and addiction-free.

If you are looking at a recovery house, how can you tell if it is safe? There are a few signs that you can look for which will show that the substance abuse treatment program is legitimate and will create a secure environment for your recovery.

1. A Safe Building

One of the main components of a recovery house is, of course, the building where you will be living. So be sure to visit and look at the home and see how it is laid out and if there are any signs of disrepair, such as broken appliances, rundown furniture, and stained carpet.

Red Flag: You should be cautious if the program does not let you tour the house. This could indicate that there are problems with the interior.  

2. Structured Living

Another promising sign is that the recovery house has a structured program that includes activities and meetings for residents. Some examples of these include specific times for:

  • Meals
  • PHP programs
  • Meetings
  • Free time
  • Gym, exercise, or yoga
  • Waking up and going to bed

If this is your first time looking for this type of treatment, this may seem like a restrictive living environment. However, it means that the recovery program is dedicated to helping you with accountability during recovery.

Red Flag: If a sober living home lacks structure, this could be risky to your recovery, and will not help you stay on track to being sober.

3. Admission Requirements

Most sober living houses work diligently to form the community that is present in the addiction treatment program. In order to maintain this status quo, it is normal to have interviews to examine the personality of the candidate to see if they will fit in.

Another reason there are admission requirements and interviews is to ensure that the candidate will not be a toxic influence on the other residents. Accepting a candidate who is not the right fit may jeopardize the progress that the community has made toward recovery.  

Red Flag: A sign that you should look elsewhere is that the recovery house is willing to accept anyone that applies, regardless if that person has detoxed.

4. Safety, Privacy, and House Rules

As a way to keep the safety, privacy, and general peace in treatment centers and recovery houses, certain rules are put in place. A program that takes the time to develop and enforce these stipulations is a good choice because it shows they are serious about the welfare of their residents.

Some basic rules to look for in sober living homes are:

  • Keeping separate bathrooms and bedrooms for different genders
  • Not allowing weapons of any kind
  • Ensuring all resident information is kept in a safe, secure area
  • Maintaining an alcohol- and drug-free environment

 Keep an eye out for rules similar to these to make sure that the sober living home is worth considering.  

Red Flag: Take notice if there are no safety, privacy, or house rules, or if they are very few and poorly written.

5. The Administrative Process is Sound

While the paperwork may be the more mundane part of the process, it is one of the most important. Making sure that the sober living home keeps proper records, submits to inspections on a regular basis, and accepts your insurance is a highly important part of the process.

Red Flag: A warning sign would be if the sober living home offered a free stay, did not need paperwork, or doesn’t check for insurance.

Make Safety A Priority

During your recovery journey, your safety is a crucial aspect. By keeping an eye out for warning signs and good aspects of a recovery house, you can be sure to stay safe on the path to recovery.

If you want to take the next step and reside in a safe sober living home, contact us today to learn more about our programs and community.