Effective recovery programs help those struggling with substance abuse to rework their lives by progressing through different stages of treatment. One of these stages that helps residents build solid foundations for sobriety are 12-step programs in sober living homes.

Sober living homes are where recovering individuals reside in partly independent living environments. They’re getting much-needed support during the transitional period from more intensive treatment back to everyday living. The central focus of sober living homes is to provide positive living environments that reduce exposure to relapse triggers.

One of the most common treatment models that’s used in all phases of addiction treatment is the 12-step approach. Sober living incorporates the 12-step approach to offer continued guidance and support while helping residents develop the mindsets and behaviors that support long-term sobriety.

Benefits of 12-Step Programs in Sober Living

Sober living homes are ideal places for those wanting to continue their recovery in safe and trustworthy environments where the steps are practiced. Research has shown that 12-step programs help those who participate in them to achieve long-term sobriety.1

Helping Others

One of the principles of 12-step programs is that people in recovery should try to help others, which fits in particularly well in the group settings of sober living homes. Residents who have been at the sober living home the longest, with more time in recovery, are encouraged to provide support to newer residents.

Giving back in 12-step programs in sober living involves carrying the message to others in the group by sharing experiences, strengths and hopes, which helps the entire group, as well as the individual who is doing the sharing.

Peer Support and Empowerment

The increased involvement found in 12-step programs in sober living provides peer support and personal empowerment, which is associated with better outcomes.2 People in recovery won’t feel isolated or like they have nowhere to turn, because they regularly attend 12-step meetings held in their sober living residences.

Consistent Attendance

A University of Washington research study reported that consistent attendance and involvement in a 12-step program leads to better treatment outcomes for substance use.3 The rules of the sober living home reinforce this road to success by having attendance requirements for 12-step programs.

Sober living residents are often required to attend 12-step programs. Failure to attend a meeting can be cause for dismissal from the home. These requirements are in place to communicate how important it isto be consistent with 12-step attendance . Also, when residents consider skipping a meeting, the possibility of dismissal is motivation to attend.

When you’re weighing addiction treatment options after residential or intensive outpatient rehab, or if you’re looking for a more informal method of treatment, consider a sober living home. You’ll benefit from residing in a monitored living environment with access to 12-step treatment. Consistently attending 12-step programs in sober living is associated with a greater likelihood of abstinence, improved social functioning and greater self-sufficiency, which sets you up for long-term success.

Once you leave the sober living home, you’re ready for a productive and fulfilling independent life that’s built on stable groundwork from the 12-step recovery work you’ve accomplished.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2860009/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2556949/
  3. https://lib.adai.washington.edu/ctnlib/PDF/274a.pdf