What is the Difference Between Sober Living and Rehab?

What is the Difference Between Sober Living and Rehab?

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, you might be wondering if you should try a sober living or rehabilitation facility. These two options have a lot in common: they both aim to provide a supportive environment for recovery and help residents rebuild their lives. However, sober living and rehabilitation facilities offer distinctly different experiences. One of the most critical differences is the level of oversight and structure present in each environment.

When trying to decide which option is right for you or your loved one, you need to look at both options and weigh the pros and cons of each.

Sober Living vs. Rehab: What’s the Difference?

Recovery is a long and often challenging journey, but there are many steps to take before you reach the finish line. One of the first and most important steps is finding the proper treatment for your unique needs.

When you’re trying to decide between sober living and rehabilitation, your first step should be to learn as much as you can about each option. This will help you find the best choice for your unique situation.

Sober living and rehabilitation offer two very different experiences, which can impact your recovery and future. So, which is right for you?


In the United States alone, there are more than 14,500 drug treatment facilities that cater to the needs of those suffering from a substance use disorder. These facilities come in different shapes and sizes, can be found in many different settings, and provide a wide range of treatment options. A significant portion of these facilities is drug rehabilitation facilities.

These facilities offer 24-hour medical care and treatment in a controlled medical environment. Rehab is designed for those who need a more rigorous level of care. Rehab facilities offer comprehensive treatment programs and utilize various evidence-based practices and techniques to provide the best possible treatment for those who need it.

Thanks to these treatment opportunities, studies show that use amongst those 12 and older has decreased in the last year when it comes to:

  • Alcohol use
  • Prescription Pain Medication misuse
  • Marijuana use

Sober Living

Sober living offers a different living environment for those trying to overcome a substance use disorder. These settings are designed to support people in their recovery without the intensity of a full-scale rehab.

The primary goal of sober living is to provide a supportive environment where those trying to overcome their addiction can live as independently as possible. This allows residents to grow and get the aftercare they need to sustain their recoveries, such as access to 12-step programs and support groups.

Should You Consider Sober Living?

Sober living is often seen as a "next step" for those who have already completed a rehab treatment program. However, this option is also an excellent choice for those who aren't quite ready for a more intense treatment program.

Sober living is typically a safe, comfortable option that provides a supportive environment for recovery. This is an excellent option for those who are still deciding on their treatment program and need a safe place to live while they take the time to make a more informed decision.

Moreover, sober living environments tend to have a higher retention rate, with the average length of stay well above the recommended 90 days suggested by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Some additional benefits of Sober Living include:

  • Accessibility
  • Accountability
  • Support
  • Increased Privacy and Independence
  • Reduced Stigma
  • Structure

Ethos Recovery – Sober Living for Men

Here at Ethos Recovery, we have found that men are often hesitant to enter a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, fearing the level of scrutiny and judgment they will receive. Through our Sober Living program, we can provide a low-maintenance environment where men can live drug-free and focus on their recovery without the added stress of being judged.

Those who chose to attend Ethos have found that not only have their family relations improved, along with their employment, but they've also experienced a significant increase in their life satisfaction and emotional wellbeing. If you or a loved one are searching for a safe, reputable sober living situation for men, then look no further than Ethos Recovery. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.