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Massachusetts Sober Living Homes

Massachusetts sober living homes refer to any substance-free, structured group living arrangement for persons recovering from addiction. Sober living houses in Massachusetts serve as a bridge between residential treatment and independent living. They provide the next level of care after a detox or substance abuse treatment program.
Massachusetts sober living homes are not rehabilitation treatment centers and therefore do not provide medical or clinical assistance to their residents. However, residents may attend recovery-based group meetings or outpatient treatment while living in a sober living home.
It is not compulsory to obtain certification to operate a Massachusetts sober living home. However, the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) ensures that sober living homes in Massachusetts maintain the standards set for recovery residences in the state.

Daily Life in Massachusetts Sober Living Homes

The activities in a Massachusetts sober living home aim to bring routine, purpose, and structure to residents' lives. The day-to-day activities in most Massachusetts sober living houses revolve around:

Early Mornings

Most residents engage in household chores, exercise, and personal grooming to start the day. Residents who work, school, or volunteer leave the facility to attend to these obligations. Residents in outpatient treatment may also report for therapy and counseling sessions.


Work, school, volunteering, and rehab treatment continue in the afternoon. During the day, the sober living home management encourages residents without a job to seek employment and pick on a new hobby or sport.


The evening consists of activities, such as group or individual meetings, 12-step meetings, therapy, or house meetings. Later in the evening, residents share a meal and unwind by socializing, reading, or calling a loved one. Residents also prepare for the next day.

How to Increase Your Chances of Staying Sober While in Massachusetts Sober Living Houses

All Massachusetts sober living houses have rules for their residents. Residents who abide by these guidelines have a higher chance of avoiding a relapse while living in a sober home.
Generally, residents need to participate in house meetings, attend therapy and counseling sessions, and report for 12-step meetings while living in a Massachusetts sober living home.
Also, residents must stick to any scheduled doctor or rehab treatment follow-up appointments while in the sober home. Most Massachusetts sober living houses encourage their residents to practice new healthy habits such as meditation, exercising, or volunteering in the community. Some facilities provide job resources and training to promote residents' independence.
Residents who replace old habits with the resources, guidelines, and activities provided by the sober home broaden the likelihood of maintaining their sobriety while in a Massachusetts sober living home.

When to Move Into a Sober Living House in Massachusetts

Sober living homes are not inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Therefore, it is not a substitute for rehab. Entry requirements vary, but most sober living homes in Massachusetts require residents to have completed some level of rehab or detox before admission. Residents can also commit to an outpatient rehab treatment program during their stay in the house.

Sober Living Home vs. Halfway House in Massachusetts

Sober living programs and halfway houses are similar in the extent that they give support to individuals looking to maintain their sobriety. They provide a structured substance-free living arrangement for persons in recovery who must obey the facility's rules, contribute to house costs, and perform any assigned responsibilities.
However, both programs differ in numerous ways. The difference in both programs includes the cost of entering into the program, program duration, exiting the program, ownership, cost of staying in the program, living conditions, and staff qualification.

Entry into the Program

All persons enter into the Massachusetts sober living program willingly on completion of a rehab or detox program. On the other hand, residents of halfway houses are typically parolees or persons mandated to live there per court order or as a sentencing alternative.
Also, most sober living facilities take in residents' who may not be actively involved in rehab. However, it is mandatory for residents entering a halfway house to be in a rehab treatment program or to have completed one.

Duration of Stay

Residents in a sober living program can live in the sober home for as long as they choose. Most people live in a Massachusetts sober living house for years. Residents stay until they are confident in their ability to thrive in the real world without a relapse. However, residents can only live in a halfway house for an agreed number of months, usually 12 months.

Exiting the Program

Residents in a Massachusetts sober living program enter into the program voluntarily and therefore can leave the sober home willfully. Conversely, most halfway house residents enter the program through a court order, and quitting before the agreed end date can have devastating consequences, including reincarceration.


Sober living homes are private residences typically operated by individuals or an addiction treatment center. The government funds and administers the daily operations of a halfway house through its agencies.

Living Conditions

Massachusetts sober living houses offer more privacy and comfort for its residents because they arrange the facility like private residences. The government designs most halfway house like dormitories, usually offering fewer amenities. As such, halfway houses are prone to overcrowding and lack privacy.


The better facility, privacy, and functioning amenities make residing in a sober living program expensive, as most residents pay for room and board. However, insurance companies may cover the cost in some instances. Meanwhile, halfway houses tend to be cheaper as the government typically subsidizes the rent for residents.

Staff Qualification

Most facility staff in a sober living house are older residents using their skills and experience learned in recovery to support newer residents. However, most staff members in a halfway house have some formal training in providing support to persons in recovery.

Types of Massachusetts Sober Living Homes (Levels of Support)

When an individual completes an inpatient rehab treatment or detox program in Massachusetts, there are different types of residential support -operated by the government or private individuals- an individual can access to prevent a relapse. These facilities offer different levels of support to their residents. They include:

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses provide residence for persons who received substance abuse treatment while in incarceration to help them reintegrate into society. However, halfway houses may also accommodate persons mandated by a court order or persons in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction.
Most Massachusetts halfway houses support its resident road to sobriety by offering support services such as financial management, skill-building, personal coaching, and job search assistance. In addition, occupants of a halfway house must attend substance abuse recovery-based treatment or program, including 12-step meetings and therapy. Some halfway houses may conduct random drug testing for their residents to ensure they are always sober, while others provide mental health services to their residents.

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing provides temporary and affordable drug and alcohol-free living accommodations for homeless persons in recovery. Transitional housing provides supportive housing aimed at helping its residents transition successfully from homelessness to self-sufficient living while maintaining their sobriety. Residents can live in transitional housing for up to 12 months. During their stay in transitional housing, the residents can expect support through education, life skill training, house meetings, and counseling sessions.

Recovery Houses

Recovery houses are transitory substance-free, peer-supported, stable, and safe living environments for persons in recovery from substance abuse. Most recovery residences center on community support to sustain sobriety. Recovery houses do not provide medical or clinical services to their residents.
Residents support themselves by using the skills and knowledge learned during inpatient rehab treatment, counseling, and therapy to direct, encourage, and help one another to prevent relapse. Recovery houses reinforce a substance-free lifestyle by providing mutual help through peers in recovery, support groups, and recovery support services, including medical treatment for substance abuse.

Sober Housing

Sober housing provides substance-free accommodation for persons recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. It provides safe housing for individuals to transit from an inpatient treatment program to independent living. The rule for staying in a sober living home is simple - residents must maintain their sobriety and keep to the house rules.
Residents in a sober housing facility can expect the facility to support their sobriety by encouraging house members to attend house meetings, counseling, therapy, and 12-step meetings. Sober housing does not offer treatment to residents. Instead, they provide their occupants with a safe and supportive community, all working to prevent a relapse.

The Phases of Sober Living in Massachusetts

Each phase of sober living in a Massachusetts sober living home tracks resident recovery progress in attaining independent living. They are in three stages:

  • Restrictive/abstinence phase
  • Reintroduction phase
  • Self-sufficiency phase

Restrictive/Abstinence Phase

The restrictive phase focuses on removing substance triggers around the resident while concentrating on learning the basics of sober living. Most Massachusetts sober living homes place restrictions on new residents. The restrictions may include no access to a phone or computer, no contact with family members, and a curfew during this phase.
The sober living home encourages residents to attend therapy sessions and other health appointments, attend peer support group sessions, and take on house chores. In addition, most facilities encourage unemployed residents to search for a job, take on a new sport, or volunteer within the community. Residents stay in the first phase for at least one month.

Reintroduction Phase

The reintroduction phase is less restrictive, and residents gradually take on more responsibilities. The sober living home restores some privileges in the second phase. Consequently, residents may return to school or work obligations, run errands, have curfew extended, and ride the bus alone for essential activities.
Also, residents must continue with therapy, support group meetings, and counseling. The reintroduction phase aims to build resident resilience. Residents use the skills learned during treatment to navigate this phase.

Self-Sufficiency Phase

The self-sufficiency phase is the last step in sober living, bringing the resident closer to independent living. In this phase, resident responsibilities increase while becoming more accountable for all decisions. For instance, residents can take the bus unaccompanied for long commutes or mentor a new resident.
To get to self-sufficiency, the resident must complete the 12-step program and have a verifiable history of maintaining their sobriety. The sober living home also removes all restrictions, and the resident may move out of the sober living home into their private residence. However, if a resident relapses at this stage, the resident goes back to the restrictive phase.

Sober Living and Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me in Massachusetts

If you or someone you love is in recovery and needs a place to transition, you can find a recovery home by calling the SAMHSA helpline at (800) 662-4357. The line is open 24 hours a day, all week long. Also, your chat with the representative is confidential. Likewise, the Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing (MASH) publishes a directory of sober living homes in the state.
Also, you can locate a rehab program close to you with the treatment center locator. The locator provides an easy way to locate a rehab treatment program that has been appraised and evaluated by qualified experts. You can find the facility location, contact details, payment methods, therapies, and amenities available.