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Maryland Sober Living Homes

What Are Maryland Sober Living Homes?

Maryland sober living homes are recovery residences where persons in recovery can live temporarily until they are ready to live independently. Unlike formal rehab centers, these recovery residences don't need licenses from the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) to run since they don't offer clinical or therapeutic treatment services. Instead, these sober houses run under set house rules and county housing ordinances. 

Daily Life in Maryland Sober Living Homes

In a standard Maryland sober living facility, daily life is centered around activities that offer group interaction for recovery outside formal treatment. The goal is to provide patients with new social networks to avoid surroundings that promote alcohol and drug use. Even though everyday life is regimented, inhabitants are free to pursue other activities.

The regular morning routine for residents includes:

  • Preparing for breakfast
  • Tidying rooms or communal facilities
  • Changing beds
  • Participating in group activities

The remainder of the day is then theirs to enjoy. Those who have jobs go to work; those who don't are free to seek employment, volunteer in community work, attend a school or engage in a sporting activity. Similarly, people who attend therapy also go to their addiction therapy experts.

Evenings are generally spent eating supper, attending a group meeting for those who did not have one in the day, engaging with other house members, or doing anything else that does not include alcohol or drugs. During these sessions, residents also discuss household chores and settle personal disputes with other residents. 

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

Everyone in sober living treatment centers is there to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. To achieve this, individuals can take the following steps: 

Avoid Triggers 

Addiction triggers like stress, anxiety, panic, or even attending social gatherings can increase the chances of returning to substance dependency. Individuals who just completed medical detox and those still unable to exercise self-control are often advised to stay away from social, emotional, and environmental triggers. 

Obey Rules and Regulations

Maryland sober living houses have strict regulations to help patients maintain sobriety and overcome substance abuse. Patients can increase their chances of staying sober by obeying every rule. Doing this will also ensure that everything runs smoothly without distractions and arguments that can cause stress. Remember that breaching the house rules can result in being asked to leave.

Seek Support from Friends and Family 

Even the most dedicated individual may occasionally run into situations that force them to break their sobriety, particularly when they feel lonely and under pressure. This is why having a friend or relative who supports you during discouraging times is important. 

Be Consistent in Group Meetings

The likelihood of sobriety is significantly increased by attending 12-step sessions and in-house gatherings. These programs allow persons to interact with members who have had comparable struggles. In some cases, former house members are introduced in these meetings to share their struggles and experiences while in the sober living home. 

Avoid Former Acquaintances Who Use Drugs

Substance abuse often stems from an individual's association with people or an environment that encourages drug use. As such, staying away from these former groups or places after a sober living home stay is a good way to increase your chances of maintaining sobriety. Some past associations may include certain close friends, families, and some online contacts. 

When to Move into a Sober Living House in Maryland 

Sober living houses are for persons who are through medical detox, inpatient rehab, or outpatient treatment center. Likewise, patients unsure of living alone after rehab are advised to move into a recovery residence. 

While some sober living homes in Maryland offer additional treatment options for total addiction recovery, they cannot replace inpatient or outpatient rehabs. Additionally, patients seeking medical detox should not consider sober living houses since they do not provide medical or professional addiction treatment. 

Common Rules in Maryland Sober Living Homes

In contrast to inpatient rehabs, Sober living homes allow individuals to work and attend school, which encourages flexibility. Irrespective of its autonomous nature, many recovery residences maintain strict regulations. Some of the common sober living home rules to take note of before moving into one are as follows:   

  • Do not bring alcohol or drugs into the recovery residence.  
  • Regular drug testing is mandatory.
  • Visitors cannot stay over.
  • Attending peer support meetings is compulsory, especially for new residents.
  • Residents must contribute to house expenses.
  • Residents take turns doing house chores.

Sober Living Home vs. Halfway House in Maryland

In Maryland, halfway homes and sober living facilities are similar because they offer a controlled setting to aid abstinence from drugs. However, there are differences like: 

  • Completing a specific addiction treatment is compulsory before moving into a halfway house. Individuals may not need initial addiction treatment to enroll in some sober living homes. 
  • Most sober living houses are privately-owned, while halfway homes are typically government-funded or affiliated with a government agency.
  • Most sober living houses do not have a mandatory staying period, while individuals in halfway homes can only stay for a stipulated period. 
  • Government support or affiliation makes halfway homes often less expensive than sober living houses. 
  • Halfway houses provide fewer facilities, more structure, and less privacy than dormitories. Individuals share rooms and shared areas since there is a lack of space.
  • Residents of sober living homes can go to unrelated group meetings or outpatient recovery programs. On the other hand, those who live in halfway homes are typically limited to participating in programs that the house approves. 

Types of Maryland Sober Living Houses

Maryland sober living houses are divided into four types according to the levels of support they provide patients. These include: 

Halfway Houses

Most people who dwell in halfway houses were once formerly incarcerated or from mental hospitals. Halfway houses offer a setting where they may reintegrate with society, especially if they cannot go back home. In addition, halfway homes are occasionally free or low-cost since they are government-funded. 

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing often offers a free or inexpensive living environment and access to social initiatives for persons in recovery to find jobs or education. Persons in transitional housing also get the support they need to avoid the patterns or habits that lead to homelessness. 

Recovery Houses

Recovery homes are most peer-run facilities with no paid staff, and all residents work together to support, encourage, and urge one another to maintain their recovery. Most houses function according to house rules and are separate from official treatment facilities. Curfews are observed, and individuals submit to drug testing to guarantee that they stay sober. House meetings are intended to enhance participants' interpersonal abilities and offer help for problems from their peers.

Sober Housing

Sober housing's only goal is to help residents keep their recovery. Everyone is welcome, n matter where they came from — prison, mental hospital, or inpatient rehab facility. 

Sober living homes provide a recovery-focused environment with scheduled daily activities because that is its intended usage. These institutions might not be appropriate for people looking for complete independence after inpatient therapy. However, it is appropriate for everyone who wants to continue with individual treatment and support groups. Additionally, social skills workshops and routine drug testing are required of residents. Instead of houses, many sober living programs are designed like apartments or dorms.

The Phases of Sober Living in Maryland

Most sober living homes are structured in three main stages, revealing individuals' stability. First, new residents start in the restrictive or abstinence phase. Then, as they abide by house rules and remain sober, they progress into the reintroduction phase, where they are given more freedom. In the final stage, the self-sufficiency phase, residents are more stable as they prepare for independent living. 

Restrictive (Abstinence) Phase

In this phase, new patients are provided with restrictions, including complete abstinence from drug and alcohol use. Some of the rules to expect in this phase include:

  • Temporary restriction of movement outside the house 
  • Mandatory attendance in support group meetings
  • Regular drug testing

The restrictive phase sometimes starts with mental detox to help individuals develop emotional equilibrium and clarity. 

Reintroduction Phase

This phase is where residents learn how to meditate, read, and practice other coping skills that can help them manage more personal responsibilities. Movement restrictions may be removed in this stage to help residents adjust to the pressure of real life. Still, residents must attend group meetings, do house chores, and stick to the curfew time. 

Self-sufficiency Phase

More responsibilities and tasks are given to residents who reach the self-sufficiency stage. Some residents become house managers at this stage and help new residents adjust to sober living. Almost all restrictions are removed in this final stage as residents typically have solid sobriety skills. Also, residents in this stage may rent a house and move out of the sober living home. 

Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Sober Living Home in Maryland

Choosing a good sober living home in Maryland may be challenging since there are thousands of addiction treatment houses in the state. However, individuals can find a sober living home close to them using the all recovery residence directory provided by the Behavioral Health Administration. Before choosing which recovery residence will provide adequate addiction treatment, here are five qualities to consider:


A sober living home's dedication to quality is obvious through the licensing and recognition from the state agency and other reputable organizations like the National Alliance for Recovery Residences. In addition, most sober houses in Maryland earn recognition by following regulatory standards set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

House Rules and Structure

Finding a recovery residence that enforces more than just a daily schedule is crucial. A good sober living home should include rules and restrictions like mandatory curfews and a drug-free atmosphere. There should also be rewards and consequences for obeying and breaking house rules. Only this kind of structure can create a sense of responsibility among residents.

Strong Staff and Support Team

Everyone in recovery needs a strong support network. This is why looking for a sober living house with a team of professionals who genuinely cares about residents and their progress is important. Apart from showing real concern toward patients, the in-house staff should be able to enforce rules and regulations when necessary. 

Former Residents' Experiences

Visiting a prospective sober living home in Maryland will help you see how residents relate with each other and the staff. Consider if the nature of communication between house members is positive or negative and if there is enough support or if residents are mostly neglected. Remember that you will get the same treatment as other individuals, so moving into a positive environment should be your main objective. 


Ask about the security of the sober living home. Worrying about dangers and crimes while in a recovery residence can distract you and may lead to a relapse. As such, ensure that a sober living house is well equipped to avert any disaster or danger. 

Sober Living and Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me in Maryland

Marylanders looking for sober living homes or treatment close by can call the ‘211 press 1' Helpline provided by the Maryland Department of Health and Behavioral Health Administration. 

You can also call SAMHSA's helpline at (800) 662-4357. Your conversation with a SAMHSA representative is private, and the line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SAMHSA's treatment center locator is also an easy way to locate a sober living programs assessed and rated by independent specialists. The locator displays the location of the facility as well as contact information. You'll also find a list of various therapies, amenities, and payment methods.