Sober living homes can go by many different names, including halfway houses, three-quarter houses, sober communities, recovery residences and more. Although there are different definitions for some of these, for our purposes we will stick with the basic definition of a sober living program – a place that provides monitored, structured and supportive housing for people in recovery.
Sober living programs and recovery residences can have a wide range of rules, services and activities they provide. For people who need less structure and monitoring, there are places that provide substance-free community living and include random drug screening, basic rules and regulations and weekly house meetings.
On the higher end, there are other places that are very structured and have a lot of planned group activities, recovery coaching or counseling, mandatory support meeting participation and on-site support personnel for helping people adhere to the rules and provide assistance as needed. These also include drug screens at least once per week.
How Much Do Sober Living Programs Cost?
In the Atlanta area, most of the sober living programs are located in homes and apartments that are clean and well appointed, so the cost is a bit higher than in some other states or compared to a typical halfway house.
There is often an application fee, which can be between $100 and $1,000. From there, monthly rates range from about $800 up to more than $2,500, depending on the locations and services provided. Most of the time this does not include the cost of food or transportation, but does usually include other needed items such as linens, cable tv and internet access, etc.
Does Insurance Pay for Sober Living Programs?
Unfortunately, no, insurance companies do not currently pay for sober living programs or recovery residences. This may change in the future, especially as more evidence is accumulated about how these long-term structured living and support programs help to increase the success rates for people in conjunction with and following treatment for substance abuse.
What is GARR?
GARR stands for the Georgia Association of Recovery Residences. It is an organization that provides standards for sober living providers in the state and issues certifications to those programs and residences that meet the criteria. Since the state does not require licensing or certification, it is a voluntary membership, but it is highly regarded and considered a very positive indicator for those residences that do receive certification.
They fall under NARR – the National Alliance for Recovery Residences. GARR certified sober living providers are also ranked by the level of support they provide, with the 1 being a peer-led program and 4 being the most intensively monitored and structured.