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Tennessee Sober Living Homes

Tennessee sober living homes offer patients in recovery a supportive environment where they can fully recover from addiction and regain the ability to function in society. Sober living gives residents more freedom to apply what they have learned from their previous residential treatment. 

According to the legislation on transitional housing providers, the providers must give proof that their properties adhere to all applicable zoning laws, housing rules, and occupancy licenses. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services oversees sober living homes in the state.

Daily Life in Tennessee Sober Living Homes

In Tennessee, sober living houses aid the smooth transition of individuals in recovery to a new beginning in the outside world. A typical day in a Tennessee sober home goes thus: 

In the morning

Residents of a Sober living home in Tennessee generally start the day by performing house chores. Sober living facilities require the people staying at the house to be actively involved in the maintenance of the property. Most residents will have one or more roommates who will share duties for performing housekeeping tasks, including sweeping, mopping, and putting out the trash. Breakfast is served after house chores. Residents may also participate in a house meeting or a group activity, after which those who are employed or volunteering leave for work.

In the Afternoon

Generally, a counselor counsels residents at the facility in the afternoon. Individuals who do not have a job find employment and sometimes participate in community service. Those with appointments such as dental appointments or attorney meetings can attend. Lunch is in the afternoon at a fixed time.

At Night

Residents return from work, community service, or other daily activities outside the home. Night activities begin with dinner and may end with 12-step meetings or group therapy. Residents may call their loved ones, read books, or watch movies.

Why Stay in a Sober Living Home in Tennessee

There are multiple reasons why staying in a sober living home in Tennessee is helpful. Common reasons include: 

  • Recovery-centered lessons: The home organizes lessons concerning recovery, forgiveness, and independent living.
  • Vocational training: The counselor at the Tennessee sober living facility may also provide lectures on topics such as communication skills to CV compiling. These lectures also discuss real-world issues such as rejection and stress management.
  • Employment: Individuals living in sober living houses are allowed to work, and those without jobs get the resources they need to seek employment or volunteer. Vocational training helps to achieve this as well. Individuals should note that finding work is crucial to the reintegration process.
  • Health and Fitness: It is vital for individuals who are transitioning to be active. Therefore, sober living facilities with a fitness center encourage residents to exercise. Cardio and weight training are particularly helpful to persons in recovery. 
  • Community projects: Most sober living facilities participate in various community projects to give some part of their time to assist community charities and institutions.

Besides keeping individuals in these treatment centers busy to take their minds off drugs or alcohol, these routines prepare them for life after leaving the sober living house.

How to Increase Your Chances of Staying Sober While in Tennessee Sober Living Homes

According to a National Library of Medicine report, staying in sober living facilities for 6 months can help people quit drug use and maintain sobriety for up to 18 months. Here are some ways to make the best out of staying in a sober home.

Find a Support Group and Attend Meetings

Support groups can help sober living residents build their sobriety skills. Therefore, it is critical to find a facility that encourages joining support groups. Meetings allow people to express themselves while teaching them how to listen to and comprehend the stories of others. Group therapy is crucial to recovering from addiction, especially during the transition to independent living. 

Exercise and Meditate Regularly

Residents can reduce stress and succeed in rehabilitation by discovering local yoga courses and participating in fitness challenges.

Adapt to Living Around People

Developing the abilities and understanding required to get along with others is crucial to full recovery. Mutual respect and the ability to avoid or handle confrontation become useful upon leaving the house.

Stick to House Rules

The daily schedule in sober living is less structured than at a detoxification or rehabilitation center. The guidelines help maintain a safe and healthy environment and provide a routine that helps maintain sobriety. Some of the rules in sober living include the following:

  • Drugs and alcohol are prohibited
  • Residents must take random drug and alcohol tests
  • Fighting or picking fights with other residents is prohibited
  • Guests cannot stay overnight

When to Move Into a Sober Living House in Tennessee

Individuals worried about relapsing or have recently left an inpatient treatment center should consider moving into a sober living home. A person's chances of preventing relapse increase when they follow house rules. While some people stay there for a few months, others may stay for a year or longer. 

Individuals in recovery must consider the location of the sober living facility they intend to enroll in. It should be chosen based on individual needs, just like every other aspect of the recovery. Also, individuals should note that sober living houses are only transitional facilities and cannot replace actual rehab programs. One reason is that sober living homes do not perform detox services.

Sober Living Home vs. Halfway House in Tennessee

Sober living homes and halfway houses in Tennessee aim to reintegrate individuals recovering from addiction into society. Both transitional facilities provide an environment free of drugs and alcohol. Nonetheless, sober living homes and halfway houses have distinctive features that separate them.

  • Halfway houses typically demand that residents finish or enroll in treatment before moving in
  • Residents in halfway houses often enroll there by court order
  • The length of stay in halfway homes is typically shorter than sober living homes
  • Government financing is frequently used to support halfway homes
  • Halfway houses feature a hostel-like setting at a lower cost of staying 
  • Sober living houses offer more space and amenities, but the cost of staying is higher

Types of Tennessee Sober Living Houses

The types of sober living houses in Tennessee, based on the level of support residents get, are: 

Halfway Houses

A Tennessee halfway house is a transitional living arrangement for those quitting drugs or alcohol. Many individuals use halfway houses to transition out of a long-term addiction treatment facility, prison, or a homeless situation. Some people reside in halfway homes as a result of court decrees.

Because some halfway houses are not equipped to handle withdrawal symptoms or medical emergencies, they may demand residents to pass a drug test. People who have undergone medical detox and finished an inpatient or outpatient treatment program are most suited for halfway houses.

While the length of stay at halfway houses can last anywhere from three to 12 months, certain individuals may stay longer. 

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing is a supportive but transient type of housing that provides structure, supervision, and support for individuals recovering from substance use disorder. It also caters to the homeless and victims of domestic violence.

It is intended to give individuals a secure, encouraging community where they may recover from trauma and start dealing with the problems that led to homelessness or other issues they have. This facility also serves as the gap between homelessness and permanent housing. To achieve this, the facility offers life skills training and education where applicable.

Recovery Houses

A recovery house is a facility that offers residents a drug and alcohol-free living environment that peers run. In general, people cannot receive medical care at these establishments. Recovery houses are generally peer-run rehabilitation homes, so help is given through mutual aid.

Although residents of recovery homes are typically required to participate in outpatient therapy, recovery homes do not offer any kind of treatment or medication management. This facility also sets expectations for its occupants to find jobs within a specific time frame.

Sober Housing

Sober housing in Tennessee serves as a chemical substance-free environment for persons recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. This is also a non-medical facility to help people in recovery resocialize to function without needing drugs. Those residing in this type of facility receive training in coping mechanisms to keep them from relapsing during or after their stay sober.

The Phases of Sober Living in Tennessee

To achieve its goal of helping residents regain their capacity to function in society without resorting to chemical substances, sober living comprises certain phases. Below are the phases in Tennessee sober living: 

Restrictive or Abstinence Phase

This is the stage new individuals belong to when they first enroll in Tennessee sober living. The phase helps inhabitants adjust to a sober living lifestyle. The focus in this phase is to ensure that residents adhere to the rules in the facility. The restricting phase can last up to a month, depending on variables like how the resident adjusts to treatment. 

The first weeks in this sober living phase are usually the most difficult. Although individuals in this phase do not usually work or go to school, they are permitted to attend medical appointments. However, they cannot go for these appointments or any journey alone. These individuals usually participate in peer-support groups and counseling sessions.

Reintroduction Phase

The reintroduction phase of sober living homes requires residents to maintain their sobriety. The residents are obliged to participate in a peer support group. This helps to create a foundation for them to reintegrate into society. Also, it helps them forge supportive relationships outside the facility. Although most support groups follow the 12-Steps, other support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be helpful. Additionally, each resident has a sponsor who serves as a sounding board during trying times.

In the reintroduction phase, new privileges and accompanying personal obligations are introduced. This is the most important stage of the recovery program. Here, individuals are advised to seek employment or to volunteer. This allows clients to practice the coping skills to stay drug or alcohol-free while maintaining their job.

The participant must maintain employment, pay bills on debts, and fulfill household duties. This helps clients achieve long-term sobriety if they can withstand the stress from this phase. Also, residents are encouraged to interact socially with other residents. This helps them to develop strong support networks and new connections.

Self-Sufficiency Phase

Residents in the self-sufficiency phase are prepared to leave the sober living house. Residents in this level typically gain more responsibility and freedom and may mentor newer residents. 

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

There are certain things a person should look for before choosing a sober living home: 


Look for a sober living home with more than a fancy daily schedule. These should also include rules and restrictions like curfews and a drug-free environment. Routine drug testing and encouraging residents to attend 12-Step meetings are two excellent examples of a strong support structure.

Strong Staff and Support Team

Individuals in recovery need a strong support network. Therefore, finding a team of sober living support professionals that genuinely cares about their inhabitants is crucial.

Individualized recovery programs are crucial for maintaining sobriety, but it's also crucial to have professionals who care enough to hold clients accountable. 


Individuals should consider the sober living facility's location because it can affect the ease of going to work (if the person is employed) and the cost of staying in the facility.


Safety in a sober living home is the last thing an individual wants to have to worry about. This is why you should ask about the technology and safety precautions the sober living home employs. This is another reason to consider the location of the facility. Nobody in recovery should reside in a neighborhood known for high crime rates.

Social Network

The social network of a sober living home is another crucial factor to consider before making a decision. Individuals can tour the house and pay attention to how the occupants treat one another. It is important to note if there is a feeling of unity and if the atmosphere seems positive or negative. Long-term sobriety requires finding social support and a sense of belonging starting from the addiction treatment facility.

Sober Living and Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me in Tennessee

The TDMHSAS resource page can help you find a sober living home nearby. Better still, call the SAMHSA helpline at (800) 662-4357. 

The SAMHSA helpline is active round-the-clock, and calls with the agents are private. The SAMHSA's treatment locator is also a helpful tool because it discloses details such as the address of the facility, available amenities, services, and payment methods.