'Sober Living Home' vs. 'Residential Treatment Home'
It is alarming how rehab profiteers encourage city officials & the public to use the wrong terms when
addressing the problem. Why? Rehab profiteers want us to blur the definitions- it serves them. Even
city officials use the terms wrong. Here are the formal definitions by Calif. Dept. of Alcohol and Drug
Programs (ADP) & California Code of Regulations:
'SOBER LIVING HOME' - definition
(Residents cannot be IN treatment)
"Alcohol- and drug-free houses (also known as sober living) ... Residents are free to organize and
participate in self-help meetings or any other activity that helps them maintain sobriety. The house and
its RESIDENTS: do not and cannot provide any treatment, recovery, or detoxification services; do not
have treatment or recovery plans or maintain case files; and do not have a structured, scheduled
program of alcohol and drug education, group or individual counseling, or recovery support services.
Persons typically become residents of an alcohol- and drug-free house after being in a licensed non-
medical residential alcohol or other drug recovery or treatment facility. [They]...are not required to be
licensed (by ADP) nor are they eligible for licensure. By definition, [sober living homes] they do not
provide alcohol or drug recovery or treatment services."
[Special note- rehab profiteers LOVE this term 'sober living' and use it illegally to try to avoid local
city zoning and regulations. DON'T LET THEM SAY THEY ARE 'SOBER LIVING' if they require
'addicts' to do anything- like meetings, detox, counseling, education, treatment planning, etc.
The profiteers (and their lawyers) continue to use the term and claim 'sober living home' status.
They cannot claim 'sober living' status IF any addict in the home is IN TREATMENT and/or
required to do anything related to treatment- see below.]
'RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITY(HOME)' - definition
""Residential Alcoholism or Drug Abuse Recovery or Treatment Facility" means any facility, building or
group of buildings which is maintained and operated to provide 24-hour residential nonmedical
alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment services."
"TREATMENT' - definition
""Alcoholism or Drug Abuse Recovery or Treatment Service" means a service which is designed to
promote treatment and maintain recovery from alcohol or drug problems which includes one or more of
the following: detoxification, group sessions, individual sessions, educational sessions, and/or
alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment planning."