Sober Living Options in Nevada

A complete guide on how to find a sober living home in the state of Nevada. Plus, information on laws, regulations, and how to report a sober home that’s not following state guidelines.

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Sober homes help you live a substance free lifestyle. But where do you start? This article reviews sober living options in Nevada and the state regulations surrounding these homes. At the end, we invite you to ask more questions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Sober Living in Nevada

Nevada has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use. In fact, drug possession laws are severe, with penalties including jail time and high fines. For this reason, the state supports drug and alcohol programs such as sober living homes. [1] But what can you expect when you enter a sober home in the state of Nevada.

First, you can expect some degree of freedom. Unlike rehab, a sober living home doesn’t supervise you on a 24/7 basis. Rather, you’re expected to develop a sense of self-discipline and responsibility. This is usually done through finding a job, participating in the community life of the home, and attending self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

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In order to successfully live in a sober home, you must have the right mindset. You must be determined to fight for your recovery and make a better life for yourself. People with the motivation to successfully quit drugs or alcohol are much more likely to succeed. [2] And this is mindset is exactly what’s expected of you when you enter a sober living home.

Halfway and ¾ Houses

When you’re ready to leave rehab, you may be asked to enroll in either a halfway house or ¾ house. These are similar to sober living homes in the sense that they help you transition from treatment to real life. However, they differ in two important ways:

  1. You must either have completed or be actively enrolled in addiction rehab to transition to a halfway house or ¾ way house in Nevada.
  2. Sometimes, these homes are government funded. So, you might ordered by the court to enter one of these homes…or you might be living with people court ordered to stay there.

Other than that, halfway and ¾ houses work all the same as a sober living home. You’ll be expected to learn self-discipline as you adjust back into the real world. And sober homes are often gender-based. So, men live with men and women are housed with women.

Pets are usually not allowed in sober homes, although some sober living homes will allow therapeutic pets. While you are in these therapeutic communities, you’ll be in a 100 percent drug and alcohol-free environment and have a support system of other people recovering from addiction.

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House Rules

Upon entering a NV sober living home, it’s important to get a clear sense of the house rules. You’ll be expected to follow these strictly as they are meant to both maintain the household and help you re-enter the real world.

House rules change from home to home ARE NOT the same. When you land a sober living home, you’re going to want to ask the manager about the particular rules to your house.

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These rules are designed and enforced to help keep you safe. They are in everyone’s best interest. Plus, rules are designed to prevent relapse. Common rules found in Nevada sober living homes include:

  1. No alcohol or drug possession or use is allowed on and off premises. In order to make sure this rule is followed, you will be subjected to take frequent drug tests often at random and, if you refuse to take or fail one, you’ll be automatically discharged from the home.
  2. No gambling.
  3. Sexual contact of any kind is forbidden on premises and with another resident.
  4. You can keep your housing as long as you meet your responsibilities. This includes paying your rent, keeping your space clean, making sure your house or apartment is not damaged, and being a good neighbor. If you’re caught stealing from the house or destroying the property, you will be asked to leave and the management may follow up with criminal charges. Likewise, if you engage in violent activity, on or off premises, consequences can include losing your housing space.
  5. You will be required to have a job, a volunteer position, or otherwise be gainfully employed. If you do not have a job, you will be required to look for one.
  6. House meetings will be set up either on a daily or weekly basis which you MUST attend. The purpose of these is to check-in with all the residents and to settle problems in the home.
  7. Early recovery is a tough time, and emotional difficulties are common. So, some home offer group therapy sessions once weekly. Sometimes, sober living homes will have residents develop a list of personal treatment goals. You’ll meet with a staff member and work out what you want to do with the near-future. The purpose of these is to keep your mind in the right place and keep you moving in a specific direction. As time passes, you’ll be evaluated on these goals.
  8. Your landlord has responsibilities, too. S/He must keep the property safe with working locks and no dangerous conditions. They must make sure that heat and plumbing work. And if they are operating the sober home outside of regulations, you can report the home to the state authorities. See below for more.
  9. Typically, you must follow a curfew. Though the exact time of curfew varies depending on the household, it’s vital you always come home before it. Midnight is a common curfew. On occasions when you need to be out past curfew, you may get it waived. However, you can expect a drug test upon your return.
  10. You’ll most likely be required to attend 12-step meetings. Some homes provide these within the household itself while other will have you go out into the community and become involved in one.
  11. Usually, smoking cigarettes or vaping must take place in a designated smoking location.

What Sober Living is Really Like

Sober living is like communal housing. You live with people you’ve never met, but those people can become as close as family. To many who enter a sober living home, it’s an entirely new experience. You will meet new people. But you’re all in the same boat, struggling to beat addiction. So, sober home provide a support network which, as often is the case, will develop into friendships.

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Sober living is a chance to start over…to start from square one and set goals to work your way up.

Admittedly, this can be an intimidating experience. Especially when you’re living around complete strangers. However, though sober living homes come with many difficulties, there are many benefits to living in one. First, there’s the fact that you’re living in a drug and alcohol free environment. To go back to old environments can be a risk for relapse, as you’ll be surrounded by people and places that are familiar. A fresh environment can do great wonders in preventing relapse!

Second, a sober living home helps you in taking control of your life. You’ll begin to understand and accept your responsibilities and slowly work your way to achieving your goals. For these reasons, most people who enter a sober living home are more likely to come out of one with a successful recovery [3].

Day-to-Day Life

You should expect day-to-day life of a sober living home to be structured but open for you to come and go as needed. During a stay in a halfway house, it’s time to develop self-discipline and the life you’ve always dreamed for yourself. In order to make this happen, sober living homes set up a schedule for all their residents to follow. Though this schedule varies depending on the home, there are many similarities.

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have to get ready for your day. This means you may have to use the bathroom when you’re scheduled to. When you’re not in the bathroom, you can expect to do the chores you were given during the household meetings.

Once you’ve eaten breakfast, you’ll have to go to your job and complete your shift. Or, you’ll need to go out to a volunteer position. If you don’t have a job – as most people don’t when they enter a sober living home – you’ll be required to actively seek one out. It’s vital you work hard to obtain employment as it’s going to play a key role in preventing relapse in the future.

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When you’re finished with work, you may have a few other responsibilities to complete for the day. These can include:

  • Classes at school
  • Counseling sessions
  • Doctor’s appointments

NOTE: It’s important to schedule these responsibilities around the afternoon and evening as a sober living home requires its residents to be back home by night.

When you return home, you’ll find the household getting together for a self-help meeting. Once this is complete, there may be some social activity set in place. However, once dinner is complete, you’ll have time to yourself. You can indulge with this time as you please as long as it’s in accordance with the house rules. Most sober living homes turn out lights by midnight.

What’s the purpose of all this structure? The idea is simple: As long as your mind is actively working towards something, you’ll think less and less of drug and/or alcohol use, even if cravings pop up. [4]

Finding a Sober Living Home

There are a few resources at your disposal to help you find a sober living home, including the listing called Nevada 2-1-1. This is a search engine for sober living homes strictly in the state of Nevada. You can check out their listings here.

Or you can check out Oxford House. These are a chain of sober living homes which run across the nation. You can expect to find yourself with 6 to 11 individuals, either all men or women. Some houses offer support for women with children. And all Oxford House homes in Nevada run under a schedule similarly to that mentioned above. For a list of Oxford Homes in Nevada, visit their website.

Finally, request a referral. If you are seeing an addiction counselor, doctor, or attending outpatient rehab, you can ask for recommendations directly. You’ll want a personal referral to a sober living home in your area, because clinicians usually are tuned in to reputation. It’s vital to request this referral BEFORE leaving a treatment facility as you’ll want to make sure there’s room in the sober living home the day your treatment ends.

Licensing

Q: Do sober living homes in Nevada need a license?

A: This depends.

While most sober living homes don’t need a license, halfway and ¾ houses MUST COMPLETE ongoing licenses provided by the state’s government. [5] In fact, there are a number other regulations that halfway houses and ¾ way homes must be in accordance with. In terms of residences, they must be actively or have successfully completed a drug rehab program.

If you’re seeking to apply for to run a halfway or ¾ house in Nevada through state funded treatment, you can get a copy of the application here.

Federal and State Laws

Sober living homes are good way to get back into day-to-day life without drugs or alcohol. When you first quit using, you’re going to need to take some time to transition back into the real world. In fact, it can be difficult to get yourself into a schedule. Lots of people feel lost. But a strong routine helps prevents relapse and encourages personal growth in addiction recovery.

When you initially look up sober living options in Nevada, you’re going to find you have a lot of options. It can be difficult to choose. But we hope to help you develop an understanding as to which are best for you. Here are the main rules and regulations surrounding sober living homes in Nevada.

To begin, there are two important federal laws to make note of:

1. The American with Disabilities Act: This is a federal law that protects the right for “reasonable accommodations” for those with a disability either through the state, city, or private housing. Under this law, disability includes those struggling with addiction and mental illness. [6]

2. The Fair Housing Act: Under this law, EVERYONE has the right to addiction recovery housing. Those who provide sober living homes around the country are not allowed to discriminate against people based on their national origin, religion, gender, family status, or disability. [7]

Nevada has also set in place a couple of laws surrounding sober living homes. [8] In order to find out more about Nevada’s laws surrounding licensing for sober living homes, see below. These principle laws that govern how sober homes are run in NV include:

1. Nevada Revised Statutes 449.017, or “Residential facility for groups” defined: According to this Nevada state law, any residential facility made for groups, including sober living homes, must provide food, shelter, assistance, and limited supervision to those facing an ‘intellectual disability’. This includes addiction and mental health. Under this regulation, the assisted living facility:

  • Must provide around-the-clock care.
  • Must house more than, at least, two persons.
  • Cannot only shelter those of relation.

2. Nevada Administrative Code 449.017 or “Residential facilities for group regulations”: Provides a basic summary of what is expected of a sober living home including fire safety, proper heating and electricity, running water, etc. [9]

How to Report a Sober Living Home

If you’re led to believe your sober living home is committing a crime, fraud, or has improper management, there’s help available. You’ll want to contact Nevada’s Office of Attorney General. [10] You can either contact their Confidential Address Program:

775-684-5707

Or, if you feel you’re the victim of a crime, you can report it here.

Your Questions

Still have questions or concerns about sober living options in Nevada?

Feel free to ask them in the comments section below. We also invite comments with more information on sober living options in Nevada. We try to reply to each legitimate question in a prompt and personal manner.

Reference Sources: [1] State of Nevada: Alcohol and Drug Program
[2] HHS Public Access: Pathways to Long-Term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation
[3] The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs: What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go From Here?
[4] UC Santa Cruz: Counseling and Psychological Services: Relapse Prevention
[5] City of North Las Vegas: Group Home Requirements
[6] The Americans with Disabilities Act
[7] The Fair Housing Act
[8] Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH): Residential Facility for Groups (Adult Groups Care/Assisted Living)
[9] Nevada Revised Statutes 449.017
[10] Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford: File a Complaint
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.

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