Can I Have a Car in Sober Living?

The rules around owning a car and accessing it for your personal use will usually evolve during your stay in a sober living program. Just like with other rules that restrict your ability to be unsupervised and out in the community, this one too will change as you gain more time in sobriety and demonstrate that you are able to handle triggers or temptations without relapse.

Early Car Access

Each person’s ability to avail themselves of use of their car in early sobriety will be dependent upon their personal situation. Some will have no access at all if they have no need for it beyond recreational use. However, in many cases, residents will be able to access their vehicle for use – albeit with a sober companion – if they have unavoidable outside commitments. Possibilities include:

  • A court date
  • A meeting with a parole officer
  • A medical appointment
  • Work
  • School

In order to use their car to commute to these appointments in the first few weeks at a sober living home, patients will often be required to:

  • Get permission in advance
  • Commit to a specific period of time that they will be gone with the car
  • Come back right after the appointment is over
  • Commit to come directly back to the house
  • Bring a sober companion
  • Leave contact information
  • Remain drug-free and submit to a drug test upon return
  • Understand and respect penalties for breaking any of these rules

Why Have a Car in Sober Living?

Some people need to have a car because they have no other way to get to and from work or classes, especially if they are far from the sober living home or their appointments or work shifts take place at odd times of the day. Staff members at the sober living home can often arrange transportation to specific events in the community or will arrange for transportation as needed for residents through a car service or cab. There is usually at least one vehicle available to the house for group trips as well. It may not even be necessary for some residents to bring a car with them. Many find it easier to arrange transportation on an as-needed basis.

Rules and Regulations

Rules and standards are put into place at a sober living program for the protection of the residents. However, sober living is also designed to be an intermediary step between inpatient addiction treatment programs and complete independence. As the resident continues to grow in recovery, he or she will find that the rules and regulations loosen up accordingly. Because the goal is to build up to the ability to remain clean and sober without someone standing behind you to “check up on you,” it’s important to take small steps in that direction slowly while you still have therapeutic support staff there to catch you if you are tempted to relapse.

Recovery is a continuum, a personal journey that no two people will experience in the same way. For that reason, some residents may have different rules and expectations as compared to others in the house that are dependent upon their personal circumstances. Contact us at the phone number listed above today to discuss your personal situation and your needs in sober living support. We can help you find the right sober living situation for your needs.