Anyone have experience with sober living


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i posted my son asked to go to a treatment center on Wednesday. He was taken on Thursday. That evening I received a call from a nurse in detox just letting me know all was well and that it was expected for him to be moved to residential the following day or Sat.
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Tryingtobestrong, your son can sign a release so that medical treatment and rehab can be discussed with you. Refuse to have anything to do with your son until he signs that release!

My daughter pulled the same thing when we held an intervention and sent her to a three month rehab in another state. We refused to even accept phone calls until she signed. She caved very quickly.

As far as spending money on his recovery, I wouldn't do it unless he asks to go. Otherwise, you are just paying room and board until his next relapse. He has to want to get sober.

Does your son have insurance? If so, many rehabs will accept the amount the insurance will pay and there will be no out of pocket for you. Several of the places my daughter went to did that. If he doesn't have insurance, some places offer "scholarships" for non-paying patients. They are few and far between but they are out there. Get on the phone and start calling.

I wouldn't say there is a 0% chance that someone that doesn't go to treatment willingly will get sober. But it is a very low number. Our interventionist put it at 15% for clients that went into treatment because of family pressure or court order.

I also think that our troubled loved ones get something out of rehab each time they go but don't expect the first time to be the last.

My daugther was in five rehabs and countless sober living facilities. When she decided to get sober, she found her own treatment center and then voluntarily spent a year in a sober living program.

One more thing . . . many sober living houses are simply out for the money. My daughter moved onto heroin in one of them. Several that she lived in while she was in Florida are now under federal investigation for insurance fraud.

Do your homework! There are good programs but there are many more bad ones.


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Hello again. I reread your post and this stood out to me:
As much as I don't want to spend any more money on him, my counselor said that I have to decide "how much I will spend on his sobriety/recovery" IF it is for his recovery, will I be willing to spend the money?
I think that is very easy for your counselor to say since it is not her money. Don't be guilted into spending money you don't have. If your son is not interested in getting sober, you are pouring money down the drain.


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I have lots of experience with this. So first of all she probably did pull the release... .KAthy is right...,. Dont do anything to support him while he has pulled the release. The treatment cetners hands are tied they cant talk to you without his release so let him know you wont pay for anything or do anything if he hasnt signed the release.

As far as sober living.... well it is a mixed bag that is for sure. Lots of bad ones out there. They are not regulated I dont think. And most of them kick you out if you relapse so then what. My son has been kicked out of many sober livings...... so I dont think you should pay for anything unless he is going voluntarily and wants to go. Not sure what you should do about the current lease on his apartment... because him going back there doesnt sound good either.


Active Member
How do I let him know that I won't pay for anything if he doesn't sign the release? I don't know if I will hear from him again. I guess most likely he will call again which drives me nuts. I hate hearing his voice.
Yesterday he called to tell me that there is visitation today and asked if I could text his one friend that he has to see if he could come to see him. I said I would. Today he called and asked if his friend got back to me. I said that he said he would try but was not sure if he could make it at those times. He then said well I guess that is a no. I asked if there was anyone else I could try and he said no he was the only one he cared about. He sounded upset and I know he was but seriously I wanted to ask him when the last time was he went out of his way for a friend or a family member- I know the answer to that. Never.
So I don't expect any other calls from him.
I assume I can call the treatment center and ask if he signed the release and then if they say he didn't then I can relay my message that I am not going to pay for anything or speak to him until he signs it. The only thing I am paying for is this rehab. He is expecting me to cover his rent for Sept since he is in treatment.


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if I could text his one friend that he has to see if he could come to see him. I said I would.
I agree with the others, you may be doing too much. If he does not want you involved, why should you help him contact others? He is telling you butt out...except for the money train.
I assume I can call the treatment center and ask if he signed the release and then if they say he didn't then I can relay my message that I am not going to pay for anything or speak to him until he signs it.

My son NEVER wanted me involved in treatment, but costs were paid by insurance so he had the right to his privacy. But he wanted my help, when he wanted my help. I wish I had had better boundaries.

I let him pick and choose what he would do, and what I could do and this did not end well.

If you are paying for the treatment, for it. To leave no stone unturned. Based upon the stories I read here, children can respond to treatment when pushed. But parents understand that they are doing it for themselves, and they have no control whatsoever about the result.

I pushed my son several times, and as soon as he left, he resumed using his drug of choice. His lack of commitment made him leave several treatments early. I would not see the writing on the wall. He could care less whether or not he stopped. Treatment became a leverage for him to control me. He would mention the word, and like Pavlov's dog I would begin salivating. He had trained me. It was stimulus response. I was the dog.

I can see that now. But I had to go through this, to learn to change. You see. It is about us. Not them.

Their learning and changing has nothing to do with us.

Our job is to get strong enough to change ourselves.

I wish it was different. It is not.


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Like Copa said, call the treatment center and ask them to tell him that there will be no further contact and you will stop paying for his treatment until he signs a release.

Then you have to stick to it which is the hardest part including blocking his phone calls and text messages. He obviously still wants you involved.


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OK if it was me I would continue to support treatment. I wouldnt call and say I wasnt going to pay for treatment. But I would not do any favors for him like call his friends, bring him stuff he needs, give him any kind of spending money etc etc. He is going to want something else... who knows what. And when he does say no, you dont want to sign a release or have me involved so I am not involved. So just back off completely until he signs the release... he is going to want/need something from you at some point.

I also think it is important to recognize what makes sense in terms fo the release. He does have the right to some privacy.... so for example what he talks about in therapy he may want to keep private and in my opinion he has that right..... but how he is doing in general in treatment, if he is still there, still participating, what his aftercare plans are all of that should be shared with you. Oh speaking of aftercare.... he is going to need help with after care or rent or something.... give him nothing if he doesnt sign those releases.



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OK if it was me I would continue to support treatment.
TL. I do not think she is withdrawing support for treatment. I think it is a question of whether or not he is willing to authorize her involvement, in terms of being able to speak to the treatment team on a need know basis, that protects his privacy in treatment, be involved in discharge planning, etc. I think she is willing to pay, if there is communication.

My own son never wanted me involved. I had no leverage. He always made poor decisions about continuing, etc. I should have never ever let him come home and continue to support him financially, with housing, etc. if he did not let me be involved.

makes sense in terms fo the release. He does have the right to some privacy.... so for example what he talks about in therapy he may want to keep private and in my opinion he has that right..... but how he is doing in general in treatment, if he is still there, still participating, what his aftercare plans are all of that should be shared with you
I totally agree with this. It is right and correct that he need privacy in treatment. But you have a right to insist upon some communication in some matters, if you are paying.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Most unfortunately, I have had a lot of experience with rehab and sober living.

And my son did well in both for a short time and then would go right back to what he was doing. He wasn't ready to change. We were beyond ready for him to change.

Our son always signed a release. He wanted to be close to us but we did not want him close unless he was working on his sobriety. My heart couldn't take it anymore.

A good sober living will have a plan for them to WORK and pay for themselves independent from their parents. I do not recall how old your son is.

There are a LOT of bad sober livings out there. There is no doubt about that. I agree that there is NO WAY I would contact a friend for him. Normally they are not allowed to talk to or see anyone except for immediate family. I would question everything about him wanting to talk to a friend. I would be suspicious.

This is so hard and so awful and I feel so sad for all of us dealing with this. It's hell on earth to me. It really is.

I hope that you have supports in place for yourself. You need to set some boundaries and your son desperately needs them also.

My son recently told my husband "when mom says something she really sticks to it, no matter what".

That is the new me. I had to work very hard to get there. It is not in my nature.

Hugs and prayers as you deal with this. It ain't easy.


I never had any money to pay for anything. I'm also a firm believer in tough love so wouldn't give mine anything but names and phone numbers of places to get help if he needed something. So I can't relate to some of what you're feeling.

But mine has been in sober living. There are more than a dozen in my relatively small town. All non profits. Perhaps because mine has been down and back this road so many times I would have a concern about forcing him into something he doesn't want. These places have rules that they enforce. A necessity. But they won"t take him if he doesn't voluntarily go. They will take them back after a relapse if he agrees to go. But they will ban him from ever returning under certain circumstances. So burning bridges is a concern. He could decide to respond to your pressure by doing something that gets him permanently banned. In the long run then forcing him may not be the best plan.


Active Member
I don't want to know what he says in his therapy sessions. All I would like to know is does the psychiatrist on staff work on diagnosing him if he has a co-occurring illness and if so what do they do to help with that and the addiction. I have heard from someone on another site that my son sounds like he has more going on than just an alcohol addiction and that he needs a psychiatrist to diagnosis him. This place is a dual diagnosis facility but since I am not able to speak to anyone I really don't know how or what they do.
I read over the paperwork and it says someone will contact me within the first 7 days provided the release is signed. That way we can write our "cost" letters, etc. Not sure what happens is it isn't signed.

If anyone has suggestions on the boundaries my husband and I should put in place, please message me.
Keeping positive thoughts that he completes the program of 31 days AND agrees to go to a sober living. It will not be good for him to go back to his new apartment above the bar all alone without any support system. Seems like it would be destined for relapse.
I thought of bribing him and taking a hit on the lease so he does go somewhere that he can have support around him for a few months. Without support around him especially on the weekends, I fear he will just relapse. The holidays are coming up and being all alone will not be good either.


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tryingtobestrong, it sounds like you are doing all of the work to try to keep him sober. The bottom line is that you can't fix him. I know because I tried for years to fix my daughter. I thought if I could just find the right doctor, the right medications, the right rehab, the right sober living house, then I could make her sober.

But I couldn't. We spent over $70,000 of our retirement money on a very expensive three-month program and subsequent sober living houses. This was before the ACA when she didn't have insurance. She relapsed almost immediately.

Once the ACA was passed and she got insurance, she went to three more in-treatment programs in Florida followed by many stays in sober living and relapsed each and every time.

As my therapist repeated over and over to me, I couldn't change my daughter's behavior. She was going to do whatever she wanted to do. The only behavior I could change was mine.

When my husband and I finally got strong enough to set boundaries and tell her she was on her own, she decided she didn't want to keep living that lifestyle and got sober.

I don't remember how old your son is but if he was living in an apartment he must be an adult. It is time to expect him to act like one.

My daughter was also diagnosed with various mental illnesses along the way. She was in dual-diagnosis treatment centers and it seemed every psychiatrist she saw came up with something new.

Once she got sober, the symptoms disappeared. It is virtually impossible to diagnose a mental illness when they are in active addiction. The interventionist we used said that 80% of the mental illness behaviors go away with sobriety. I don't know if that is correct but it certainly held true for my daughter. Just so you know, she was diagnosed at different times as bipolar, borderline, bipolar with borderline tendencies, depressed, social anxiety disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and probably more that I have forgotten.

Now that she has been sober for over two years, the only thing that she takes is an anti-depressant. All of the bipolar and borderline symptoms have disappeared. She is loving, kind, responsible, and financially independent.

Back to the release, tell them you will not pay a dime if he doesn't sign that release. He is holding you emotionally hostage and playing a game. Don't fall for it.


On the road unwanted to travel
I’m reading through this and I hope they have one comment to add. I found it so interesting that my son was so secretive and defensive about us being involved in anything while he was in active addiction or even when he was clean and not really focussed on recovery. I asked if I was able to continue contact with his lawyer the other day and he looked at me and said what a ridiculous question mom of course you can. These are not just factors in and of themselves they are indicators and signs of the stages of recovery and the openness to that recovery. I do believe there needs to be some kind of boundary put in place until he recognizes her moves forward enough in his recovery to recognize that he needs to share that level of information with you. Best of luck and keep us posted.