pros and cons of co-ed sober living

Pros and Cons of Co-Ed Sober Living Homes

Completing an addiction treatment program is a huge accomplishment, but it is important to remember that your journey of recovery is not over. Because addiction is a chronic and progressive disease, you must continue to work on building a strong foundation of recovery even after you leave treatment. Additionally, the transition from living in a treatment facility to being independent can be extremely difficult, sometimes causing people to relapse.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the addiction relapse rate is between 40 to 60%.[1]

Thankfully, sober living homes can provide you with the tools and support you need to ease this transition. By providing you with a stable and supportive environment, sober living programs can help you remain sober while you learn to traverse the triggers and challenges of the real world as a sober individual.

However, there are two main types of sober living homes that you will have to choose from: gender-specific and co-ed sober living programs. Being aware of the pros and cons of co-ed sober living houses can help you make an informed decision on which type of program is right for you.

What are Co-Ed Sober Living Homes?

Co-ed sober living homes are a type of transitional housing that allows both men and women to live in the same home. This type of sober living house provides the same types of support and service as gender-specific sober homes, but the only difference is that men and women live together in the same supportive space.

Common rules of co-ed sober living homes include:

  • Abstaining from drug and alcohol use
  • Submitting to randomized drug and alcohol testing
  • Abiding by a set curfew
  • Respecting your housemates and staff members
  • Providing and receiving emotional support to your peers
  • Participating in activities like sober living meetings
  • Not having overnight guests
  • Covering certain expenses to live in the home
  • Having a job or attending school
  • Not getting into romantic relationships with the other residents
  • Going to a certain number of recovery meetings (like 12-step programs) each week

While it is more common for sober living homes to be men or women only, co-ed homes provide you with the ability to create platonic and supportive relationships with both genders. It is important to note that these programs still prohibit romantic or sexual relationships among residents, however, they understand that this can happen in any type of sober living program – even in gender-specific homes.

The Positives of Choosing a Co-Ed Sober Living Home

If you are considering attending a co-ed sober living home, you are probably wondering what the benefits are. Why should you choose a co-ed sober living home over a gender-specific one?

The pros of choosing a co-ed sober living home include:

  • Co-ed living environments better match real-world situations
  • The opportunity to interact with men and women in a safe and supportive living environment
  • Wider perspective for advice and insights during group meetings and daily interactions
  • Learning positive patterns of interaction with men and women
  • Learning about the specific issues that the opposite gender faces
  • Receiving advice that is specific to situations concerning gender
  • Forming positive relationships with a gender you experienced trauma with
  • Overcoming harmful gender stereotypes

Oftentimes, sober living homes have group therapy sessions with all of the residents. By living in a co-ed sober living home, you can gain valuable insights from both a man’s and a woman’s perspective. Additionally, if you are a man or a woman who has had negative interactions with the opposite sex, you can form healing and positive relationships that will help you recover from your past traumas.

The Drawbacks of Co-Ed Sober Living Homes

While living in a co-ed sober living home can provide many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. Some people might not find that living with the opposite gender is conducive to their recovery. It all depends on your personal needs and the type of support you find helpful.

Possible cons of co-ed sober living programs include:

  • A higher likelihood of getting involved in a relationship too soon
  • Not being comfortable opening up in front of or living with the opposite sex
  • Not feeling safe if you have experienced abuse from the opposite sex in the past
  • Less focus on your specific gender’s issues

The main concern that people have when considering choosing a co-ed sober living home is the possibility of getting involved in a relationship when you should be focused on your sobriety. While living with the opposite gender can make this more likely, co-ed sober living programs emphasize their rules that prohibit romantic relationships. Additionally, if you do not identify as straight, this might not even be a concern for you.

There are pros and cons of co-ed and gender-specific sober living programs. Which type of program is right for you all depends on your personal needs and preferences when it comes to recovery and being around men or women.

Get Connected to a Top-Rated Co-Ed Sober Living Home

If you or a loved one have recently completed a drug and alcohol rehab program, you should consider attending a co-ed sober living home.

At New You Sober Living, our philosophy is to treat every man and woman with dignity and respect throughout your luxurious and comfortable stay under our guided care.

To learn more about our co-ed sober living programs in Broward County, contact New You Sober Living today.


  1. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The Science of Addiction Treatment and Recovery, Retrieved May 2023 From
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