Once your loved one has gone into inpatient treatment, the question is what to do next. Sober living is often the next recommended step as it provides a safe environment for your loved one to continue to grow in their recovery. However, there are different levels to these types of living situations. Structured sober living is going to look more like a program, meaning, there will be a staff presence at the house who is there guiding the residents through early stages of recovery. The staff will usually provide more direct attention in each ones personal journey, assisting not only with recovery, but helping residents improve their life skills and integrate back into the community. They will set the resident up with a structured, daily schedule that may offer groups regarding mediation, 12 steps, and introducing the residents to a group of people in the recovery community. The alternative to structured sober living is regular sober living. These types of houses are generally owned by someone in long-term recovery and managed by a former resident who has agreed to stay on. There is no specific schedule for the day and the resident is hopefully at a point in his/her recovery where he is working, has a community, and a sponsor. The rules at a sober living house will be similar to a structured sober living house in that he resident is expected to have and meet a sponsor on a weekly basis, obtain employment, and work a certain amount of hours per week. They are to attend a certain amount of AA meetings per week, complete a chore, follow all house rules, and be subjected to random drug testing. It is important for your loved one to communicate with the house owners, staff and/or managers when he/she feels they are ready to move out or transition to a lower level of sober living.