All research surveyed for the present study are of a quantitative and positivistic nature. No single qualitative study could be sourced by the author of the present study that specifically investigates sober-houses. Research into sober-houses has generally been restricted to descriptive studies, comparisons between demographic groups, and some outcome studies. While a multiplicity of environmental factors affect substance use behaviours, current research shows that there is a need to take into account the subjective individual differences, the cognitive and emotional interpretations of experiences, and the interactions of the person with the environment. Therefore, the present study has selected its question to consider the subjective perceptions of addicted individuals in relation to sober-houses and the environment, one that can only be appropriately investigated through qualitative methods.
The aim of the present study, therefore, is to investigate the impacts the environment has on individual attempts at recovering from substance addiction. The present study will attempt to learn from residents of sober-houses what the components of their lived environment are that are helping them to recover from addiction and which components may be hindering their efforts. By demonstrating the important ways that individuals with addictions tend to understand or perceive their environment in spheres associated with substance use, greater insight can be achieved into what changes may be required in the operations of sober-house and the management of the residents living in these houses in order to aid recovery and to prevent relapse.