If you are concerned about transitioning from a treatment center into the real world, a sober living home may be an opportunity to consider.
After an initial treatment within rehab, there can be many emotions and uncertainties when trying to navigate your new circumstances. Without the proper aftercare steps in place, you may be at a higher risk of falling back into old habits and suffering from a relapse.
Sober living homes offer a safe space for you to get back on your feet. With more accountability and others within the home who understand your experiences with addiction treatment, you can have a smoother transition into everyday life.
What Is a Sober Living Home?
A sober living home is a group home for those that are making the commitment to live drug and alcohol-free. Most homes require a prior inpatient or outpatient care treatment before entering into a home. In some cases, a contract is signed to ensure a serious commitment to being substance and alcohol-free. A relapse can often have severe impacts on the whole house if someone puts themselves, or others at risk.
Sober Homes Run By Organizations or Religious Groups
Some sober living homes are owned by organizations or religious groups that may have a resident manager that oversees recovery and aspects within the home. It may mean the resident manager is in charge of enforcing rules and ensuring accountability among the members of the home. Including attending 12-step meetings or participating in group therapy.
Private Sober Residences
There are also privately owned homes with an agreement among the members of the house to live in sobriety. A private residence allows more room for independence, but also requires social accountability. With a social model approach, members of the home can enact decision making with everyone involved to ensure a safe environment for all involved.
As long as house rules are abided by, a person is free to go about their day as they please. In some cases, a home may be a transitional time for a person to find employment or a more permanent place of living. In other cases, it may be a permanent home within a safe community for a person to continue their life in sobriety.
What Are the Benefits of Living In a Home?
A sober living home provides more flexibility than a residential treatment program does. At a home, you are able to go to work and visit family or friends without a specific schedule to follow. With more flexibility, you are able to have the freedom to pursue a new life beyond addiction.
Beyond independence, it also gives a safe and stable environment to return to at the end of the day. By having a shared goal in sobriety, individuals are able to form stronger friendship bonds that encourage positive long-term recovery outcomes. People living within the home are able to share meals together, conversations, and positive shared experiences that do not involve drugs or alcohol temptation.
The greatest benefit is that sober living homes are open to anyone who is looking for a stable environment following a detox treatment or residential program. In many cases, residents of the home participate in 12-step meetings or group therapy sessions outside of their place of living for additional drug abuse help.
Choosing to live in a sober living home gives the space within a safe environment to explore what life can look like beyond addiction. With additional resources for potential urges or leaning on the community within the house during a tough time, you are able to find ways that pave the way for a fulfilled and positive life in recovery.
The Difference Between a Halfway House and a Sober Living Home
Fundamentally, a halfway house and a sober living home have similar concepts in the way that they operate. Both forms of housing provide a sober environment for recovery, but there are key differences to pay attention to when deciding on the best place for you to be after a treatment program.
What Halfway Houses Provide
Halfway houses have the downside of having a set amount of time in which an individual can stay within the home. The original intention behind the creation of a halfway house was to provide a safe living space while someone is in outpatient care, or for someone who is transitioning from a treatment program into the outside world.
With the time limit, residents may be forced to move outside of the house, whether they are ready to or not. It can be hard for individuals who feel they do not have the proper support when transitioning out of the halfway house. This can lead to potential relapses, a return to old habits, or finding themselves back in unsafe or dangerous places.
Rules within a halfway house also can be prohibitive for some people who are seeking alternative forms of rehab and are not in a formal treatment process. While a halfway house can be good for an interim period, it is not necessarily a good long-term solution for many individuals.
How Sober Living Homes Fill In the Gap
Sober living homes fill the gap of transition or uncertainty by providing a home without time limits or restrictions. While some homes owned by organizations have particular rules for living in a place, there are many private residences that choose to have a sober living community without expectations of a formal treatment plan.
For those who have continually struggled with sobriety, or have had bad rehab experiences, a sober living home is a promising solution to cultivating a new environment that encourages positive recovery habits.
Creating A Sober Community
Sober help comes in many forms, but one of the strongest aspects of recovery is a person’s social environment. Social pressure plays a large role in relapse episodes or the return to dangerous environments because of connections with friends or family members that also suffer from addiction.
The main concept of entering into a sober home is the ability to have a supportive community surrounding a person for long-term recovery. However, sober living only works if you are committed to the journey of sobriety. A relapse can harm friendships within the house, and create an unsafe place for others who may be at risk.
Improving Recovery Through An Aftercare Plan
Before making a decision about entering into a sober living home, make sure you work alongside your counselor or medical professional to determine a personalized aftercare treatment plan.
A plan can include the steps in finding employment, repairing family relations through therapy, and ways to adjust smoothly into a sober living environment. Talk through healthy coping strategies when moving into a new environment, as well as ways to connect with your potential housemates. Having a better understanding of what you are entering into can ease the stress about transitioning to a new place beyond a treatment program.
How Much Does It Cost
Sober living homes are far cheaper than regular residential programs. Most homes cost similar to the average rent price in the area, depending on where you live. In many cases, you will not have to be responsible for bills concerning utilities or other household needs. However, it is still recommended to be mindful of utility use when sharing a home with others.
Contact your local treatment center to discuss potential options for a sober living home. Many centers will know of sober rentals or living spaces that may be suitable for your particular situation.
When It Is Time To Move
There may be a long list of anxieties or uncertainties when looking at moving into sober living. While it may feel uncertain at first, the majority of people who transition into a sober living situation find it incredibly helpful in developing stronger recovery habits.
With accountability within your living space and life skills, you acquired within rehab, you can begin rebuilding towards the life you want to live. There are always resources available to you when things feel tough. Your counselor or medical professional is always available as a resource to help you walk down the path towards continual sobriety.
One of the greatest benefits of living in a home is being surrounded by like-minded people who understand the journey you have been through. With that as a foundation to friendship, you can experience first hand what it feels like to have fun in sobriety and enjoy living life without addiction.
Accessing Resources Once In a Sober Home
Drug abuse help or alcohol abuse resources, as well as 24-hour helplines, are always available to you if you need it. Many recovery aftercare plans include utilizing technology to help with the transition into a home.
Whether that is through a sobriety app, or connecting with friends and family, there are open pathways to finding the support and resources you need to get through the initial stages of entering into the outside world.
Loosid offers community boards to connect with the sober community, as well as an inside look into local resources about sober events. Learning how to connect with the sober community in your area is just one step in the process of finding meaningful friendships in recovery.