Once you complete medical detox and drug and alcohol rehab, you return to the outside world. While some people may immediately succeed once integrated back into society, many recoverers prefer to take extra precautions to protect their sobriety. Sober living homes provide a safe, encouraging atmosphere perfect for recovery.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living can be the mindset of someone dedicated to their continued sobriety. In this case, sober living refers to the transitional housing arrangement provided by treatment centers for people in early recovery. Sober living homes act as a physical intermediary between newly recovered people and the temptations of life outside rehab.
Sober Living Responsibilities:
- Pay rent and utilities
- Shared responsibility for property upkeep
- Self-prepare meals (unlike inside rehab)
- Maintain respectful boundaries with other residents
- Follow rules
People staying in sober living homes are provided a wide birth of freedom, allowing for independence and a sense of control. That being said, sober living homes typically require residents to abide by their rules. By enforcing rules, sober living homes maintain a safe and stable environment to ensure the well-being of their inhabitants. Of course, rule violations can lead to expulsion from the home to protect fellow residents.
Common Sober Living Rules:
- No drugs or alcohol permitted (including addictive prescription meds)
- Discourages or prohibits intimate relationships amongst residents
- Limited visitation
- Maintain a safe place with minimal distractions
- Varying rules regarding individual and shared responsibilities
- Rule violations lead to expulsion from the home
People finishing treatment and returning home to stressful situations significantly increase the risk of relapse. Additionally, those who have relapsed in the past often lack the discipline to retain sobriety alone— this is understandable. However, there is a solution that many recoverers chose to continue relapse prevention following rehab. That is, moving into a sober living home.
What Are The Benefits?
Following treatment, recovering people have the option to go home. However, the quicker you return home after treatment the more your risk of relapse increases. This is an unfortunate truth. Of course, this is not a definite consequence— many people move back into their houses and live successful, sober lives.
Naturally, the longer you extend your recovery process with the aid of others, the stronger your recovery resolves becomes. To that end, sober living homes are the ideal transition from treatment to society. Undoubtedly, people requiring more structure than their current living situation and less strict monitoring than intensive outpatient (IOP) care benefit greatly from sober living homes.
Sober living provides opportunities for independent living and increased freedoms. Additionally, the benefits of sober living homes offer relapse prevention, lowering exposure to distractions and temptations outside of a rehab facility.
Benefits of Sober Living Homes:
- Positive peer influence
- Built-in sober support network and guidance
- Genuine connection in relationships
- Reduces isolation
- Routine and structure
- Independence and privacy
- Increases accountability
- Reinforces relapse prevention and aftercare
- Limits distraction and temptation
- Relatable experiences promoting empathy
- Lowers potential of family issues
- Integrates continued treatment options and sober meetings
Sober living provides a person the safety and community necessary for a fulfilling life. Recovery is made that much easier when you surround yourself with like-minded people navigating recovery alongside you. During a stay in sober living, people are afforded the opportunity to hold a job, continue recovery aftercare, community support, and independent living all while strengthening their resolve in recovery.
Check out our blog post “5 Things to Look for in a Sober Living Home” to learn more about sober living!