What is a sober living environment?
A sober living environment is a residence designed to help people who have recently completed treatment for addiction to remain sober and complete their recovery. (They may also be referred to as a halfway house, although this has a much broader application to homes that house criminals transitioning out of prison.) Sober living homes serve as a transition point between an inpatient rehabilitation facility and a recovering addict’s return to daily life.
What are the benefits of sober living environments?
Freedom to come and go at will.
Different from rehabilitation facilities with strict regimes and structure, sober living homes provide a greater sense of freedom for residents. This enables them to build their own healthy habits in a semi-protected environment.
Accountability of a strong support system.
Sober living environments enable recovering patients to build friendships with people who are striving to live sober lives. There are required weekly meetings and therapy sessions to attend, a curfew to abide by and a general set of rules to follow, providing a structure which lends itself to lasting change. The community creates a safety net that prevents isolation and builds connection.
Transitional housing while permanent residence and employment are sought.
Obtaining new residence outside of the rehab patient’s former communities which may have led to addiction can take time. This separation from toxic environments and individuals, however, can make or break their successful recovery. Steady employment, another important aspect of maintaining a sober lifestyle, can be sought while residing in a sober living home, and one may attend school. Returning to a safe and healthy home every evening can equip the job applicant or student with a routine that fosters dutiful employment and productive learning.
Freedom to reconnect with family and friends after treatment.
Addiction always touches more people than the person immediately addicted. Family bonds and friendships may have suffered greatly as a result of this journey. Sober living environments are safe spaces that provide the necessary room for healing and reconciliation in important relationships.
Build and integrate new habits of sober living into daily life.
Sober living environments combine the structure of intake rehabilitation facilities and normal life. Those recovering from addiction often find the adjustment to life in these homes to be much gentler than to average daily living. You have the opportunity to practice the habits you have formed in rehab, without having the safety of intake facilities stripped entirely.
Ongoing relapse protection planning.
Full and total recovery often takes dedication and determination after failure. Sober living homes help their residents prepare for, and prevent relapses in a community setting. Professionals work with you to create a detailed relapse prevention plan, as well as identify various addiction triggers. When failure occurs, you are much more likely to begin anew when surrounded by a supportive group of people and programs that can help you strategize for a different outcome in the future and feel confident in your lasting sobriety.
What are some rules of sober living environments?
Guidelines for sober living homes may include:
- Abstinence from all substance use, with random drug tests;
- Completion of household chores;
- No violence among residents;
- No weapons of any kind;
- Attendance of mandatory 12-step meetings or other recovery programs.
How much do sober living homes cost?
The price of living in a sober living home can range from $100 per month to $2,000 or more. On average, one can expect to pay something from $400-$800 monthly. Insurance, scholarships and grants, loans, private donors and extended payment plans are all alternative options for funding the stay at one of these homes.
How do I choose a sober living environment?
If you think a sober living environment could be a good option for you or a loved one, you may consider the following tips when exploring your options.
- Research the rules and guidelines of the facility and be sure that you can abide by their standards of operation.
- Be sure that you can afford the cost of living for the amount of time that you intend to stay.
- As for recommendations from people in your support groups, 12-step recovery programs, therapy communities, etc.
- Read reviews and testimonials of people who have lived in this particular sober living environment to gauge the culture and success of the programs.
- Find a home that is located near your family and friends, employment and education opportunities, and therapy offices.