About Sober Living Homes
Achieving long-term recovery takes time and commitment. Completing a treatment program is not the end of recovery and for those who are reentering the world after completing an inpatient program, it can be overwhelming.
In an inpatient treatment center, a person is able to focus solely on their sobriety. Their life is dedicated to working through the program, refining it, and finding what works most effectively for them. People are able to do this without the added pressures of everyday life. Managing work, school, and daily responsibilities while trying to not allow these aspects of life to become triggers and stressors for relapse is incredibly demanding.
People who enter treatment for addiction have been struggling for quite some time. 30 or even 60 days in an inpatient treatment center is not enough to learn all you need to maintain sobriety in the “real world”. The transition back into everyday life can be jarring without the safety nets that an inpatient treatment program provides. This is why outpatient treatment is often recommended after an inpatient stay. Outpatient treatment programs provide the opportunity for continued clinical work, community, and case management to help clients continue to the work started in an inpatient center so they do not revert back to old habits.
While outpatient treatment can be helpful for clients living at home, for many, the shift out of an inpatient treatment center, a completely sober environment, is easier with the help of another transitional step. Sober living homes provide people with a safe place to continue working on their recovery as they acclimate to the demands of everyday life. Surrounded by sober peers around the clock, who share similar experiences, a support network is built into these environments and clients are able to easily access services and therapy through resources made available in the home.
Features of Sober Living Homes
Not all sober living homes offer the same amenities and will provide varying levels of access to care.
Some homes do not offer many in-home recovery services but will require residents to continue participating in some form of a support group. Others are modeled more closely after in-patient treatment facilities, providing more structure, case management, and other services in house.
Common Elements of Sober Living
While there are many different types of sober living homes, there are some features that are commonly available at most:
- Free of drugs and alcohol: After completing treatment, many people do not have the opportunity to choose where they go. Going home may mean returning to environments with easy access to drugs and alcohol. It can also mean being surrounded by substance-abusing peers. Sober living homes provide a safe place for people to live where drugs and alcohol are prohibited. This ensures all residents are safe and reduces the likelihood of exposure to enablers that can threaten sobriety.
- Residential support: Building a sober support network is a significant aspect of recovery. Community is vital to reducing feelings of isolation and helping clients develop ways of coping with stressors or triggers. In a sober living home, residents live with others who have shared similar experiences, further strengthening the connection to the sober community. Residents can readily relate to the experiences of others and can learn from one another as they navigate life after treatment.
- House rules: One of the ways sober living homes keep everyone safe is by having a set of house rules all residents must abide by. House rules may include assigning chores, administering random drug tests, having requirements for attending meetings/therapy, and clear rules related to relationships between residents. This added structure can be comforting to someone who is transitioning from inpatient treatment.
- Housing costs: Sober living homes often require residents to contribute to the costs of groceries, utilities, rent, and other needs. This helps clients learn how to manage their money, become more independent, and build confidence in their abilities. Many sober living homes require residents to be working or in school so that they can continue developing their ability to support themselves.
- Full-time living arrangements: Sober living homes require residents to abide by curfews and live at the home 100 percent of the time. While residents may be permitted to stay away for a night or two on occasion, in most cases, residents must return to the home every night. This is to ensure the safety of residents and to uphold house rules.
Benefits of a Sober Living
There are numerous benefits to sober living homes. Most of all, they provide a safe environment for those in need of additional support for those still in early recovering from substance abuse.
For many people, sober living homes provide the perfect combination of continued structure with the opportunity to begin establishing a life outside of the program. It is not uncommon for those leaving an inpatient program to begin using outpatient treatment services to support their sobriety. While outpatient treatment is effective for continued maintenance, a home life that does not enable sobriety can make it difficult to stay engaged in the program. A sober living home provides clients with a safe place to continue working through recovery without the influence of a triggering environment or enabling peers.
Sober living homes are designed to support residents’ recovery.
Residents and staff alike are closely connected to the sober community and understand the numerous challenges many people inevitably face. This makes it easy to find support and stay connected with others who share similar experiences.
Sober living homes greatly improve recovery outcomes.
Transitioning from inpatient treatment to independent living can be incredibly difficult. The stress of handling life’s daily challenges while still working to maintain sobriety can be enough to trigger a relapse. Sober living homes remove some of that stress and create a safe space for clients to return home to every night. House rules help further insulate residents from triggers and stressors that threaten sobriety which helps them gradually gain confidence in their ability to manage independent living.
Is Sober Living Necessary?
Whether sober living is necessary or not is determined on a case-by-case basis. A person’s history, their normal home environment, and the assessment of their clinical team are all factors in whether or not a sober housing or sober living environment will be recommended for someone in their recovery journey.
That being said, there is no real downside to attending a sober living home. While not all sober living homes are created equal, and it is important to research what each sober living home offers to see if it is right for you, the added support of the right sober living home can only help in the recovery process. Plus, most sober living homes offer month-to-month plans. If after a month, a person feels ready to transition back to their family home, that is always an option.
While a sober living home is not a necessity to getting or staying sober, it can help increase your chances. If you have questions about what the next step is in your recovery journey, give Nexus a call today at 310-881-9151 and one of our recovery advisors would be happy to assist you. We work with a number of sober livings in the area and are able to make recommendations based on your unique needs.
Alumni & Family Testimonials
“I have great respect for Nexus Recovery and its associated leadership. I believe in their mission to provide ethical treatment and attention to clinical detail. I have seen many lives come in the door broken and exit with purpose, I am one of them.”