SSometimes referred to as a halfway house, a sober living home functions as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the outside world. After you have completed your treatment at an inpatient facility, you may be having a hard time adjusting back to daily life. As such, these homes offer you an in-between recovery option where you learn how to strengthen the lesson you learned while in rehab.
A lot of people in recovery have said that moving into a sober home can make the difference between going back to addition or continuing on the path of sobriety. It is a great option if you still have doubts about going out from a monitored environment to normal daily life.
Although a sober home does not have the same level of structure as a rehab, it provides a sober environment where residents are encouraged to develop and maintain healthy coping skills and habits which will be useful when they return home.
What to Expect in a Sober Living Home
When patients are in an inpatient treatment center, they are completely immersed in their rehab programs. Their dependence is restricted. However, that is not the case in sober living homes. Residents are not confined to the home’s campus and they are free to come and go as they please. This helps an individual feel like he is going back to his normal daily activities and makes it easy for them to transition back to daily responsibilities. Although the homes are less restrictive, there are still rules that residents are expected to abide by such as curfews and mandatory group meeting attendance.
A big part of staying in the home is forging meaningful friendships that help to reinforce in a patient the desire to totally abstain from alcohol and drugs. The support system is beneficial because it helps residents avoid the isolation that often comes with going back home after recovery.
Improve Your Chances of Staying Sober
The homes provide an alternative to going from an intensive care environment straight to an environment with no support structure. Normal everyday life situations are replicated in the homes and this helps to reduce chances of relapse.
Residents do a number of things that guide them throughout the recovery proves. These are:
- Finding a job
- Making amends with family members and close friends affected by an individual’s substance abuse
- Locating a house after treatment
- Adjusting to sober living even while going back to an unstructured environment
Additionally, you can create your own plan to prevent relapse that allows you to quickly identify triggers that may entice you once you go back home. Plan in advance what to do in case this happens and think of practical ways to eliminate these triggers from your life.
When to Move into a Sober Home
It is always advisable to move into a sober home after you have completed your stay in an inpatient facility or if you are worried you might not stay sober on your own. Those living there might stay for approximately 90 days. However, others have chosen to stay there as long as necessary.
Residents often prefer to prolong their stay at these homes than at inpatient facilities because they are affordable and do not have restriction thus providing them with more control over their daily schedules. Most people in recovery who want to remain sober move into an environment where there is a support system.
How the Homes Help
The group homes are free from alcohol and drugs and operate like a normal housing system whereby you pay the rent and maintain the home through upkeep and chores. Some homes are owned by religious groups or businesses but most of them are run privately. In the latter case, a group of sober people comes together to form an informal agreement to live there as roommates. Each person invests in his own recovery.
The operation is different depending n the type of the home. There are homes with a resident manager who oversees and enforced the rules of the house. Other homes follow a social model in which the decision making power is distributed to all residents. Regardless of the management style, each resident has to follow the set rules and regulations.
The Difference from Other Residential Programs
The main difference between these homes and other residential programs is that the homes have a more loose structure and residents and find employment and attend to other outside obligations. A resident is free to come and go to their family, business or leisure activity as they please.
If a person lacks commitment to the program, he can hinder the efforts of others in the program to stay sober. That is why most homes will require you to first complete a detox program. In addition, you will also be required to sign a contract as proof of your commitment to the recovery process.
Having a stable living environment is crucial for the recovery of an addict. Research has shown that dysfunctional homes can significantly disrupt a person’s recovery efforts and also trigger cravings that often results in relapse.
A sober home is a structured environment where you will receive encouragement and support from fellow residents to attend the treatment classes and participate in a 12step program. You will be surrounded by people who are on the same path. There are also activities such as going to meetings, camping and sharing meals together.
Who can Live There?
There are no specific restrictions as to who can live in these homes. However, many require that you should first complete some level of rehab prior to living in the home. You should also seek treatment or participate in a 12 step program.
It is important that you are committed to the program. Once a person really wants to be there, he can find ways to stay sober and transition back into the normal life he once was in.