Quitting drugs and alcohol and getting sober can be extremely challenging, but also very rewarding. Graduating from rehab, however, is only the first battle. Whether someone went through inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or used another form of therapy, the lure of drugs and alcohol is often right around the next corner. That’s where sober living facilities can be very helpful for many recovering addicts. Sober living facilities can also help recovering addicts find their place in the world without drugs and alcohol.
What is Sober Living?
A sober living facility is often a house, apartment complex or other building where recovering addicts who have gone through rehab can live before returning home. For many, these types of group homes allow for a more structured environment than being out on their own.
Many facilities maintain strict rules for residents, including curfews and activities that are not allowed on the premises or by residents at any time. Most sober facilities have a strict policy regarding drug or alcohol abuse that could lead to the person being swiftly removed from the property if they fail a drug or alcohol test.
In general, these types of facilities will take patients on a case-by-case basis. Often, patients that need this extended care are ones that have had a long history of drug oralcohol addiction, though this is not always the case. Some sober living facilities have age restrictions to meet the lifestyle needs of their communities.
Why Sober Living?
Sober communities are designed to provide support and stability to recovering addicts. Generally, the people who live in these facilities have recently left inpatient rehab and do not feel comfortable living on their own. Group facilities often offer cheaper alternatives to renting apartments or homes to people who are unable to find full-time employment as they adjust to their new sober life. For many, these facilities are a gateway toward living a happy, healthy life where they are responsible for their own care.
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What’s Day to Day Life Like?
Living in a sober community is similar to sharing a home with roommates or family members. For many, getting up and going to work becomes a major part of the routine. Other activities may be a bit different than life outside of sober communities, however.
- Most sober communities share responsibilities within the house.
- Community members hold each other accountable when they feel like another member is sliding back into a path of addiction or is in danger of using drugs or alcohol again.
- Group meetings are held at different times of the day. These tend to vary due to job schedules, since working is usually encouraged.
What are the Benefits?
For recovering addicts, sober living facilities are hugely beneficial according to a study conducted by Bond, Galloway and Lapp, andreported by the National Institutes of Healthin 2010. While particular benefits vary from person to person, many people who enter sober communities find they have the same positive experiences.
- Sober living facilities allow recovering addicts to meet others who have been through many of the same experiences, as well as commiserate with those who are going through the same thing. This fosters a sense of place and provides valuable support.
- Communities allow addicts to slowly rebuild their lives without the stresses of high rent and the immediate need to find work. This can help reduce criminal activity and underemployment cycles.
- Sober living residences are safe, comfortable and give residents who may not have had a positive home environment a new lease on life.
- Community life allows residents to practice and sharpen the skills they’ll need to live on their own without drugs and alcohol.
- Support systems within the sober living community allow recovering addicts to return to their normal lives outside the facility slowly and in their own time, helping to reduce the chance of relapse.