You just got out of rehab, and you’re wondering why everyone keeps mentioning sober living. Isn’t that what you’re already doing?
“Sober living” may sound like a lifestyle choice, but it’s actually a safe residential environment where you can stay after staying at an addiction treatment facility. For some, it may be unclear what to expect in a sober living home. In a sober living home, you’ll have more time to apply the habits and routines you learned in rehab before going back to a familiar and possibly tempting environment, and you’ll reside with others going through the same situation.
Research shows that relapse rates for drug addiction are between 40% and 60% when only attending rehab. When patients of addiction recovery attend sober living as a next step, there’s a greater chance for a longer recovery, finding a job, and finding stable housing arrangements for independent living. There are fewer arrests and problems with alcohol or drugs.
Because sober living homes are vital to your recovery, you’ll want to make sure it fits your lifestyle and your needs.
What to expect in a sober living home
Most sober living homes allow you the freedom to manage your own schedule and maintain your own finances. A supervisor or manager in charge of the home holds daily or weekly meetings, such as group therapy or 12-step support meetings, and makes sure that everyone remains clean and sober during their stay.
What to expect in a sober living home depends on if it is owned and operated by an independent company, by a corporation, or by a church. Some sober living homes have a social model that allows residents to have a say in the rules, some have structured schedules and mandatory activities, and some use faith-based teaching in their treatments, such as Celebrate Recovery’s Eight Recovery Principles.
A residential sober living program is designed to feel like a community. Other residents in the home are striving toward the same goals and facing similar challenges. Scheduled meetings help provide a social support network that you’re able to tap into later in your aftercare. House rules are put in place to maintain a safe environment for yourself and other residents.
Rules in a sober living home
Generally, in each sober living home you can expect:
- Random drug tests and breathalyzers
- Sharing a room and living in shared spaces with up to 10 other people
- Attending 12-step support meetings
- A curfew
- Getting kicked out if you break house rules
While some sober living homes provide all meals and allow you to buy your own food, structured sober living homes may ask that you’re home for each meal and that you participate in making healthy meals. You can visit a sober living home’s website or give them a call to see what the rules are for the home.
When weighing your options for a sober living home, be honest about what works for you. Ask yourself:
Are you still easily tempted by drugs and alcohol in social situations?
Perhaps a close social circle with structured activities is what you need, and you plan to get like-minded roommates after sober living. On the other hand, maybe freedom in your schedule will be more beneficial for you so it’s easier to replicate your new routines when you return home.
Are you more likely to stay clean in sober living if there’s a high price tag at stake, or will it create stress that could cause a relapse?
Just like rehab, everyone’s sober living solutions are different. Know which dealbreakers will help you succeed on the path to recovery.
Benefits of a sober living home
While sober living has a lot of necessary rules to create a safe and beneficial environment for addiction recovery, there are plenty of activities and amenities to look forward to when researching which sober living home to stay in.
- Transportation to grocery shopping, doctor appointments, pharmacy and more
- Freedom in your day and with your finances
- Supportive social network and new sober friends
- Walking distance to parks, world-famous beaches, and piers
- Close to surfing, hiking paths, and exciting water sports
- Large recovery community
- Ability to look for work, go to your job, or pursue educational courses
- Assistance with family relationships, job searching, and house hunting
Staying in sober living can greatly help your addiction recovery as your next step after rehab. It’s necessary to have time to reflect and practice habits learned in rehab before you return to a possibly tempting life at home. When you stay in a sober living home, you’ll have a greater chance at a full recovery. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people striving toward the same goals, and you’ll have sober friends to meet up with after your stay.
It’s important to find the right sober living home for you. Whether you need a sober living home with structure or a free schedule depends on your preference and confidence in sobriety. At Sunset Shores Sober Living, we offer immersive treatment programs and many benefits mentioned above, all in beautiful Orange County, California.