A clean, safe environment with support – bridging the gap from rehab to the return home.
The sober living movement began on the West Coast in the United States and has spread around the country. Sober homes and communities provide much more than other transitional living environments. Many of them are structured around 12-step programs and sound recovery methodologies.
Many sober homes are also certified or governed by Sober Living Coalitions or networks. Residents are often required to participate in outpatient services, take drug tests and show demonstrably that they are taking important steps toward long-lasting recovery.
Sober Living Homes for Recovering Addicts
Features of Sober Living
Experienced addiction treatment providers largely agree that remaining in sober living/aftercare following treatment can result in substantially improved results. However, not all sober homes are created equal. Residences utilizing a higher level of structure tend to see dramatically improved results in terms of fostering long-term sobriety.
In some cases, sober living homes will contract with licensed drug rehab centers and therapists as a means for providing an even greater level of care. Most sober living houses emphasize the importance of accountability and responsibility. Men and women who struggle with the disease of addiction are treated to a more stable environment and have a chance to learn how to readapt to everyday life without substance use.
Sober living programs generally range from 3- to 6-month stays, although some may offer a longer amount of time. Anyone who has struggled with addiction to heroin, cocaine, alcohol, methamphetamine or prescription drugs can benefit from a sober living environment to better learn how to achieve long-term sobriety.
Most sober living homes take insurance. It is up to your insurance company, however, to determine:
What amount will be covered, and
Whether you will have copays and a deductible.
You can find out what these costs will look like by talking to your insurance company, a professional referral source (like Fight Addiction Now) and the sober living program you are considering.
Some advantages of being in a sober living house or community include:
Work While You Are There
Sober living homes allow you to come and go throughout the day, meaning you can maintain a job to cover the costs.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
Some sober homes may understand the difficulty of getting back on your feet in early recovery. Thus, they may offer flexibility with the first month of rent or a payment plan.
Finance the Cost
Personal savings, credit cards, bank loans or loans from family or friends can give you some time to find work or establish yourself before paying for sober living on your own.
What is Sober Living FAQs
Do you have additional questions about sober living programs and accommodations? Want to compare this form of recovery to inpatient and outpatient treatment? Read through the following frequently asked questions and our answer to each to learn even more about this recovery concept:
What Are Common Sober Living Home Rules?
As you might imagine, some sober homes are more rigid with their rules than others, and rules will vary from home to home.
However, most sober living homes start with the following guidelines and then build from there:
No alcohol or illegal drugs in the home whatsoever
No alcohol or drug use outside the home (tests can be administered to detect this)
Cigarette smoking designated to specific areas around the home, if allowed at all
Must pay all program fees on time
Do not steal or destroy property in the home
No sexual interaction with other residents
Must be actively making strides toward further sobriety (outpatient treatment, support group participation, counseling, etc.)
Must be home by curfew every night
Some recovery homes maintain a zero-tolerance policy in regard to breaking any one of these rules, meaning the offender will be evicted promptly without a second chance.
Many sober homes require residents to help with chores and upkeeping the property, and some require participation in volunteer work, even if the residents maintain a job during this time. Sober home staff can help residents with managing medication for certain conditions, although risky prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines are often prohibited.
Who Can Stay in a Sober Living Home?
People who have recently completed rehab and those who are still in treatment make up a majority of a sober home’s residents. In the latter case, these are people who are typically in one of the final stages of the formal rehab journey.
Some sober homes, however, do not stipulate that all residents must be in a formal treatment program or have recently completed one. Anyone who is looking for a stable, drug-free environment to fortify their recovery can seek out a sober living home. Some people even use sober living as an alternative to formal addiction treatment.
Sober homes tend to be a safer and more positive and supportive option than returning home directly after treatment or trying to do an outpatient program while living at home. In most cases, sober living is the bridge between formal rehab and full immersion back into society.
How Does Sober Living Compare to Residential Treatment?
Inpatient or residential treatment entails staying 24/7 at a facility until the program has concluded. Sober living is similar, yet residents have much more freedom to leave the premises during the day.
Thus, sober living residents have the option – or are required, in some cases – to work or go to school, whereas inpatient clients do not.
There are other distinct differences in the way inpatient facilities and sober homes function:
In sober living situations, treatment is rarely delivered in the home itself.
Inpatient facilities typically provide all meals to clients, take out their trash and launder their bedsheets.
In sober homes, residents are usually responsible for doing their own laundry. In some cases, they may have to purchase their own food as well.
Clients are monitored or supervised almost every step of the way while in an inpatient facility, which is not the case in a sober living environment.
So on the surface, these two may seem similar. After all, both provide a place for people to sleep at the end of the day. But beyond that, very few similarities exist.
What Are the Differences Between Sober Living and Outpatient Treatment?
Sober living and outpatient treatment share almost no similarities when examined apart from each other. Sober living doesn’t really have anything to do with treatment itself, unless it’s paired with a separate rehab program.
So instead of asking what the similarities and differences are between these two styles of rehab, what you should ask is how they relate to one another.
In many cases, treatment centers will pair an outpatient program with sober living accommodations. They do this for reasons such as:
Having clients return to a sober home every day after receiving outpatient treatment is a better option than letting them return to their own homes, where there will be more temptations and less accountability.
Pairing sober living with an outpatient program can resemble the inpatient treatment format with similar results, and this is usually a more affordable and insurance-friendly option.
Some sober homes operate exclusively in conjunction with a specific treatment center, while others operate independently – yet still encourage residents to participate in a formal rehab program nearby.
How Effective Are Sober Homes?
Sober living is often very effective in helping keep people sober long term. This is increasingly true when:
It is part of the larger continuum of care.
It is paired with an outpatient program (as mentioned above).
Residents stay for three to six months, or even longer.
When trying to secure the lowest risk of suffering a relapse, your best bet is to include sober living in that equation – along with detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare. If you need help with understanding or exploring all of your rehab options, reach out to Fight Addiction Now.
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