While treatment is an essential component of achieving sobriety, it is not the only factor necessary for establishing long-term recovery. An individual must consider other life circumstances, such as their social support networks and job satisfaction, that could potentially trigger substance use in the future.
There is a significant difference between getting sober and living sober. Many residential treatment programs allow individuals to fully immerse themselves in their recovery away from their home environment and other personal triggers. However, once they complete a treatment program, they must have access to healthier, sober living options as they continue their recovery journey. In this case, sober living homes become a valuable resource.
What Are Sober Living Homes?
A sober living home serves as a bridge between residential (inpatient) treatment and complete, independent living. It is usual for individuals in recovery to struggle with the idea of returning to the “real world” after completing a highly structured and intensive treatment program. Sober living homes are an excellent option for those who do not feel confident enough to navigate substance use triggers independently.
This living option does not provide the same structure or intensity of care as a residential or inpatient facility. However, individuals in these homes are expected to follow specific expectations and guidelines, which are in place to keep their sobriety at the highest priority in their life. Although expectations vary between every sober living home, a few expectations shared by most of these homes include:
- No substance use of any kind
- Regular drug-testing
- Set curfews for all residents
- Must attend all support group and house meetings
- Must handle designated chores
- Actively seek out jobs or volunteer opportunities
What Makes a Sober Living Home Valuable?
It is essential to highlight the value of sober living homes on one’s sobriety and recovery journey. Some crucial benefits of these homes include:
#1. Constant Peer Support
A sober living home is rarely an independent living opportunity. Instead, sober living homes house multiple other individuals who need support and guidance to recover from mental health or substance use disorders.
One of the most notable benefits of these homes is that an individual is surrounded by peers who go through the same challenges and temptations. Typically, a staff member is present and available to support residents as they work through their struggles. These staff members can also connect residents with necessary recovery resources such as career opportunities, continuing treatment opportunities or future housing opportunities.
In sober living homes, staff and peers will work together to create a cohesive and positive living situation for all residents. Residents have constant support from one another at all times, which helps to instill the value that social support has on recovery.
#2. Mitigates the Risk of Relapse
Another significant benefit of sober living homes is they are structured to reduce the risk of relapse and ultimately prevent relapse. Sober living homes are often temporary and are a great resource to help residents transition out from residential rehab. The main goal of these houses is to allow residents to heal in a safe and supportive place without worrying about potential triggers and pressures in their temporary homes.
Many people choose residential treatment programs because they need physical space away from their home environment. Whether they have parents or roommates who regularly use alcohol or alcohol and other drugs readily available inside their home, they recognize that these substance temptations are too large to handle while still living at home. Physical separation can do wonders for an individual’s mental health and recovery.
Still, residents have more independence in sober living homes than in residential treatment. They can go to school, work or take care of other responsibilities throughout the day. These experiences of independence are critical, as they help expose residents to typical triggers, which then allows residents to choose how to respond. If a resident is found using alcohol or other drugs while living in a sober home, they will likely be removed from the house and encouraged to find a different residential treatment program.
#3. Opportunity to Practice Life Skills
Addiction is a disease characterized by impaired self-control that can manifest through many life factors, not just an inability to stop using drugs or alcohol. Substance use disorders push aside many obligations and responsibilities, including:
- Healthy eating
- Regularly exercising
- Keeping the home environment clean
- Maintaining personal hygiene
- Time-management skills
An important benefit of sober living homes is that it helps residents develop a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Residents will learn or re-learn essential life skills, as simple as washing the dishes or as strenuous as learning how to balance finances. Living with other peers in recovery will aid in the opportunity to practice life skills, as interpersonal skills are constantly developing.
Casa Palmera is a mental health and addiction treatment facility that offers several treatment programs for individuals seeking recovery. We can connect you with continuing treatment resources and sober living homes while receiving treatment. To learn more about our treatment programs, please call us today at (855) 508-0473.