Sober Houses

For those who are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, attending a rehabilitation facility is major step in the process toward recovery. There are various types of rehab centers, including inpatient, intensive outpatient, long-term facilities, and even luxury rehab facilities. No matter which option you choose, the goal is to learn how to overcome addiction disorder by gaining an understanding about the root of your addiction, how it affects you, and how you can cope with triggers and replace the unhealthy choices that you have been making with healthier, more productive decisions. In other words, the goal of all rehab programs is to help you learn how to live a life of sobriety.

Successfully completing rehab is a major milestone; however, it is just the first part of the recovery process. Once rehab has ended, however, making the transition back into “normal” life, free of drugs and alcohol, can be extremely difficult. For addicts, using drugs and alcohol is a way of life, and it can be hard to adjust to life without them. Furthermore, temptations and triggers abound, and accessing substances is relatively easy. It’s no wonder why so many people who successfully complete a drug rehab program relapse. According to DrugAbuse.com, 85% of patients who receive treatment for addiction relapse within one year after they have completed treatment. It is also estimated that more than 2/3 of those who are in recovery start using drugs and alcohol within the weeks or months following treatment.

Given these startling statistics, long-term prevention is crucial for those who are suffering from addiction. Treatment does not end with the completion of rehab; patients must continue to receive support in order to avoid relapse. For many people, a sober house can be the support that they need to help them stay on the path of sobriety.

What is a Sober House?

The recovery from addiction involves several different phases. The first stage, often referred to as the “early recovery stage”, is the most crucial of all phases. During the early recovery stage, addicts are still learning how to live a life of sobriety. For most addicts, it can be extremely difficult to make the transition from rehab into a substance-free lifestyle. The use of drugs and alcohol are such a large part of the lives of addicts, and it can be very hard to give up that part of their lives.

A sober house, also referred to as a sober living home or a halfway house, serves as a bridge of sorts between rehabilitation and the “real world”. The intention of a sober house is to assist recovering addicts during the first and most crucial stage of recovery. Sober living facilities are safe places where recovering addicts can continue to receive the support and guidance that they need in order to remain sober after they complete rehabilitation before returning to “normal” society. In other words, they are like a halfway point between recovery and normal life where the tools, strategies, and lessons that addicts have acquired during rehab can be reinforced (hence the reason why sober houses are often referred to as “halfway houses”.)

What to Expect at a Sober House

During rehab, patients are completely immersed in the recovery process. Typically, they don’t have much independence. The lives of patients in rehab are very structured around meetings, therapies, counseling, and the entire recovery process. They must also adhere to strict rules and regulations, and they are not permitted to leave the facility while they are in treatment. Patients are also not allowed to receive visitors unless visits have been pre-arranged; and even then, those who are visiting them are searched to ensure that they aren’t bringing contraband onto the premises and the entire visit is monitored by staff members of the facility.

This is not the case in a halfway house. While these facilities do offer more structure than life in the “outside world”, they are not as structured as rehab. Residents are not required to remain on the premises; they can leave to go to work, visit loved ones, or run errands, for example. This aspect of sober living facilities allows residents to gain a sense of “normal life” as they start getting back to their regular routines and obligations. However, while sober houses do offer more freedom than rehab centers, patients do have to abide by the rules that the facility has put into place. These rules vary from sober house to sober house, but typically, they include curfews, chores, and the attendance of group meetings. Staff members consist of counselors who are experienced in addiction recovery, and they provide further education and support for residents.

While living at a sober house, residents have the opportunity to develop friendships with other people who are also attempting to recover from addiction. The bonds that residents make with one another offers further support to assist them in abstaining from the use of drugs or alcohol. These relationships help recovering addicts feel less isolated, which is often a major issue that many recovering addicts face when they are attempting to transition back into their normal lives.

The Benefits of a Sober House

Sober living houses offer those who are recovering from addiction disorder a number of benefits as they transition from rehabilitation back into society. The skills and strategies that they have acquired in rehab are reinforced, they gain further education about the importance of abstinence, and they learn further coping mechanisms that can help them avoid triggers and using again. Furthermore, the relationships that residents make with counselors and other like-minded individuals serves as a powerful support system that they can rely on when they eventually leave the facility and move back into their normal lives.

Sober living homes aim to replicate everyday life and situations that those who are recovering from addiction will encounter when they return to their normal routines, while further instilling the lessons, skills, and strategies that have been learned during rehab.

Recovering addicts can expect to gain a number of benefits when they reside at a sober living house after they have completed rehab. Some of these benefits include:

  • Securing employment. Typically, halfway houses offer career counseling and job fairs so that residents can find work while they are still living at the facility, and so that they can maintain their employment after they complete their residency.
  • Making amends. One of the hardest – yet most important – aspects of recovery is making amends with loved ones that have been affected by an addict’s substance abuse. While living at a sober house, recovering addicts can learn tools and techniques that will help them make amends with their family and friends. They are also offered opportunities to strengthen relationships with their loved ones, as many halfway houses provide family counseling and welcome family and friends to visit the facilities.
  • Finding housing. Residents can search for safe housing that they can reside in after they complete their stay at a sober house. Staff members can assist them with the process.
  • Relapse prevention. While living at a halfway house, residents can develop plans that will help them avoid relapse when they complete their residency. Through education and planning, recovering addicts can learn how to avoid triggers that might encourage them to use and learn how to avoid or successfully deal with those triggers so that they can continue to abstain from using.

Increase Your Chances of Sobriety at a Sober Living Facility

Nothing is more important than your sobriety. For help finding a sober house in your area, contact us today. This type of treatment has proven to be very effective and it has been found to improve the rate of long-term sobriety for countless addicts.