For many recovering addicts, sober living plays a key role in the rehab process. Sober living homes are a place where individuals can feel safe and secure – living in a drug and alcohol-free environment that also provides considerable amounts of support from fellow residents and staff.
A sober living home is also a chance to regain the self-responsibility that has been stripped away by addiction. The tasks and responsibilities that are a part of life at these homes may seem mundane on the surface, but they play a huge role in helping the individual get back on her feet.
When Should an Individual Consider It?
There are two primary times in a individual’s recovery when he or she should consider signing up for a sober living home. First, is during treatment at an outpatient facility. Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab is an outstanding way for individuals to break the cycle of addiction while still maintaining a presence in their daily life. However, for many, there are temptations and distractions at home that threaten to derail the recovery process.
Life at a sober living home during treatment is a way to create a protective, sober-minded atmosphere that reinforces the lessons being taught during rehab.
The other period when sober living comes to play is immediately following treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab facility. When the individual “graduates” from a residential program, they are still faced with a number of challenges. Returning home immediately may be overwhelming – as facing the prospect of work, family and other potential stressors can lead many people into relapse. The sober living home helps insure that the individual does not throw away all the hard work they put into their rehabilitation, and they are able to get on sound footing before venturing out to enjoy their sober life.
What are the Rules and Regulations?
Of course, every sober living home has it’s own rules and regulations in place to maintain a safe environment for everyone present. There are, however, several rules that can be found at almost every sober living facility in the United States.
These rules include:
- No drugs or alcohol on the premises. While it should be obvious to anyone who understands the purpose of a sober living home, it is still important to post this rule in case it must officially be used as grounds to evict someone out of the house.
- Limits on guests. The purveyors of a sober living home want to do everything in their power to create a safe, controlled living environment. With that in mind, a limited number of guests are allowed to visit residents at the facility – and only during pre-determined hours.
- Chores and responsibilities. In many ways, sober living is communal living. That means everyone needs to come together and handle chores and other responsibilities necessary to keep the environment clean and well organized. Even at the most expensive sober living homes, you are likely to find a posted list of chores for the week – with each house member responsible for their share.
- No romantic relationships. While it is impossible to control all of the personal interactions between consenting adults, physical relationships are heavily frowned up in sober living homes. Relationships among recovering addicts can be passionate, unpredictable affairs, and therefore may upset the stability of the house.
Where are Homes Located?
Most can be found in quiet, residential areas in both large and medium sized cities throughout the country. There are no set rules as to where sober living homes are located in the United States. There may be particular zoning laws associated with certain cities where these sober living homes are located – but generally speaking the facilities do their best to blend in with the community in which they reside. Ask the coordinators or owners of most sober living homes and they will tell you that they work hard to maintain the respect of their neighbors by staying quiet and non-disruptive throughout the day (especially the evening hours).
How much does It Cost?
The cost of a sober living home varies according to the location of the facility and the amenities offered there. While most sober living homeowners are sensitive to the financial state of their tenants (addiction can leave a family in ruins, financially speaking) there is a fast growing segment of the industry that focuses on luxury sober living facilities.
These homes are similar to four-star resorts in the level of amenities they provide – but of course adhere to the core principals of sober living (to provide a safe, productive environment where people can transition into their daily lives).