A sober living home is a great way for patients who have done well in an inpatient rehabilitation program to continue to enjoy the around-the-clock support of sober peers and staff but with more freedom in their schedule to pursue things that will help them to rebuild their lives. They can find a new job and go to work, establish themselves in the community by attending 12-Step meetings, or return to school or fulfill legal and family obligations – all with the comfort of knowing that they have a safe and sober home to return to each night. When things get hard, their sober roommates and on-site staff can help them through, and remind them of how far they have come and all the reasons that they are working to avoid relapse.
If you opt for a sober living home, how long should you continue to live there? A few weeks? Six months? A year?
Recommended Length of Stay
The length of time that you stay in a sober living program will depend on your needs in recovery. Your choice may be based on:
- The progress you have made thus far in treatment
- Your ability to avoid relapse while living out on your own with less accountability
- How you feel emotionally about the prospect of living independently
- Your ability to provide for yourself without assistance
- The aftercare and support you have in place out in the community
Risks of Leaving Too Soon
At no point is it recommended that someone in recovery move quickly from one stage of treatment to the next. Every time you decide to move from one more intensive stage of supported recovery to a lesser supported stage (e.g., from inpatient treatment to outpatient care or sober living, or from sober living to independent living), it is recommended that you take time to consider the ramifications of that decision with the guidance and assistance of your counselor or therapeutic team. Ask yourself questions like:
- What aspects of recovery and treatment will fall away with this change?
- What new supports in recovery will I gain?
- What are the benefits of choosing a less supported form treatment?
- What are the risks of spending less time in active recovery?
Once you’ve identified all that you have to gain from the change and if that list outweighs the potential risks, it’s time to come up with an actionable plan to address each of those risks before they occur so you are prepared in advance.
Is a Sober Living Home Right for You?
Not everyone chooses to attend a sober living program after inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, but for those who do, it can offer an extra layer of treatment and support to help them get started in recovery. Some simply feel more comfortable opting to take a slower approach to transitioning back to independent living, while others would not be able to function without relapse for long if they chose to skip sober living and immediately move out on their own.
Whether or not a sober living program is right for you, or how long you should stay if you do opt to enroll, is a personal decision that should be made in concert with a counselor or your therapist. Contact us at the phone number listed above to learn more about your options in recovery from rehab to sober living and beyond. We’re here to help.