Recovery, like anything, is a process. From the early stages of deciding to head off to detox to the later stages of picking up multiple years of sobriety, it is always changing. What’s important in recovery is to always do your due diligence no matter what stage of sobriety you may be in. One incredibly important step towards maintaining long-term recovery, as well as an integral part of the full continuum of addiction treatment, is sober living.
Many people have preconceived notions about what sober living is and isn’t. However, most of these ideas can easily be misconceptions. In fact, choosing sober living could be the most important choice you make and could be the difference between chronic relapse and long-term recovery. Sober living bears several great benefits for anyone in recovery who gives it a chance and commits to their sobriety.
What is Sober Living?
Sober living homes, also known as sober homes or halfway houses, are facilities used by people recovering from substance abuse that serves as an interim environment between inpatient rehabilitation and getting back to your normal life. They are a far cry from the more traditional halfway houses primarily used by people recently released from prison that would serve as a group home as they begin to assimilate into society.
Sober living is meant to act as a buffer or safety net. Making the transition from inpatient treatment back into everyday life can be shocking for many newly-recovering addicts and alcoholics. Helpful Links How Long Should I Stay?
Going from a strict, protected environment back into society without constant support from counselors and group therapy may prove to be disastrous, as the overwhelming freedom can lead to poor decision-making. This is why moving into a sober living house is crucial. It gives the addict or alcoholic time to gradually begin to take on the responsibilities of living on their own while still holding them to certain recovery standards and house rules. By taking the time out to live in a sober living home, you increase your likelihood of success in attaining long-term recovery. You also have a chance to accumulate a variety of life skills you may have missed out on during active addiction that can help you become the best, happiest, and healthiest version of yourself.
What Can You Expect?
When heading off to sober, you’ll be greeted by the staff who operates the establishment. You will review a variety of different rules set down by the staff, which are enforced by a house manager, or senior resident at the sober home who acts as a liaison between other clients and the staff. The rules set in place are meant to help encourage a recovery-oriented environment in which house members can flourish in their sobriety.
Typical Sober Living Rules:
- Strict No Tolerance Policy with Drugs and Alcohol
- Finding and Maintaining Employment
- Remaining Active in your recovery
- Keeping the house clean and neat
- Cooking and shopping for yourself
- Being a respectful roommate and neighbor
While these rules, at a glance, may seem to be a little overbearing, the point of sober living is to teach newly recovering addicts and alcoholics how to live life as a sober person and as a functioning member of society. Many times during active addiction, basic life skills like cleaning up after yourself or how to be a good employee are missed in pursuit of the next hit. Our team aims to teach its residents these invaluable life skills to take with them into the next phases of their lives and recovery.
Sober living houses are also group homes. This means you can expect to have multiple roommates and in some cases share a room. Learning how to peacefully coexist with numerous different personalities is a crucial life skill necessary for multiple facets of life both inside and outside of recovery.
Of course, the main and most important rule you’ll encounter is the strict no drugs or alcohol policy. This means under no circumstances will using drugs or drinking alcohol of any kind will be permitted. If violated, this is typically term for immediate eviction in the interest of keeping the environment safe for the other house members.
What are the Benefits
Sober living is extremely beneficial for any newly recovering addict or alcoholic if you allow the process to work for you. By taking this step in your recovery, you’re opening a window of opportunity to learn new things in recovery and life as a whole.
Setting A Solid Foundation In Recovery
Since we require active and frequent attendance to 12-step meetings and a focus on your program, you’ll be motivated in the beginning stages where finding motivation can be challenging. Sober living homes will usually insist on attending at least one meeting per day and getting a sponsor, with penalties to be delegated to house members who refuse (e.g. earlier curfew, eviction).
By spending time in a sober living home, you’re also allowing yourself to accrue more time sober, which helps solidify your recovery. It is usually recommended that you spend at least one year living in a sober living home, during which time you can amass more freedoms courtesy of the staff and continue to grow in your recovery.
This will help you maintain your sobriety long after you move out on your own where no rules or house managers are making sure you’re doing what you need to to stay sober.
Learning How To Be A Good Employee
Another key part of sober living is finding and maintaining active employment during your residency. Most people either cannot maintain a job or excel in their existing position during active addiction. Since sober living houses typically charge rent (to teach clients responsibility and how to pay bills), employment is a must. We will help you find a job during your first two weeks!
Learning how to suit up and show up no matter what is a great lesson learned as a result of living at a sober home. This will not only benefit you while you’re living at your sober living house but for the rest of your life.
Sober living homes are also excellent mediums for teaching self-sufficiency. Requiring our residents to complete a variety of house chores, grocery shop, cook, and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol, will not only show them how to live but also how to thrive.
Addiction often reduces people to subpar living, to the point where many addicts and alcoholics cannot take care of themselves. Since recovery is all about living a happy, healthy life, Delphi Next Step gives its residents the tools to be successful in life and recovery!
Knowing the Right Time to Transition Out
While staying in a sober living residence, a person can start to return to parts of their daily life slowly. Individuals may start looking for work or return to work or school.
It is important to continue to attend therapy sessions and also to establish a healthy support network that will often include 12-step or peer support groups with regular meetings.
Physical and mental health status will play a role in how long a person will stay in a sober living environment.
Co-occurring disorders will need to be managed, and a safe level of stabilization will need to be reached before returning home.
Someone struggling with significant medical and/or mental health issues may need to stay longer in a transitional environment.
Support at home is a factor as well. People with strong social support in the form of family members and loved ones may be ready to transition back home sooner than those without stable living environments.
A person may be ready to transition out of sober living if:
- A supportive social network is established that plans to work together to support sobriety and sustained abstinence in recovery.
- A program of recovery is set up that includes peer support and/or 12-step meetings, ongoing therapy sessions, and an established plan for self-care.
- Co-occurring conditions are being successfully managed, and there is a solid plan in place to continue this in recovery.
- Healthy habits are established that can minimize relapse, including balanced meal plans, stable and supportive relationships, and other physical and mental health strategies.
- There is a stable living environment to return to, and finances can support it. Financial situations may require a person to stay longer in a nonprofit or supported sober living environment until financial stability is reached.
NIDA publishes that there is no finite length of time that a person should remain in an addiction treatment program, but staying longer is generally related to better outcomes.
A person should stay in a sober living environment until they feel confident and ready to go back to daily life with a solid plan for recovery in place.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
Are you ready to take the next step in your recovery? Give us a call today at 844-605-0706 and let us help you on your journey toward recovery! Delphi can get you connected to a quality sober living home designed to fit your needs.