If you’re looking for a supportive community that helps you transition from a more formalized treatment program to a more home-like setting, a sober living home could be an excellent step for you to take. Sober living houses provide a like-minded community of people who are after the same goal as you are – to remain sober. It can be a bit scary trying to figure out whether or not a sober living home is the right place for you. Each place can be different and, similar to any other neighborhood or community, a lot of the environment will depend on the people who live there. However, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll be surrounded by people who also want to stay on the track of recovery – and you’ll still have your healthcare team, too.
The Benefits to Sober Living Homes
To talk about the many benefits of sober living homes, it’s probably best to talk about the factors that can hold a person back from their recovery. For example, having an unstable living situation can make it that much easier for a person to dive back into old habits and if friends or family members who abuse substances live at home or nearby, the chances of relapse may increase. Research has shown us time and time again just how important social support is to recovery and if you have major influencers in your life who don’t believe you can make it or who don’t want to do what they can to promote your recovery journey, it’s a risk that could place you back on the path of active addiction.
Recovery requires that we have consistency in a number of things, such as:
- A set routine
- A set bed time/ wake time
- People you can rely on daily
- Healthy food/exercise
- Self-care activities such as reading, crafting, spending time with a pet, etc.
- Helping others
- And more
Sober living homes provide a community that’s already pre-determined with rules and curfews (and, of course, no alcohol or drug use), while also allowing more flexibility to ease back into independent-style living. Group meetings are still required and there are often a number of resources that are provided to help you meet your goals. These things might include help with making amends with friends or family members you may have hurt when substance abuse was active, it may mean assistance with finding a job, locating the right form of housing for you once your sober living house arrangement is complete and even general tips to adjusting to a fully independent but recovery-based lifestyle.
Stays at sober living homes are typically at least 90 days, but they can extend way past that. Many times, residents can stay for up to a year as long as they agree to abide by the house rules – which may include participating in house chores, paying rent and other living fees, staying abstinent, continued participation in 12-Step meetings and more. In a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, the average length of stay amongst 300 participants in sober living was 254 days, with another sober living home totaling 166 days.
If you decide to move forward with a sober living home, it’s probably a good idea to gear up on some tips for making the most of your experience.
How Can You Meet Your Recovery Goals in a Sober Living Home?
There are many programs available for people in terms of in-patient, outpatient, detox programs and more, but sober living homes are more about the environment and way of life. Several years ago, researchers from California assessed over 300 individuals entering sober living homes for 18 months; they found that a number of factors really helped these people improve on their journey to recovery:
- Involvement in 12-Step programs
- The type of social support network they had
- Having lower psychiatric concerns
Support is a major component of sober living. In a 2015 study published in the journal Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, participants shared their experiences of living in a sober living home. One person shared just how helpful it was to have a wonderful sense of community with people who could help one another out if it was needed. They stated, “One of the things that I think is completely awesome is when somebody is having a bad day around here and you can kind of see…you kind of feel it, the aura…There [are] people that step up that ask you, hey, what’s going on?”
It’s hard to get that kind of support outside of the recovery world. For many people, it’s hard to get that kind of support at home, too. Living around others who have been there, who understand the painful thoughts or feelings you’re going through, can give you just the strength you needed for that day.
A New Opportunity
Sober living homes provide an experience like you’ve never had before. It’s another phase of your journey, another chance to learn something new about yourself, about others and about life overall. If you decide to move forward, you’ll find that the support you receive is exactly what was needed to make you feel more confident in your transition to independent living.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.