Sober living housing is an effective component of continuing care that can help reinforce sobriety in the early months of recovery. New, sober lifestyle habits and thought patterns take time to solidify. Sober living provides the time needed to practice and reinforce new recovery actions before returning home to your community.
What is Sober Living?
Sober living is transitional housing for individuals who have completed a residential treatment program. It can also serve as an additional layer of support for those who are currently enrolled in an outpatient treatment program. Because someone’s home environment is not always supportive of their recovery efforts, a sober living community offers an ideal solution.
A sober living home offers a living space that is substance-free. Strict zero-tolerance policies help to enforce this critical feature of sober living. By providing the individual with clean, safe, and supportive housing, they have the necessary time and space to gain stability in recovery. In addition, routine testing provides a deterrent to help the residents maintain sobriety.
5 Benefits of a Sober Living Home
There are multiple benefits to living in sober housing following treatment:
- Living in a Substance-Free Zone. Although triggers come in many forms, a universal trigger for relapse is the presence of substances. For those who may not be able to avoid substances in their family home, a sober living home removes this risk by maintaining a substance-free environment.
- Acquiring New, Healthy Habits. After completing treatment, it is time to restore health and wellness. A sober living home requires self-discipline, as housemates are expected to follow a daily schedule. Over time, new, healthy habits form.
- Becoming Part of a Community. Living in a sober living community provides an opportunity to make new, sober friendships and avoid feelings of loneliness. Sober living comes with a built-in support system, with housemates and the support staff or house manager offering encouragement and friendship.
- Becoming Accountable. Sober living helps you be accountable to others. Sober living homes have clearly stated house rules to follow, and household chores are shared among the residents. There is also a sense of accountability among fellow housemates to maintain sobriety and to participate in recovery efforts.
- Embracing the Sober Lifestyle. A common hurdle for the newly recovered is viewing life in sobriety as empty and boring. A sober community provides a stepping stone toward discovering new sober activities and friendships.
What to Look for in a Sober Living Home
When beginning the search for a quality sober living home or community, your case manager can assist you. Key features to look for in a reputable sober home include:
- A zero tolerance policy for substance use, possession, or distribution
- A clearly defined and enforced toxicology testing protocol
- A clean, orderly, and well-maintained home
- An expectation that residents will participate in self-directed recovery activities, such as regularly attending meetings
- House rules that are stated in writing and enforced
- A requirement for residents to gain employment or attend school
- That the home is in compliance with local community ordinances
- That the home is well-managed, preferably by someone living on-site
When beginning a new life in recovery, it’s important to embrace every tool available to ensure success. Sober living housing provides the camaraderie, order, and support that is beneficial for helping people gain a sound footing in early recovery.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, holistic addiction treatment, drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to heal each individual with respect and dignity, and reflects on our ongoing commitment to meet new challenges. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.