For those working toward a life of sobriety, having an unstable home environment that is full of alcohol, drugs, and other possible triggers can push them into a relapse quickly. Sober living homes provide a safe, clean place to transition between addiction treatment and everyday life for people in recovery.
The Purpose of a Sober Living Home
A sober living home helps provide a balance between structured and independent living for those who are just out of treatment programs for substance abuse and other addictions, mental health disorders, jail, or other circumstances.
The structure provided by the homes comes in the form of rules and regulations that the residents must follow to maintain their place in the house. The rules vary from house to house, but they generally follow the same guidelines:
- Go through detox and/or rehab, then plan on going to therapy or 12-Step meetings once a week (for potential residents)
- No drugs or alcohol are allowed (exceptions for specific prescriptions, such as antidepressants, can be made)
- Be willing to consent to random drug and alcohol testing to ensure sobriety
- Participate in house activities (weekly meetings, chores, self-care tasks, etc.)
- Sleep at the house at least five nights a week (occasional exceptions can be made for traveling)
- Be accountable for your whereabouts at all times, and be back by curfew if applicable
Good Candidates for Sober Living Homes
Those looking to move into a sober living house must take into account the phase of life they are stepping into. Certain qualities and determination are needed to be successful. Individuals who need time to process what they learned in rehab, learn how to use their coping skills, and learn how to be independent are great candidates.
Other candidates who fit these criteria are also typically a good fit for sober living homes:
- Those who have already been treated, such as in rehab or detox
- Those who have had time in sobriety before moving in (to ensure they will comply with house rules)
- Those who need a place to transition from treatment back to their normal life
- Those with the desire for long-term sobriety
- Those with high motivation to maintain their abstinence from substance abuse
- Those who are aware of the challenges to come
- Those with a proven ability to find a job
- Those with the ability to budget and manage their own money
- Those who are familiar with the local recovery community
- Those with a strong desire to be independent and learn to support themselves
- Those with the ability to cultivate relationships with others who are also sober, sharing a common goal of sobriety
Candidates Who May Not Benefit From Sober Living Homes
Just as there are those who may benefit from sober living houses, there are individuals who may not find the treatment they are looking for in these environments. This is not to say that something is wrong with them, but rather a sober living home is wrong for their recovery journey. Finding the right programs and resources can make a difference in your recovery progressing.
Those who may not benefit from a sober living home include:
- Those with no prior job experience
- Those who are bad at managing money
- Those with social anxiety (although this can be addressed in therapy)
- Those who tend to isolate
- Those who are moving from far away and are not familiar with the local recovery community
- Those who are looking to a sober living house as an alternative to a professional recommendation for a higher level of care
Sober Living Homes & Recovery
Sober living homes are good options for those in recovery because they provide a safe and secure environment without triggers like drugs and alcohol. These residences help hold you accountable on your road to sobriety by providing community support to stay abstinent.
The recommended stay at a sober living house is ninety days, but many patients stay longer. Studies show that the longer one stays in a sober living house, the more likely they are to fully recover. It is best to stay longer than you think than to leave before you are ready.
Many treatment centers have patients leave after ninety days, meaning they have to deal with everyday life on their own without acclimating to life outside of treatment. This often results in relapse. Sober living houses combat this issue by providing a safe place to continue progressing one’s recovery.
How to Find the Best Sober Living House for You or a Loved One
There are steps you can take to find the best option for the person in need. The best sober living home will depend on the addict’s needs and preferences in their sobriety. Here are some things you can do to find the perfect home for you or your loved one:
- Do your research
- Contact the homes
- Visit the homes if possible
- Understand the independence involved
- Seek out support and community
One of the most important tasks is to make sure the residence is legitimate. Pay attention to red flags such as:
- “Free“ programs
- No admissions requirements
- Building not up to code
- No records on the premises
- Doesn’t require abstinence
- No safety or privacy rules
- No clear house rules
- Lack of obvious ethical and moral standards
- Untrained/uncertified employees
- No regulatory inspections
Sober living homes are a great option for those who are looking to become independent after going through treatment for substance abuse and other personal concerns. There are multiple sober living options for men and women to choose from. Remember to take the responsibilities of a sober living home into account when deciding if it is the best option for you or your loved one.
Camelback Recovery is a transitional living home in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, Arizona. We provide a structured and supportive environment that promotes long-term transformational changes. Find out if a sober living home is right for you. Call us today at (602) 466-9880.