For many people, enrolling in a sober living home can be a pivotal aspect of recovery from substance addiction. While sober living programs are a great basis for recovery, they are also very beneficial in conjunction with outpatient programs. Unfortunately, most people contemplating life in sober living have very little understanding of what being a resident there is like.
5 Things To Know About Sober Living Homes
Having clear expectations of what living in a sober living home involves will help you ensure you’re making the right decision in enrolling in one. It can also smooth out the process of recovery in the first initial months at a sober living home. Read on to discover 5 crucial pieces of information to consider when looking into a sober living home.
There Will Be Drug Testing
Sober living homes have one prevailing expectation: that residents will stay continuously drug and alcohol-free. They call them sober living homes for a reason, after all! To that end, the vast majority conduct regular drug tests.
While some sober living homes do operate on the honor system, the majority use tests not because they’re out to get you, but because they respect your desire to live in a completely sober environment. No one should be horrified by these tests. If you’re enrolling in a sober living home, it stands to reason that you’re hoping to stay sober.
Residents Pay Rent
When it comes to the topic of sober living homes, many people assume that they are free. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, residents of sober living homes are responsible for paying for access to their bed. It’s not just rent that residents have to pay for, however. Sober living homes have managers, employees, and offer a variety of services so that residents can get the support they need.
Despite all this, recovering addicts who hope to enroll in a sober living home can usually do so through a variety of means. Many sober living homes are covered by health insurance, since the Affordable Care Act made addiction treatment an “essential benefit.”
Other recovery residences offer reasonable payment plans. It is also common for sober living homes to help their residents get placed in lucrative new jobs. Ultimately, investing in recovery usually ends up making good financial sense.
Sober Living Environments Aren’t Bachelor Pads
It is common for people who use drugs and alcohol to isolate and avoid social interactions. Many people with substance use disorders develop comorbid mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety that make it difficult to associate with friends or family unless they are high or drunk. As such, newly sober individuals often find it shocking or intimidating to socialize without the crutches they’re accustomed to. It is important to understand that sober living homes are social places.
Residents live with multiple people who are also in recovery, often sharing a room with them. It can take some adjustment to the reduction in privacy and the decreased opportunities for isolation. The people you live with might have strong personalities or issues that pose difficulties; people in early sobriety tend to be a little rough around the edges. While living with others, especially newly sober people, can be initially challenging, living with others in a sober living home is a great opportunity to develop previously neglected social skills.
Learning personal accountability in a community context, building new communication skills, and strengthening your ability to resolve conflicts flexibly will help you grow as a person. These are skills that you will likely take with you outside of the sober living home when you graduate, and they are beneficial for all walks of life, from family relations to working a job.
Sober Living Houses Participate in the Recovery Process
Sober living homes encourage residents to actively engage in treatment programs for their addictions. Many people come to sober living homes straight from inpatient treatment centers. Some people in sober living homes attend outpatient rehab programs at the same time. A high percentage of sober living homes are loosely affiliated with 12-step programs and encourage or require residents to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
One study on sober living homes indicated that attending 12-step meetings is a major factor in the long term sobriety of members and former members of sober living homes. Structured sober living homes often offer their own formalized treatment programs for residents within the facility.
Even when residents are preparing to graduate, sober living homes continue to encourage the recovery process by helping graduates develop aftercare treatment plans. These plans help residents to continue recovery their substance use disorders long after graduating from a formal treatment program.