Moving into a sober living house is one of the best courses of action you can take in recovery. Sober living houses support you on your recovery journey, whether you are living in one while simultaneously enrolling in outpatient treatment or using a sober living home to transition back into the outside world. During life in a sober living house, you will learn a wide variety of skills and get connected to new resources that not only help you stay sober but also allow you to live a far higher quality of life in sobriety. Read on to discover the 10 ways that sober living houses strengthen your addiction recovery!
- Safe Environment
One of the primary ways that sober livings help is by providing an environment that is both drug and alcohol-free. During the early days of addiction recovery, it is critical for individuals to have a safe and trigger-free environment where they will not be exposed to substance abuse. Individuals in early sobriety are very vulnerable to triggers, which can range from direct exposure to substance abuse to simply encountering an old drinking friend. Sober living homes have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. In a recovery-focused space like a sober living home, not only will residents encounter fewer triggers, but they can count on being able to receive support when they do encounter the inevitable challenges of early sobriety.
- More Time For Adjustment
Sober livings are different from rehabs because they rarely limit how long residents can live there. While many addiction treatment centers only allow clients to engage in a treatment program for a limited period of time, sober livings encourage residents to stay as long as they need. Sober living home staff members recognize that there are no quick fixes to addiction. They also understand that long-term recovery involves rebuilding one’s life and developing a new set of values — not just putting down drugs and alcohol. This process takes time. Residents will be expected to make progress, but they don’t have to be in a hurry.
- Peer Support
Sober living houses offer a great deal of community support. In some ways, sober livings are like families. Residents bond over shared experiences and stories. They offer feedback, advice, and encourage each other to remain accountable at all times. Residents who have been sober longer often take on mentorship roles for newly sober housemates. This allows both parties to grow and develop stronger foundations in sobriety. For most sober living residents, these relationships last long after they have moved on and ceased to live in a sober living. Studies show that people who attended sober livings have lower rates of relapse even years afterward, as a direct result of continued peer support. However, friendships are obviously not only just helpful for sobriety goals — they also make life in sobriety more joyful and meaningful.
- Easier Transition Into Society
Sober living homes help residents become more independent and autonomous. Rather than simply expecting them to have fully-formed lives in sobriety as soon as they get sober, sober living houses recognize that residents often need time to restructure their lives, develop new skills, and even figure out what their goals are. By the time a person is ready to graduate from their sober living home, however, they will already be experiencing the benefits of a full and active life in the outside world.
- Support Treatment Goals
Sober living homes are not clinical addiction treatment programs. Nonetheless, they are often recommended to individuals who are enrolled in outpatient rehabs. Sober living houses can be excellent complements to outpatient treatment programs. Outpatient rehabs require residents to attend treatment services, including group therapy and skill-building workshops, once a week or more. During the rest of the time, it is critical that they live in a safe and supportive environment. Sober livings not only offer a trigger-free living space, but residents have the chance to constantly put into practice and develop the skills they’re learning in rehab.
- Develop New Hobbies and Interests
After years of active addiction, many people get sober and realize that they don’t even know what they have to live for! There is a high likelihood that they prioritized drugs and alcohol so much that they dropped all of their other hobbies, interests, and even friendships. Life in a sober living house is not a grim affair — it is not just about staying sober. Residents constantly go out on group trips, try new sports and outdoor activities, and have cultural experiences. As you learn more about yourself, you will quickly find your passions reigniting. This not only makes life in sobriety more stimulating, but it gives you something to stay sober for.
- Pursue Goals
Recovery is more than just putting down drugs and alcohol. It means getting out of the addict’s mindset — a mindset where only the pleasures and pains of the present moment exist. In recovery, sober living residents can finally begin to consider what their goals are for the future. It might take some time to discover what these goals are. Once they are discovered, however, sober living staff provide hands-on support to ensure that residents are taking tangible steps toward the futures they want. Sober living housemates get jobs, start new careers, and even enroll in academic programs. After drugs and alcohol are out of the picture, the sky is the limit!
- Develop an Aftercare Program
Relapse is most common in the first year outside of a treatment center or sober living home. For this reason, aftercare is a critical element of addiction recovery. What is aftercare? Aftercare is a broad term that refers to a wide variety of services and resources that individuals can make use of to remain sober after leaving an institution. It most commonly refers to activities that individuals engage in after they have graduated from a rehab program, though it also applies to graduates of sober livings. Elements of an aftercare program can range from therapy to participation in 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. No matter where you are on your addiction recovery journey, a quality sober living home will help you become familiar with these aftercare resources. This ensures that you will be set up and supported for life.
- Structured Living
The environment of a sober living home is not simply a place where drugs and alcohol are absent. Otherwise, it would be a boring place where individuals with alcohol and drug problems sit around waiting. No one recovers from drug and alcohol use disorders by sitting around. Sober living houses are active places where residents take action to work on themselves and develop new lives. To that end, sober living house managers and staff set up daily schedules for housemates.
There are also some sober livings, known as structured sober livings, that offer even more intensive scheduling and a wider variety of resources. These sober residences offer highly individualized and hands-on support.
- Lifelong Support
When a person graduates from a sober living home, they are not forgotten. To the contrary! Quality sober living houses generally run alumni programs to help former residents stay connected and remain accountable. In many cases, sober living alumni move into apartments with fellow graduates. Alumni programs also allow former sober living housemates to offer their experiences, strength and hope to current housemates. This kind of intergenerational mentorship is not only beneficial to newly sober residents, but it also helps former residents stay connected to their sobriety.
Recover Today at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is Los Angeles’ preeminent structured sober living home for men. Centrally located in West Los Angeles, our house provides young men with a supportive, safe, and trigger-free environment. Design for Recovery is the perfect home base for individuals in recovery who are trying to address underlying issues, develop new skills, build new relationships, and get support while they face the challenges of early and long-term sobriety. Residents in our structured house work daily to get sober, stay sober, and build futures for themselves that they can be proud of.
At Design for Recovery, we believe that recovering from addiction is far more than just staying alcohol and drug-free. Our residents don’t simply abstain from drugs and alcohol — they work hard to create a new set of principles to live by. These principles include honesty, integrity, accountability, and responsibility. This blueprint for living not only helps people stay sober but also helps them achieve freedom from the excruciating rollercoaster ride of emotions that many addicts and alcoholics face even when they suddenly remove drugs and alcohol from their lives. To put it simply, Design for Recovery aims to support residents as they try to live sober lives.
If you or a loved one suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction, give us a call today. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation, and start your recovery journey.