After attending a substance abuse treatment program, people dealing with addiction need continued support.
Often, people choose a housing option such as a sober living home as they continue their addiction recovery journey.
What Is A Sober Living Home?
Sober living homes, or sober living houses, are drug-free and alcohol-free housing environments.
Some are houses with multiple bedrooms, while others are sober apartment complexes.
Sober living environments vary, but they generally have similar structures. These homes often have a house manager who oversees the home, leads meetings, and enforces house rules.
Sober Living Home Vs. Halfway House
The term “sober living home” is sometimes used interchangeably with “halfway house” because both of these living structures provide a drug-free home environment.
However, halfway houses provide temporary sources of aftercare, allowing residents to remain for a short period of time before transitioning into daily life elsewhere.
Sober living housing, on the other hand, is more permanent, and many allow residents to remain for several years.
Both types of housing can provide stability during the recovery process, but for people who desire long-term recovery support, sober living homes provide it.
Sober Living Home Rules
Sober living homes generally have house rules, which vary from one environment to the next. Some rules are more common than others.
Examples of house rules include:
- abstinence from using drugs or alcohol
- regular drug testing
- 12-step meeting attendance
- obtaining a sponsor
- house meetings attendance
- participation in house chores
Benefits Of Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes offer several benefits for people who experience substance use disorders (SUDs). Here you’ll find a non-exhaustive list of these benefits.
1. Continued Peer Support
Friends and family members who don’t experience addiction can offer a valuable support system to loved ones with SUDs, but they cannot fully grasp what it feels like to have this condition.
For many people with SUDs, having peers who have also experienced addiction can be a deeply healing experience.
One of the primary benefits of addiction care is receiving peer support during early recovery. At a treatment center, people with addictions can meet others who understand their difficulties.
However, people who graduate from a treatment program may sometimes feel lonely or alone without this form of peer support.
Sober living homes offer the supportive environment that people often need after attending an addiction treatment center.
2. Stability After Addiction Treatment
Another benefit of drug treatment is the stability that these programs offer.
Drug addiction causes unpredictability, and the routine and structure of addiction treatment programs make recovery more obtainable.
Inpatient treatment and residential treatment offer especially sturdy stability.
It’s natural to feel a bit lost when re-entering everyday life, and it’s difficult for people to re-create the stability of a drug or alcohol addiction program on their own.
Sober living environments do not have the same tight schedules as addiction treatment programs, but they do provide a large amount of routine through meetings and house chores.
This steadiness can provide a solid foundation for continued recovery.
3. Life Skills And Coping Skills
Most addiction treatment facilities teach coping skills that help people deal with cravings, stress, and other struggles. Many also teach life skills for independent living.
These are vital skills, but it takes time to learn how to apply these skills outside of the environment in which people learned them.
Sober living residents, however, experience daily opportunities to practice these skills while receiving support, accountability, and advice from peers.
4. Relapse Prevention
Sober environments can also reduce the risk of relapse, especially through early relapse intervention and the reduction of common triggers.
Early Relapse Intervention
Relapse is not an instant, singular event. Some experts believe that relapse occurs in several stages.
For example, a person in the earliest stages of relapse might not use drugs, but they may feel emotions or engage in behaviors that eventually lead to drug or alcohol abuse.
In a sober living home, this person is surrounded by others who are more likely to recognize these early signs of relapse, and they can encourage the person to seek continued care.
Support Overcoming Common Relapse Triggers
A sober living home can also reduce the most common relapse triggers.
For example, one of the most common relapse triggers is easy access to substances. A sober environment helps eliminate this trigger.
Another common trigger is experiencing major life changes. Because moving from a treatment program into the “real world” is one such life change, some people experience a catch-22 scenario as they leave their addiction programs.
A move to a sober living home, however, can provide a sense of familiarity and accountability, thus reducing the change-induced stress.
Get Help For Addiction Today
Addiction is a difficult mental health condition, but it is also treatable.
If you or a loved one is experiencing substance abuse, contact FreeRehabCenters.net to learn about treatment options.
Published on September 13, 2023
Free Rehab Centers aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Journal Of Substance Use & Addiction Treatment — Sober Living House Characteristics: A Multilevel Analyses Of Factors Associated With Improved Outcomes
- National Library Of Medicine — What Did We Learn From Our Study On Sober Living Houses And Where Do We Go From Here?
- Yale Journal Of Biology And Medicine — Relapse Prevention And The Five Rules Of Recovery