After you’ve just completed a drug rehabilitation program, you’re probably feeling more than a little nervous about what comes next. Thoughts of rejoining the community can be exciting, but may also cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.
Sober living homes offer recovering addicts a solution. A sober living home, or SLH, is a great option for people who have concerns staying sober on their own. In such a facility, they will be provided a safe, supportive, and organized living environment with others who are also making inroads into recovery.
Is Joining an SLH Effective?
According to a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40 percent of the 130 residents that were a part of the study had stayed clean or sober during their time in an SLH. Another 24 percent reported that they were mostly successful in avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Breaking away from addiction is a difficult process, which is why any available option that could help should be considered. For some, living in an SLH was precisely what they needed to finally return to a clean and sober life, while others required more time and additional recovery treatments. No two paths to recovery are ever the same, and it’s important to find out what works for you.
If at any moment you feel you may be falling back to old drug habits, immediately seek help. You can call a substance abuse helpline or approach friends and family who can get you back on track.
What to Expect When Joining an SLH
The special environments of sober living homes can provide you with the support you need to re-enter mainstream society. There are also a lot of new things you should expect when joining one.
- Residents are required to follow community rules
You’ll need to follow a series of rules and regulations, including curfews, strict visitation hours, and drug-free visitors only rules. You may also be expected to attend meetings every week, as well as group therapy and education sessions.
In some homes, following the rules can often earn you an overnight or weekend pass to enjoy other activities. On the other hand, you may also face consequences if these rules are broken.
- Residents pay rent
Staying in an SLH also means having to pay rent. The prices are usually comparable to what you would pay for an apartment, although some luxury homes can be costly to live in.
Food is often included, and many essentials are provided for free by private organizations, neighborhood charities, and well-meaning sponsors.
You’ll want to get the specifics from each individual sober home so you know exactly what to expect.
- You may have a roommate
Unless the sober living home has single rooms available, you may need to share your space with another resident. Some homes believe that it is highly beneficial to build healthy relationships with like-minded people so you have an outlet to share your joys, triumphs, and struggles with.
- Some allow pets
Having a pet has been shown to improve the recovery process of individuals suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. This is good news if you’d like to bring your dog, cat, or pet bird with you.
Have in mind that not all programs allow pets, but the ones that do are a great fit for pet owners who want to join a sober living home.
- Expect regular drug tests
Depending on the program, drug tests may be conducted regularly or randomly. It’s a great way to keep residents accountable to their goals, which is key in a transitional living environment.
It’s also a great way to let loved ones know of your progress and commitment to overcoming drug addiction.
- Some offer recovery support services
In addition to living spaces, a sober living home may include services to help you achieve lasting results and re-enter society as a happier and healthier individual.
Examples of services:
- Personal monitoring program
- Individual counseling
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Employment, volunteer, and education assistance
These services may or may not incur additional costs, so please ask the SLH first.
- Minimum stay requirement
It’s important for individuals in recovery to be committed to the process, which is why some homes may require you to sign a contract for a minimum stay — usually 90 days.
As a resident of the sober living home, the resident manager is required to monitor your progress, which can only be seen if you follow the rules and regulations and avoid substance abuse for a certain length of time.
The minimum stay is also good for you to evaluate your readiness to re-enter society as you undergo further counseling and treatment.
Every Sober Living Home is Different
Getting to know the house rules and programs offered by a sober living home can help you prepare yourself better for the journey.
While these homes can differ in their specific regulations and approach, they are all structured with the goal to get you on track to living a happy and addiction-