What is Sober Living?
As the name implies, sober living is a place to stay where you will have a supportive community and be able to start a new life without alcohol or drugs. After completing inpatient or outpatient treatment in a sober-living home, residents are required to abstain from drugs and alcohol.
Sober living helps you develop new habits and routines. By taking the knowledge you gained from rehab and applying it to your everyday life, you will be able to move forward in your life. Recovery from addiction begins here.
Practicing new skills, gaining new insight, and shaping your new life in recovery with other people facing similar challenges is possible in sober living homes. You can safely navigate the tough spots and triggers which may arise in a sober-living home with the support of a strong community and a strong support network.
What is Day to Day Like?
There are many types of sober-living environments. Many of these facilities are on the campus where drug and alcohol addiction treatment is provided, while others are in homes, apartments, or condominiums that are independent. Home size or number of licensed beds in a facility determines the number of residents.
The majority of sober-living environments provide shared bedrooms, but some do provide individual rooms as well. A single room may be assigned to more senior residents in some cases. Rules may vary from facility to facility. Visitors hours, meal times, curfews, and Twelve Step meeting requirements are commonly outlined in rules concerning shared living spaces, individual rooms, and maintenance and chores.
Different Types of Sober Living Programs
It is important to find a sober-living home that fits your individual needs since there are many options. The process of sober living can take place concurrently with outpatient addiction treatment programs or after the program has been completed. Four types of sober-living environments are defined by the National Association of Recovery Residences:
- Peer-run homes at Level 1 are typically single-family homes run democratically by a senior resident holding other residents accountable. There are regular drug screenings and house meetings, but no paid clinical positions are available.
Typically, monitored level 2 properties are single-family homes or apartments. Senior residents or house managers with at least one compensated position may run these communities. House rules and peer-run groups are also typical, as are drug screenings and house meetings.
Level 3 supervised housing varies, but there is typically an organizational hierarchy, a supervisor, and policies and procedures. The program emphasizes the development of life skills, and clinical services are provided outside of the sober-living environment. Drug screenings are standard, and staff members are certified.
Level 4 Integrated: These services tend to be provided in an institutional setting following completion of an addiction treatment program. A strong emphasis is placed on the development of life skills as part of the clinical services. There is a drug screening policy and credentialing for all employees.
Sober-living houses: How long can you stay?
The length of your stay in a sober-living facility will depend on how well you are doing in recovery. A sober-living facility may only be available for as long as you are enrolled in a treatment program. In some cases, you can continue living in a sober-living environment once treatment is complete.
A number of factors influence the amount of time spent in a sober-living home, including the strength of the recovery from addiction, how well the client is progressing on clinical milestones, and the situation at home. Generally, three months are recommended for sustained sobriety, but longer stays can be beneficial.
In order to be accepted into a sober living home, what are the requirements?
Many facilities will evaluate if you are a good fit, regardless of how many days you have been sober from substance abuse prior to applying. That being said some facilities recommend a certain number of days sober before being admitted to the program.