Most adults need to find a transition type home when discharged from a residential treatment center. It is difficult to return to the community in which you live, where your family, friends, and acquaintances are, and possibly risk relapse. The American Bar Association indicates that up to 75% of alcoholics relapse within their first year of recovery.
For this reason, having a place of transition, such as a home for sober living, can provide the right amount of support. At such a place, you can continue to work, attend community events, such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and other activities that support sobriety.
Sober living homes typically have regulations that ensure the safety and sobriety of its guests. The following are a few common rules:
- Remain clean and sober during your stay.
- Submit to periodic drug tests.
- Attend house meetings that promote sobriety and overall well being.
- Commit to doing chores around the house and maintaining the general cleanliness of the home.
- Participate in a form of community service or work in the community.
In addition to the above, many sober living homes prohibit certain material, again for the safety of all its guests. The intent of a sober living home is to provide an environment that supports sobriety and minimizes the risk of relapse. To do this, homes might prohibit pornographic magazines, drug paraphernalia, or even clothing that promotes drug or alcohol use. Of course, stealing, fighting, and sexual activity between guests is also not allowed.
A recent study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs agreed with the structure and model of sober living homes. The study found that of 130 previous sober living residents, 40% of them were still sober six months later. Another 24% of them admitted that they had remained sober for the majority of that time.
The benefit of being in a home with others who are also maintaining their sobriety is similar to that of group therapy. Residents can support one another by relating to them, sharing personal stories, and providing a level of support that family and friends who are not on the same path cannot.
Sober living homes typically tend to house 6-8 residents at a time, allowing for supportive friendships to form and cultivating an overall ambiance of encouragement. Additionally, if there are other concerns that often accompany an addiction, such as thought and behavioral patterns, residents can learn from one another so that their experience at a sober living home is multi-faceted.
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