Typically, when a man or woman is addicted to alcohol or drugs, he or she needs to undergo treatment. However, once that stage of rehabilitation is complete, sobriety often requires a continuation of a supportive living environment. One form of recovery treatment is staying at a sober living home, sometimes referred to as halfway houses. These are an extension of care for those recovering from addiction and who have already participated in and lived at a rehab center like those described above. At these centers, although patients live there, as they would in a traditional rehab center, they have significantly more freedom to be able to attend work, school, or family events.
The advantages of staying in a sober living home might be obvious; however, below is a list of key benefits.
- Sober living homes are affordable, alcohol and drug free environments that provide a positive place for peer group recovery.
- Sober housing facilitates individual recovery by providing an environment that allows their participants to become self-supporting.
- Quality assurance in homes is maintained through a membership in a sober living coalition or network. Sober living homes must abide by a particular code of ethics. For instance, the Los Angeles County Sober Living Coalition has established regulations on how sober living homes run their businesses in Los Angeles.
- Sober living homes are typically single-family homes in quiet, residential neighborhoods.
- Sober living homes typically have regulations that ensure the safety and sobriety of its guests, of which the single most important rule is zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol. Typically, rules might include the following:
- 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.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of being in a sober living 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.
Scott McCann, founder of AnonymousOne.com wrote, “My experience living in sober living was very positive. I met many great guys. We shared our experience, strength, and hopes with each other and helped each other stay sober.”
Certainly, addiction is a challenging cycle to break. However, once treatment is done, the benefits of continuing to live in a supportive environment could be the one factor that makes or breaks long-term sobriety.
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