What to Look for in a Sober Living Home

What to Look for in a Sober Living Home | Transcend Recovery Community

A home for sober living is a way to continue the safe care you’ve been getting at an addiction treatment center. Once you’ve gone through detox and completed treatment at a residential treatment center, living at a sober living home can extend your treatment by providing a safe and sober place to live.

However, it’s important to know that a sober living home isn’t going to cure an addiction. Doctors might be able to cure polio or tetanus, but an addiction and forms of mental illness, such as depression, don’t necessarily go away once it’s treated. The same is true with an addiction. Because it is an illness that a person has over a period of time, and perhaps an entire lifetime, addictions need to be tended to with safe and sober environments.

Sadly, there are many men and women in America who are suffering from addiction. Recent studies have shown that approximately 53 percent of adults in the United States have reported that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem. And, in 2009, an estimated 30.2 million people 12 or older reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year. And because messages of drinking and drug use are everywhere, along with the reminders of others who have developed addictions, having the safety of a sober living home can be an essential part of recovery in the first year of sobriety.

If you already know that you want to reside at a sober living home, here are a few things to look for:

A Sober Living Home with a Good Reputation

Although there are standards and regulations that each home needs to adhere to, some homes follow those regulations more closely than others. And in many cases, this can create a good word in the community. When you’re doing your search, or if a family member is searching for you, ask around at local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings about sober living homes with good reputations, or check with a respected treatment center. In fact, you may have a conversation with the staff at the treatment center you’ve just completed treatment to find out about the sober living homes in the area. Also, you may want to choose one that is reasonably near any AA meetings you will be attending for easy access to those meetings. Most sober living homes accommodate residents for 6 months to a year in order to support continuous sobriety.

Ask About Current Residents and Their Length of Sobriety

When you’re on the phone with potential sober living homes, inquire about the length of sobriety that those living at the home already have. It can be supportive to find that those living at a home already have six months of sobriety. Also, houses that have a range or recovery time for people currently residing at the house, such as someone with one month, 90 days, and 6 months are preferable to one with all residents with under 30 days in recovery. Also, those with a live-in manager are generally better choices. Some houses have a democratic process, in which the residents choose who will be coordinator or manager.

What Services Are Offered

Lastly, another factor to consider when choosing the right sober living home for you are the services they offer which can help lift your emotional and spiritual well being. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently published a guide outlining the 13 principles of effective drug addiction treatment. One of the 13 principles placed an emphasis on treatment that is holistic:

Drug and alcohol treatment that is effective addresses not just the addiction alone.; it must address the medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues as well.  Treatment must be holistic in nature.

Services that are above and beyond the traditional treatment modalities can make a difference in whether you might want to attend a particular sober living home. Some homes don’t offer anything except for a safe place to live while others may include meditation, yoga, and horseback riding.

If you are searching for the right place to continue your new sober living experience, the above are suggestions to keep in mind during your search. Making the decision to begin treatment is the first step; ensuring you’re in good hands during your sober living process is just as important.


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