Attending a Sober Living Home - What You Need to Know

January 25, 2023

Sober living facilities, also known as sober homes or recovery homes, provide a supportive and structured environment for individuals in recovery from addiction. They offer a safe place to live and the opportunity to build a sober support network through interactions with your housemates and the staff.

If you have recently completed addiction treatment and would like to attend a sober living facility, here is everything you need to know before attending.

Checking if a Recovery Home is Safe

Unfortunately, not all sober living homes are safe. Mismanagement and neglect are very common throughout recovery homes all around the world. Many are overcrowded, neglected and uncared for, which has a very harmful, and sometimes lethal effect on its residents. Always research the facility in question thoroughly. Start by asking for recommendations from professionals in the addiction recovery field, such as therapists or counselors. You can also reach out to local recovery groups or organizations for suggestions.

When researching sober living homes, it is important to look for facilities that are licensed and regulated by the state. This ensures that the facility meets certain standards for safety and cleanliness. It’s also important to check the facility’s reputation. Looking up reviews online or talking to people who have stayed there are two helpful ways to ensure you’re placing yourself in good hands. It is also a good idea to ask if you can take a tour of the homes. This will allow you to see the quality standards firsthand and determine if these homes are safe and right for you.

Pay attention to the rules and regulations of the sober living home. A safe sober living home will have clear rules about drug and alcohol use, as well as a zero tolerance policy for any kind of drug use. The facility should also have regular drug testing and relay strict rules about visitors and overnight guests. It is not uncommon for drug use to run rampant in unsafe recovery homes, making this process essential for placing yourself in the right conditions.

It is also helpful to ask about support services that the sober living home offers, such as therapy, counseling, and case management services. These can provide additional support for residents in recovery and help them develop the skills and strategies needed to maintain sobriety in the long-term. Lack of programs and group activities is a red flag. Neglectful recovery homes will try and shove as many people in a house as possible while doing the least amount of work to help them. Community activities and programs are a sign that the staff truly cares about their guests.

In most cases, a reliable sober living facility will allow you to visit the homes in person and speak with the staff and current residents. This will give you a chance to see the conditions of the facility and get a sense of the community and culture of the home. Asking about the staff’s qualifications and their experience in the field of addiction recovery will also help you get a better idea of the homes you are looking into.

Rules and Regulations

After you’ve found the sober living home that’s right for you, your next step is the adherence to the facility’s rules and regulations. These will include maintaining a drug- and alcohol-free environment, as well as participating in regular drug testing. Residents are also expected to adhere to a curfew and follow other rules, such as not having overnight guests or engaging in disruptive behavior.

Another thing to expect during sober living is participation in recovery-related activities and programs. This often includes the 12-step program, a widely-used and evidence-based approach to addiction recovery. The 12-step program is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and includes steps such as admitting powerlessness over addiction, making amends for past actions, and helping others in recovery. Many sober living facilities require residents to attend 12-step meetings, such as AA or NA, as part of their recovery plan.

Sober living facilities also typically offer additional support and resources for residents. This may include therapy, counseling, and case management services. These services help residents to address underlying issues related to their addiction and develop the skills and strategies needed to maintain sobriety in the long-term.

It’s also important to note that sober living facilities are not medical facilities, and residents are expected to have a certain level of independence and self-sufficiency. This means that they are responsible for cooking their own meals, doing their own laundry, and managing their own finances.

Once you’ve found the right sober living home and familiarized yourself with its rules and regulations, you are safe to continue your recovery journey without fear that you are stuck in a dangerous environment. Always remember that there are others out there battling substance abuse, and that finding sober support network is always possible by taking the right steps.

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