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What is Sober Living?

What is Sober Living?

Sober living homes or communities are residential spaces for people who are in recovery and are usually undergoing an outpatient treatment program of some kind. The patients who live in these homes pay rent independently, either for a private room or a room shared with one other person. Due to the rules that recovering addicts must abide by, in addition to the responsibilities they are expected to uphold, living in a sober community is ideal for those transitioning from treatment back into regular society.

Sober living homes differ from a normal roommate situation in a few ways. The house generally has some special rules that are designed to help support the sobriety of all the residents. The biggest rule is that intoxicating substances are not allowed on the premises, and residents generally cannot be in a state of intoxication either. Residents will also usually divide up mandatory household chores, as having everyone perform chores helps to build self-esteem and responsibility. Group meetings on-site may be required of residents. Some other restrictions that most sober living homes have include not having weapons on the premises, not having overnight visitors, and random drug tests.

Though the rules are more restrictive than a standard rental situation, a sober living home nevertheless offers more flexibility and freedom than an inpatient treatment program. It’s possible for residents to work, go to school and spend more time with their families. Patients also get more of an opportunity to socialize with others and engage with the outside world.

What is Sober Living Like?

Aside from the extra rules, life in a Wisconsin sober living home is not too different from living in any other shared housing situation. People who are in sober living homes can be at very different stages in their recovery, so it is important to understand that the rules are to ensure that everyone is supported no matter where they are at in their journey back to long-term sobriety. Many people prefer living with others in recovery over going it solo, as it creates a built-in support network of people who are understanding of the situation and non-judgmental. A sober living home paired with an outpatient treatment program is also much less expensive than inpatient treatment, but offers many of the same features.

Community is the big advantage of the sober living home. Relapses almost always happen because of stress, and stress weighs more heavily on those who are living alone, or living with people who do not understand their situation. Being together with other people in recovery also provides a network that looks out for each other, and is sensitive to the early signs of potential relapse.

Addicts who have been struggling with their condition for a long time have often been isolated for much of that time and lost some of their ability to socialize, especially if they have experienced an extended period of homelessness. The sober living home lets people re-learn these life skills in a supportive and understanding environment.

The Benefits of Sober Living

A sober living home paired with an inpatient treatment program is a lower-cost option that can be just as effective as inpatient treatment. The rules and structure of the sober living home ensure that the resident is in an environment free of triggers and temptations. But the resident also enjoys greater freedom in their personal life, and can begin normalizing again by taking a job or taking classes.

Residents also don’t have to worry about being isolated or having to live around bad influences. They begin adjusting to normal real-world social settings again, but they do it in the company of people who have been through the same situation and are understanding of it.

Licensed and accredited treatment centers quite often help patients transition out of inpatient treatment programs into clean and sober housing when they are ready. They can also help people in outpatient programs locate such a residence. Some treatment centers even run their own clean and sober homes. It is important to do research when considering sober living.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding sober living communities, or you simply need guidance and support, contact an addiction specialist today. Why let freedom wait, when your way out of addiction is just a phone call away.