Addiction recovery is not a one-off event, but instead exists on a continuum that will be ongoing. Detoxification, rehabilitation, and continuing care in recovery are benchmarks along the spectrum of the recovery journey. Sober living housing can be a powerful recovery tool, accessed while undergoing outpatient treatment or after completing an inpatient rehab program, by providing a drug and alcohol-free living environment. Nothing can derail newfound sobriety faster than exposure to substances at home. A sober living home not only creates a safe and supportive environment for someone new in recovery, but strict policies ensure that the house remains free of drugs and alcohol.
There are different types of sober living housing available, each with its own mission, goals, and focus for its residents. Some sober living homes emphasize teaching life skills, assisting residents with job-seeking efforts, and setting short and long-term goals. Some provide a stable base for the resident who has a job or is enrolled in school. Some will provide transportation to doctor appointments, assist with legal issues, and shuttle residents to local A.A. meetings. Some sober living homes place an emphasis on social support and sober lifestyle development.
Sober living homes maintain their stable environment by a set of house rules and policies that all residents are expected to adhere to. An example of the house rules for a sober living house might include:
A zero tolerance policy for use of drugs or alcohol
Residents must submit to intermittent or regular drug and alcohol testing
Possession of drugs or alcohol is prohibited
Selling or distributing drugs or alcohol is prohibited
Aggressive behavior or violent acts are prohibited
Weapons of any kind are prohibited
No loitering in front of the house
Curfews must be adhered to
No lewd or sexual behavior is permitted
Stealing of anything is prohibited
Unauthorized absence from the sober living home is prohibited
Residents will attend weekly house meetings
Residents will attend non 12-step or 12-step meetings and select a sponsor
Residents will completed daily chores and tasks designated to them
How Sober Living Orange County Enhances Recovery
Sober living offers structure in recovery, helping the individual form new daily routines and healthy habits as they begin a life in recovery. While in active addiction, many lose sight of anything or anyone outside of the demands of their habit. In sober living, the residents will be held accountable for their actions and expected to get up at a reasonable time in the morning and spend the day being productive. This helps prepare the newly recovering individual for reestablishing a regular daily schedule.
Reinforces New Recovery Skills
Rehab teaches many helpful skills and tools for managing the challenges of life without resorting to using a substance. Sober living offers an opportunity to practice these skills—communication skills, coping techniques, anger management skills, and positive, productive thought processes—and reinforce new healthy behaviors before attempting to transition to regular life.
Offers Peer Support
The early months of recovery are emotionally difficult. The full weight of the consequences incurred by the addiction will have to be felt and managed, without the numbing effects of a substance, and that is difficult. This fallout might include financial problems, legal issues, family problems, relationship problems, and health issues. Sober living offers peer support while one goes through the process of sorting things out. Outpatient counseling or group therapy sessions, a typical component of aftercare, is also accessible while living in sober housing, which can be very helpful in navigating these challenges.
Creates a Deterrent to Using
The deterrent effect is one of the most significant benefits of choosing sober living. No one wants to relapse and get kicked out of their house, and the random drug and alcohol testing creates a powerful deterrent.