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How Do Sober Living Homes Work?

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Sober living homes work by helping you transition from treatment to your everyday life. You might need more time to learn healthy habits and get into a routine following inpatient drug or alcohol rehab. If you are nearing the completion of a substance use treatment program yet don’t feel ready to get back to your home environment, a sober living home can help you acclimate to everyday life in recovery.

Structure and Support in Sober Living Homes

After inpatient treatment, you might feel apprehensive about moving back to a potentially unstable home environment. Sober living homes can help you by offering structure and peer support as you continue to work on your sobriety and recovery. Most sober living programs have recovery-oriented activities and group meetings to create a healthy environment for you to begin your new life without drugs and alcohol. 

The cornerstone of sober living homes is living with like-minded people in recovery. Your peers are dealing with similar issues and struggles. During your stay in a sober living home, you can support and help one another with the challenges of recovery. You might participate in daily meetings, shared meals, and group activities to foster a strong sense of community within the home.

Sober living homes have staff to support you, such as a house manager and a group facilitator. Your staff will guide everyone along, hold you accountable for your goals, and help you throughout your stay as you build healthy life skills in sobriety.

What Can I Expect in a Sober Living Home?

One of the most significant challenges in recovery is feeling alienated during the early stages of sobriety. Before rehab, a majority of your friends might have been other individuals using drugs and alcohol along with you. While you need to re-evaluate these friendships and avoid toxic people to maintain sobriety, you might feel isolated as a result. Sober living homes foster a feeling of belonging as you make new friends in recovery.

During your program, you can expect to gain a feeling of camaraderie in recovery, enhance valuable life skills, and learn relapse prevention strategies while living among your peers in recovery. 

You can also expect some of the following during your stay in sober living:

  • More freedom than inpatient rehab, yet you might be restricted to a curfew or to only go out for work and other essential activities.
  • Randomized or regular drug and alcohol testing to hold you accountable for your sobriety.
  • Participating in household chores with your peers, like helping to cook and clean the home.
  • You might be required to attend a specific number of hours of programming in group or individual therapy, peer support, or life skills education courses.
  • Group activities and outings to discover healthy ways to bond with others without the use of drugs or alcohol.

While you might have started to learn valuable skills during inpatient rehab, you get to practice these skills in sober living. You can go to work or live near your community while still having some structure and programming to continue your recovery. Transitioning back home after rehab can be much easier when you attend a sober living home.

How Can I Prepare for a Sober Living Program?

You can prepare for a sober living program while in drug or alcohol rehab to seamlessly go from one program into another. Instead of going back to an unstable or unsafe home environment, start to think about your aftercare treatment following inpatient rehab. You can work with your current treatment team to evaluate your needs and risks of relapse if you return to your home environment.

Sober living homes work due to the commitment to sobriety by each peer living together. Most homes have strict policies regarding drug or alcohol use both on and off the property. You might be kicked out of the program for violating these rules and can disrupt the experience for the other housemates. 

To prepare for a sober living program, you should at least have been through a detoxification program. Sober living programs are not the place to go to get sober. During detox, you might experience withdrawal symptoms that could require medical attention and monitoring. You will also have some of the most intense cravings during detox, which could put you at a high risk of relapse with the increased freedom of a sober living program. 

Who Benefits From Sober Living Homes?

People who don’t have stable and safe alcohol- or drug-free home environments benefit from sober living homes. If you live with family members who don’t support your sobriety or others who might use or drink in your presence, a sober living home could provide you with a safe place to stay while you get your life back together following drug and alcohol rehab.

According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, sober living homes “might be an effective option for those in need of alcohol- and drug-free housing. Improvements were noted in alcohol and drug use, arrests, psychiatric symptoms and employment.”

As you rebuild your life, you might need more time to get into stable housing or away from toxic environments. Sober living can help minimize the risk of relapse during early recovery.

Sober Living in Los Angeles

If you need a safe and healthy place to begin your new life in recovery, sober living is for you. The Miracle House Foundation supports men during the early stages of recovery to transition safely to everyday life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get on the right path to recovery.

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