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Sober living programs offer extended support to recovering addicts. Most program participants are in the process of transitioning from intensive substance abuse treatment to independent living. They all share the common goal of gaining total independence following sobriety.
According to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) survey completed by 6,000+ recovering addicts:1
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After successfully completing an addiction rehabilitation treatment, participants of a sober living program receive continuing care in a clinically supervised recovery home. This is also known as a sober living home.
You can find most sober living houses in residential neighborhoods around the world. This location setting is most comfortable and ideal for people trying to reintegrate into society.
The aftermath of an inpatient stay isn’t exempt from obstacles, roadblocks, or temptations as the person adjusts to day-to-day life. The relapse rate for substance use disorder (SUD) falls between 40% and 60%.2
Sober living houses are beneficial for people who aren’t yet stable enough to return home. They provide people with a safe space to apply what they’ve learned in rehab and reduce their relapse risk.
If you or someone you know is going through the recovery stages of addiction, help is available. Discharge right after an inpatient stay doesn’t always lead to long-term sobriety. At any moment, relapse can happen.
Sober living homes are alcohol-free and drug-free living environments. Residents may have to adhere to certain house rules while there, such as:
Here are other things that you can expect while residing in a sober living house:
Sober living homes provide guided independence. This allows residents to function as normal adults while preventing them from falling back into old patterns.
House members typically have the freedom to:
Some recovery homes have set curfews and a sign-in/sign-out process for residents. Recent rehab graduates may also have a senior member of the house assigned to accompany them when they leave the house.
Residents also have access to additional training and development programs. These programs help them build on the sobriety skills they learned in rehab.
There are plenty of ways house members can receive support through recovery. For example, supervised staff members are readily on standby to help residents:
According to Current Psychiatry Reports, a peer-reviewed medical journal, 85% of people in recovery relapse and tend to resume substance use a year after addiction treatment.3
A tailored aftercare plan, paired with a relapse prevention plan designed in therapy, helps residents stay aware of their triggers that may result in relapse. This self-awareness helps them practice healthy coping mechanisms in stressful or tempting situations.
Most recovery homes have set program lengths. However, some programs offer custom stays for as long as needed.
Upon acceptance, house members are typically required to detox and show progress in working towards long-term sobriety. Sober living residents must also make rent payments to retain residency.
Sober living houses and inpatient treatment facilities have similar requirements. Both require residents to live on the premises full-time and work towards a sober lifestyle. However, their approaches to addiction recovery differ.
Residential (inpatient) treatment centers work exclusively with people struggling with severe addictions. They offer 24/7 care in conjunction with residential treatment programs.
Residential treatment facilities are the best fit for people in the early stages of recovery. Program members typically choose to enroll after completing medical detox. The average length of stay is between a few weeks and a few months.
Offerings at a residential treatment center may include:
The main outcome goals of inpatient treatment are to:
Residential treatment programs are much more structured and intensive than programs provided in sober living houses.
A sober living program bridges the gap between residential treatment and re-entry into the real world. While they don’t provide the same level of structure as residential treatment programs, sober living homes offer a safe environment to establish healthy habits and coping skills.
For the most part, house members have the freedom to come and go as long as they’re back before curfew. This less-restrictive environment ensures sober living residents can navigate the recovery process independently. They provide just enough structure and guidance as people ease back into daily life.
Sober living programs also offer longer stays than inpatient treatment facilities.
Sober living programs are specially designed for people who:
A study from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs revealed the positive effects of 300 recovering addicts living in a sober living home. The outcomes included reductions in alcohol and drug use, psychiatric symptoms, and arrests.4
In a different study, they concluded that sober living homes are an unutilized modality that offers a clean, sober living space for people who are:5
A sober living program costs less than residential treatment. This is because sober living homes offer fewer services.
Rent prices for a sober living home generally correlate with rent prices for a decent apartment or home. Monthly rent payments vary based on average mortgage or rent costs in the area.
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