Statistically, most people who receive treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) do not maintain sobriety for more than a few months. Relapse is probable for the majority (as with any chronic disease).
Increasing evidence is showing the correlation between longer-term treatment and better sobriety outcomes.
Although not technically considered “drug treatment,” sober living houses can be a foundational element for someone who maintains recovery for the long term.
Residing in a sober living home can bridge the gap between treatment and independent living by providing some structure and allowing a person to gradually regain their independence.
What is a Sober Living Environment?
Sober living environments are residences that help people transition from active addiction and rehab to living back in mainstream society.
Sober living houses (and apartments) came about after addiction treatment was proven to be effective during the residential stay, but much less so after the individual returned home.
The Importance of Supportive Recovery Residence
Because the individual will be sleeping daily at the residence, and also interfacing with roommates during the crucial periods before they sleep and after they wake up, it is extremely helpful to be surrounded by other recovering people.
There is frequently drug testing included as part of the sober living house requirement. This is one of the main deterrence against relapse for many newly recovering people. If they were at home independently living, they would be less fear of getting caught for using, and therefore the thought of relapse is more tempting.
Re-Establishing Life Skills in a Sober Living
Often, a newly recovered individual will feel like they are “learning how to live” all over again. It’s actually difficult to do simple things after years of dependence on drugs or alcohol. The brain is recovering its normal function and there are lingering Post Acute Withdrawals Symptoms.
Believe it or not, being held accountable to make your bed and clean common areas is a supportive element that helps rebuild normalcy and the ability to live independently.
The Cost of Sober Living Houses
Because of the clinical component (drug testing) and professional monitoring of the residence, sober living rent can be very high. A room rental in a sober living house or apartment will often cost twice (if not more) than the average rent for the area.
Of course, the increased cost is a mere fraction of what the costs are of a relapse if you consider treatment or possibly legal entanglements. Investing in a sober living residence is investing in your well-being and happiness.
How to Find a Sober Living
The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Administration has a great database of treatment programs that you can search in any geographic area. To be sure, sober livings are not technically in this category, however, we think it’s a useful resource because if you contact a reputable treatment center in your area, they will definitely know of reputable sober livings and be able to make a referral