What Are Sober Living Homes?
Content reviewed by Karen Rubenstein, LMFT, Chief Clinical Officer at Cliffside Malibu
Exploring different living opportunities while in recovery can be both exciting and nerve-racking. On the one hand, you may become nervous at the thought of venturing into uncharted territory and leaving the comfort of your current living situation. On the other hand, you may feel relieved as you seek to separate yourself from the environmental substance use triggers you currently face. Sober living homes can be an excellent option to consider when you need a substance-free living environment outside of a residential treatment center. There are many options for treatment and sober living that you can utilize at any point throughout your recovery journey.
The Link Between Your Living Environment and Your Substance Use
One critical aspect of your sobriety and recovery journey is your living environment. Similarly, when you were actively using substances, your living environment likely played a role in facilitating repeated drug or alcohol abuse. Reflect back on your life before you chose sobriety.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Were you living in an environment that was stressful or chaotic?
- Were you living with family members or roommates who were also actively using substances?
- Did you always have access to alcohol or other drugs?
- Did you live near a liquor store or social environment that encouraged substance use?
Significant environmental risk factors can contribute to an individual’s initial and repeated substance use. In addition to stressful environments or living with other people that also used substances, consider the following risk factors that may have influenced your substance use:
- Lack of commitment to adult responsibilities
- Antisocial or isolating behavior
- Associating with deviant peers
- Emotional dysregulation
- Inappropriate signs of anger
- Poor attachment with parents or other peers
- Favorable attitudes toward drug use
The Link Between Your Living Environment and Your Sobriety
Now that you are in active recovery, you must evaluate all aspects of your life, including your current living situation. To keep your sobriety as the highest priority in your life, you may have to determine whether your living situation is healthy enough to support your sobriety. If substance use triggers are present, you will more than likely need to consider other sober living options.
The Benefit of Sober Living Homes in Addiction Recovery
Sober living homes are alcohol- and drug-free residential environments that offer essential peer support and additional recovery resources for residents. It is important to recognize that sober living homes are not part of treatment; rather, they serve as a supplemental resource to treatment. Many people continue to receive outpatient treatment while residing in a sober living home.
There are a few characteristics that all sober living homes share, including:
- Total alcohol and drug-free living environments
- Strongly encouraging or mandating resident attendance at group therapy meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Requiring resident compliance with all house rules (including participating in house chores, maintaining abstinence and abiding by house curfews)
- Offering the opportunity for residents to reside in the house as long as needed, so long as they comply with all house rules
Who Can Benefit From Sober Living Homes?
In short, anyone who is choosing to seek and maintain lifelong sobriety can benefit from sober living homes. However, some unique circumstances individuals might experience throughout their treatment journey may more heavily influence them to make use of this recovery resource.
Some examples include:
1. Those Who Have Recently Completed a Residential Treatment Program
Sober living homes are valuable opportunities for individuals who have recently completed a residential treatment program. Whether the individual does not feel confident enough to jump right back into reality or is unable to do so because their living environment is unhealthy, sober living homes are an excellent transitional option. Rather than returning to a potentially triggering or harmful setting, individuals can utilize a sober living home.
2. Those Who Feel Unmotivated About Their Sobriety
Sober living homes are full of other residents that are working toward the same lifelong goal of sobriety. At times, recovery can become stagnant, especially for those who have been on their recovery journey for a long time. However, being surrounded by individuals that understand one’s unique frustrations and challenges can do wonders for one’s recovery. Similarly, there is always someone available to talk to when living in a sober living home.
3. Those Who Are Falling Back on Their Habits
Sober living homes offer many recovery resources that all encourage continuing treatment engagement. Many people reach a point in their recovery where they believe they no longer need treatment and that they have control over their triggers. However, it may only take one trigger to relapse. In this case, continuing treatment resources become a vital factor in maintaining sobriety.
Cliffside Malibu is an addiction treatment center that offers treatment and recovery resources for individuals at every level of care. We offer sober living houses as a valuable treatment resource to help individuals gain independence while they learn how to establish long-term sobriety. In addition to sober living homes, we have detox, residential and intensive outpatient programs. There is something for everyone at Cliffside Malibu. Let us help you sustain your lifelong recovery. Call us today at (855) 403-5641.