Often times, while in addiction, addicts lose the basic ability to take care of themselves. They may have lost the motivation, self-confidence or physical wellbeing required to live like a sober person. Then, after going to treatment, in which there is structure and stability provided, they may gain back some of that confidence, but are used to a lack of independence that goes along with being in a residential treatment program. Upon leaving the treatment program, they may feel overwhelmed with the sudden burst of freedom that they are granted. Having too much freedom all at once can be a hindrance in early recovery. This is why sober living is a viable option.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living is a communal home in which residence live together under the agreement that they will each stay sober while living under that roof. Residents are subjected to breathalyzer and drug tests randomly. In addition, belongings may be searched for the possession of drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia. This is done to protect the sobriety of all residents. Each resident is responsible to pay their own rent and living expenses such as food and other personal items. All residents are required to keep their living spaces clean out of respect for themselves and others.
Why is sober living helpful?
- It helps residents gradually gain back their independence: While in treatment, many things are done for the patient such as cooking meals. While in sober living, residents are responsible for cooking their own meals, and completing their own chores. This helps to instill a positive sense of independence, without having the risk of using that comes along with being back in their own home.
- Residents enjoy a sense of friendship: With each resident living closely together, there is a communal aspect in which all residents depend on one another for support and encouragement. With each resident vowing to stay sober, all of those living in the sober living home are counting on each other to maintain that sobriety. The support gained from one another builds friendships that will last for life.
- It established boundaries and accountability: Unlike residential treatment, sober living home residents are free to come and go as they please, as long as they return before a set curfew. In this sense, they are still living under structure, but are following rules that make them accountable.
Sober living is the best option for making the transition from residential treatment back into normal life. While in sober living, residents may work, go to school, or attend an outpatient program. By living in a home full of other recovering addicts who are experiencing the same struggles of early recovery, sober living home residents are constantly surrounded with motivation to stay sober.