Much like the process of finding a recovery program, searching for a sober living home can be a major undertaking. It is important to consider a multitude of factors before selecting a sober living facility. There are several differences between housing options including costs, amenities, management, services, and other features you will want to consider before making a choice. Finding a sober living home that meets your needs is vital to your continued success in recovery.
Most sober homes work in similar fashions. They provide a safe place for clients to continue their journey in recovery while providing them with more freedom and independence than a traditional rehab program. These homes are generally meant for those who have recently completed treatment and are making their way back into the world, but they may not be ready to face it alone yet. There are countless options available, and while many will provide you with structure, accountability, and support, not all of them will necessarily meet your needs.
Sober living homes require residents to have some level of accountability and responsibility. They are often required to contribute to the cost of rent or utilities and must assist with food preparation, cleaning, and other household responsibilities. Those who live in sober living homes are expected to be actively maintaining their sobriety and working to transition back into society.
Things to Consider When Looking for a Sober Living Home
While most sober living homes work similarly, there are some major differences between programs that may influence your choice. There are many factors to consider and choosing the right home is imperative to your continued success. Before moving into a home, you should consider the following:
The Type of Sober Living Home
While many sober living homes have similar guidelines, there may be differences based off the organization or person running the home.
For example, some homes are run by religious organizations and will promote a spiritual aspect to recovery. If you are religious or find comfort in spiritual exploration, this kind of home may suit you. Additionally, sober living homes that are run by churches may provide more affordable living costs in exchange for volunteer work or services.
Another aspect to consider is whether or not the home provides private or shared rooms. While this may not be a permanent living situation in the house, it can be a significant factor for some. Sharing a room can reduce the cost of staying in the home. You may hesitate to share a room with another adult, but many residents report that these living arrangements produce positive outcomes and help strengthen the supportive environment of the household.
Lastly, determining whether the housing is gender-specific or not is important as well. Typically, gender-specific households make it easier to feel comfortable in your environment and more open to expressing yourself. It can also boost the feeling of comradery among residents and reduce the influence of triggers, temptation, and other factors that may distract you from recovery.
Accommodations, Resources, and Rules
Every sober living home will have different rules and policies in place for residents to abide by. While these are in place to help you maintain your sobriety and continue developing your independence, it is important to understand their expectations before committing. Some considerations include:
- Does the house have regular meetings or sessions for residents?
- Is staff on-site to supervise residents and hold them accountable?
- Does the home provide one-on-one counseling or sober mentors to help residents?
- Is random drug testing performed?
- Does the house have easy access to public transportation?
- Are there strict rules regarding drugs and alcohol on the premises?
- Is there a curfew?
- How is the house managed?
- What are the financial expectations?
The location of the sober living home is vital to success. It is important for those in recovery to be in a safe environment away from triggers and enablers. In order to establish new and healthy routines, it is important that the sober living home is in an area that provides easy access to work or school, and also creates space away from enabling environments that may trigger relapse.
Whether you will have access to a vehicle, need public transportation, or if you will spend most of your time walking from place to place, being in a safe neighborhood is also an important consideration. This strengthens your wellbeing and can help provide an additional layer of protection for your sobriety.
Consider the Costs
Most sober living homes require some level of contribution from residents. There are countless housing options available, but it is important to find a home you can afford. Be sure to accurately assess your budget and how you may or may not meet the financial requirements of a particular home. In general, sober living homes will require you to contribute to rent, groceries, utilities, and other needs. Knowing what you can afford financially can help you eliminate housing options easily and find ones that fit your budget as well as your personal needs.
When choosing a sober living home, it is important to ask a lot of questions. Ideally, a sober living home will be your primary residence for several months, making it important to understand as much as you can about what you are signing up for before beginning the move-in process. Do not be afraid to ask for input from your treatment team and be sure to research the facility online as well for reviews and recommendations. Spending the time up-front to find a facility that meets your needs will make the transition into sober living easier to manage.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 310.403.1032 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.