For many people who have just completed residential rehab, living in a sober house that offers a drug and alcohol-free, group living environment is the best way to transition back to normal life. In this article, we explain the benefits that a sober living programme offers.
Ensuring that you attend an effective addiction treatment centre is the key to overcoming your addiction, but for many that is just the beginning of a long and winding journey to recovery. In many cases, living in a sober house after rehab is the best way to transition into a new, sober life.
Whether referred to as a sober living house, sober living home, halfway house or sober house, all of these names refer to a drug and alcohol-free, community living environment intended as a transitional living phase for those who have attended a residential rehab facility for drug or alcohol addiction.
Each housing centre has its own set of rules and regulations, but most encourage (if not require) regular attendance of recovery meetings. The better ones offer in-house counselling services or group meetings, among other activities that aid recovery. The length of time that an individual decides to stay in a sober house varies, but 30 to 90 days is often the recommended duration in order to reap the full benefits.
Knowing Whether or Not You Need a Sober Living Home
Of course, the benefits of living in a sober living house are plentiful. However, some people benefit more than others, depending on their situation back home or previous history with relapsing.
Those in recovery who have lost a lot during active addiction (including but not limited to losing their job, housing and family support) would definitely benefit from having a transitional period to ensure that they are stable in their recovery before going home to deal with the stressful situation left behind.
Stress is a major relapse trigger. And while it is inevitable that it must be dealt with at some point, it is important to be strong in recovery before dealing with it. Spending time at a sober house can increase the chances of long-term recovery because it further prepares a person for dealing with real-life situations once again.
Benefits of a Sober Living Programme
Not everyone in recovery is able to live in a sober house after rehab, but for those who can, this environment can offer many benefits. One study showed that living in a sober house increased the likelihood of employment after rehab, while decreasing the chances of alcohol and drug abuse, arrests and psychiatric episodes. Other benefits of living in a sober house after rehab include the following:
1. Eases the transition to ‘normal life’
Many people who are leaving residential rehab are apprehensive about going back to their own home, where their addiction was running out of control. This is a completely normal feeling. Going back to your old life can trigger many emotions. Many in recovery may have lost their home, friends and family along the way, which makes going back incredibly difficult. In these cases, sober houses can offer solace in being ‘in between’ rehab and normal life. Sober houses allow you to get used to creating your own schedule again and not living under the care of counsellors and staff at the rehab centre, while you prepare to face the realities that are waiting for you in ‘normal life.’
2. Peer support
Everyone in the house has the same goals as you do – staying sober. This makes it a lot easier to stay true to your new values that you created while in rehab. Having 24/7 support from like-minded people who live in the same house as you can make it a lot easier, especially in the early stages of recovery.
In addition to having people who will support you, being in a sober house means that you must be accountable for your actions. Most sober houses have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug or alcohol use. The overall environment will keep you from giving in to that nagging thought in the back of your mind that you can ‘just have a little bit’ now that you have gone through treatment.
4. Building a sober support network
The people that you meet in a sober house will often become your life-long support network, even if they end up living in another city. Going through something as emotional as recovery together can help develop bonds that will last a lifetime and provide you with some support when you return home and need someone to call.
5. Additional therapy and support
Most sober houses incorporate meetings and/or therapy sessions into the client’s weekly house schedule. The more support, meetings and therapy you have, the higher your chances will be for long-term recovery.
How Much Does It Cost to Live in a Sober House?
Sober living houses are less expensive than residential rehabs, but the cost really depends on the type of sober living programme offered. How many and what type of therapy sessions does it include? Does it offer other types of activities, outings, room cleaning and laundry services, or meals?
Price, of course, also depends on the city in which your sober house of choice is located. The Cabin Chiang Mai, for example, offers sober house living at an excellent price, as the cost of living in Thailand is much lower than many countries around the world.
Are Sober Homes Co-Ed?
Some sober houses are co-ed. Whether or not a sober house is co-ed does not make much difference to the efficacy of the group in general. It just depends on your personal preference related to whom you want to live with. Be sure to check with any potential sober house about its policies on this before making a move.
Getting the Addiction Treatment You Need: The Cabin Chiang Mai’s Sober House
Located near our residential rehab centre in Chiang Mai, our sober house offers a comprehensive programme that ensures residents get the most out of their transitional period. From volunteer work to yoga, group activities, as well as one-on-one and group counselling sessions, we ensure that our clients receive the support they need to build back their life and experience a successful long-term recovery.
Before attending a sober house is even an option, it is important to attend an effective addiction treatment centre. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact one of our counsellors today for a free, no obligations assessment on how we can help you or your loved one get on the track to a healthy, fulfilling life that is free from addiction.