Studies have shown that living in a sober house can increase chances of long-term recovery. But what is a sober house? And what should you look for when choosing one? We’ve got the answers here.
Inpatient rehab centres offer addicts a place to achieve sobriety away from the stresses of regular life. Clients are able to focus solely on regaining their health without any distractions, by living in an environment where everyone is struggling with the same disease, and where support is plentiful and available 24/7. And while these environments are typically viewed as the most successful methods in terms of long-term recovery treatment, transitioning back to ‘normal life’ can still be quite difficult for a number of reasons including:
- Staying in a rehab protects you from alcohol and drugs. Going home will mean facing the all-too-familiar temptations.
- During rehab, there is support available 24/7. Once you reach home, finding someone to talk to when you need to will likely be more difficult.
- Even though you have changed, your home life likely has not. If there were stressors there leading you to abuse drugs or alcohol – it is probable that they are still there. Using the new coping mechanisms learned in rehab can seem difficult.
- If you entered into rehab after hitting ‘rock bottom’, you may be going home to an unpleasant situation, i.e. no job, no house, family problems, etc.
- Rehab leaves you free of all responsibilities – except for getting sober. Going back home means dealing with your regular responsibilities as well as dealing with sobriety.
Not all addicts will face the same situations upon returning to ‘normal life’, but the above are some general deterrents for those facing the trip back home, and it can be quite scary. Successfully completing a term in rehab – whether it’s two weeks, one month or six months – is something to celebrate. However, many people benefit from a transitional period in a sober house to ease back into ‘the real world’ – which studies show has a positive effect on long-term recovery success rates.
What is a Sober House?
Dry house, sober living home, recovery house, sober house – whatever you call it, they are all essentially geared towards the same goal: to help those who have completed inpatient rehab – and who are beginning their life as a newly sober person – to transition from rehab to real life as seamlessly as possible. And, of course, without relapse.
Designed as a community living space, the house encourages those new to sobriety to work together and support each other while each resident aims to regain a positive life outside of rehab. The benefits of these houses are plentiful, and include the following:
- Having a support group. Going back to your old life often breeds loneliness, as part of your recovery is to distance yourself from the people you used to use with. These feelings can often cause a relapse, but knowing you have a house full of mates will make this easier.
- Continued support from people who understand what you’re going through can make it easier to deal with the rush of emotion and new feelings you get when trying to live in the ‘real world’.
- There are usually an abundance of recovery resources available to those living in a sober house, and often continued counselling and group sessions are conducted right in the home.
- It provides a small haven from temptation. Since drugs and alcohol are not allowed on the premises, it is easier to avoid using.
- If you find yourself facing a trigger while out on the town, knowing that you can go home to a house full of like-minded individuals can make you feel safer.
- Living with others, especially others who don’t spend their weekends at the bars or partying, can ease your boredom. You have more people to hang out with, meaning less time to get bored, and therefore less chance of a relapse.
- If you do feel like you’re going to relapse, there is a group of people right there beside you who are going to remind you why you shouldn’t.
Essentially, a sober house enables an addict to begin living a ‘normal life’ made up of mundane routines like going to the grocery store, cooking dinners, getting back out into society – while having a supportive group of people at their fingertips for when it all gets a bit too overwhelming.
Choosing the Right Sober House
Often, an inpatient rehab facility will have their own sober house nearby for those who choose to continue their recovery there. But sober houses can stand on their own as well, and they vary quite a bit, from simply being a home where sober people live – to having a structured schedule, which includes counselling and other recovery workshops throughout the week. When choosing a sober house, be sure to look for the latter if you want to receive the most benefits towards your recovery goals.
The Cabin Chiang Mai’s Sober House keeps residents on a leisurely schedule that includes group activities or meetings five days a week, scheduled NA and AA meetings, as well as plenty of free time. Residents are encouraged to volunteer at local schools or shelters and actively engage in the local addiction recovery community. Whether our clients choose to stay for one month or six – they leave the house feeling better prepared to incorporate their sobriety into their old life at home. The success rate at The Cabin for those attending the Sober Living Programme after rehab is currently very high.