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Should I Consider Entering a Sober Living Home?

If you’re finishing a residential addiction program, you might wonder what’s next. You might consider entering a sober living home (SLH). These environments provide residents with a safe, healthy environment to transition back into the outside world.

Benefits of Sober Living Homes

A 2010 paper published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs analyzed the outcomes of their five-year study on the effectiveness of SLHs. People living in SLHs after treatment stayed two to three times longer than the 90-day minimum stay recommendation from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Approximately 45% of residents completely abstained from substances in an 18-month period. The effectiveness of SLHs isn’t limited to time in the home environment. Sixty-eight to eighty-two percent of people who maintained sobriety left their SLH at 12 months.

In addition to sobriety, the SLHs offer other life benefits. Eighty percent fewer people were arrested after six months in an SLH. Psychiatric symptoms were relieved by 14% after six months. Plus, the severity of alcohol consumption for those who didn’t completely abstain dropped from 16% to 10%.

Systems in Sober Living Homes

All of the benefits found in the longitudinal study show that SLHs are effective for maintaining your sobriety after detox and rehab. What specific systems promote those benefits?

SLHs implement strict substance-free environments. You cannot bring substances into the house, or the SLH will expel you. The rules around this decrease the likelihood of overdosing. After detoxing from a substance, your tolerance decreases. The decreased tolerance puts you at risk of overdose and death if you relapse.

In addition to the no-substance policies, SLHs mandate aftercare of some kind. Residents usually attend an intensive outpatient program, 12-Step meetings, individual therapy, group therapy, or support groups. If you feel strongly about using one type of aftercare, you should ask potential facilities what kind of aftercare they allow for residents. Some homes only allow Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

To allow residents the space needed to focus on their recovery, most SLHs don’t allow overnight visitors. They often implement visiting hours. The limited time frame helps you to set healthy boundaries with your loved ones. They can visit if you want them to, but your sobriety is the first priority.

If you’ve recently finished an inpatient substance use disorder (SUD) program, you may worry about how you will maintain your sobriety in early recovery. Sober living homes offer you a safe, supportive living environment. As discussed above, these homes offer many sobriety-boosting benefits. While in a sober living home, The Guest House can provide you with outpatient addiction care. We offer a day/night program, intensive outpatient program, individual therapy, and group therapy. All of these options lift you up in your substance-free life. For more information, call (855) 483-7800.