When exiting treatment facilities, it is always best to have a plan in place. Where is a person going to live? How often will they go to meetings? Will they participate in any type of outpatient treatment? How will they remain sober? One option that can provide answers to most of these questions is entering a sober living house. This environment can provide the structure it takes to remain in recovery.
What Is a Sober Living Home?
Sober living homes, like the ones provided by Spero Recovery, offer drug and alcohol-free living spaces for people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD). Each person has an assigned bed and roommate. Everyone works together to run the household, clean, and cook. Medications are stored in safes and administered responsibly. People have the freedom to come and go from the house with a few regulations around curfews. Household rules help residents stay on the path of recovery.
The Benefits of Sober Living
There are many benefits to entering sober living after treatment. If you or someone you love are considering entering sober living, here are elements to consider:
Safe, Stable Housing
An obstacle many people face when trying to obtain long-term sobriety is access to a safe living space. If a person in recovery goes back to an unstable living space with many triggers, their sobriety can be challenging to maintain. If they live in a domestically violent situation, they might be more likely to return to drug or alcohol abuse. If they have immediate access to substances in the home, they may struggle with temptation. These factors combined with societal disadvantages can lead a person to relapse.
However, in sober living homes, all residents are striving for long-term recovery. The environment is substance-free. Safety is a priority, and most facilities have an immediate expulsion policy for physical or verbal violence. The cost is low, so housing instability isn’t a concern. Plus, most sober living homes allow a person to stay for as long as they want. The allowance of staying indefinitely aligns with an expert understanding of drug and alcohol addiction.
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse states in the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) that most people with SUD need at least 90 days of treatment to make an impact. Overall, sober living provides long-term safety and stability that might not otherwise be available to people in recovery.
When in sober living, people are surrounded by other people on the same journey. In the homes, everyone has chores and responsibilities to keep the environment functioning symbiotically. They often also spend time together socially. Sometimes, they attend the same 12-step meetings or group therapies. They all hope to remain sober while re-entering the normal world. With people spending so much time together, they can hold each other to the community standards.
The social expectations motivate many people in recovery. Based on a 2008 study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 12-step involvement for sober living residents was inversely correlated to substance use. As residents increased their attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, their number of relapses within six months decreased. Some facilities, like Spero Recovery Sober Living, require attendance at 12-step recovery meetings to live in the house. Housemates can remind one another to work the steps, be mentally present, and place hope in the process.
The Ability to Be Vulnerable
People struggling with SUD have often made mistakes and poor decisions in the name of hiding or maintaining their substance abuse. That’s why indexing is part of the 12-step programs. It is easier to exist among others who’ve made mistakes as flawed human beings. In sober living homes, all the residents can just be themselves. Yes, they have had missteps. However, their very presence at the sober living facility implies a willingness to try to make better choices. Compassion and vulnerability bond residents together.
According to a 2015 study in Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, residents expressed that, while the cost of substances was the most significant factor, the ability to be vulnerable in sober living homes was a driving motivation to stay sober. Though the study was not comprehensive enough to speak for the experiences of every individual in sober living homes, it does show that vulnerability is a major factor for a significant number of people who enter these homes.
Is Long-Term Recovery Attainable?
With community support, social accountability, and a stable environment, recovery is an accessible goal. Sober living homes offer all these benefits. Studies support the effectiveness of these environments. Sober living should be seriously considered by any person who hopes to maintain their sobriety after exiting a treatment program.
If you or someone you love is living with substance use disorder, there is hope for recovery. Addiction does not have to be an endpoint in life. Spero Recovery is ready and willing to help you. Our treatment facility offers 30- to 90-day programs which provide community support and access to experiential therapies. After completing our program, you will have access to our six sober living houses in the Denver Metro area. Sober living homes offer many benefits to people seeking long-term recovery from substance use disorder. Residents of Spero Recovery sober living homes will experience social accountability in a safe, affordable, and understanding environment. When you choose sober living with Spero, you can stay for as long as needed to get yourself on your feet. Spero Recovery is your way out of the disease of addiction. If you are ready to make a long-term change, pick up the phone and call (303) 351-7888.