The Problem With Sober Living Homes

In a sober living home, you are in a treatment facility that allows you to come and go as you want, helping to ease you into normal living. A sober living home also offers 12-step meetings with other recovering addicts to support their recovery process. Residents may also attend onsite church services or meditation programs for a more spiritually robust recovery. Sober living homes also provide food, bed linens, towels, and basic toiletries. A sober living environment can benefit anyone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Although not a strict requirement, most residents of sober living homes must have completed a rehab or detox program before joining.

problems with sober living homes

Sober homes serve as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the real world. While some may be hungry to integrate back into society after a stint in a treatment program, there is an expectation that you will remain an active participant in the home and follow its rules. Some sober living houses may be placed in neighborhoods with high crime rates. While inpatient treatment programs do offer a person relapse prevention training, this type of environment offers few if any opportunities to actually apply what’s been learned. The goal of sober living homes is to monitor and improve health, safety and wellness using peer support.

Peer support and motivation

However, a halfway house may also describe a facility for addicts ordered to undergo sober living by a court. After a successful detox, rehab centers provide round-the-clock monitoring sober living homes to help individuals manage their progress. Rehab centers offer holistic addiction treatment (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual), reducing the likelihood of a relapse.

  • Rehab may also involve detox to get the substances out of the individual’s system.
  • A sober living housing environment is not as strict as a rehab center, and residents are allowed to come and leave as they please with supervision.
  • One of which may include a sense of fear or doubt about maintaining your sobriety.
  • A low-budget home can mean poor living quarters, which can be less than conducive to recovery.

While sober living houses have research touting their efficacy, it is also important to remember that they are still environments where you are living with others and the focus is on staying sober. Suppose you’ve recently relapsed and found that the stress of being in environments around alcohol and drugs or a lack of structure is particularly triggering. Over the years, sober living houses have evolved to meet the needs of those in recovery. As such, sober living associations now make finding a residence easier. There are also plenty of independent sober living houses that have not changed their protocols much since the late 1940s when these residences came to be. The fact is, recovery houses (also known as sober living homes) are largely unregulated in many states.

Sober House Problems

While sober homes and halfway houses aim to transition residents into normal society, rehab centers help addicts recover from substance abuse. They may employ medication, therapy, and other holistic forms of treatment to find the root of the addiction and bring healing on all levels. Rehab may also involve detox to get the substances out of the individual’s system.

  • A new house member must be interviewed by current residents and must receive an 80 percent vote of approval to be accepted.
  • It gives you a taste of what it means to live a steady, responsible existence while maintaining sobriety.
  • While these establishments often have similar goals, they are not exactly the same.

The goal of many halfway houses is to reduce recidivism among felons using supervision. However, some halfway houses are designed to reduce drug relapse rates for high-risk individuals leaving incarceration. On the other hand, recovery housing is simply a safe place to live while you attend services outside of the home. If you are in an outpatient program, you’ll likely be asked to regularly attend drug testing to ensure you’re staying on track. If you’re living in a sober living home, you may be required to show those results to the house manager to demonstrate that you are staying clean.

How Much Do Sober Living Homes Cost?

They also suggest we need to know more about “vicarious relapse,” which can be traumatic to others as well as the person who has relapsed. By using the narratives of residents, the researchers wanted to explore the experience of being in a sober living house from the perspective of the people in recovery. They interviewed 21 people (from the American Midwest)—so a small study, but the point was to find detail and nuance. Homeless people with substance use disorders have higher risks, exacerbated further if there are criminal justice issues.

In other words, halfway houses can be an invaluable part of the recovery process. The terms sober living houses, halfway houses, and rehab centers are often incorrectly used interchangeably. While these establishments often have similar goals, they are not exactly the same. Sober living houses and halfway houses have the same goal – to provide housing and support for individuals on the path to sobriety who no longer need intensive inpatient treatment. Recovery residences are less expensive than living at a rehabilitation facility or detox center because fewer services are offered.

This Recovery Review post is by David McCartney, who is an addiction medicine specialist and Clinical Lead at LEAP, a quasi-residential therapeutic community addiction treatment program in Scotland. He trained as a family medicine practitioner and spent much of his career in practice in inner-city Glasgow. Having retrained in addictions, he now works exclusively in the field and until recently was an advisor to the Scottish government on drugs policy. His opinions expressed here don’t necessarily represent the views of his employer. Find more of his writing, as well as a thought-provoking range of articles, insights and expert opinions on treatment and addiction, at In their paper on sober living houses, Jennifer David and Jake Berman point out that it’s only relatively recently that researchers have begun to accumulate evidence on the efficacy of such residences.

problems with sober living homes

Going from full, immersive care back into your normal life can be a completely shocking experience. This is especially true if you have come from an unsupportive, abusive background/home life. Most sober living homes require that you have completed a full stay in an in-patient rehab center before you enter the home.

Month after month, I stood up and I said, “this is going to come to a neighborhood near you.” Well, we’re here. And let me tell you something New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I said it last year when we had 15,000, and I’m telling you now, with 110,000. The point of a sober living home is to re-introduce a sense of freedom and independence back into your life. This is important for your recovery, as well as your mental and emotional wellbeing. Counseling sessions with experts or individuals experiencing the same problems help the recovery process.

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