Maintaining sobriety after rehabilitation or detox treatment can be difficult; especially if the place that one returns to is not a stable, alcohol and drug-free environment. If a newly sober person returns to an environment that is more destructive than conducive to recovery, they are much more likely to relapse and fall back into their old ways. For many, a month-long rehabilitation stay is not enough to establish healthy, long-term habits and goals, as they require much more time and attention to be effective. While rehab is a great place to address the underlying issues that leads one to drink or use, leaving without having a long-term plan is much like putting a band-aid on a wound that requires extensive surgery. Sober living houses are a popular choice for many people who leave rehab or detox and understand the benefits these facilities provide in establishing and maintaining long-term sobriety goals.
What is a Sober Living House?
Sober living houses are alcohol and drug-free living environments for individuals who want to maintain abstinence from alcohol or drugs and develop a recovery-oriented lifestyle. These houses are communities that are established to give those transitioning into a life of sobriety the tools and environment they need to succeed. Though each is unique in the way they conduct and enforce their policies, there are basic consistencies that are found throughout all sober living houses, which include:
- An alcohol and drug-free living environment for individuals wanting to abstain from alcohol and drugs
- No formal treatment services but either mandated or strongly encouraged attendance at 12-step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Required compliance with house rules, participating in household chores and attending house meetings
- Resident responsibility for financing rent and other costs
Sober living houses are typically a single house or an apartment facility. Occupants will most likely have a roommate or two that will share responsibility of household chores, such as sweeping, mopping, taking out the trash and more. These rules are established to instill a sense of pride in the occupants’ living space, create a routine and reintroduce basic skills that may have been neglected in the individual’s time of active alcoholism or drug use. Additionally, occupants are commonly required to attend house, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, get a sponsor and take weekly drug tests to ensure they are moving forward with their recovery process.
Why Sober Living Facilities Work
One of the most important aspects of successful recovery is being in a healthy social environment after treatment, like a sober living house. By developing a social network that supports ongoing sobriety, residents are encouraged to provide mutual support and accountability for recovery with fellow peers in the house. Sharing a living space with peers who have the same goal leads to a much higher recovery success rate. Studies have also shown that living in an environment that is supportive of recovery is important, particularly for individuals who were previously homeless or resided in destructive environments that encourage substance use. Additionally, individuals who remain return to homelessness or substance using environments after completing treatment are more prone to relapse than those living in environments supportive of sobriety. Many individuals seeking to abstain from alcohol and drugs have difficulty establishing social support systems that reinforce sobriety and finding long-term, stable housing that is free of alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, individuals with limited incomes who relapse are at risk for additional problems, such as homelessness, medical problems, psychiatric disorders and arrests for misdemeanor nuisance crimes. Sober living houses provide the necessary environment for a person in early recovery to get back on their feet, establish healthy, life-long practices that cater to a sober lifestyle and maintain a social accountability system that leads to higher success in recovery goals.
Herren Project Recovery Scholarships
Like any living space, occupants in sober living houses are required to pay rent. Affording this expense can be a big financial burden or even impossible for those who have lost their jobs due to addiction. At Herren Project, we understand that a sober living housing may not be an option for some due to these kinds of financial circumstances. We see sober living houses not just as housing, but as extensions of treatment for those seeking to reach their full potential in their recovery journey. For those who wish to continue their treatment beyond in-patient rehabilitation, Herren Project offers recovery scholarships and recovery coaching mentors to positively support individuals actively taking steps towards living a substance-free life. Recovery scholarships provide the recipient a means to establish themselves in their new environment without the immediate stress of finding a job on day one. While finding a job is necessary, we believe the initial weeks following addiction treatment are essential in establishing a sober network and healthy living habits while starting a new life in a sober living house. Additionally, all Herren Project scholarship recipients are awarded a certified Herren Project recovery coach for the duration of the scholarship. Recovery coaches establish weekly video or phone calls with the recipient to work on developing and following a recovery plan and setting goals to enhance their quality of life in recovery. Our goal is to provide those completing treatment the chance to get back on their feet and transition into their new sober life in a safe and successful way.
For more information about Herren Project’s Recovery Scholarships, visit: https://herrenproject.org/recovery-scholarships/.
Are You Struggling with Addiction?
If you are struggling with an addiction and are unsure where to turn for help, Herren Project is here to assist you. Recovery starts the moment you reach out, though for many, this may be the most difficult step. Know that you are not alone. If you are overwhelmed by the “what-ifs” or are unsure what treatment or sober living housing will be like, there are Herren Project alumni willing to talk with you about their experiences and how treatment and sober living changed their lives. If you are ready to make a change in your life and start to process of recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction, our Herren Project team is available to help you. Start by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (844) 543-8555 for more information. Additionally, you can fill out a support inquiry questionnaire and a Herren Project team member will be in touch with you shortly.
Is a Family Member Struggling with Addiction?
Addiction is a family disease. Herren Project has developed programs and resources to assist families as they support their loved one seeking help for addiction to drugs and alcohol. The pain and suffering caused by Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is seldom limited to the person struggling. Family members, loved ones and children often share the burden of the disease.
If you are the family member of someone struggling with an addiction and are unsure of where to turn for help, Herren Project has a family support team ready to answer any questions or offer guidance to concerns that you may have. Please feel free to fill out our family support inquiry questionnaire to get in touch with a team member.
Herren Project also offers weekly virtual online support groups that are moderated by trained clinicians that can be accessed from your home, office, or anywhere you have a phone. These groups include Spousal Support, Family Support and Grief Support. All support groups are offered at no cost. For more information, visit: https://herrenproject.org/family-support-resources/