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Benefits of Sober Living

When an addict or alcoholic is new in recovery, one of the most important factors is their living environment. Studies have shown that a positive social environment is a key predictor of success in achieving long-term sobriety. Further, it has been found that sober living homes are associated with improvement in multiple domains of an addict or alcoholic’s life. The urge to go back to the living situation that existed prior to treatment can be strong, despite it not being the best option for their recovery. Below are some other benefits offered by entering a sober living or recovery home after drug treatment.

Finding and Creating a Network of Support

men supporting each other

When someone is finding their footing as a newly sober person, it is vital to build a network of peers they can call upon if they need help. Meeting and living with people who share the same common goal gives addicts and alcoholics a chance to forge life-long connections with people who understand the same feelings they are going through. As time goes on in sober living, those bonds become stronger, and the community starts to feel like a family.

Another common problem for those who are newly sober is the feeling of loneliness. This is a near universal feeling during active substance use. It does not just disappear when the use stops. Loneliness is directly correlated with poor physical and mental health, substance use, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, dis-inhibition, high risk behavior, and anxiety. Living in a sober living or recovery home drastically reduces this feeling of loneliness. It is hard to be lonely when living alongside several other people struggling from the same feelings. While plenty of people may want to rush home and get “back to life” after drug or alcohol treatment, it is crucial to make sure that they have had the time they need to build a solid base of recovery first.

Accountability, Guidance, and Support

In a sober living home, you are around others who help to hold you accountable and support you when needed. Additionally, sober living homes have live-in managers and staff to guide you in the right direction. The managers are there 24/7 to help with anything you need, such as finding a meeting, a sponsor, getting ready for an interview, managing cravings, or just talking. Managers are typically in recovery themselves and can help connect residents with outside resources as well, such as outpatient treatment, twelve step groups, case managers, and more.

In addition to the social support, house managers help keep the residents accountable. Part of living in a sober house means that you will need to submit to random drug screens, breathalyzers, and agree to follow the rules of the house. These rules are needed to help keep the community healthy, happy, and substance free.

Independence

One of the biggest differences between sober living and a detox or residential drug treatment program is the independence that you are given. While a higher level of care/support is needed for many at first, that care typically ends within a month. Coming to a sober living after treatment offers a huge benefit in that it allows you to start rebuilding independence while also having that extra support and structure that many people need.

Sober home residents are able to go out on their own, work, shop for their own meals, and attend their own meetings. You are given the ability to re-enter mainstream life as a person in recovery in a safe way. The independence allowed at this level of care gives you the chance to build new friendships, learn new skills, and find new activities that bring you joy. You are given the independence to make decisions on your own, which is a crucial step for becoming a happy and healthy person in recovery.

Safety and Peace of Mind

Above all, sober living offers all the above benefits while prioritizing your safety. Maintaining accountability while learning a new way to live is crucial, which is why a stay in sober living after residential drug treatment and during intensive outpatient treatment is a smart, safe, and healthful step for one to take.

In addition to the resident’s safety, the peace of mind given to family members and loved ones is a priceless benefit. Loved ones of alcoholics and addicts spend years worrying about them. Being in a sober home or halfway house lets friends and family know that you are safe, and that, for the first time in a long time, they can put their minds at ease.

If you’d like to learn more about sober living for yourself or a loved one, please give us a call today at (310) 560-3794, or via email at [email protected]

los angeles sober living

References:

Hosseinbor, M., Yassini Ardekani, S. M., Bakhshani, S., & Bakhshani, S. (2014). Emotional and Social Loneliness in Individuals With and Without Substance Dependence Disorder. International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.5812/ijhrba.22688

Mericle, A. A., Mahoney, E., Korcha, R., Delucchi, K., & Polcin, D. L. (2018). Sober living house characteristics: A multilevel analyses of factors associated with improved outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 98, 28–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.12.004

Polcin, D. L., & Henderson, D. M. A. (2008). A Clean and Sober Place to Live: Philosophy, Structure, and Purported Therapeutic Factors in Sober Living Houses. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(2), 153–159. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2008.10400625

Polcin, D. L., Korcha, R., Bond, J., & Galloway, G. (2010). What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 42(4), 425–433. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2010.10400705