Written by Ivy Chase
Sober Living homes are a great tool to use when building a foundation for your long term recovery and to help with learning to rebuild a higher quality of life after active addiction. A good sober living home will help the individual by providing structure and safety. In the process of helping rediscover normal, addiction free daily routines, a sober living is more than likely to help learn to maintain a new sober lifestyle rather than those that go back into the world straight from detox or residential treatment centers.
With so many transitional housing options available, there are certain characteristics to look for. Choosing a sober living that is right for the individual is like shopping for a new car. There is one out there that’s right for everyone, but not everyone is right for anyone.
Here are some of the key elements to consider looking for when shopping for a good sober living:
- An alcohol and drug FREE living environment for all of its residents attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs.
- A requirement to attend 12-step meetings such as AA or NA. Sober living homes typically don’t offer actual treatment for the residents, they only provide a social supportive environment for recovering addicts. Requiring residents to attend meetings will help ensure that the individual is taking responsibility of their own recovery.
- A requirement to comply with house rules such as maintaining abstinence, paying rent and other fees on time, participating in weekly house chores and attending house meetings. Having these responsibilities help residents to gain a sense of ownership and autonomy before living in the community again.
- Group meeting attendance and skills building within the sober living house. Finding a home that provides activities for the residents that work on developing skills is helpful such as cooking classes, help with keeping a budget, or help designing an effective resume to perform job searches.
- Some sort of resident council. A sober living that allows their residents to have a say in any serious house matters will help give the individual a sense of responsibility and fosters a community of support and collaboration.
- No minimum or maximum amount of time it’s residents can live there. A sober living that has an open ended invitation to stay in the house as long as they would like to matters greatly in eliminating the pressures of being alone or independent in the community. Allowing a resident to stay longer than others should not be penalized.
- Offer opportunities regularly that involve volunteer or work by the residents. Sober living homes that incorporate being of service in daily routine encourage an individual to feel like they are giving back to their community. This helps with resume building, and it teaches it’s residents to learn how to be involved in their community and take pride in the work they do.
Not every sober living will have all seven of these characteristics. In fact, many of them won’t over more than two of them! But that does not necessarily make them bad sober living homes – use this list is merely as a starting point for analysis.
Other factors to look at are cost, gender preferences, location and whether or not transportation is provided by management.
Make sure to tour and meet the home’s residents before committing to living there. The best sober living home is the one that feels the most comfortable and safe to the individual. Getting along with the staff and management is also important. They are the backbone of the operation and support for its residents while they embark on one of the most difficult and rewarding periods of their lives.
Lighthouse Treatment Center is a licensed and accredited in Southern California offering safe detox and effective drug and alcohol rehab programs, all on our residential campus in sunny Orange County. Lighthouse Treatment Center doesn’t offer sober living at this time, however at the time of discharge, we encourage our clients to work closely with our client care coordinators to draw an effective discharge plan to ensure recovery and long term sobriety.