Wendy Williams has had a very challenging 2019 so far. In the 54 year-old talk show host’s own words during her TV program’s season finale, it was hell for her. Williams confessed in March that she was living in a sober house to face her addiction and alcoholism issues head-on. But one week after her revelation, she was found drunk after checking herself out of the sober house and was hospitalized. The relapse was reportedly triggered by Williams’ discovery that her husband had fathered a child with his mistress. News of the couple’s divorce soon followed. Wendy turned emotional in the last episode of her show’s 10th season saying that she appreciates the time when she is doing the show and she gets to forget about stuff. She then confirmed that she will be back for Season 11.
Wendy’s revelation of living in a sober house had many people questioning how these facilities are different from rehab. What is a sober house exactly and what is it like living in one?
Sober houses are safe and stable living environments that are alcohol and drug-free. It often functions as a bridge between an inpatient rehab facility and the real world. Unlike treatment centers, people living in sober houses are given more independence. Rehabilitation facilities often have stringent rules for inpatient programs wherein residents have to follow a specific schedule. Contact with the outside world is also limited and monitored. In a sober living house, residents can usually come and go as they please, go to work, and do daily activities as if they are living at home. Residents of sober houses have to pay their rent, look after themselves, and for some, cook their own food.
However, sober living residents still have to abide by the rules of the house. Sober living facilities have different rules but one rule that is common among all sober houses is that use of alcohol or any substance is not allowed. Residents are required to stay sober as long as they are living in a sober house. Most sober living houses also enforce a curfew wherein residents have to be in the house at a certain time. For example, according to Wendy, in the sober house she was living in, it was lights out at 10 PM. Residents are also often required to attend group meetings.
There is no time limit on how long a person wants to stay in a sober house unlike in an inpatient rehab where programs usually last from 30 to 90 days or in a halfway house where you can only stay up to 12 months. Unlike halfway houses wherein residents are required to have completed an inpatient treatment program immediately before moving, this is not a requirement in sober living facilities. Sober houses welcome residents whether they have been of rehab recently or a long time back. Sober living houses are also great options for people who are scared to relapse.
Advantages of Sober Living Houses
Living in sober houses have several advantages and can help promote long-term sobriety. Below are some of the foremost benefits of staying in a sober house.
Provides an easier transition to the outside world
Many people who go out of rehab face a difficult time to transition back into their old lives. Not everyone can handle the pressures and demands back home. By living in a sober house, people in recovery can slowly ease back into being an independent, productive citizen.
Minimize triggers and temptations for relapse
One of the main advantages of living in a sober house is that you can stay in an environment where there is no drugs or alcohol. That means you won’t be tempted if you family members or their guests suddenly decide to have wine for dinner. The curfew also prevents you from going out and partying at night. Being in a sober house also gives you an extra layer of accountability that you have to keep yourself sober in order to be allowed to continue staying in the house.
Provides a supportive environment
The stigma attached to addiction still remains. One of the challenges people in recovery face is when people judge or misunderstand them once they are out of rehab. These instances can even act as triggers for relapse. When living in a sober house, you will be surrounded with people who have gone through the same struggles and will be supportive of your journey.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more about our specialized programs.