Treatment

Sober Living Home

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Sober living homes are invaluable resources for people looking for a “middle step” between residential treatment and going home. These communities offer many advantages to recovering individuals. Each sober living house is distinct, so knowing the house rules when entering a sober living home will help sober living residents understand what to anticipate before arriving.

These residences are group homes for patients who are in addiction recovery. In most situations, sober living house residents must follow specific house rules and contribute their part by doing tasks. Most importantly, all residents must remain sober throughout their stay.

Living in this kind of atmosphere promotes continued recovery and helps people maintain their sobriety while they adjust to life during and after rehab. For many people, sober living facilities assist in the transition from substance abuse treatment to living independently without using substances.

bed with cushions
Sober living home is designed to make you feel comfortable.

 

What Are Sober Living Homes?

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A sober living house is a group residence environment for individuals who are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. Most sober living homes are privately owned, although corporations and charity groups own some group residences. These recovery houses usually are located in quiet, residential neighborhoods to create a peaceful, sober environment for patients in early recovery, typically after formal treatment is complete.

These sober living homes are different from addiction treatment facilities. Substance abuse addiction treatment centers usually offer more intensive recovery programs, and residents have less of an opportunity to engage in independent living. Those who reside in sober living homes can generally come and go whenever they want as long as they follow the house rules.

For example, sober living homes might require residents to be back at home by a specific time or must find a job that requires early daytime hours. Sober living home residents might also be subjected to random drug tests to prove their sobriety.

People who live in these sorts of facilities are required to be responsible for themselves. This is a critical step in the recovery process because addiction causes individuals to act irresponsibly, and loved ones often enable them. Sober living home residents typically have to pay rent, buy their food, and keep up with household chores.

What Do Sober Living Homes Require?

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Sober living home rules will vary from each facility, but some rules are universal to most. Residents will agree to all the rules upon moving in, and violating the rules will come with consequences. Depending on the misdeed, the residents could have to pay a fine, make amends to other residents, or compose an essay about their actions. In some instances, the resident may have to leave the facility if they violate any rules.

sober living support group

The cardinal rule in all sober living homes is that residents must remain clean and sober. They’re not allowed to use any substances at all. In some instances, the residents can’t even cook with certain ingredients, such as vanilla, or use specific kinds of mouthwash. These items contain alcohol and could lead to false positives if the resident takes a drug test. Also, these products could increase the chance of relapse, as some residents may try to get high or drunk by abusing these items. Therefore, some sober houses ban the use of any items that contain alcohol.

In addition to these regulations, residents who live in this type of transitional housing are urged to go to school or find work during the day and also participate in doing chores. They also must avoid any violence. Some residents are obligated to be home by a particular time of night. These rules encourage residents to learn how to be accountable for themselves and their behavior.

Generally, the following rules of sober living homes are relatively common and include:

  • Drug testing: Residents must be completely clean and sober to reside in a sober living house, just like in a substance abuse rehab center. Those who violate this rule due to failing a drug test or having drugs in their possession will possibly lose privileges or be required to leave.
  • House meetings: Regular house meetings are commonly mandatory in sober living homes. This allows a place for each resident to check in and work through complaints, delegate chores, and get questions answered.
  • The Twelve Steps: Some homes offer in-house 12-Step meetings. Others expect the residents to attend meetings within the community and get a form signed, proving their attendance.
  • Curfews: Being home by a precise time is obligatory, especially for all new residents. Over time though, if a resident commits to work or school, this rule can be waived under specific requirements.
  • Bathroom schedule: With numerous residents living in one area, it becomes necessary to designate shower times to ensure that everyone can have a proper rotation.
  • Cleaning: The cleaning of common areas is usually up to the residents. Chores typically are distributed on a rotating basis.
  • Meal prep: If meals are shared amongst the community, then grocery shopping, planning, and meal prep might also be assigned to residents on rotation.
  • Personal treatment plan goals: If the sober home insists residents develop a treatment plan and engage with in-house case managers. They’ll also be expected to work during the week and continue to progress toward therapy goals.

House Privileges

If all requirements are satisfied, residents may earn privileges that usually come in the form of additional freedom. These could include some or all of the following:

  • Free time: Time off from obligatory house excursions or the ability to choose an activity can be one privilege.
  • Group outings: Joining a group of residents on a unique excursion like shopping, visiting a museum or amusement park, going to the movies, etc.
  • Personal outings: Being allowed to go for a stroll to a nearby shop or go into the neighborhood without a sober partner is also an earned privilege.
  • Release from chores: Enjoying free time instead of taking part in community chores while the rest of the house is working is also a motivational privilege.
  • Family visits: It’s not uncommon to have regular family visit days, but additional visits with family become possible on a case-by-case basis.
  • Fewer restrictions: Enjoying fewer limitations overall is an earned privilege. This depends on the time spent in the house and a demonstrated track record of dependability.

Who’s Can Live in a Sober Living Environment?

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Although most sober living houses don’t restrict who’s able to reside there, many residents have completed addiction treatment. This makes sense due to the residents committing to staying sober while living there. Those actively managing their recovery and spending time sober usually have learned tools and are more likely to succeed at sobriety.

Although the previous completion of a substance abuse rehab program is standard, it’s not always a necessity for living in a sober home. Several facilities still allow residents to stay there as long as they’re willing to remain abstinent and live by the house rules. When applicable, sober home residents should already have finished a medical detox to ensure stability and to prevent them from becoming ill and unable to work while residing in a sober living facility.


The Difference Between Sober Living Home and Inpatient Program

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Sober living homes differ substantially from Inpatient programs. The two might be similar at a glance, but they actually occupy entirely different spaces in the journey to recovery. If you’re researching sober living WV has to offer, this is a crucial point to make early.

To cover the fundamental differences between the two, here we can consolidate them down to the following three.

#1 Residence and setting

First, the two are indeed similar in that both offer designated residence, but that is where the similarity ends. Inpatient programs entail clinical settings, where you can receive proper medical care and will be under strict supervision. In contrast, sober living homes come in residential settings, where you will live with your peers and maintain your abstinence.

In this regard, then, sober living homes offer:

  • A designated residential facility
  • Opportunities for outings and socialization
  • No medical supervision

In contrast, inpatient drug rehab in WV offers:

  • A designated clinical facility
  • Seclusion from harmful triggers and distractions to rehabilitation
  • Strict medical supervision

Granted, there will be some differences from one sober living home West Virginia offers to the next. These differences will mostly boil down to house rules, however, not ones related to the above.

A smiling doctor leaning on a table.
Doctors’ and clinicians’ involvement in rehab is a fundamental difference between inpatient programs and sober living homes.

#2 Treatment focus

For that matter, the two also differ drastically as regards their treatment focus. During Inpatient programs, you will receive such medical services and therapy types as:

  • Medication and pharmacotherapy as needed to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, alongside such therapy as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Individual therapy sessions, to address underlying psychological factors which may fuel addiction
  • Other services as required by underlying and co-occurring conditions and mental health disorders, ie in cases of dual diagnosis

Sober living homes do not offer such services. Instead, sober living WV programs provide a sense of structure in everyday life, and allow the individual to socialize and practice self-reliance.

#3 Rehabilitation stage

Finally, the two are markedly different as regards their overall purpose and role in rehabilitation. Inpatient programs typically:

  • Cater to more severe cases of addiction, where medical needs are higher
  • Are offered as the immediate next step after detoxification
  • Are followed by step-down services and programs, such as Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs), depending on the individual’s needs and progress

In contrast, programs that entail sober living West Virginia offers typically:

  • Cater to much milder cases of addiction, where the majority of its challenges have been overcome
  • Are offered near the end of rehabilitation, such as after Outpatient Programs
  • Can serve as a continuous step of aftercare, as a means of securing relapse prevention

As such, the two will typically be divided by an intensive outpatient program West Virginia offers. Inpatient programs will begin the journey, PHPs and IOPs will advance it, and sober living homes will end it.

A female hiker enjoying the view from the top of a mountain.
Where inpatient programs typically start the journey to recovery, sober living homes signal its end.

The Difference Between Halfway Houses and Sober Living Homes

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Overall, sober living homes and halfway houses are similar. They both present alcohol- and drug-free living conditions for those who are struggling with addiction. However, they can also differ in various ways.

The goal of halfway houses is to provide sober housing for people who have recently completed inpatient treatment or are attending outpatient treatment. The focus is to separate the patient from their former environment so that they can recover in a sober, supportive atmosphere. These facilities enhanced treatment outcomes for many patients. That said, there are a few drawbacks to halfway homes.

When it comes to a halfway house, there is usually a time limit on how long a resident can stay. Residents may have to move out after an extended period, even if they aren’t quite ready. Also, all residents must be attending or have completed addiction treatment. This can be tough for some addicts who want an alternative to conventional therapy, previously relapsed, or had unsuccessful treatment experiences.

Finally, some halfway houses are financed by treatment centers and the state, which makes it likely that their funding will be cut. If that happens, residents might have nowhere to go and become provoked to move into more vulnerable circumstances that challenge their sobriety.

In contrast, sober living homes allow residents to live there for as long as they need, provided they follow all home rules. These facilities also don’t require residents to attend addiction rehab first.

Also, some sober living homes either command or greatly encourage residents to engage in 12-step meetings while living there. Individuals may also begin attending house meetings to encourage the development of support groups.

What To Bring When Joining Sober Living WV?

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Having mentioned designated residence, rehabilitation, in general, can limit the individual for their own good. From medical supervision to outings and where one lives, restrictions do apply where needed to best facilitate progress. Items and personal belongings are included here, as some can be highly therapeutic while others may kindle relapse or otherwise inhibit a program.

In this regard, too, every sober living home West Virginia offers will slightly differ. They will all typically allow and encourage specific types of belongings, however, and typically prohibit commonly distracting ones. Here, we may break these types down into the following.

What To Bring

First, items you are typically allowed to bring include:

  • Personal memorabilia and items of personal value
  • Items related to spirituality and religion
  • Notebooks and pens for journaling
  • Electronic devices such as cell phones
  • Other items for recreational activities such as art

In addition, you will often be encouraged to, or need to, bring such items as:

  • Towels and hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes
  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Some money for everyday use, such as outings and transportation
  • Items for everyday use, such as plastic hangers

Tobacco is a curious case where some sober living homes will allow it, while others will not. The exact electronic devices allowed may also differ slightly. In all such cases, we strongly recommend that you check for these specifics with individual sober living WV facilities beforehand.

A close-up of notes on a diary with a pen on top.
Journaling during sober living is very common, and very often encouraged.

What To Avoid

Next, there are some items and belongings you may best generally avoid. Some sober living homes might be lenient about them, but you should ensure that in advance.

Such items include:

  • Inappropriate material which promotes sexual content or drug use, such as magazines
  • Personal furniture, especially larger pieces
  • Wall-hanging pictures and décor
  • Inappropriate clothing – although dress codes tend to be rather lenient
  • Pets

As regards pets specifically, you may consider a sober living home West Virginia offers which is pet-friendly.

In addition, sober living homes typically provide the following so you don’t have to bring your own:

  • Kitchen appliances
  • Linens and bedding
  • TVs
  • Utensils
  • Cleaning supplies

The offerings of each sober living home will differ, however, so checking beforehand is highly advisable.

What is Forbidden

Finally, some items are typically strictly forbidden. These are items that can promote relapse to drug use or can endanger you or others. To keep your sober living WV program safe and uninterrupted, you should strictly avoid bringing:

  • Any addictive substances, substance production equipment, or substance consumption tools
  • Products that include alcohol, such as sanitizer or mouthwash
  • Firearms or weapons of any kind

As mentioned above, the one exception here may be tobacco. That aside, sober living homes are very strict as regards the above items.

A woman wearing a hoodie looking at a bong indoors.
Items that can facilitate substance use, like bongs, are typically forbidden in sober living homes.

Short Term vs Long Term Stay

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Next, we should make a crucial note as regards the duration of sober living WV residences offer. Colloquially, there are two types of stay; short-term and long-term.

Defining those terms can be rather tricky, as duration is rather relative. Some may consider a month to be a sufficient short-term stay, such as in cases of sober living in aftercare. Others may prefer such long-term residence that they might even opt for halfway houses, such as in cases of incarceration. Generally speaking, a shorter stay might last for a couple of months while a longer stay may even stretch to a year.

Of course, short-term programs can be beneficial if the individual has progressed well in their rehab. Quite a few programs for sober living West Virginia offers tend to last less to account for this. But generally, research correlates longer stays with better outcomes as regards continued abstinence. For example, NIH research finds “positive longitudinal outcomes for 300 individuals living in two different types of SLHs”, and explains that:

“Participants were interviewed within their first week of entering a sober living house and again at 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow up. […] Residents reduced or stopped their substance use between baseline and 6 month follow up and then maintained those improvements at 12 and 18 months. This was the case for both substance use measures that assessed 6 month period of time: 1) complete abstinence over the 6 months and 2) maximum number of days of any substance use during the month of highest use.”

In brief, longer stays tend to consolidate the gains of rehabilitation – as NIDA also notes. The more they extend overall rehabilitation, the more beneficial they can truly be.

A calendar on a table next to a laptop.
Research finds that longer sober living programs are much more effective at securing abstinence from substances.

Main Causes and Effects Of Addiction

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Having covered the basics of sober living WV offers, here we may note that sober living homes cater to an array of addictions. Despite the name, such programs can facilitate rehabilitation from illicit drugs, addictive prescription drugs, and more.

Each type of addiction does differ in its causes and effects, however, so the primary ones bear noting.

Fentanyl Addiction

Its medical use as a potent painkiller aside, fentanyl can fuel severe addiction. It is in fact so severe that NIDA finds “synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl) were the main driver of drug overdose deaths with a 6-fold increase from 2015 to 2020”.

Fentanyl addiction can typically occur when an individual who has been prescribed fentanyl develops dependence to the drug, and begins to misuse it. Because of this, fentanyl detox treatment tends to work best the quicker it can address an addiction.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction is rather prevalent, as NIDA reports 1.3 million people in the US had a cocaine use disorder in 2020. It is typically caused by frequent cocaine use, and can quickly take hold due to cocaine’s effects in the brain.

If left untreated, it can endanger the individual and even lead to death via overdose. It is a rather challenging addiction to tackle, making swift and decisive cocaine addiction rehab a necessity. Programs for sober living West Virginia has to offer do tend to work very well for this type of addiction, fortunately.

A close-up of coca leaves in a plastic bag.
A product of the Erythroxylum coca plant, cocaine is a very addictive substance with powerful withdrawal effects.

Heroin Addiction

An illicit drug, heroin also remains rather prevalent. Its addiction rates may have dropped compared to other drugs, but its dangers cannot be understated. The CDC reports that “the number of heroin-involved overdose deaths was nearly seven times higher in 2020 than in 1999”, reaching 13,000 deaths in 2020, “a rate of more than four deaths for every 100,000 Americans”.

Heroin addiction commonly develops from recreational use fueling dependency, and its powerful withdrawal symptoms present a notable challenge for heroin rehab centers to overcome.

Ambien Addiction

A sedative-hypnotic, Ambien (zolpidem) is a prescription medication typically used to treat insomnia and similar disorders. Addiction to it very rarely leads to death, but powerful withdrawal symptoms can sustain addiction – as AAC reports.

As with most prescription medications, prolonged use can introduce tolerance, which in turn can spiral into addiction. Ambien rehab typically manages this and wards off withdrawal symptoms via medically-assisted detox, after which sober living WV programs can sustain abstinence.

Benzodiazepine Addiction

Abbreviated as “benzo”, Benzodiazepine is a common depressant used to treat an array of disorders. It is quite addictive, and unfortunately sees considerable misuse as PubMed finds:

“Benzodiazepine misuse without a prescription was the most common type of misuse, and a friend or relative was the most common source. […] Benzodiazepine use among U.S. adults was higher than previously reported, and misuse accounted for nearly 20% of use overall.”

While it rarely leads to death on its own, benzo rehab remains a necessity as benzo addiction can endanger the individual – especially the elderly.

A close-up of a person’s hand picking up a pill from a table.
Benzo misuse is rather common, and friends’ or relatives’ prescriptions are the most common source.

Barbiturates Addiction

A type of depressant, barbiturates have ample uses in treating sleep disorders, anxiety, seizures, and more. One can easily develop tolerance to them, and overdosing “can occur easily and can be fatal” as DEA finds.

Addiction to barbiturates typically occurs after prolonged use or misuse, so swift barbiturates rehab is always highly advisable.

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana does enjoy legal status in some states but not others, and comes with both medical and recreational uses. In both cases, prolonged use may develop into addiction, as SAMHSA finds “approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted”.

While one cannot fatally overdose on marijuana, its use can cause an array of physical, mental, and developmental problems. To address this, our marijuana rehab center offers the most extensive marijuana rehab West Virginia trusts. In turn, sober living WV homes strongly prohibit marijuana and related paraphernalia to solidify abstinence.

Stimulants Addiction

Another type of drugs, stimulants see medical use in treating ADD and similar disorders. Their euphoric effects often lead to addiction, however, as NIDA reports “More than half (56.3%) [of those who misuse stimulants] cited cognitive enhancement as the reason for misusing prescription stimulants”.

Albeit not often fatal, addiction to stimulants can cause both immediate and long-term health problems. Powerful withdrawal symptoms necessitate that any stimulants addiction rehab center comes fully equipped to manage detox.

Opiate Addiction

A subcategory of opioids, opiates are now at the center of the opioid epidemic which the HHS has declared a public health emergency. Overprescription of these drugs, alongside their powerful effects and addictive nature, drives dependence and eventual addiction.

Opiate addiction can be severe, and overdosing can lead to death. Thus, virtually any sober living home West Virginia offers will require that residents complete a thorough opiate rehab center program prior to admission.

A close-up of a person taking medicine from a bottle.
Overprescription of opioids in recent years is a major contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Meth Addiction

A powerful stimulant drug that is highly addictive, methamphetamine is typically abbreviated as “meth”. A typical pattern of misuse that leads to dependence and addiction is binge consumption, which AAC explains as follows:

“Meth is commonly taken in a binge pattern, often called a “run,” where small amounts of meth are taken every few hours for a couple days to prolong the high. This pattern of abuse can more quickly lead to drug dependence and addiction.”

Meth overdose is unfortunately rather common, and can often cause fatal seizures and strokes. To combat this increasingly widespread addiction, Harmony Ridge operates the best meth rehab center West Virginia has to offer.

How To Support a Loved One in Sober Living Home?

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That said, you may not be seeking help for yourself but for a loved one. If so, we must commend your intent – but also warn you that it can be a hard process. Having outlined how many journeys to recovery can be difficult, here we may offer some advice on how you can make rehab for a loved one more effective and pleasant.

  • Maintain communication. Virtually every sober living home West Virginia offers will allow cell phones and other electronic devices you may use to communicate. Use such options and remain in touch; your loved ones may socialize with their peers, but isolation from you may still endanger their recovery.
  • Remain supportive. As you do, remember to remain supportive and offer to help your loved one with their needs. They may require transportation, encouragement to seek more therapy, and other kinds of support.
  • In addition, many sober living homes may allow daytime guests or encourage family therapy sessions. Alongside outings, try to remain as engaged in your loved one’s rehabilitation as possible to help them heal and thrive.
  • Look out for signs of relapse. Finally, remain vigilant as regards relapse. Relapse is unfortunately rather common, so the sooner you identify signs of a return to substance use the sooner you can intervene and prevent the worst.

Contrary to popular belief, relapse prevention does not exclusively rely on professionals alone. Rather, it’s a robust peer and family support context that can best facilitate it and solidify abstinence.

Two sad women hugging each other indoors.
From convincing a loved one to enter rehab to helping them through it, it’s crucial to remain supportive.

Relapse Prevention At Sober Living Homes

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On that note, we must also clarify that relapse, in general, is rather common. NIDA finds that the average relapse rate is 40-60%, making it a “part of the process” for many. It is for this reason why all rehab programs stress relapse prevention, from early medication-assisted treatment West Virginia offers (MAT) to sober living homes and aftercare programs.

Chronic relapse may not at all times be prevented, but sober living homes solidify relapse prevention tools individuals have acquired. They typically do so by:

  • Enforcing substance-free living. House rules and harmful item prohibitions encourage abstinence, especially in cases of longer stays.
  • Providing a sense of structure. Curfews and chores allow the individual to organize their everyday life and thrive, away from substance use.
  • Allowing for socialization. Living among one’s peers has been found to offer substantive help toward remaining abstinent.
  • Encouraging continued therapy. Most sober living homes will also encourage at least weekly therapy sessions, maintaining aftercare.

In combination with self-reliance and outings, sober living homes offer a safe environment where the individual can practice their trigger avoidance and management tools. Group dynamics and everyday structure support this further, helping prevent relapse.

Specialists At Your Disposal

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All that said, from initial MAT West Virginia offers to aftercare and sober living homes, facilities and program structure are only one piece of the puzzle. Without proper access to healthcare professionals best fit for each stage, rehabilitation can be delayed – or worse, fail.

Healthcare professionals smiling at the camera.
Beyond programs and equipment, it’s the medical professionals who can best ensure a successful rehabilitation.

For this reason, we at Harmony Ridge take pride in our team of licensed, seasoned specialists. With years of experience in their respective fields, and empathy acquired through addiction in their close circles, our team is fully prepared and equipped to cater to your unique needs. It includes:

  • Clinicians, nurse practitioners and managers, and clinical directors
  • Licensed therapists
  • Admissions and case managers
  • Alumni coordinators

With their unyielding support at your disposal, any program for sober living West Virginia offers will serve as an essential final step toward the new life you deserve.

How Much Does Sober Transitional Living Cost?

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Rent costs will vary, but usually, it costs about the same as it would cost to live in a modest home or apartment. Sober living home residents must pay rent every month. The rent is usually between $450 and $750 per month, depending on the location.

Residents will have to make payments on time, but they won’t have to pay the first and last month. They also won’t have to pay for utilities in most sober living homes, although they may be consequences if they overuse these.

sober living house

Residing in a sober living home is usually less expensive than living in a residential treatment facility since the staff provides fewer services. Residents must frequently attend 12-step programs or other recovery programs. They could also have to meet regularly with a therapist.

Still, intensive therapy sessions are not mandatory for living in a sober living home. This helps to bring costs down. Also, a majority of sober living houses will ensure that residents can afford to stay there.

Which Insurances Can Cover Your Stay?

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Finally, for both sober living WV and other rehab services, Harmony Ridge accepts all major insurance providers, including:

However, due to an array of factors, not all providers and plans may cover the full expenses of your treatment. These factors include:

  • Prior addiction history
  • Treatment duration and needs
  • Exact services received
  • Other state-side factors

In such cases, you may have to explore self-financing options as well, such as loans, to cover the full expense of your treatment. To find the course of action that best fits you, from proper MAT to the ideal sober living home West Virginia has to offer, please contact our teams at (855) 942-3797 for a full review of your financial options.

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Your final health insurance coverage will strongly depend on your individual plan, so make sure to review it carefully with addiction treatment providers.

Is a Sober Living Home Right for Me?

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If you are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, a sober living home could be the best solution. These unique living conditions can help residents continue to stay sober by showing support and allowing them to resume regular activities like going to school or working. Residents can also develop new friendships with others dedicated to sobriety.

Still, it’s important to note that sober homes aren’t for everyone. Some individuals might need to go through medical detox or addiction rehab before they can successfully reside in a sober home or halfway house.

However, sober living homes can provide a supportive environment to transition from a substance-abusing lifestyle to becoming sober and accountable. They offer drug-free living environments for recovering individuals.


Get Help For Addiction Today

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Anyone struggling with substance addiction can benefit from a sober living home. These programs are a beneficial component of treatment where residents move between levels of care as their recovery proceeds. It is often the final step before returning to everyday life. People usually go back to school, work, and get back into their daily lives while living in a sober home.

As with all recovery programs, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Again, sober living houses aren’t for everyone. However, they offer a supportive opportunity for people who are working through their recovery and towards a substance-free lifestyle.

If you or a loved one could benefit from sober transitional housing, contact Harmony Ridge Recovery Center today. Learn more about our stable housing option which can help you maintain abstinence from substance use.

We can also inform you of our other treatment options and programs. Perhaps you’d like to discover whether our residential treatment program can help you. Or maybe you’re wondering if our outpatient program for addiction is something you could consider.

We support recovery and freedom with a compassionate and comprehensive approach to rehab. So, if you are in need of recovery housing, treatment for substance abuse problems, or support for your struggling family members, allow our team of specialists to get you the answers you seek.

FAQ

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How long does sober living last?

The duration of one’s stay in a sober living home can vary considerably. Factors that influence it include one’s addiction type and unique needs, sober living’s exact placement in the rehabilitation process, facility availability, rent costs, adherence to house rules, and more. However, a typical short stay may last for as little as a month to a few months, while a longer stay may last for a year to 18 months or more. Studies show that a minimum of 3 months tends to work best for most individuals.

Who owns and operates sober living homes?

Sober living homes are typically privately owned, but corporations and charity groups also own and operate some.  Some may also be certified or governed by Sober Living Coalitions or Sober Living Networks.

As regards operating them, most tend to be self-governed and self-run. However, some sober living homes may also offer clinical services, such as on-site medical care. In those cases, such staff as psychiatric nurses and licensed clinical social workers will also be involved in the operation.

Is there a limit to how long one can stay in sober living homes?

Rules on the duration of one’s stay may differ in rare cases, but there is typically no limit to how long one can stay in a sober living home. The majority of sober living homes allow residents to stay indefinitely, as long as they adhere to house rules, remain abstinent, and fulfill their financial obligations such as rent.

Still, if you intend to stay at a sober living home for 2 years or more, we strongly suggest that you confirm this with the owners and program managers.

What’s the difference between sober living homes and halfway houses?

Colloquially, “sober living homes” and “halfway houses” may see interchangeable use as terms. The two are rather similar, in that both can serve functionally similar purposes. However, halfway houses differ from sober living homes in some key regards.

Halfway houses may be sponsored by the state, and often seek to cater to individuals who are coming out of incarceration. They tend to have residence duration limits more often than sober living homes, in part because of this. Finally, halfway homes often don’t offer clinical services or have rules on attending therapy and 12-step meetings.

What’s the difference between sober living homes and Oxford houses?

These two terms also tend to cause some confusion, as “sober living homes” and “Oxford houses” may sound distinctly different. In fact, Oxford houses are a type of sober living home – the most common one across the US, at that.

Oxford houses tend to not offer clinical services on-site, or require attendance to recovery programs beyond encouraging 12-step meetings. They are self-run, and new residents must be approved by current ones to be accepted. Lastly, Oxford houses do have house rules and rent, which goes toward maintaining the house.

Do sober living homes cure addiction?

In isolation, nothing can cure addiction by itself. Sober living homes in particular do not initiate rehabilitation, but typically end it and solidify abstinence. In isolation, sober living homes cannot cure addiction which requires MAT, psychiatric care, or other intensive types of care.

That said, sober living homes can serve as excellent final steps to robust rehabilitation programs, as the studies cited above demonstrate. They can serve as continuous aftercare, allowing newly recovered individuals to socialize, heal, and thrive. Finally, they can offer housing to those in need, particularly individuals who are struggling with employment post-rehab – or are coming out of incarceration, in the case of halfway homes.


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