Sober Housing and Homelessness
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Addiction is terrible, but it seems to be an even greater problem when the addict is homeless. It is hard for most people to imagine fighting for a place in a shelter every night or sleeping in the streets. But, imagine doing that and being consumed with a need to get high or drunk?
The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) reports roughly 690,000 people are homeless each night in the United States. And although the leading cause of death among them used to be HIV, it has been surpassed by drug overdoses.
Drug problems among the homeless population are on the rise, and it isn’t just overdoses causing death. Issues related to substance use—like the health fall-out from alcoholism or lung cancer from smoking—cause roughly 1 in 10 deaths.
The homeless face more health problems than the average person and this is especially true when it comes to drug abuse. There are efforts to combat this growing problem, like extending care and outreach. But the numbers of deaths and health problems are growing faster than the help can be put in place.
What are homeless addicts to do? Where can they get the care that they need?
If you are homeless and you are ready to break your addiction and pursue sobriety, but you don’t feel like you have the support you need to make it through treatment, sober living houses may offer what you need. These residences provide a drug and alcohol-free environment for you to live in while you attend outpatient rehab. Plus, you can stay at the house even after you finish treatment, allowing you to extend that support further into your recovery.
For help finding sober housing and for help with questions and finding resources, contact Our helpline at 800-373-1667. The sooner you call, the sooner you can get yourself into a supportive living situation.
What is Sober Housing?
Sober houses promote sober living by providing a drug and alcohol-free residence; drugs and alcohol are under no circumstances allowed on the premises. These residences are available to people who have achieved sobriety and hope to maintain it and to people attempting to achieve sobriety.
However, sober living homes are not the same as treatment. There is no therapy or medical oversight at a sober house. You may be required or strongly urged to attend 12 step meetings while you live in the home, but every home has different rules about that.
What Does It Have to Offer?
Obviously, the best thing sober housing has to offer is a place to live. The next good thing is that it is a place to live that is without drugs and alcohol. Plus, you can stay as long as you need to, provided you make your payments and follow the rules.
As for the fees, sober houses are generally maintained using fees from the people who live there. Don’t worry. Clearly, homeless people have financial disadvantages, but many sober houses are affordable enough to be covered by state aid, government aid, or social security. You get your own bed, meals, and a place to shower.
In addition, you have the chance to make friends. Recovery requires support and meeting peers in recovery allows you to socialize with people who understand what you are going through.
Housing usually uses a social model, and residents make up the rules and enforce them. Often, this is done by a resident’s council or thorough elected officials, who are sober house residents. Although, there are still homes with a central manager who is in charge of rules and enforcement. Be sure to look for a house that follows a system that will work best for you.
In one research study, three groups were focused upon: people who lived in sober housing while getting outpatient care, people without housing during outpatient care, and people with housing that was not sober during outpatient care. All three groups made improvements when the outcomes were measured, but the first group, people in sober housing, made the most improvement.
If you feel like sober housing could help you to make it through outpatient therapy and, possibly, beyond, you owe it to yourself to look into it. Call Our helpline at 800-373-1667 for immediate placement into treatment.