How Will I Know Sober Living is The Next Step?
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Sober living may be a necessary step for you after you leave addiction treatment. These facilities offer a substantial amount of treatments and aids that allow you to get back on your feet after finishing your addiction treatment program. But how do you know that sober living is the next step?
The Time for Sober Living
According to a study from the NCBI, “SLHs [or sober living houses] are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs.” These houses are not the same as treatment facilities, and “they offer no formal treatment but either mandate or strongly encourage attendance at 12-step groups.”
Many people choose to go to a sober living house when they are transitioning. Often, residents of these houses are in transition in one of these ways:
- Leaving residential treatment
- Starting outpatient treatment
- Leaving incarceration
- Looking for a new alternative to formal treatment
In many cases, individuals are transitioning from or into a kind of formal treatment, but some people merely need the structure of a sober living house without the full treatment of a residential or outpatient program. It is important to remember that the best time to go to a sober living house is whenever it works for you.
Is Sober Living My Next Step?
If you are unsure whether or not sober living is the next logical step for you, consider these questions. Answer honestly and consider all of your strongest needs while you do so.
- Am I leaving a treatment facility (or other type of formal facility) where I have been for a substantial amount of time?
- Do I feel unready to go back to my old life after leaving this facility?
- Do I not feel stable enough to be on my own?
- Did the community aspect of treatment appeal to me?
- Did the controlled environment aspect of treatment appeal to me?
- Did the round-the-clock care aspect of treatment appeal to me?
- Do I feel that formal treatment does not have the kind of help I need, and am I considering an informal alternative?
- Do I feel stable enough to leave treatment but not to live and work on my own?
If you answer yes to many of these questions, there is a possibility that sober living may be right for you at this time. There are also other aspects to consider as well, as sober living has its own rules.
- Do I have a job or will I be able to get one?
- Will I be able to pay my share of rent?
- Do I feel comfortable about living with a roommate?
- Will I be able to work on my own recovery with others being present?
- Can I follow the rules set by the house (I.E. paying rent on time, being tolerant and respectful to other residents) and sign a contract saying so?
According to another study from the NCBI, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence.” If you have answered yes to the questions above, sober living could be the next step in your recovery.