How to Choose a Sober Living Home
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Sober living homes are often mistakenly referred to as “halfway houses”. In fact, sober living homes are actually continuing treatment centers that provide affordable, alcohol and drug free environments, all in support of a recovering addict’s alcohol or drug rehabilitation efforts. Studies prove that people who spend at least 18 months in a sober environment have a much higher chance at maintaining recovery.
How Do You Choose the Right Sober Living Home?
Not all Sober Living Homes are the same. Some are luxurious, offering residents an opulent home to live in and a wide variety of options to choose from. Others are more like homeless shelters, with residents who come and go regularly, and they may lack a communal spirit that is key to an addict’s recovery over the long term.
Sober Living Homes can also cause disruption in the community causing an increase in crime. Community neighborhoods often are not welcoming to Sober Living Homes that charge drug addicted residents high rent to live in their facilities. People who live near these homes are asking for stricter controls on where the homes can be built and who can enter, but those cases are likely to take years to make their way through the courts.
Is There a Greater Chance at Recovery if I Go To a Sober Living Home?
According the National Center for Biotechnology “An Evaluation of Sober Living Houses” is a 5-year study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Polcin, Galloway, Taylor & Benowitz-Fredercks, 2004). It aims to track 300 individuals over 18 months who live in 20 different SLH’s administered by 2 different agencies. This report will focus on 6-month outcomes for 130 individuals residing in 16 sober living houses affiliated with Clean and Sober Transitional Living (CSTL) in Sacramento, California.
Interviews were conducted at entry into the houses and at 6-month follow-up. Residents entering sober living homes who had established sobriety were more expected to maintain that sobriety, while those with recent substance use would show significant improvement.
All in all studies have shown that people who transition to a sober living home following inpatient drug or alcohol treatment have a much better chance at sustained, long term recovery.
There is very little government assistance offered on finding a good sober living home. However, a therapist or even a family doctor should have resources that can put someone in touch with these facilities.
Do Your Research in Advance
Addicts and their families should choose their sober living facility carefully, long before the resident must move in and call it home. Performing inspections, asking questions, interviewing other residents and reading online reports about the facility may all help. Once residents enter the home, they must stay there in order to feel the real benefits that these homes can provide. Moving from home to home while trying to find the place with the best fit could prove disastrous for the addict’s long-term recovery chances. It pays to do the research ahead of time and make sure the facility is right before the addict is enrolled.