How Can I Stay Connected to Family and Friends While Living in a Sober House?
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When looking into sober housing many people feel a little bit of fear about living in a new place. Will you like the people in the sober living house? Will you adjust to the rules and requirements? Can you do it on your own?
Normally, when people face these fears, they can depend upon friends and family to support them and give them advice. But, you might be worried that living in a sober house means that you can’t get in touch with your support group the way you used to be able to. This is especially true if you have recently exited inpatient treatment, where your connection to friends and family was limited.
Don’t worry. Sober living houses have multiple ways for you to connect with your support system and you don’t need to worry about living in lockdown. As long as you follow the house rules, you should be OK.
When looking for a sober house, people spend a lot of time online researching or accept recommendations from advertisements or strangers. Don’t let that happen to you. Talk to experts. Call our helpline at 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) and get questions answered and recommendations for appropriate treatment which can lead tosober housing.
What Is Sober Housing?
When you better understand sober housing, you better understand the role that your friends and family can play.
The one absolute that is true of all sober housing is that it is a home that does not allow drugs or alcohol. Possession of either will get you banned from the property.
You do have rules and responsibilities as a member of the house and those will be different at each home. However, they should not interfere with simple visits and phone calls to the people you love.
You should be warned that many of the people you love were part of your pattern of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Despite the active role friends and family can play in your life when you are in sober housing, you shouldn’t welcome poor influences and dysfunction back into your life.
As an article in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs notes: “Residents are … encouraged to avoid friends and family who might encourage them to use alcohol and drugs, particularly individuals with whom they have used substances in the past.” A return to a destructive relationship can derail progress for even the most dedicated individual.
You are generally free all day and are not required to check in until the established curfew. With this degree of freedom, you can see how easy it would be to connect with your loved ones.
Most homes allow guests to visit, but the guests may not stay overnight and they must not bring drugs or alcohol on the premises. If suspected, they will be banned from visiting.
Make these rules clear to friends and family.
Phone Calls and Email
You are allowed to have your cell phone at your sober residence and you may have access to a computer, your own or one that belongs to the house. These items are typically not allowed at an inpatient facility, so recent graduates of those programs are relieved to have these easy social links back in place.
12 Step Meetings
Most sober houses require residents to attend 12 step meetings. Roughly 76 percent of the residents in one group of sober housing go to at least one meeting a week. You are also asked to engage fully in the program by having a sponsor and doing service work. These groups will play a big role in your life while you are in sober living.
If you have friends and family who truly support your recovery, you may wish to bring them to a meeting or to meet your sponsor. That way they can help you and better understand where you are in your recovery.
If a fear of isolation has left you avoiding living in a sober house, don’t let it. You can enjoy the benefits of sober living and you can remain close to your support system while making new supports. Call Our helpline at 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) to find a house that meets your needs.