How Long Should You Stay in a Sober House?
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You are probably sick of hearing it, but (like everything about recovery) how long you should stay at a sober house depends upon you. On one hand, that can feel like a frustrating answer. On the other hand, it shows how much the addiction community wants to tailor your recovery to your needs.
Sober living houses generally allow you to stay as long as you need to, so what really determines how long you remain is you. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself and your answers and your self-awareness will allow you to pinpoint the time when you are ready to move on to the next step of your recovery.
However, when you are ready to leave, don’t think that you should just pack your bags and run. You will want to prepare to leave and make decisions that will allow you to make the most of your stay. As you know from rehab and detox and every other stage of recovery thus far, how you transition into the next stage makes a lot of difference.
To find an appropriate sober living situation, call SoberHouse.com at 888-439-7685 (Who Answers?). You can get questions answered and be directed to a sober living house that can work for you. Don’t let the benefits of sober housing got to waste.
What is Sober Housing?
On a core level, sober housing is simply housing that is drug and alcohol free at all times. Under no circumstances are residents allowed to bring these substances to the home. The homes are open to people both attempting to reach sobriety and those attempting to maintain it.
It is important to note that sober homes are not the same as treatment, although some residents use them in place of treatment. A sober house offers no medical oversight, therapy, or other services associated with conventional, structured treatment. You may be required to attend 12 step meetings as part of your agreement of residency, but the rules of the houses differ.
Most sober houses will allow you to remain as long as you wish, provided you follow the rules and pay your rent and fees in a timely manner. When the researchers of a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs looked into two sober living communities, they discovered that over half of each home’s residents had exited by the 12-month mark. By the 18-month mark, nearly all of the original residents had left.
When deciding whether or not it is time to move on, you will need to question your commitment to abstention from drugs and alcohol. Be self-aware and honest. What are your current strengths and weaknesses? How do you rate your current commitment to sobriety? Has your time in the house affected your thoughts about your substance of choice? Have you made accomplishments that can function as motivation to continue your sobriety?
Your Support System
Positive and healthy relationships are a key to continued recovery. Have you made relationships within the house itself? Can those be continued outside the home? Have you made friends outside the home while you have lived within it? Will you continue to nurture those friendships and make them work for you when you leave?
Your Degree of Comfort
No doubt, your treatment program helped you with coping strategies and stress management methods. Both help combat cravings and reduce triggers. But, that doesn’t mean you are ready to transition back into the life you used to lead.
Sober housing is a way to delay the transition and really develop these skills. Have you developed them enough to consider transitioning? Are you comfortable moving out? Does the thought of moving out make you panic?
One of the great things about sober living houses is that you can find one to fit every budget. They generally have a lower rent than the average apartment. Be sure to measure the amount you are bringing in against possible rent costs. Have a solid money management plan.
You won’t have a perfect move out day from sober living. That’s not how it works. But, if you check in with yourself and communicate with those around you, you will reach a point where you know you are ready to go. To find Treatment that can help you reach this point, call 888-439-7685 (Who Answers?).