Look for these 5 Qualities of a Good Recovery Home
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Finding a sober living house is not always easy; it can be very difficult to know if the facility is managed smoothly and efficiently by those who own it. That is why so many individuals who are leaving inpatient rehab ask their caregivers to help set them up with a good recovery home for their aftercare.
However, especially if you are choosing to reside in one of these facilities in lieu of traditional addiction treatment, you may have to find the right recovery home on your own. Here are five qualities you should look for that can help you feel safe and secure in the knowledge that the home you picked will be beneficial to your recovery.
1. Well Reviewed, Well Spoken Of
According to a study on sober living houses from the NCBI, these facilities “are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for the costs.” The study states that this can help protect these homes from undergoing the kind of budget cuts often felt by halfway houses and the like, but because SLHs are not officially regulated by a government body, it can be hard to know what their qualifications are.
You should always visit your recovery home before moving in, but there is research you can do even before this point. Look up the name of the home online and find out what their reputation is. You might see a few bad experiences from reviewers, but two is not the same as twenty. Also you can discuss the house on message boards with fellow recovering addicts in your area and find out more about other individuals’ experiences there. If the facility is well reviewed and well-spoken of, that is a quality of a good recovery home.
2. Encourages Attendance in Additional Treatment
As stated by the study, many SLHs provide “no formal treatment services but either mandated or strongly encouraged attendance at 12-step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).” Whether the facility mandates this treatment type or not, you may often be able to attend outpatient treatment at a facility nearby if you prefer.
Those recovery homes which do not provide or encourage additional treatments are not actually helping your recovery move forward as much as the ones that do. Being in a drug- and alcohol-free environment is all well and good, but if you do not have the necessities you will need to fight addiction, eventually moving into another, more volatile situations can be much more dangerous for you.
According to another study from the NCBI, “Most SLHs operate as freestanding programs and have no affiliation with specific treatment programs, although residents may be attending various substance abuse, mental health, and other services in the community.” While it can be particularly beneficial to find a recovery home that is affiliated with a certain kind of treatment, at least look for one that will mandate or at least your participation in the treatment option of your choice.
3. Stay Length Based on the Individual
In some treatment facilities, a person’s length of treatment is based on many different factors including the amount their insurance will cover, the facility’s base-line for treatment, etc. Some recovery homes also have specified timelines wherein an individual can stay at the facility; in some cases, it is the same for everyone.
A good recovery home, and most SLHs, will allow residents to “typically stay as long as they like” (NCBI). Since a sober living facility is sustained by the rent paid by its residents, there usually is no limit on their stay, and people can remain as long as they feel that the environment is helping them.
Sometimes, a person will need evaluation either in treatment or with the management of the home and it can be decided whether or not that is still the best place for them to be. But, generally, the resident should be able to decide when they want to leave, barring any issues with rule breaking and the like.
4. Roommates Required
Some of the most expensive facilities might boast that residents are not required to have roommates, but do not let this fool you. Sharing rooms can actually be a very important quality in a good recovery home. This quality helps residents look out for one another and assist each other in staying clean and sober.
Resocialization with the right group of individuals can be one of the best additional treatments for addiction. If you are sharing a room with someone who is also trying to stay clean, you can rely on each other, help each other, and make sure that nothing goes on which could be dangerous to either one of you. Homes that require residents to share a room are often more beneficial than those which do not.
5. Residents Grouped by Similarities
One of the best qualities of a recovery home is that it attends to your unique needs; this may mean staying at a facility designated for certain individuals similar to you. In many cases, it can be more effective and safer to attend treatment with individuals who share your same traits, and recovery homes are not exception.
For example, the NIDA states several of the unique treatment needs that women with substance abuse disorders have, including treatment for issues like PTSD which are very common in female drug addicts. Staying in a recovery home that only accepts women often makes these individuals feel safer and less concerned about issues of the house. Men often have facilities that cater to them as well.
Other groups who can benefit from recovery homes specifically designated for them are:
- Mothers/fathers with young children who will need to stay with them at the facility
- Recently incarcerated individuals
- Those suffering from co-occurring disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders
If you do not feel especially in need of staying in a home meant for one particular group, there are always those which do not take only one type of resident. But those that do group their residents by certain traits can actually work similarly to treatments of this type in order to meet the unique needs of their residents, often making them better and more successful homes in general.