Pros and Cons of Sober Homes
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Anyone who’s entered a drug treatment program well knows how structured and organized these program environments can be. Treatment program environments no doubt mandate and support continued abstinence. Once a person completes drug treatment, all of these supports fall away leaving addicts to contend with the real world on their own.
Sober home programs function as a bridge between the structured setting of drug treatment and the sometimes overwhelming freedom recovering addicts face in the real world. For many people, sober home programs offer a much needed transition period within the recovery process.
While sober homes do offer a much needed service, there are a few drawbacks to consider before entering a sober home program. Ultimately, the pros and cons of sober homes can vary depending on a person’s individual circumstances.
Recovery-Focused Living Environment
Sober living programs operate as recovery-focused living environments where residents carry out the affairs of everyday life, such as work, meeting family obligations, household chords and recreational time. In the process, residents get a feel for managing real world life pressures while having access to needed recovery-based supports.
Recovered-based supports may take the form of –
- Like-minded peers who have the same goals and face similar daily challenges
- In-house 12-Step support meetings
- No alcohol or drug use
- Working with a sponsor
As staying engaged in the recovery process can greatly improve a person’s chances of ongoing abstinence, living inside a recovery-focused environment provides recovering addicts with a much needed lifeline once drug treatment ends.
Real World Application of Relapse Prevention Strategies
While inpatient treatment programs do offer a person relapse prevention training, this type of environment offers few if any opportunities to actually apply what’s been learned. The independence afforded through sober living programs enables residents to “live” recovery-based principles in the real world while still benefiting from the supports and guidance these programs provide.
Sober home programs also enforce strict sets of house rules designed to create stable, structured living environments. As residents learn to incorporate relapse prevention strategies within their daily lives, they develop the type of lifestyle that makes long-term abstinence possible once they go out on their own.
Unlike the licensing and accreditation requirements placed on drug treatment facilities, sober homes exist as freestanding programs with no affiliations to specific treatment programs. While residents often do obtain other types of treatment services through outside agencies, sober homes provide no actual or standardized services. With no regulations to dictate how any one sober home operates, each home determines how its program is run.
Costs & Amenities
Technically-speaking, sober homes are not classified as rental properties, which eliminates many of the protections a person has when renting a home or apartment, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. Consequently, a person can be evicted from a sober living program with little to no notification; otherwise, residents would be able to break house rules and still reside in the home for the number days allowed by the law.
As far as amenities go, some sober living facilities offer plush accommodations (for a price), while others may only provide barebones basics. All-in-all, anyone considering a sober living program will want to research their options before committing to any one program.